Digital marketing strategies should be geared toward achieving the goal of a digital sales experience, according to a report by the research group Digital Marketing Alliance (DMA).
In a paper published on Wednesday, the organisation said the focus of marketing should be to “optimise and sell digital content, not to simply make money off it”.
DMA says that, in general, digital marketing should not be “focused on selling a product”, and that “digital marketing is best applied to the sales and marketing of a particular service, not just a specific product”.
The report suggests that, when the goal is to increase sales, a marketing strategy should be focused on digital channels, not specific products.
It also suggests that there is no clear distinction between digital content and content delivered through traditional channels.
Digital marketing is an increasingly important marketing medium, with more than half of all businesses now using digital marketing to reach their customers.
DMA’s report suggests the current state of digital marketing is fragmented and that the industry has “lost sight of the fact that the best way to drive digital conversion is to sell more of it”.
It is time for digital marketing companies to focus on the business model, the research says.
Digital marketing companies should focus on their core business model: selling digital content.
And the business models of traditional marketing companies must evolve to adapt to the new realities of digital advertising, DMA states.
It is also time for marketing departments to make digital marketing a top priority, as it is critical to driving digital conversion.
Digital marketers have a strong business case for digital conversion, says DMA chief executive David Schleifer.
The key for digital marketers is that, while sales are important, conversions are critical, says Schleif.
That means focusing on digital conversion and selling digital products is critical.
“This is a big change,” says Schlesifer.
“For some businesses, the digital transformation has been quite slow.
For others, it has been very rapid.
If you’re a big business and you have a big, fast, and efficient digital transformation plan, that’s the way to go.”
The report is based on a survey of more than 1,000 digital marketers, who answered the question “How can digital marketers make the most of their digital transformation to convert more of their customers to digital?”
The respondents were divided into four groups: the ‘buyers group’, ‘converts group’, the ‘crowds group’, and the ‘trending group’.
The buyers group included digital marketing businesses that are already delivering digital content in the form of video, video ads, and digital videos.
“The buyers are the people who are going to convert, but they are the ones who are not getting paid for the digital content that they are buying,” says Chris LeBlanc, chief executive of digital marketer and digital marketing services company Marketing Analytics, which is part of DMA.
The majority of digital marketers surveyed said they had already made the digital conversion transition, although only 13% had converted in the past year.
“If you were to start selling content that you didn’t have to buy, you would be the most successful digital marketers,” says LeBlac.
“People will be like, ‘OK, well, I’ll convert, then’.
But they won’t be making any money, and you’ll be left with nothing.”
A majority of the survey respondents said they have not converted their customers since they started selling digital in the previous year.
Of those, 44% said they converted in less than a year, and 35% in less, or less than two years.
“The vast majority of our customers have converted in a matter of a year,” says Dma’s Schleiffer.
“We are seeing the next wave of digital conversion happening.”
He adds: “This is where you’re going to see the biggest growth in the next couple of years, as the digital ecosystem continues to evolve.
There are huge opportunities for marketers who can get people to convert in two to three months.
Schleifer suggests that digital marketers should aim to “move as quickly as possible” to get conversions as fast as possible.
In the second half of 2018, he said, digital conversion rates were on track to exceed 50% in the US, Europe, and Australia, which was on par with previous years.
Digital conversion rates are expected to rise by around 40% in 2019, and by 40% by 2020.
Despite this, LeBlach says, “there’s a lot of work to be done”.”
I’d say, if we can’t get people converting in two or three months, we need to go back to the drawing board,” he says.”
It’s time for marketers to make the switch from selling product to converting.””
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