Going Back to Basics to Unlock Digital Marketing Success

Digital marketing is a massive deal in modern business, where every second sale is made online, and social media influences most customer decisions. However James Williams, marketing lead at one of the fastest growing finechs in the Southern hemisphere Wonga Online (PTY) Ltd has explained why the fundamentals still matter and why – regardless of the global nature of your brand – basics make all the difference.

digital marketing

Revisiting the Four Ps of Marketing

Cast your mind back to your first ever marketing course, and you’ll remember the four Ps. And, in case you don’t, they are:

  • Product
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion

Even the wildest engagement figures and snappiest branding won’t dent your bottom line if you don’t have those essentials in place. For example, let’s say we’re selling a product, but we haven’t run any competitor analysis, have maintained the same price for months, and haven’t looked into whether that product still meets the pain points of our target customer. Your pricing likely needs optimising, your communications need refreshing, and you need to capture customer feedback to adjust your value proposition.

Yes, it’s simple, but many brands keep churning out the same stuff and settle into a dangerous, deceiving comfort zone that leads to stagnation. They forget that the four Ps are the benchmark for good practice and should always be the mainstay of your digital marketing strategy. Neil Patel has a great guide to the four Ps and the practical applications if you’d like more information.

Establishing Trust and Brand Reputation

Very few companies have a big enough global clout to ‘get away with’ a minimal effort approach to engaging with a new audience. Even then, Nike isn’t going to sell trainers if their price points are unattainable, and Apple won’t sell a watch if the interface isn’t available in the local language.

Assuming that everyone knows your name, and will buy on that basis alone, is a recipe for disaster – you need to construct a new buyer persona and immerse yourself in the societal, economic and financial factors that play into the decision-making process.

It’s another basic principle that gets washed aside in a rush for social media dominance or the top of the SERP rankings. Digital marketing can be extremely effective and open up a world of opportunity to sell to people worldwide, but only if you do the legwork from day one, just as you would for your first launch.

When you enter a new market, you must focus on building brand status and earning trust by showing your audience what you’re doing now (not relying on past results as social proof).

Boilerplates don’t work, and poorly phrased translations or clunky cultural terminology will do more harm than good. This is something we explored in depth at Wonga as our target audience in South Africa speaks eleven languages! Know your audience, uncover their priorities, and craft a new strategy for each jurisdiction or country.

Understanding the Competition

Finally, let’s talk competition – and staying ahead of the curve.

A common area of complacency is to look solely at digital marketing metrics, think bounce rates, conversion percentages and visitor volumes.

The problem is that even if your numbers are growing, it doesn’t equate to success if everyone else’s are too – or the market is expanding, and you’re becoming a small fish in a big pond.

Successful companies don’t pour their entire budgets into promotions without at least a yardstick to measure progress by, which means keeping tabs on the competition.

For example, if you’ve crafted a USP based on one specific service, but another company already offers it cheaper, faster and better, your heavily invested launch will fall flat. There are tons of tools available for this and they can help define your competitive selling points.

Imagine Rolex creating a huge digital marketing promotion based on price without realising its products are some of the most expensive. Instead, they focus on superior performance, which is what their customers pay for. It’s an obvious example, but you get the point.

Creating a Winning Digital Marketing Approach

As technology continues to evolve we can refine our marketing strategies and expand our audience reach greater than ever before. However brands still need to go back to the basics; know their strengths and weaknesses, understand their customers, and revisit their approaches continually to meet contemporary customer demand in a constantly shifting and cut-throat marketplace.