Stronger Branding, Better Digital Marketing: 8 Tips To Grow ROI
8 Tips To Grow Digital Marketing ROI Through Stronger Branding
If you’re a health or wellness marketing executive, it can be overwhelming trying to navigate the constantly evolving nature of all things digital – the technology platforms, social media channels, tools and reporting. But through all the changes, there is one thing that has remained unchanged. It’s the importance of harnessing the full power of your branding – not only to front your marketing efforts but as a catalyst for growth.
We believe that understanding, articulating and living the brand is as important as it has always been. This importance is underscored by today’s more informed and empowered consumer, whose expectations have never been higher. Consumers have anything and everything they want, literally at their fingertips and in real time. Unless your branding efforts are grounded, distinguishing and aligned, customers won’t recognize, remember or even consider your offerings amidst your many competitors.
The Incredibly Crowded Landscape
We Are Social and Hootsuite’s latest Global Digital 2019 reports reveal the following digital key trends and insights:
- There are 11 billion unique mobile users in the world today, up 100 million (2 percent) in the past year
- There are 39 billion internet users in 2019, an increase of 366 million (9 percent) versus January 2018
- There are 48 billion social media users in 2019, with the worldwide total growing by 288 million (9 percent) since a year ago
- 26 billion people used social media on mobile devices in January 2019, with a growth of 297 million new users representing a year-on-year increase of more than 10 percent
There are thousands of definitions of brand. But regardless of your definition, at the end of the day a great brand reaches well beyond a logo or tagline and creates an emotional connection to one organization that separates it from the rest, building brand loyalty over time. It’s the imaginary thread that runs through every piece of your business. And it is still a company’s most important asset. An asset that, if properly managed, will steadily appreciate over time.
Nike is a good example. Its brand isn’t the swoosh logo or its Just Do It slogan. Nor is Nike’s brand about athlete and team sponsorships. Nike’s brand is a platform that empowers and aligns generations of people to unlock their own inner-athlete. It’s a really powerful and aspirational idea that comes across in everything they do. It’s an idea that begins with their brand culture, and threads through strategy, products and services, design and experience, content, advertising, activations and PR.
Creating The Connection
The connection referenced above begins with brand strategy (the roadmap that allows you to build equity in the way you want it to be built) and the disciplined process of branding (whether creating, maintaining, clarifying or revitalizing; through all the ownable, identifiable elements that help an organization stand out in the marketplace).
We at Trajectory have always considered that brand strategy and branding help to bridge the gap between business strategy and marketing strategy. As such, their development and nurturing are an integral part of the overall strategic marketing process.
Harnessing The World Of Expanding Possibilities
Every day, there are new tools and new approaches for reaching and engaging people. New ways to find and interpret data. It’s all very powerful, as long as marketers respect the core fundamentals of brand-building.
The smartest way for marketers to maximize all the new digital tools at their disposal and ensure the success of their integrated marketing activities is by having a brand platform in place. Regardless of what you call this foundational document, it’s invaluable for:
- engaging and aligning the whole organization in a brand-building agenda
- delivering against a relevant and differentiated brand promise; and
- keeping the brand on-track through consistent brand messaging and actions across audiences and channels
This document defines the brand’s agenda and helps ensure the full potential of branding to drive growth by engaging and aligning all of the resources of the company. In other words, ensuring a brand-led business. At a minimum, its components should include:
- Lexicon & Messages
Eight Tips For Building Digital Marketing ROI
In the digital age, not much has changed when it comes to branding. Customers want consistency of your brand promise. Although, how it’s delivered has changed dramatically. As more and more of the buyer’s journey takes place on digital channels, it is increasingly important to consider how the brand is deployed through these channels. Here are eight tips for increasing the ROI through brand-led digital marketing.
1. A Value Proposition Beyond Offerings
Customers want to know how you can help them live the kind of life they want. So don’t define your brand by the services, products or technology you provide, but by what you make happen. Digital marketing gives you more opportunity than ever for your brand to shine through and secure its relevance.
For Red Bull, this is about challenging people’s concept of what is humanly possible. Inspiring us to explore limits, and achieve something more.
For Go-Pro, it’s helping people capture and share their lives’ most meaningful experiences with others. Like how a day hiking with friends is more meaningful than one spent alone, the sharing of our collective experiences makes our lives more fun.
2. Beyond Different, To Demonstration
Great brands aren’t just different; they demonstrate. In the digital age, bluster doesn’t cut it. With a shift in authority and a rise in transparency, brands need to adopt more giving, truthful, honest and demonstrative value positionings and propositions. They need to offer something to buy into, not just something to buy.
People buy Toms for its brand promise, not just the brand’s products.
For Dr. Bronner’s, its being committed to honoring the vision of their founder Dr. E.H. Bronner by making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and by dedicating our profits to help make a better world. All-One!
3. Coherent Customer Experience
Tactical elements of digital marketing campaigns without strategy fall short of reaching business goals. Your marketing strategy needs to revolve around consistent delivery of your brand promise, to sharpen customer experience, across all of your digital channels. And given their expectation of instant guidance and support, the brand experience is increasingly happening before and beyond the actual purchase.
Engaging customers across all digital touch points in their everyday lives is the best way to invite prospects into your brand experience. According to Salesforce, 75 percent of consumers expect consistent experiences across multiple channels (web, mobile, in-person, social), with 73 percent likely to switch brands if they don’t get it. Moreover, the research found that 76 percent of customers now report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, switching from brand to brand and an experience that matches their expectations.
4. Relevant Customer Experience
Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), we know much more today about our customers. This method of leveraging customer data allows marketing teams to anticipate a customer’s next move and improve the customer journey. As a result, customers demand relevant content across the channels they engage with on a daily basis. If they don’t know your brand, providing content they’re interested in is the best way to open the door to your offerings. Be sure that your messaging matches not only their interests, across the customer decision journey, but also is appropriate for the specific medium to deepen their experience.
5. Don’t Interrupt. Involve
The most successful brands don’t interrupt people, they involve them. Similar to how one gear engages another to set things in motion, your brand should be a vehicle to not only help people help themselves, but to allow them to contribute to co-creating a stronger brand. And digital channels are perfect for this kind of engagement and involvement – helping both customer and company move forward.
Much of Nike’s success stems from its inclusive marketing approach – which enriches its audiences and the Nike brand.
Amex’s Open Forum engages people through advice, not advertising.
6. Increase Credibility and Trust
Customers choose to do business with people they trust. And they value trust more than obtaining products or services at a lower cost. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, consumers ranked brand trust as one of the top factors they consider when making a purchase, with 81 percent of survey respondents saying that they “must be able to trust the brand to do what is right.” A majority of consumers also reported that they would prefer to purchase from a familiar, trusted brand overall. Digital channels such as social media and online reviews, help consumers to build this trust, which is why this “social proof” is becoming a key part of branding. Customer reviews also help feed a brand’s content machine, keeping the brand favored by search algorithms.
7. Design For Digital
Brand owners must integrate the reality of the digital environment into their brand design. Those who don’t will soon suffer as they are perceived as old-fashioned and irrelevant. As a brand increasingly expresses itself on a small screen, design has become user-centric and much more visual. Incorporating infographics and icons helps with improved user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). Fonts are selected for easier reading online, and photography has completely different requirements than before.
For decades, consistency has been the buzz word in creating brands. It was engrained into education and in many people’s thinking. But consistency was closely tied to static systems and rules, which have changed completely. Across the digital space, with its multisensory functions, we’re seeing more flexible modular design that makes room for coherence over consistency.
8. Business Challenges & Brand Challenges
Clients come to us with business challenges to be solved. They’re looking to grow traffic, more qualified leads, new channels to help boost engagement and revenue. What we try to keep in mind is that short-term goals and long-term brand-building are not mutually exclusive. While lead generation tactics are designed to drive people to take a specific action, brand building tactics are designed to cultivating relationships and build loyalty. They both work together to bring customers to your door, but brand building keeps them around, assuring them you’re interested in a long-term relationship. While lead generation is critical to your business’s success, so is a continuous process of building your brand and brand experience. Your look and feel. Your tone of voice and brand messaging. Your website’s engagement factor and level of ease.
Brands who are only about themselves are the first to be abandoned by the consumer. Consumers are in the driver seat, they know it, and the most successful brands have known it — and acted accordingly — for awhile now. You have to re-think your brand story, messaging and actions according to what your current/future customer wants.
Building a brand is never ‘done’. It’s an ongoing process of refining and growing the defining characteristics of your business or offerings. And it’s well worth the effort. Strong digital branding ensures that you’re always in the consideration stage, as your prospects and customers see and engage with your online content. Deliver activities that people care about, and they’ll care about the brand too.
Learn more about how to best position and manage your brand in the digital age. Contact us to get the conversation started.