Going Digital? Don’t Forget Strategy

I always do my grocery shopping at the Safeway just around the corner from my house. It’s location can’t be beat, but if we’re being honest, most of the time their prices can. I regularly use my Safeway discount card, but a few days ago I googled “Safeway discounts”, hoping for a little extra money in my pocket after my shopping trip. Right away I struck gold! At Safeway.com, you can electronically load coupons onto your Safeway card. No printing, no clipping, just click “clip” and you’re racking up the discounts! Alright, I only ended saving about $6, but it was enough to make brag about my discovery to everyone I met.

While coupons may not seemingly relate to social media or WOM, the truth of the matter is that I couldn’t stop myself from telling my friends and colleagues about it. It got me thinking of how something as old-fashioned as a coupon could go digital, draw me in, and create buzz.

“Going Online”

Recently, every company is interested in “going online” to reach their customers and generate more business. It allows for an additional arena to interact with consumers. What we often see is that this foray into the World Wide Web takes shape as a Facebook page or a Twitter account. While those tools can be effective, they might not be the perfect tactic for everyone.

Social media may not be the answer to every question, but there are a multitude of untapped opportunities to reach your customers that don’t involve joining a social network. It may be offering coupons online, like Safeway did. It might involve the creation of an online store to sell your products. It might even be a contest.

Take it to the next level.

Creating unique and different online experiences for your consumers encourages interaction with your product, brand, and messaging. It may even encourage a new audience, who may not have interacted with you in the traditional sense, to experience your brand. And if your digital experience is good enough, it’ll keep ‘em coming back for more. It may even get them hyped enough to tell their friends, just like I did. What company doesn’t dig consumer loyalty and buzz?

Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t saying to abandon traditional offerings. They are still meaningful and worthwhile. However, it is dangerous not to think of ways to encourage online interaction. If you aren’t doing it, know that your competition is. Sometimes revitalizing your brand is as simple – yet revolutionary – as adapting a time-tested marketing technique and turning it into something fresh online.

What ways are you going digital? Are you taking the opportunity to revolutionize your brand by engaging consumers online?

4 responses to “Going Digital? Don’t Forget Strategy”

  1. Brandon Croke says:

    Great post Danielle. nnToo many businesses are hooked on drinking the social media kool-aid, without looking at their digital strategy from a macro perspective. nnI met with a client last week that had a “social media consultant” set up Twitter and Facebook for them and give them some tips. After a month or two of little results, we met and I took a look at the work that was done. nnThe client had been offering training classes the past 10 years for continuing education, and had the e-mails of every person who ever took a course. However, they hadn’t been contacting or using this information for customer relationship management. Instead of focussing on the 100’s of past customers with the names and e-mail addresses, they decided to go right to Facebook and Twitter for their digital marketing needs.nnI am thankful for all this social hype though, because it does open the conversation up for more meaningful dialogue about what marketing means in 2010.nn

  2. Brandon Croke says:

    Great post Danielle.

    Too many businesses are hooked on drinking the social media kool-aid, without looking at their digital strategy from a macro perspective.

    I met with a client last week that had a “social media consultant” set up Twitter and Facebook for them and give them some tips. After a month or two of little results, we met and I took a look at the work that was done.

    The client had been offering training classes the past 10 years for continuing education, and had the e-mails of every person who ever took a course. However, they hadn’t been contacting or using this information for customer relationship management. Instead of focussing on the 100’s of past customers with the names and e-mail addresses, they decided to go right to Facebook and Twitter for their digital marketing needs.

    I am thankful for all this social hype though, because it does open the conversation up for more meaningful dialogue about what marketing means in 2010.

    • Danielle D. Ali says:

      Thanks Brandon! I’m with you – while occasionally the hype surrounding social media can lack substance, it creates for conversations like the one you had with your client. It’s great when businesses think outside of the Facebook box and go digital strategically!

  3. Danielle Destrade says:

    Thanks Brandon! I’m with you – while occasionally the hype surrounding social media can lack substance, it creates for conversations like the one you had with your client. It’s great when businesses think outside of the Facebook box and go digital strategically!