Commerce was changed forever with the advent of the internet. Today’s store fronts are websites, and consumers are empowered with the ability to compare, contrast, and research companies before making purchase decisions.
But how can businesses best leverage their digital presence to ensure customers pick them over their competitors? Mantu’s practice in Online Reputation & Digital Marketing helps organizations ensure they reach their audiences with the right message at the right time.
A marketing (r)evolution
In previous generations of business, marketing was relatively straightforward. Companies controlled their own narratives: adverts were published in newspapers and magazines, tv commercials were broadcast, and messaging was tightly controlled. Consumer choice was more limited, and word-of-mouth reviews were shared only amongst small circles. It was the glorious era of top-down communication: consumers were far less powerful than they are now. Back then, there was no Glassdoor, no Twitter, no Facebook, no global village where you could make your voice heard as a consumer.
But today, it is another story altogether: companies must accept that most of what is said about them will come from consumers, and that consumers now have just as much power as brands online. Bad reviews can spread unchecked across the digital landscape, and a poor reputation can defeat even the most carefully crafted sales strategy. In a digital world, people are the media, and brands need to embrace it.
Taking a holistic approach to digital marketing is therefore the only way to ensure success in this online age: companies must now build digital into their DNA. Data shows that a company’s online presence affects more than just its reputation.
- Reputation accounts for 25% of a company’s market value
- Online reviews impact purchasing decisions for over 93% of consumers
- 84% of job seekers say company reputation influenced their job choice
Consumers have moved online, and businesses must adapt accordingly. But it isn’t enough to digitally replicate existing marketing practices: digital marketing is a new game with different rules and a constantly evolving playing field.
Underpinning the best digital marketing strategies is a strong purpose. Purpose should encapsulate a company’s history, its future, and the values its clients, team members and partners will experience and embody. Purpose should inform everything from positioning to long-term choices, and it’s essential that PR initiatives reflect this: 72% of consumers say it is more important than ever to buy from companies that reflect their values.
Purpose must also reflect operational reality, since any disconnect between what your audience is told and what they experience can be disastrous: over 80% of reputational damage comes from a mismatch between PR and reality. Additionally, 84% of marketers agree that building consumer trust will soon be marketing departments’ primary objective.
Once this purpose is clearly established, embedded, and embraced within the company, the next step is to build an engaged and qualified community around it.
Digital vs traditional marketing
Unlike its analogue predecessor, digital is a numbers game, and it is played at break-neck speed. Marketers of old had no way of knowing how many eyes saw their expensive billboard in the city center or how they responded to the content they were shown, but today data is key: tracking and optimizing campaigns can be done through continual A/B testing, resulting in laser-focused targeting and the very best ROI possible.
Also gone are the days of needing costly focus groups to test messaging. Providing a window into consumer expectations and upcoming trends, social media intelligence means consumer sentiments, needs, wants and interests can now be heard straight from the source. With the right combination of data science and technology,social media intelligence plays a key role in defining the right message for your audience, which in turn develops online authority and influence. Companies can adapt their communication strategies in real time, delivering an improved ROI and increasing message resonance with highly targeted audiences.
Once the right messaging has been tested and honed, audience amplification techniques should be used to build an engaged and qualified community around your brand. Using cutting-edge AI, businesses’ social media presence can be further optimized through increased posting frequency and personalized content recommendations, spreading content further and connecting with a larger, engaged audience.
Translating this improved community engagement into better conversions is where growth marketing comes in. Involving designing and conducting tests to optimize effectiveness and returns, growth marketing is essential in finding out what works, what doesn’t, and why. The goal is to attract and retain engaged consumers through effective value communication throughout the entire customer journey, resulting in far more reliable returns.
Online reputation & digital marketing at Mantu
Mantu brand Pixel Alliance provides a holistic digital marketing service for brands around the world. Pixel Alliance helps its clients create powerful brand strategies based on a widely shared sense of purpose and bring them to life in the digital realm, with solutions including:
- Brand strategy
- Identity & design
- Web design & development
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Digital advertising: social media, search, display
- Marketing automation: mail, CRM
From digital marketing to digital transformation
Understanding the importance of digital marketing is the first step businesses must take if they want to survive in the digital age. To thrive, however, requires a change in mindset as well as in operations. Companies now need to disrupt themselves, lest they be disrupted by more agile market newcomers.
Digital transformation fundamentally changes how businesses operate and deliver value to their customers. It’s a cultural evolution as well as an operational one, involving challenging conventional wisdom, experimentation, and continually adapting to changing market forces.
Seven Circles is a digital agency specialized in the custom development of tailor-made platforms for clients seeking those very ways to disrupt themselves. Seven Circles complements Pixel Alliance with a team of technical experts in the development of custom platforms for businesses and a proprietary framework integrating many off-the-shelf features (social, video, instant messaging, conf calling, etc.). Seven Circles support its clients in defining their needs and assessing technical project specifications, all the way up to build and implementation.
Together, Pixel Alliance and Seven Circles bring together all the skills needed to succeed in digital transformation initiatives. Seven Circles’ expertise includes:
- Digital strategy
- Platform design
- UX / UI
- Back-end and front-end development
- Infrastructure & security
- Technical direction
Director of Mantu’s digital agencies Pixel Alliance and Seven Circles, Thomas Jeanneney is an experienced digital strategist who honed his skills in a good old brick-and-mortar NYC-based, sport startup. A graduate of ESSEC Business School and the French Military Academy of Saint-Cyr, Thomas always had an eye out for technological developments and their impact on business and society.
A qualified engineer, Nicolas Nusim is Operational Director of Mantu’s digital agencies Seven Circles and Pixel Alliance. Speaking five languages gives Nicolas a truly global outlook, and he is an active member of the Institut-Mines-Telecom alumni network and former President of the Cartel des Mines