The Most Underrated Digital Marketing Tactics

Bright shiny object syndrome is a known condition to afflict many marketers. Digital media is great at producing the Next Big Thing, hyped to no end by blogs and social media gurus. It’s why you see suggestions that Snapchat might be a huge area of opportunity for marketing.

Yet for many marketers, the most important thing is staying focused on the tried and true while keeping an eye on emerging opportunities. That means doing the blocking and tackling of digital media, whether it’s through email or search engine marketing. Digiday asked top digital marketers for their take on which digital media opportunities are underrated.

Bob Arnold, associate director of global digital strategy at Kellogg
For me, the most underrated digital marketing tactic is email. Email has long been shunned as a “has been” often taking the back seat to newer, sexier tactics like social media. That said, from a pure cost-effectiveness standpoint, it’s hard to beat email. It’s relatively cheap, consumers opt-in, so they are very receptive to the marketing message, and it’s fairly easy to measure success.

Brian Maynard, Jenn-Air director of marketing at Whirlpool
Marketing in general and digital specifically suffers from too many chasing the next “shiny penny,” so the things that get devalued are the tactics that are older and more “worn out.” It also depends on what your strategy is for your campaign. Search-engine marketing is now taken for granted, but it is an important tactic as it is specifically targeted at people who have taken the time to search on a specific topic, and presumably they are a shorter distance to the register than many.

Erich Marx, director of interactive and social media marketing at Nissan
Optimizing one’s website for organic search activity. It’s not that it’s ignored, but it’s not fully understood by many webmasters as to how to optimize.

Linda Boff, executive director of global digital marketing at General Electric
The most underrated tactic is that brands need to behave, sound and act like human beings on social media. Figure out what’s most relevant and essential about your brand, and then relentlessly express it in a tone that is natural and consistent.

Michael Beaulieu, group manager for digital media at Wayfair
Email marketing. While many brands today are enamored by social media and other newer marketing channels, standard email marketing, which has been around for over 20 years, is one of the most effective means of communicating your brand identity and generating sales. Customers who sign up to an email list are specifically granting you permission to communicate with them. Earning the right to stay in their inboxes requires delivering consistent value, both in the content and offers delivered.

Orion Brown, senior associate brand manager of Capri Sun at Kraft Foods
It would have to be nailing the brand “voice.” Digital is such a different medium than print or TV, and consumers want to engage with a brand the same way they engage digitally with other human beings. There is nothing funnier, more interesting, or more engaging than the unique perspectives, insights, and commentary that others post online. When we approach digital with a “corporate” voice, it falls flat and even feels a bit like a violation to consumers. People are intimate with the social media world – they sleep with their iphones, they take them to the bathroom, they plan family dinner, and dates, and shop for their infants online. These are precious, private moments for folks, and any banner ad, Facebook post, or sponsored blog that enters the space should treat it as hallowed ground and approach it in a human way or be prepared to be kicked out by the consumer.

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