The proliferation of digital technologies has led to a seemingly infinite number of ways to engage with potential customers. From email to websites to social media, each channel presents a different opportunity to market our product or service. In fact, omni-channel marketing has become an increasingly expected element of every business strategy. Less than 10 years ago, businesses questioned the staying power of digital marketing. Now, asAdweek notes,
Omni-channel marketing suggests, by definition, that we as Marketers have to be everywhere. This has led to a mounting pressure to engage with each and every available platform. While it is clear that engaging with digital marketing is crucial to the success of any marketing strategy,
Marketers are instilled with a deep-rooted fear, often perpetuated by successfully “omni-marketed” articles, that absence from any platform is not only ill advised, but also potentially detrimental. We are inundated with messages about the importance of digital marketing, instructing us to adopt fast or lose out and providing us with 5 or 10 or 15 ways to revolutionize our engagement strategy.
As well-informed, discerning Marketers, we know and appreciate that not all channels provide an ideal platform to target and engage with our consumers. Tinder, for example, is clearly not the place for campaigning. However, we still succumb to the belief that actively engaging with the “big 4” (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) is an essential element of marketing today. We crusade for likes and followers and comments and re-tweets like our job depends on it. With the rise of content marketing and the opportunity to actively participate online for “free”,we have embraced the falsehood that more we produce, the more visible we are.
However, busy-ness does not equate to productivity, and producing more content does not necessarily result in an increase in leads for our Sales team.
Marketing is a strategic function, and we need to remember that when designing our marketing strategy. Instead of viewing engagement on all platforms as a necessity, we should think strategically about the channels we choose to engage with.
We can do this by understanding where our customers need us to be and meeting them there. While data is important, catchall metrics don’t help us evaluate our impact. As Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer for the Content Marketing Institute notes, campaign-based marketing is an expense not an investment due to the fact that it does not increase in value over time. Therefore, to maximize ROI, we must first figure out where our efforts translate to enduring and increasing value. We should focus on the channels that drive the most engagement and where we have demonstrated our ability to drive meaningful conversation.
By simplifying our marketing strategy, we have the opportunity to develop content that is both interesting and useful to our consumers. This is how we build loyalty, trust, and engagement. It is how we can differentiate ourselves in an overcrowded space. By creating truly compelling content, our consumers pollinate the digital marketing landscape for us. In our increasingly interconnected space, sharing content between platforms is common practice. As we know, content disseminated by consumers holds more value in the eyes of their peers, Therefore, chances are that by adopting a strategy of doing less, we will actually increase the scope of our impact.