For many of the clients you serve, digital media and technology tools have become an important and obvious part of the marketing equation. But just as there is a digital divide in device adoption and ownership among consumers, there can be dramatic differences in the levels of sophistication from one client to the next when it comes to technology. While some of your clients have already been using things like responsive website design and behavioral targeting for years, there are almost certainly some clients you work with who still have trouble opening an email on their cell phone.
There is danger in focusing too much on technology regardless of where your prospect resides on this digital divide. For those clients who are overly familiar with things like SEO, SEM, behavioral and geo-targeting, retargeting, social, etc., these terms can become cliché or commoditized and lose some of their importance and value. For clients who are unfamiliar with the meaning behind these terms, the whole idea of digital marketing can be intimidating.
Instead of focusing so much on the technology you have available, why not focus on the epicenter of all marketing: The person who will buy or consume the product or service your client is selling.
Think About the Process
When people are planning to make an important purchase, what does that process look like? Here are some possibilities:
They talk with friends who may have made a similar purchase recently. (“Hey, I’m thinking about hiring a pest control guy. Anybody know of a company they would recommend?”) That’s where social media comes in.
They do research to make sure they’re getting the right product, with the right specifications, and at a fair price. (“I don’t know the first thing about buying an RV, so we need to do some homework.”) That’s where functional website design and effective search optimization comes in.
They do more research in-store, as they look at a product, hold it in their hands, and come up with even more questions. That’s where responsive (mobile) website design becomes so important.
They look at company and product reviews to make sure they’re dealing with a reputable store that’s selling a reliable product. That’s where reputation management comes in, including testimonials on your their website and favorable feedback on sites like Yelp.
Sometimes, they prefer doing business close to home, so they know where to go for help if they run into a problem with the product or service. That’s where geo-targeting comes in.
If you’re thinking, “Gosh, this list could go on for a long time,” you’re right. There are more explanations about digital products and services than can possibly be covered in a blog post like this one. That’s why we offer a course known as “Digital What and Why.” It only takes one to three hours to complete, and it will help you adapt your conversation to the level of sophistication your client might have, when it comes to digital marketing. It will help you avoid speaking above—or just as bad, beneath—your client’s level of comfort.
Your clients are making more and more of their strategic marketing decisions based on the digital tools available to them. The better you know and can intelligently discuss those tools, the more relevant and valuable you’ll be to those clients.