Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Are You an Old School Marketer Who’s Intimidated by Digital Marketing?

      




If you are, take heart, as you are not alone. For most people who started their career in the last decade of the last century, digital marketing is something that came as a rude shock. Many of these confounded people made their peace with it, not without their share of kicking and screaming though, and many never could reconcile themselves to it. This blog is addressed largely to the latter category of people and not necessarily of that generation, who consider themselves born marketers but for their inability to master digital marketing.

The biggest reason for people getting intimidated by digital marketing is the nagging feeling that you are not in control-everything that you thought defined marketing doesn’t matter a whit anymore.  That sure would scare everyone! Now this is a catch-22 situation if ever there was one. On the one hand you resist digital marketing as it negates everything you thought marketing was, yet you have the sneaking suspicion that digital marketing is the right way of going about things.

How do you resolve this impasse? Firstly acknowledge that digital market is indeed indispensable in today’s times. The digital revolution has brought about a paradigm change in the way business is carried out.  The situation today is akin to what it must have been when industrial revolution began to disrupt the traditional manufacturing processes. It was the same when air travel began to be the preferred method of traveling over very  large distances. So accept that progress can’t be rolled back  and the more efficient way of doing things will ease out the less efficient ones. This is truer of business and marketing than any other field of human endeavor.

Once you have that part out of the way, try and analyze what it is about digital marketing that you fear. Let’s check out the reasons that likely make people like you, perpetually wary of digital marketing-

1)    The known devil vs. unknown devil syndrome-Most people fear change-especially when you don’t know what the change entails. Adopting digital marketing might be akin to wearing a parachute and jumping off a plane, in that you don’t know how it will end.
            It might seem a lot like that to somebody new to it. 
           
           There are lots of new terms to get acquainted with and plenty of new information to take 
            in and process. With no idea as to whether one will get the hang of what the hell it is 
            that one is supposed to do with all the newfangled tools, one might well be excused
            for thinking- “Why not leave well enough alone and get involved with something that is 
            yielding fair results and not risk complete failure?”

            This is especially true if you have had a fair run of success doing things the old   
            fashioned way.
      2)    Imposter Syndrome- One of the most  intriguing phenomena that afflicts a surprisingly large  
            number of successful achievers is the so called imposter syndrome. These are  
            people who somehow feel that their success a fluke and they don’t deserve it. A fear 
            lurks somewhere in their minds that they will be found out and exposed for the 
            imposter that they are.

           This fear is possibly accentuated in some people when confronted with the seemingly 
            complicated and highly technical world of digital marketing. They probably tell
            themselves, “There is no way I can fake my way through this one. This is the real big 
            deal and now people will know me for the charlatan that I am.

          The irony is that they deserve every bit of the success that they have achieved and  
           their fear of digital marketing is likewise ill founded. Connected with the same 
           phenomenon is the fact that online marketing requires you to leave a digital trail of 
           your actions. You cannot be secretive or surreptitious the way you might be in the off- 
           line world

          3) The Belief That Digital Marketing Is Overrated- A surprisingly large number of 
              marketing professionals still believe that digital marketing is overrated and real 
              marketing  and selling happens off line. In their view real networking happens when 
              you meet someone in person and not the make believe virtual world- this when the 
              sheer efficiency and economic viability of digital marketing is obvious even by a 
              cursory understanding of its tenets.

Taking to Digital Marketing

What is it that one needs to do to stop being intimidated by digital marketing and leverage it to one’s advantage? There are a few steps that one can take-

     Take the bull by the horns- What is the worst thing that can happen if you fail at your attempt at learning digital marketing? At least you will have tried and not always wondered if you could do it.
           
            On the other hand if you do succeed in learning it, of which there are far higher chances  
            you would have set yourself on an exciting new path that would provide a massive fillip
            to your marketing and sales efforts. There will be a number of things in life which you
            are afraid of doing because you don’t know how you will fare. The only way of finding  
            out is doing it.
             
             Digital market is nothing other than the most cost effective and efficient way of reaching
             out to your target audience- really nothing more, nothing less. What is there to not like
             about it or fear? Besides, the online world is a great place to seek help and advice. 
             There are thousands of blogs that will tell you of the last intricate detail of digital   
             marketing.

     Digital marketing is time well spent- If you are one of those who keep postponing the decision to learn digital marketing because you would rather spend the time meeting real people in the real world, you need to do a rethink. Digital marketing will free up time for you to meet up with far more committed prospects than is ever possible with conventional marketing outreach.
                      


      Inherent advantages of digital marketing- The reasons for digital marketing becoming so important for most businesses are found in the distinct inherent advantages that it possesses. These come in the shape of the very low cost of technology allowing unprecedented outreach, the ability to focus on a well-defined target audience and possessing the wherewithal to track every dollar spent. To top it all you are able to obtain instant real time feedback from your clients.
           
           
            Is there anything to not like in this?

     Performance and growth- In the highly competitive marketing environment of today, only those businesses who are able to perform and grow have a future. There is no place for laggards. That is why it makes eminent sense for all businesses to turn to digital marketing to help them achieve these twin objectives, if they haven’t already.
           
           The greatest contribution of digital marketing has really been in creating a level playing  
           field for businesses irrespective of size, scale and resources. This is evident in the  
            exponential growth in the global digital economy which is expected to touch a size of   
           $1.36 trillion in a little over two years’ time. That is more than the size of the South     
            Korean economy!

Considering that the so called digital economy (it is much more than that) is barely more than two decades old, that is no mean achievement. But consider this. We are only at the start of a major disruption of the global economy that is no less momentous than the industrial revolution.

With wave after wave of new technology upsetting and replacing long held notions of running and managing myriad industries, the economy world is in the midst of unprecedented churning. The Internet of Things, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, more perceptive algorithms and of course artificial intelligence are already working in tandem to create a world whose ultimate shape  we possibly cannot even fully imagine fully.

For one to stand on ceremony about whether to adopt digital marketing or not is really beside the point. It is not a question of digitization being inevitable. We are past that stage. It is where it will take us.