Recently I was interviewed by Jason Redlus, Managing Partner of the Argyle Executive Forum about the new digital marketplace and our experience in building digital sales and marketing channels for some of today’s top brands.
As a follow-on to the Argyle interview, I’d like to take this opportunity to add further depth to some of the key points and to further explain how today’s smartest companies are capturing more than their fair share of the digital pie.
Make Partnerships Work
During the interview I shared the story of how Leapfrog Online got its start. The reality is that from our first engagement we have been about creating long term partnerships with our clients. By committing to true accountability, our clients have learned that partnering with an agency can – and in fact should — mean more than soft metrics like brand awareness or web traffic. It should means sales. As CMOs become an integral part of a company’s revenue generation team, they should seek partners that are truly willing to put skin in the game.
Time Is Not On Your Side
I also shared my opinion that we are still very early in the evolution of digital as a sales and marketing channel. And other experts agree. Forrester just released its US Interactive Market Forecast, 2011-2016. It noted that by 2016, advertisers will spend $77 billion on interactive marketing – as much as they do on television today.
While I truly believe there is plenty of room to grow in the digital space, it does not mean companies have time to waste. In fact, those that move quickly and decisively to find and acquire the best customers in the digital space gain an early mover advantage that will exponentially grow sales as the channel evolves. That’s a mouthful for sure, but there is truth to the statement, “The early bird gets the worm.” In what is potentially the biggest marketing coup of our generation, you don’t want to be late.
Problems Aren’t Unique, Organizations Are
Challenges in the marketplace are present in every company. The challenge of adopting the right mix of digital marketing strategies to get the job done is often looked at as a unique problem due to a brand’s target audience, company size, or any other number of variables. The truth is that outcomes matter, and it’s often the organization getting in its own way that prevents a positive outcome for sales initiatives.
Companies need a partner that can address each organization’s unique operational structure to build systems that generate positive outcomes. That requires a lot of guts and a willingness for the CMO to, in many ways, let go. In the new digital marketplace companies willing to try, fail and try again will reap the rewards of higher quality customers that stay loyal.