Have you ever really defined TG (‘Target Group’ – your Core customers) for your business in precise terms? Or are you simply casting a widest possible digital ‘net’ in order to catch more ‘fish’?
Are you really focused on creating customer PULL via strategic differentiation for your brand (Using your USP – ‘Focus or Cost’ for differentiating your brand and its unique benefits) or are you only trying to PUSH promotions via various digital channels?
Have you noticed the gradual shift in ‘Value Creation’ parameters for your TG due to technology led innovations, changing societal norms and lifestyles patterns? Can you articulate how you would need to adapt your ‘Brand Promise’ holistically to the new digital world?
I believe following three are the three core Strategic Imperatives for any Brand/ Company before their start their Digital journey which will help them to optimise their digital marketing spend and assess their ROI impact on the business metrics:
#1 Define your ‘TG’ (Core Customers, 80/20 impact)
#2 Define your USP – ‘Niche Product/ Market Focus/ Low Cost’ (‘Value Proposition’)
#3 Define your ‘Brand Promise’ (‘High Touch/ Low Touch’, Benefits)
#1: Defining TG in precise terms has several benefits – Instead of trying to target the same offline customers who are now present in the digital world, a precise understanding of TG can be leveraged to target TG in the newer geographies/ markets where a brand wants to expand and by setting precise targeting parameters in digital campaigns across preferred channels of your TG, it can help deliver a highly targeted ROI impact. Focusing on these core customers (‘80/20’) will really help a brand to create loyalists and advocates who truly enjoy the benefits and help build the next generation of loyalists.
#2: Lack of clarity of TG leads to poor communication of Brand USP – It forces brands to Spend more to increase traffic, lower prices for better conversions, and in general creates lot of clutter in the minds of Marketers leading to a sub-optimised connect with the TG. Understanding of key strengths of your brand, its unique differentiators vis-à-vis competition, and conveying those unique benefits to TG on why you are the best in your chosen offerings/ market/ cost position, gives you a laser sharp focus to your Value proposition, your media communications and your content strategy. And this understanding creates the desired PULL that a brand really needs in order to grow and flourish to newer customer segments and geographies.
#3: Lastly, if you have a clear understanding of your TG, it helps you to understand their evolving aspirations and lifestyle preferences and how as a brand you should tailor made your offerings/ touch-points in order to live up to your Brand Image and deliver your Brand Promise consistently across all offline and online channels. Just like as every person is unique in their personal tastes, choices and lifestyle preferences, but collectively their start forming homogenous groups; a real understanding of TG with give precise insights to marketers on how they should be designing their brand experiences across all channels be it offline, online or mobile.
So in essence, Digital Marketing is like a gun that can shoot anywhere, but a real understanding of your TG will decide how precisely you will hit your target!
(This post is written as part of a class exercise during MDP on Digital Marketing & Analytics at IIM Bangalore. Views are all personal. You can reach me via Linkedin)