You might be asking yourself how all this newfangled digital ‘stuff’ fits into the traditional marketing mix: the venerable four Ps of Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Well, it breaks down something like this.
Let’s start with the obvious one: it’s the internet. It’s the 2.4 billion-plus people around the world who have decided it is better to be connected… whether it is accessed through a computer, a mobile device, internet protocol television (IPTV) or whatever else might come along. That’s really it.
Pricing is critical online. You have to be competitive: this is the internet, and pricing is transparent. You don’t necessarily have to be the cheapest – but to compete you need to make sure your overall value proposition to the customer is compelling. Overprice your product and a host of price comparison sites will soon highlight the fact, as will the countless peer review communities where consumers actively debate the relative merits (or otherwise) of everything from financial products to wedding stationery.
This is what you have to offer – your unique value proposition to your customers. A good product, of course, is the cornerstone of all successful marketing, but it is particularly crucial in the digital arena. A product that delivers tangible benefits and fills a real need in the marketplace – something that leaves the customer with a genuine perception of value – gives marketers the scope they need to do their job effectively. When you’re promoting something viable, it’s much easier to engage with consumers and to convince them to buy
Promotion is everything you do, online and offline, to get your product in front of your prospects, acquire new customers and retain existing ones. Examining those options will form the bulk of the rest of this book: in the following chapters we’ll discuss the major forms of online promotion available now, and will go on to look at emerging and future trends.
Eyes on the prize
Another crucially important area of your digital marketing strategy is setting realistic goals. Your strategy should explicitly define the business goals you want your digital marketing efforts to help you achieve. As with any other journey, you can only plan an effective route if you have a clear, unambiguous destination in mind from the start. Or to put it another way, you might be the world’s best archer – but if no one gives you a target to aim at, what good will it do you? To measure your progress towards those goals, you also need to set milestones along the way, consistently measuring your achievements and steering your digital campaign towards your ultimate destination. Here, again, the digital realm offers a raft of tools and techniques to help marketers reap a better return from their investment.
Bringing it all together
There is a lot to think about when defining your digital marketing strategy but, in the end, the process is about researching, analyzing and understanding three things that are crucial to your success: your business, your competition and your customers. Your strategy lays the foundation for everything you do as a digital marketer and will guide the decisions you make as you implement some of the techniques outlined in the coming chapters – and choose not to implement others, precisely because they don’t fit with your chosen strategy
Founded in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1999 and now eBay’s official Latin America partner, Mercado Libre is an online platform dedicated to e-commerce and online auctions. As Latin America’s top e-commerce advertiser, Mercado Libre offers thousands of products in hundreds of product categories for all types of audiences.