I’ve been getting slower and slower with writing and publishing my Digisemestr articles. At one point, I was finalizing my article during a Saturday morning car ride on bumby D1 highway from Brno to Prague. I was determined to publish notes from the lessons each week. I failed. The last (13th) Digisemestr lesson took place on the 18th of May. It’s already June and I’m only starting to write about the 11th lesson…
Better late than never?!
In the meantime, I’ve visited the beautiful city of Krakow and attended two conferences: ACE! (agile) and Digital Dragons (gamedev).
Since we had a minor interruption… what’s Digisemestr and why blog about it?
“Digisemestr is a Czech 13 Saturdays-long study program of Digital marketing. It’s organized by Jindra Fáborský and other people behind Marketing Festival and Reshoper.
What are we learning about? SEO, Link building, PPC, RTB, Retargeting, Social media, Marketing tools, Analytics, Branding, Copywriting, Content marketing, NPS, Loyalty programs, Marketing strategy, CRO, A/B testing, UX, Emailing, Growth hacking and more.
But you might ask: Why digital marketing, Roman? Aren’t you like gamedev person, so programming and stuff? And yes, usually to make a game you need artists, programmers, but also you need to find people who will play the game. And this is where the marketing comes in.
I would also argue that personal branding, blogging, entrepreneurship, freelancing and other outside-focused activities related to both personal and professional life can benefit a lot from knowing a thing or two about marketing.”
This lesson is focused on connecting the dots from previous lessons, planning, evaluating, and STDC model.
Petr – Digital Strategy
Petr talked about shifting paradigm: In the past, we had a limited reach and a lot of attention. Today, it’s quite the opposite.
People create their own primetime (their own TV program). They watch and play whatever they feel like. The video will account for 82% of traffic in 2021 according to Cisco. In 2019, 37% of Youtube traffic is from mobile. On average, we check our mobile phones 150 times a day. New Android comes with a wellbeing feature to track your usage. There are more micro interactions (quick and brief interactions) on mobile instead of “mobile desktop” type of usage. About 60% are online while watching TV. Often their online activity does not correlate with what’s on TV.
Mobile isn't killing desktop. It's killing all our free time. pic.twitter.com/pXb7F7aWsP
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) December 20, 2015
Marketing is increasingly focusing on mobile. At work, people access the internet on mobile. Their company is blocking Facebook and other websites.
Customer journey is a lot more complex nowadays as users switch between devices. This makes attribution even more complex.
Young people won’t use your services if you’re only offline. Czech betting company went through a digital transformation and now offers online betting. And voila! Young people started betting.
The first layer of the marketing funnel is brand awareness. Without brand awareness, your company is just a commodity.
Marketing is the art of brand building.If you are not a brand, you are a commodity, then the low-cost producer is the only winner #marketing
— Philip Kotler (@KOTLERMARKETING) May 1, 2012
Let’s consider bottled mineral water. It’s just water. However, we are willing to spend more on particular brands of bottled water. Why? Strong brand. Invest in your brand and charge more. Without it, your margin is gonna be lower. The brand creates value. Brand increases performance.
Strong brands portfolio outperforms both the S&P 500 and MSCI World Index and recovers faster after the recession.
What are the objectives and KPIs for the awareness stage?
- When launching a new product we want to get it into people’s heads.
- Staying in “top of mind” the entire year – recalling the brand when thinking about a particular type of product or store.
- Grow market share (eg. telco in a saturated market), (re)position your brand.
- Blast during key moments (eg. advertise during sports events).
- Reach (% of target audience reached)
- Impressions (number of times the ad was shown)
- Brand awareness (measured with the brand lift or other research, incl. Ad recall, and how did marketing campaign influences the way people see the brand or the product)
- Frequency (how many times customers need to see your ad to understand, this number is quite high for bank services: 8-15x times)
Use a cross-media campaign to reach 80% of the audience (and enough frequency). Combine TV and online. Some part of the target audience might be too expensive on TV, so buy them online. This is the new trend among large companies.
Often, targeting is focused on an apparently obvious target audience. Who would you target when advertising diapers? Women 25-40 yo? Makes sense, they have kids, right? However, 50% of diapers are bought by men. Shocking! Don’t rely on targeting demo only.
What is a consideration? Imagine you’re in a supermarket walking through an aisle and wanting to buy a couple of things. Which brands of chocolate are you considering to buy? Which washing powder? Which perfume?
Discount is not a solution for consideration. It’s not sustainable. Price is not the only criteria during the consideration phase. Pepsi kept becoming cheaper and cheaper, and almost ran out of business. They became the commodity (“that cheap cola drink”).
Instead, focus on benefits for the customer and keep increasing brand value.
One way to look at the action is to view it from the market share growth point of view. If market share (or sales) grows after the campaign we can consider it a success. This approach works well in a saturated market. This approach allows attributing to TV and digital marketing.
Another approach is to alternate TV and digital marketing on a monthly basis and measure the effects (awareness, market share/sales).
TV attribution – how much TV ads influence website traffic or conversions. You can compare ROI and other metrics compared to other channels. Thanks to loyalty program it’s possible to pair marketing activities and store visits, and measure the effects of marketing. Increasing bids when customers are near the store is worth it.
Product vs Service
Product is easier to sell. Selling service online is more complex. There are barriers, for example, contracts.
Lovebrand vs Hatebrand
It’s much easier when people love your brand. Fewer investments in ads are needed. Ads are more effective. This why telco operators run funny and likable ads. The most valuable brand is able to attract the most clients and gain market share.
Local vs Global
It’s easy to run global campaigns from a single place in digital marketing. Global shipping is relatively cheap.
Petr – See Think Do Care (STDC)
The second part of Petr’s lesson was about See Think Do Care framework.
Funnels simplify the complex customer journey and are business-centric (company and budget-centric). STDC framework is focused on a customer. Customers have different needs in different phases. For example, it doesn’t make sense to push sales on customers who are performing research about the product. With funnels, we would try to convert them and move them down the funnel. With STDC, we try to provide value and use suitable marketing channels to customers in each phase.
The evolution of the framework can be found at Avinash’s blog, the author of STDC. Spoiler alert: C used to be missing!
See – Build awareness with the largest addressable qualified audience.
Think – Influence the consideration of users thinking about a purchase.
Do – Drive action of users who are ready to purchase now.
Care – Grow loyalty of existing customers (after their second purchase).
5 steps to define marketing strategy with STDC
- Target audience
- Content and Communication
Algorithms nowadays are optimizing for a single goal (eg. high CTR). Each phase needs different goals.
2. Target audience
Targeting based on socio-demographic criteria isn’t enough.
Use advanced audience targeting with affinity, life events, in-market, similar audiences…
3. Content and Communication
Each phase has a different way it speaks to a (potential) customer. Different content is suitable for each phase. You can design your website layout to accommodate all 4 phases (have sections with content for each phase).
Source: Digisemestr slides
Video, search, social, email, affiliate… Each channel is different and will work better or worse for different phases. For example, care videos provide inspiration and guidance for the customer (eg. how to change a vacuum cleaner bag).
Even within the channel, it’s recommended to segment customers based on their phase (eg. send a different email to customers in think and care phases). Choose which channels you’re going to use for each phase.
Don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. Choose suitable metrics for each phase. For example, % of new sessions for See phase, CTR and micro-conversions (eg. with configurators) for Think, conversions and ROI for Do, ambassador score (likelihood of recommendation) and CLV for Care.
Radek – Strategy in Real Life
Radek showed us statistics about Czech e-commerce market and shared lessons from case studies. His presentation was heavily focused on the Czech market. I will only point out the most important (and generalizable) lessons.
Czech e-shop owners are often hobbyists. However, their business suffers without ads. So they either hire agencies or do marketing themselves.
Faster websites (especially on mobile) can have 2 times higher conversion rate than slower sites. It’s worth it to optimize your site! For my website I use GTmetrix. Give it a shot!
Always test your visual assets. Don’t forget about it!
Amazon overtook Google in product search.
Video doesn’t generate links and traffic to your website. Use Brand Lift to measure video campaigns.
Create a communication plan with topics for each month.
Set KPIs when you attend a conference.
One way to work with well-respected people in their fields is to ask them to comment on a specific topic and then publish it. Often, they will share it with their followers. This helps you to reach a relevant audience.
Let’s say you need to increase the price of your service. Reach out in advance to your closest customers and ask them to comment on your post about the price increase in a positive light.
Every company should have a face, someone to represent it. People like it more.
When working with a team set up relevant goals for each member. A team member might spend too much time optimizing something which will only be seen by 0.1% of your customers. Focus on ROI. Each member should invest time (and burn cash) on things which have an impact. Prioritize team members’ work. Team buildings are amazing because drunk colleagues more often share their thoughts.
Have a plan for your marketing investments.
Did you know porn websites have PPC systems? Now you do. Be careful though, they often misreport their numbers. It’s all very shady.
And that would be all for the 11th lesson of Digisemestr!