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The Growing Need for Digital Marketing

“I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Imagine you’re planning a trip to Europe for next summer. You’re really excited about it – so excited, in fact, that you rush out and buy a couple of Let’s Go books (okay, maybe not those – after all, college was a few years ago). You plot out where you’re staying, the restaurants at which you’ll eat, the attractions you can’t miss. The next summer, you hop on a plane – and realize that a bunch of the restaurants have changed. Maybe they are under new ownership, they don’t have the same entrees they had when the reviewers checked them out or they’re just out of business. But the trip you dreamed of just isn’t quite what you planned. What would you do? Most of us, of course, would do what we could to adjust. We’d ask other tourists about new restaurants or see where long lines were. (And, of course, we’d check the web for other options.) When your business’ marketing options change – and they change now more than ever – it’s not quite as easy to be agile as you are when you’re traveling for pleasure, namely because you have a hundred other things to think about and the stakes are much higher. The same thing goes with how people get their information, and in turn, how we need to market to them. Digital is now the second most common news source, gaining rapidly on TV. This means that to effectively approach consumers, most businesses need to change their medium. Digital: By The Numbers Oftentimes, when businesses are challenged with change in regard to their marketing, they take the approach of an ostrich – they put their head in the sand. It’s easier (and safer, or so they think) to let their marketing stay unchanged while the rest of the business pushes onward. There’s one problem here: your competition is continuing to use marketing to their advantage. The landscape is changing, and marketing campaigns are changing along with them. Ten years ago, businesses largely used traditional media to market themselves. It still took work, but concepting, planning and executing a campaign wasn’t an activity that required continual maintenance. Back then, too, most businesses knew they needed a presence on the web, but most companies considered websites as an adjunct to their marketing campaigns – a way to create legitimacy in case someone happened to find you. Now, the web is essential not only as a place to have a presence, but a way to generate real live ROI. And the idea of running a digital campaign like a traditional one just doesn’t make sense. There are tons of variables to consider, including who your customer is, where they are and when and how they’re digesting their information. That last piece can get a bit more complex, too. You’ll need to think about the networks and websites on which to advertise, your preferred platform (mobile or desktop), the importance of social (and which networks to choose) and how important email is to the big picture. If this doesn’t seem daunting, well, you probably are a bit smarter than the average bear. Some types of businesses have adapted to the change. If you’ve bought a home recently, you’ve likely noticed that the information which is available to you in the palm of your hand is better than you would have seen on a computer screen five years ago. And if you order pizza from any of the big national chains, your mode of ordering no longer requires you to talk to the apathetic kid behind the counter – you can find all the specials without saying a word. (And as a former apathetic kid behind the counter, I’ve got to say that’s a welcome change.) On top of this, we go back to the ROI piece we started with. How do you know a campaign is actually generating ROI? What’s your acquisition cost for a new customer? How about your conversion rate? (And what’s going on with your sales funnel?) The more layers you peel from this onion, the more you see that it takes someone who has a bit more time than you do to actually track all of this stuff. It’s not that you’re not dedicated or invested in your business – quite the opposite. The two biggest reasons organizations hire an agency to help them with their marketing are the agency’s position as an expert and the realization that they just don’t have the time to do it themselves. Hiring an agency is another matter altogether. There are plenty of agencies who position themselves as digital or social gurus, ninjas, sherpas or Jedis – but this is one area where if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it just might not be a duck. Of course, wedü has the internal horsepower and marketing smarts to concept, create and place a fully integrated marketing campaign. We’ve been doing that for years. And whether you decide to use us or another agency, our team is also available in an advisory role, just to make sure your hard-earned dollars are going as far as they can. We can review reports, help you interpret numbers, give you the skinny on what to ask. And just in case your marketing happens to change several times over the course of the day, we’ll be there to help.
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