Digital Marketing seems to be one of the most popular themes for events or training. For instance, I hardly see any topics for processes strategy, or efficiency in Vietnam. And this could become a long-term issue.
Nowadays you cannot visit any Social Media platform without seeing adverts for Digital Marketing Services or events. I guess I am not the only one who receives messages and emails from companies offering their digital marketing strategies.
Recently I had an interesting conversation with an owner of a company about efficiency and the importance of process documentation. While he agreed, he also mentioned that he does not want to spend any of his budget on this. But he was interested in investing in even more digital marketing.
And this is not the first time I encountered this. The priorities are clearly Digital Marketing Strategy. On the other side the desire to fund process is limited. This development is often seen for ERP and Automation projects. Too often clients in Vietnam clients expect Software companies to define the internal process for them – for free of course. Ultimately this is one of the reasons why such projects fail. But to be fair – this is not just the case in Vietnam.
This made me think – what are companies expecting from Digital Marketing? Of course, it is critical to generate leads and connect with customers. Without proper Digital Marketing most companies will struggle. I am not disputing it – and RSP International actually offer this service too.
But what happens after a successful marketing campaign? A business will get more leads for B2B – but not guaranteed sales. For that they need to go through the full process of proposal and negotiations before signing a contract. The emphasis is on PROCESS. Without the correct processes sales might not go ahead and the Digital Marketing effort did not increase the revenue (though it might have increased engagement and leads).
As an example, a consultancy in Singapore generated a lot of leads, but the conversion rate was very low. The owner was surprised, until one of the staff found out that the whole process was too long and complex for the potential clients. They just went to a competitor. As a result, the company changed the process and the conversion rate increased.
And it does not stop there. After a successful sale, the clients will have expectations about the offered service. If the delivery does not meet expectation, they might move to a competitor. The same applies when services are not consistent. As a result, a company will lose customers and need to find new one. Though it has been mentioned often that it costs more to win a new customer than retaining an existing one. And other studies show that retaining customers can even increase revenue. So, the aim should be to avoid this.
I am not saying businesses do not need Digital marketing – they do. But they cannot afford just to focus on that and ignore processes, as it seems to happen. Having processes in place is a key component to convert leads into sales and deliver consistent services. In the end not investing in process definition, documentation or improvement might cost even more.
Based on these thoughts the answer to the initial question “Digital Marketing – then what?” can be quite straightforward. Have efficient processes that help to convert and retain customers. Otherwise, a Digital marketing Strategy might fail increasing revenue.