Getting Back to Basics for e-marketing success

By Aubyn Thomas, President – DMA Atlanta

As marketing and communication practitioners in today’s digital era, we are all on the hunt for new methods and techniques that help us improve the performance of our campaigns. Our industry has progressed to a whole new, advanced stage of technical sophistication –  it’s no surprise that we structure marketing programs very differently from the way we did 5 years ago.
In an attempt to maintain focus on the data and quantifiable aspects of our programs, some marketers seem to lose focus on the very important aspect of building their brand. We all know that how we segment and target our audience (cadence and frequency) are highly critical components; these are not the only drivers of long-term relationship strength. We must ask ourselves: how much attention are we paying to the overall affinity that our customers have for our brand and how are e-marketing efforts affecting our brand’s health?
Now more than ever, we must realize and remember how important our brand is to our success. In today’s age of information overload, perceptions are formed in a split second and expectations are driven higher with each and every interaction. Are we holding ourselves to a higher standard that is reflective of what our brand stands for as digital marketers or are we consumed with impressions, repetition and reach?
I was reviewing a white paper recently that addressed the “checklist” for ensuring brand reputation and strength through digital marketing.  It called to my attention the importance of having process and guidelines in place so that the overall stewardship of your brand is upheld. Allow me to highlight my list of the aspects that we as “guardians of the brand” must practice:

  • Content Relevance – do our emails contain content that is complimentary and consistent with our brand personality and promise?
  • Creative Design – Are the messages articulated in a voice that is representative of your brand? Is the look and feel creating an appearance that is favorable and memorable? Although the information may only be experienced for 10-20 seconds, it still is creating a lasting impression!
  • Destinations – What links and pathways do you provide that are sending your audience to sitelets or landing pages? What type of experience are you creating and what does it say about your brand?
  • Permission Management – Do you have opt-out and opt-in processes that are integrated into your programs in a way that are true to your brand? Opt- in pages and messaging set the stage for how your brand is initiating the relationship. These pages are establishing an impression and need to help deliver on that expectation.
  • Response Messaging – Are you utilizing forms of automated messaging? Do those messages feel canned, cold and impersonal? Bounce back confirmations and welcome messages should have a style, personality and a “brand right” engagement.

I like to think of this work as a way of remaining true to the basics of marketing and find it helpful to be reminded of how each and every interaction matters. With the proper attention to some of these basic brand imperatives, we can help deliver event stronger emarketing initiatives. We can create impressions today that correlate to lasting value. I welcome your thoughts and ideas on how you have achieved the elevation of your brand through digital programs!
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