Back to school – a Digital Marketing refresh!

In today’s digital marketing world things move fast, buyer decisions are made quicker and customers expect faster responses to questions and queries than ever before. I have worked in marketing for nearly 20yrs, things change so quickly, especially within the digital marketing arena,  it had been a while since I had studied anything formally so I decided it was time I went back to school, to sharpen my digital marketing skills. So, in July I attended a 3-day advanced digital marketing workshop at the CIM with the course director Daniel Rowles and 8 other delegates.

Lets start at the beginning, so what is digital marketing? Well, simply it is any form of marketing that appears within the digital world so that could be your website, SEO, email marketing, PPC (pay per click advertising), social media, mobile and online advertising to name but a few things. We see more and more the quantity of messages coming through from these channels and the ever increasing need to achieve cut through and speak directly to our ideal client.

One of the key messages which seemed to run throughout the workshop was this idea of having a single view of a customer. If you are a sole trader, probably all the information is in your head,  you know who someone is, when you met them and how you interacted with them. But as soon as you start to get more than one or two people in the team then you need to find tools to help you with this, not only from a service perspective to ensure you are providing the best possible service, but also from a performance perspective – what drives people to engage, book or buy from you?

Some interesting statistics in 2017:
1. Google make 97% of their turnover through advertising.
2. 50yrs of video are loaded to You Tube every day, each video has an average view of 5 seconds.
3. 1 in 4 Starbucks payments are made via a mobile device.
4. Mobile accounts for 29% of e-commerce worldwide.
5. 1 in 4 mobile internet users does not use a desktop or laptop in the UK.
6. There are approximately 500m tweets posted a day.

So in summary, digital is huge, it has revolutionised the way we live, work and interact with each other.

Lets start with content as it is the core foundation of everything. Simply if you provide interesting and relevant content to your ideal audience, they will engage, recommend or buy from you.  Thinking of your content as a mini campaign to roll out across all of your media channels will without doubt gain the greatest rewards.

SEO or search engine optimisation is simply a way of telling Google the questions that you would like to be the answers to. There are tools and techniques to achieve this but simply it is labelling pages or blogs in your website to answer a particular question. Whilst Google without doubt has the market share there are other search engines in places such as Russia and China that are individual to those markets, they all work in a similar way.  Google does provide us with a number of tools to help get us started with our SEO, understanding our clients customer journey with us and understanding our customers digital footprint. They include Google Adwords planner to help identify key search terms; Google Trends to help us understand our marketing plance and Google Analytics to help us understand our web performance and where our clients are coming from.

There is lots of debate around blogging and why you should do it. Not only does writing a blog enable you to address industry specific challenges, but it will also help support your SEO by demonstrating that your site is being used, regularly updated and hopefully interacted with. Link building e.g.: featuring your link on someone elses website can help build authority in Google’s mind that you are a trusted source.

Social media is of course a big part of today’s marketing mix, wether you are a small business or you are a global corporation, this is an important way of connecting with your audience. The main networks are: Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, Snap Chat and You Tube. Which channel you engage with depends on your business objectives and your audience. There is a definite trend appearing with more focus on videos so tools like Periscope (Twitter) and Facebook Live are definitely on the increase. A word of caution, they can be great tools and a good way to engage with your audience but done badly it can also leave a negative impact for your business.

Email marketing is critical in today’s digital world and if it compliments the other above digital tools can be a really powerful tool for lead generaion activity. With an average 38:1 ROI in the UK and 86% of markters plan to increase their email marketing activity in 2017, it is certainly not a medium which is on the decline. As with all marketing the success comes down to providing relevant and interesting content and understanding your target audience.

We covered a lot in our 3 days, our final sessions were to pull all of our insight and learning together to form a marketing strategy.  No longer is there or should there be a difference from more traditional print/ advertising strategy and digital.  There is not doubt that the two key themes which came out of the workshop was that understanding your client is key and having a joined up, single customer view, it makes implementing all marketing much easier.

If you would like some help in pulling your digital marketing strategy together please contact Sophie at

CIM Digital Marketing Workshop

Google Links

Sophie Comas

A highly successful self-motivated and results driven, senior marketing professional. My passion lies within developing and delivering marketing solutions which make a difference in today's complex digital market place. A marketeer with a strong academic background and broad ranging level of experience working with small businesses and in the travel and hospitality sector, across the Thames Valley, I love a challenge!

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