Top tips from Laurent Muzzellec, Director of Digital Marketing MSc – Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School
The Evolution of Marketing Strategy
Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically in recent years. Marketing practice must change in line with such striking transformations in consumer behaviour. We spoke with Laurent Muzzellec, Director of the Digital Marketing programme at Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School who explained how marketing strategy, principles and best practice have evolved over the past number of years. Originally Proctor and Gambles traditional marketing methodology was once the accepted framework that many organisations emulated around the globe.
‘This old model focused on the consumer’s first moment of truth, that is when people first come in contact with your product or brand through a tv/radio/ print advertisement. This then would lead to the consumers second moment of truth which was wholly experiential. This is the point at which the customer would experience your product or service. Based on this model, traditional marketing relied heavily on brand awareness and association.’
Laurent continues to explain how digitisation completely revolutionised traditional marketing models.
‘It was Google who first identified a key area in consumer behaviour that traditional marketing frameworks failed to distinguish – the “Zero moment of Truth” or the “Search”. They identified an untapped stage in brand engagement. Consumer need was followed by search which was followed by online purchasing which was subsequently was followed by the consumers experience of the product.’
With the explosion of Social media caused further changes came along.
‘Social media has allowed for a further stage to be added to the consumer experience allowing customers the ability to share their experience with a given product, service or brand. Essentially one persons experience with a product or brand becomes or influences others. Or to put it another way, one persons experience becomes anothers zero moment of truth.’
Marketers understand the inherent power of word of mouth. A great example of an organisation that fosters s amazon.com are a multinational that excellent on sharing communities -review platform, comment sharing.
The Common Digital Marketing Mistakes Businesses Can Make
Laurent advocates that marketeers and CMO’s need to be aware of the social/experiential nature of consumers’ relationship with social media and how it can affect their relationship with your brand.
‘Ask yourself – where do you want to intervene to affect and influence the consumer journey. You need to know your customers digital journey. For instance if you discover that the greatest success you have (in converting prospective customers to actual customers) is at the search stage or zero moment of Truth, then invest in adwords. If your not of the first page of google you are not anywhere. Invest in SEO.’
To give another example, Laurent strongly recommends developing new sharing platforms to enhance your customers experience.
‘Ask yourself – if your business has particularly strong customer satisfaction rates? If this is the case, consider implementing sharing platforms. Be open to facilitating your customers ability to share their positive experience with your brand/product. Mobile has revolutionised this as all these moments are happening simultaneously.’
‘We search,share, experience and buy all at the same time.’
Sustainably Create Content and with ROI in Mind – ‘Thinking Outside the Box Philosophy’
All the metrics available online facilitate the decision making process of a brand manager. Energy and focus should be allocated to proven methodologies like AB testing. This is traditionally how ROI can be measured. Laurent recommends that a sizeable portion of budgets must be allocated to untested, creative campaigns.
‘Sometimes you have to Forget about ROI and adopt a ‘Lets try something new and see if it works’ approach. Take risks and try something innovative and unprecedented.’
Coca- cola have been spearheading this new philosophy with their new content marketing strategy – Content 2020 which marks a monumental shift from traditional marketing practise. Their outlook is experimental. This global brand understand that excellent content is the most vital currency when it comes to brand engagement. Their key focus is to foster and enhance the personal relationship and association a consumer has with a brand.
‘Brands need to cultivate feeling of connectedness to the extent that consumers want to share.’
Reaching Your Objectives
It goes without saying that the most successful marketing campaigns are those that reach their objectives. Laurent advises on the recipe for marketing success lies in ‘Maintaining focus and clarity as to what your campaign objectives are’. He elaborates on Cadbury’s humorous and memorable video with Eamon Dunphy, and John Giles. Why was this video such a success? What contributed to the adverts enormous global reach on youtube.
Laurent attributes the advertisements great success to cadbury’s ability create great synergy between the online and the offline.
‘Consumers don’t see the world as online or offline. They don’t consider what type of device they are using -tablet, mobile or PC or whether its downloaded or streamed. However, these are key questions that marketing departments have to constantly consider. Marketers must think like their customer and create user friendly or customer centric platforms where content can be shared and easily disseminated. Ease of sharing and quality of content are key components of any successful digital marketing campaign.’
Rebranding – Do’s and Don’ts
Brand equity is developed up over long term sustained investment in advertising that eventually will transpire to have positive brand association in the mind of your consumer or potential customers. Laurent imparts a few words of warning to brand managers considering a total overhaul of their existing branding.
‘Of course I would advocate revamping or refreshing brand logos on an ongoing basis to ensure your brand doesn’t fade out or becoming obsolete and dated . If you are considering dramatic rebranding, essentially what you are doing is taking all the stuff you’ve built over the years and throwing it away. I would advise only to do that if there is a lot of negative equity related to your brand. I would caution against too radical measures being taken. It’s an ongoing process. Don’t start from scratch if it’s not entirely necessary’
The Transformation of the Traditional Marketing Campaign
Laurent has strong objections to the term ‘campaign’. To him it suggests a beginning and an end. The digital age has rendered this traditional marketing practice obsolete.
‘With the explosion of social media and digital technology, marketing practice should have no beginning or end. It is an ongoing process. Brand managers need to stop thinking in terms of finite campaigns or campaign timelines.’
Digital marketing strategy has to be seen as cyclical in nature and should focus on growing customer engagement. ‘Jumping from one campaign to another with no continuity or generating lots of noise and social interaction only to suddenly end what you’ve started makes no sense.’
Laurent Muzzellec, Director of the Masters programme of Digital Marketing in Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Laurent also has lectured in DCU, UCD and also worked as a Marketing Consultant for Volkswagen. He’s also a frequent contributor to many international marketing journals. We’re delighted to have Laurent here to discuss many topics in digital marketing best practice and brand management.
Listen to the original Podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/dotnice/podcast-with-laurent-muzzellec