There are 7 Critical Principles of Effective Digital Marketing, today we will discuss the first principle deeply
- Empathize Give value first
- always Learn
- apply & innovate
- Use a living plan
- Use appropriate tools effectively
- Use human capital effectively
- Scale: synergism, integrate and automate
The first 3 principles are a direct reflection of how we approach the concept of digital marketing. These three principles are the most important because they will set the tone for how the process principles are carried out. While the process principles help us to define the “how”—how we execute, what steps we take, the strategies we use.
It isn’t enough to know what is the principles are – you have to truly commit to living them. Build them into your thought process so that they become second nature.
The Principle One : Empathize
Think about the products or services. When someone is able to speak to your exact needs, meaning. they address your pain points, present the value you are seeking. The first thing we need to start thinking about is The Avatar.
Building an Avatar
Your Avatar is a representation of your ideal customer (or your Client’s ideal customer). In many cases, you may have more than one Avatar. An Avatar is not a “target demographic” which is a target group. An Avatar is a single, idealized individual. Think of Avatar building as building a person. You are going to identify and define the inner workings of who this person really is
If empathy is the most important principle in digital marketing, then knowing who it is you are meant to empathize with is the most important step. That’s what building your Avatar is and it should not be skipped.
To build your avatar, You Need to ask yourself some questions. It’s more of a guideline as to the types of questions you should be asking yourself when building your Avatar.
- What does their average day look like?
- How do they spend their free time?
- What are their goals?
- What are their values?
- What are their challenges?
- What are their pain points?
- Where do they go for information?
- What sources of media do they trust?
- What influencers do they listen to?
- When do they typically engage with content? …and through what medium?
- What does their peer group look like?
- What associations are they a part of?
- How educated are they?
- What are their worries and concerns?
- What responsibilities do they have?
- What completely turns them off?
Let’s look to the example of an avatar preferences:
- Male Early 50s
- Two adult children
- Interested in ultimately transitioning out of the practice. This can be accomplished through a sale or by bringing on a junior partner. For this reason, the avatar is very focused on stable and long-term marketing campaigns so he can feel comfortable stepping away.
- Often delegates heavily to a junior partner or office manager. In some instances, this person can be the initial contact for digital marketing engagement.
- pain points:
- The Avatar doesn’t always understand the nuances of digital marketing. He doesn’t have the same level of comfort with it as do his younger contemporaries. He’s intelligent and well educated but is unwilling to abdicate the final decision to a vendor. He needs concepts explained clearly and succinctly in order for him to get to a decision point.
- The Avatar has very limited time. Touch points should be limited and all reporting should be truncated to the absolute essentials. Attempt to work as often as possible through the Office Manager.
- The Avatar is interested in campaign initiatives that can be tied directly to revenue.
- The Avatar values efficiency. Be respectful of his time and react quickly to requests or suggestions.
- Sources of information: Industry publications and trade journals.
Who Are You Serving?
An excellent barometer you can use if you’re interested in determining whether or not you’re operating from a place of empathy, is to ask yourself, “Who am I serving?” If Digital Marketing is relationship building, the strongest relationships are built through service to one another. The person you are serving is the person you are attempting to build a relationship with.
The answer isn’t always as clear as you might think. In many cases, you’ll find that you are actually serving “The Client,” meaning the person who is paying you to conduct digital marketing services on their behalf.
In some cases, you’ll find that the person you’re serving is internal. The campaign is built in a way that will drive the most amount of a certain type of lead because that’s what your sales Director or CEO has asked for.
You could be attempting to serve yourself by building campaigns that play to your own vanity, if you’re operating from a place of empathy, you want to make sure that the empathy is directed at the right person!
The Old Sales Funnel vs. The New Sales Funnel
The sales funnel is the process through which a customer travels when purchasing products or services. Keep in mind that the stages of the sales funnel are a topic of constant contention.
The sales funnel is an empathic tool that we use in order to try and contextualize a prospect’s purchasing readiness and it contains from the following items:
marketing has traditionally only been involved in the first three phases of the sales funnel. Awareness and interest rested very firmly in marketing’s camp and somewhere in the middle of consideration the prospect would be introduced to a salesperson and the sales department would assume responsibility for the rest of the funnel.
Because digital marketing is relationship building it has become imperative that the practice of digital marketing be carried through the sales funnel into post purchase sequences and processes. The customer relationship needs to continue to be nurtured which is the prime directive of digital marketing.
we need to bring empathy into the post purchase equation. This starts with placing yourself in an new customer and ask yourself some questions.
- What problems might a new customer encounter immediately after making a purchase?
- What types of training or support would help a new customer?
- What are the primary pain points a new customer experiences with our offering?
- How can we improve the new customer experience post-purchase?
- What additional products or services will a new customer be interested in after their purchase?
- What new products or services would help amplify the value of their new purchase?
Find the Sales Funnel
What we need to understand is that people are going to travel through a sales funnel with or without us. The sales funnel isn’t something that we created, it’s simply the logical sequence a person takes when they’re on a buying journey.
A prospect who is shopping for a new computer is going to travel through a type of sales funnel completely on their own and without prompting. The awareness of their need will lead to interest in the product and that interest will result in research which catalyzes consideration.
When you’re building your marketing campaigns, spend some time looking at consumer purchasing behavior and attempting to identify the logical sales funnel that is already in existence.
The information that a user will want to know about an offering, their pain points, the value propositions in which they are most interested, the purchase cycle and terms of purchase, are typically already established norms within most industries. Again, you’re absolutely allowed to change or influence them as long as you have a value-added purpose.
Importance of Narrative
People tend to think in a narrative format. It’s the reason the narrative is among the most effective teaching tools. Narrative approaches help to increase retention and understanding by putting the person who is interacting with the narrative in a position of active engagement. so your Avatar will begin to empathize with you and your story through the power of the narrative.
The sales funnel can be a narrative. If you construct your sales funnel well and you truly empathize with your prospect, your sales funnel can tell a complete story that results in your prospect becoming a Client and your Client becoming an advocate.
Understanding a Network
Often, the need to empathize can surpass the targeting of an individual and can pertain to an entire group or demographic. This is especially true when we begin discussing social and other media networks that we use to advertise. It is extremely important that you spend time learning and understanding the culture and personality of a network.
For example, Facebook as a tool is meant for staying up to date on relevant topics, connecting with people, relating on areas of common interest, discussing issues, voicing opinions and seeing other people’s reactions. Instagram on the other hand is for dreaming, being inspired, goal setting and escaping.
I use this example specifically because the Facebook ad manager bundles Facebook and Instagram in a way that simply allows you to push your Facebook ads into Instagram. And If you’re creating ads that are well suited for Facebook users, then they aren’t going to work on Instagram and vice versa.
Think about all the social tools you intend to use for marketing purposes and make sure you’re approaching your initiatives from an empathic vantage point. Twitter, SnapChat and YouTube are distinct communities with distinct voices and personalities that need to be respected.
Deal With Your Blog As Your Avatar
- Go Method! Keep a Blog as Your Avatar: Writing the posts in the first person will help you start to think like your Avatar. You should also try to write about situations, circumstances and topics that may not be directly related to your Avatar’s business or buying experience.
- Have an Avatar Advocate
- Be Your Avatar’s Best friend: Go make friends! Track down a handful of folks that are solid representations of your Avatar and do whatever you can to earn some of their time.
- Be Your Avatar: The only thing better than being your Avatar’s best friend is being your Avatar. Expand your horizons and stretch your comfort zone! try new products, shop for a service, put yourself in the positions that your Avatar will ultimately be in and you will come back with experiences and information that you would never have had otherwise.
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