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Just digital is just not enough

Almost every company's marketing budget has a portion allocated to digital marketing. But simply having a digital strategy is not enough for a company to be relevant and stay ahead of its competitors. We look at some of the factors that make one company more successful than another at digital marketing.
Carryl Harvey
Online users are exposed to an immense amount of information. Research by World Wide Worx and Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group shows that almost 47% of South Africa’s 50 million population are internet users, and that these people access the internet on their computers and mobile phones for around eight hours a day.

Companies that want to reach these users need to ensure that their digital strategies will keep their brand ahead of competitors through their online channels.

Cross-platform integration

One of the things brands need to do well to stay ahead of competitors is cross-platform marketing, or omni-channel marketing. This involves a synergy between all marketing channels, with digital in particular flexing its muscles to maximum capability in order to make a campaign effective.

The reason for this is that data gathering through digital channels is hugely accurate and valuable. Whatever the desired outcome, from subscribing to a newsletter to completing a purchase, the digital element of a campaign can be tailored to be creative, attention-grabbing and effective. This is possible thanks to the precise analysis and insightful audience segmentation that digital channels offer.

The omni-channel approach relies on the fact that consumers use multiple devices – searching for a certain product on their smartphone, but perhaps only completing the purchase on their laptop the next day. What a good digital agency can do is optimise each medium, creating, for instance, a gorgeous website for desktops and an entertaining mobile app.

It’s this seamless interaction with a brand that optimises an omni-channel strategy.

Airbnb recently partnered with the Art Institute of Chicago to give people the opportunity to spend a night in a room recreated from a Van Gogh painting. The room was a real lived experience, and the Van Gogh exhibition at the Institute supported above-the-line marketing, as well as general online marketing. However, it was the digital advertising of the room and allowing people to book through the online Airbnb platform that made this an omni-channel campaign that won a Cannes Lions Award and generated the desired interest around the Institute’s exhibition.

General specialists

Barak Obama’s presidential re-election campaign in 2012 was a huge digital marketing success story. Using mostly social media platforms, the campaign reached an astounding number of people. It had 1.2 million active Facebook app users, 34 million Facebook fans and 24 million Twitter followers. And the team running this aspect of the campaign was made up of just four people.

The people in the team were agile and skilled in multiple digital areas. From this, it is clear that adaptable and creative digital marketers add the greatest value to a campaign as they can nimbly use a variety of digital platforms.

So, while digital has taken its place in the limelight as a fully fledged marketing channel, simply using digital platforms doesn’t guarantee success. Digital campaigns need to integrate into other marketing channels and digital teams need to be agile, creative and able to interpret the brilliant data available from online platforms in order to help their clients stand out from competitors.


About the author

Carryl Harvey is the General Manager at Amorphous New Media. Carryl has a wealth of experience within the communications industry having spent 18 years at several leading agencies before joining Amorphous New Media in January 2014. She has worked on all aspects of communications from traditional and digital advertising to brand architecture and packaging. Contact: , 083 462 2732, @carryl.harvey2,

Amorphous' press office

Amorphous is a new media agency focusing on digital solutions, these include, strategy, marketing, user experience, creative and technology which are spread across different platforms such as web, email, mobile, online advertising and variations of these.