Digital marketing and its associated channels are important – but not to the exclusion of all else. It’s not enough to just know your customers; you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them where, when and how they are most receptive to your message. To do that, you need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels – Web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc. Retailers do this using omnichannel retail analytics. Marketers can use this information to create and anticipate consistent, coordinated customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle. The deeper your customer insight into behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in lucrative interactions.
Professor Clarence Lee is an assistant professor at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, where he is a Breazzano Family Sesquicentennial Fellow. Professor Lee’s research examines the drivers behind consumer adoption, usage, and purchase dynamics of digital goods, where he models consumer behavior using Bayesian statistics, structural econometrics, and machine learning techniques. Digital products and platforms, such as the ones produced by many Silicon Valley and NYC tech start-ups, are increasingly present in almost all consumer interactions. In such settings, understanding consumer choice and the dynamics of engagement and usage become critically important in order to acquire, serve, and retain consumers. He currently teaches Digital Marketing and Data Analytics & Modeling at both the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses.
Although online marketing creates many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence via the Internet and build their audiences, there are also inherent challenges with these methods of marketing. First, the marketing can become impersonal, due to the virtual nature of message and content delivery to a desired audience. Marketers must inform their strategy for online marketing with a strong understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. Techniques like surveys, user testing, and in-person conversations can be used for this purpose.
For those of you just getting started with Internet marketing you will no doubt hear the following phrase many more times, and if you’ve been Internet marketing for some time you are about to hear it again: testing is critical! Internet marketers say this all the time because there are so many different marketing mediums available to be utilized in the marketing process, that it can be quite tempting to flitter back and forth trying out each one in part. Once a person doesn’t experience instant success with one, they tend to quickly switch to a new strategy, and then to another, and so on. The problem with doing this is that it means not fully realizing the potential of each marketing method. By constantly switching between strategies you aren’t giving one particular strategy a chance to flourish. Therefore it is vitally important that you test, test, and test some more with each process, strategy and theory, so you can rule out what doesn’t work and rule in what does.
Now imagine you had that brochure on your website instead. You can measure exactly how many people viewed the page where it's hosted, and you can collect the contact details of those who download it by using forms. Not only can you measure how many people are engaging with your content, but you're also generating qualified leads when people download it.
More than ever before, people buy from people they know and trust. Being trustworthy -- and able to convey this trait to others -- is critical to being a successful online marketer. Garish, over-the-top landing pages; blatant self-promotion on social media; and spammy, keyword-laden copy will inevitably damage or destroy your online reputation. Being authentic and trustworthy is what will set you apart, helping you build long-term relationships with your customers and clients.
Decide if marketing is a career fit for you. Consider taking a personality test, which will reveal your preferences. A test similar to the popular Myers-Briggs test can be found at 16personalities, and there are many others. This test will reveal your work preferences. See how of your preferences match the skills needed to be an Internet marketer.