It is quite possible that the shift from the traditional media of marketing to the fast catching up online or internet marketing may cause some confusions, clutter and teething problems till you settle down with the new mode of thinking and way of interacting with the potential customers and deal with after sales queries and issues online.
Before you start calculating the ROI from this online media of marketing and jump to conclusions analyze the current scenario of the marketing aura of your company. Why I am referring this as an aura is because the new way of marketing the products and services of the company not only affects your marketing and PR team decisions and mind set but this new thought process also gets passed on to the other teams like the sales, operations and even accounts and of course just cannot forget to mention the CEOs , VCs and the presidents of the companies especially if they are not so net savvy.
As everyone in the office will start talking about social media and SEO according to what they have heard and what impressions they have gathered from the water cooler conversations or meetings. Everyone has an opinion but to make everyone come to a right consensus in accepting this new communication, PR, marketing and branding tool will surely take time but it is the onus of the team who is managing this task to see that the minimum possible time is taken for the adjustment as social media is growing at an alarming rate and you cannot afford to miss the bus when the company buzz can have a global market outreach at such a high level and especially at such an alarming speed.
For that we have to go into a little analysis of the situations and requirements.
Firstly, it is important to know who is managing the online marketing campaign. The possibilities could be as follows:
- It is outsourced to a professional SEO and Internet marketing company.
- It is managed In-house by the appointed people
- Or, if it is a SMB may be, a DIY (Do It Yourself) model is being followed.
The Online Marketing Campaign is outsourced to a professional SEO and Internet marketing company.
If it is outsourced then of course the responsibility is also on that internet marketing company and your team can concentrate on the main line of business. But, in this case the marketing budget allocated for online media has to be high and the success of the campaign will depend upon the professionalism and approach of that company.
The communication is the most critical factor as regards to this situation as the success and the goals will be achieved only if the marketing company has understood what you are targeting at with this media. Again the communication is only the main factor when this internet company conveys the results to you or trains your team regarding the internet brand image of your company.
As in certain situations especially the after sales discussions with a dissatisfied customer will probably be handled by the sales or PR team member with valid inputs from the technical team. So it is very crucial how the flow of information will take place as it should not result into Chinese whispers which may harm the image of the company rather than healing it.
The reporting factor is very important when this task is outsourced to check whether the dollars spent are going down the drain or developing the deserved niche on the online scene for your brand.
The Internet Marketing Campaign is managed In-house by the appointed people.
Dealing with such a situation the selection and training of the team for this task is very important but since it is in-house and assuming that the people involved in this have the knowledge of the company products, history and situations and the communication in-house flows faster, the results achieved can be monitored closely and more frequently and the control of the media accounts and website in case of SEO also remain in-house with less possibility of manipulation in-case of any disputes.
The communication again is very crucial here also as any marketing campaign as mentioned earlier affects each and every team of the organization. In this case the size of the team and the internal communication flow will be the main deciding factor for the success of the campaign.
When the company concerned is a SMB and a DIY (Do It Yourself) model for the Internet Marketing Campaign is being followed.
This is the most challenging of all and if the entrepreneur himself or some trusted person is handling this task as in these kind of organizations one person wears many hats and here allocation of time becomes the most crucial factor. As it is quite possible that this person manages other important tasks as well and we know that social media is kind of addictive and one can just at times get lost in the flow of conversations and the opening up of a whole new world of possibilities out there.
Hence, balancing all the tasks and allocating the time and budgets will be the challenge in such a case. But, the results achieved will surely be fast and will be monitored well as the person concerned has the decision making authority and is emotionally attached to the brand.
Eventually, whatever the situation it has to be borne in mind that marketing is nothing new what is new is the shift to the online media so the focus should be on understanding what is different in using this media as a marketing, PR and communication tool put together and what would be the best way keeping your teams strengths and weaknesses in mind.
If the leads generated from the traditional form of marketing are high, the best way would be to swap budgets to internet marketing, phase wise and stage wise, gradually weaning away from the outdated platforms which are losing their visibility, influence and reach. This will vary from company to company and also if the market is local or global . Sometimes the local markets responds to a certain form of marketing which may not be possibly achieved via the internet.