It's just marketing: you can stop using the word "digital" now
Imagine if your marketing efforts resulted in a $ 3 billion contract for your company. What would this campaign look like? Would it be full of Super Bowl ads, massive postcard mailing campaigns, TV commercials, billboards, and magazines?
Would the message have been conceived by a genius of marketing methodology, a pillar of the advertising industry that crafted a message so perfectly, undeniably inventive, and clever that no decision-maker could refute it?
OR … would it be a goofy engineer with a Twitter account, a real interest in his company's goals, an aggressive and very public development strategy, and a willingness to share information (both good and bad) with the world?
To the dismay of any old school marketer in the business, it is the latter.
SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, knocked out both a modern tech titan (Blue Origin owned by Jeff Bezos) and an aerospace / tech powerhouse (defense company Dynetics) to win an order for NASA's new lunar lander . This was an accomplishment that was so offensive to the competitors that they are contesting the decision (can you imagine doing this publicly if you lost a bid?!?).
How could a relatively new company beat its billion dollar competitors? Yes, the offer was cheaper, but I think the decision has as much to do with SpaceX / Elon Musk's understanding of the new world of marketing as it does with the offer itself.
This new world has less to do with marketing channels and more to do with a holistic approach to marketing, business development, experience and transparency. Simply put, marketing has gotten real.
New marketing doesn't look like marketing anymore
Marketing has changed and the shift has been monumental. It goes beyond simply developing the marketing methods or channels. The use of social media, email marketing, remote meetings, and online advertising is different from physical mailings, television advertising, billboards, and personal conventions, but the change goes much deeper.
For many years the term "digital marketing" has referred to the specific online platforms used for advertising and promotions – but it's time to grow up. After 2020, companies realized that a failed success in "digital marketing" means they are not really marketing at all.
To be clear, we are not saying that traditional "offline" marketing is gone or even less significant than it has been in the past. We say that the days of separating online and offline marketing are over and that strategies that use separate marketing approaches are much less effective than a more holistic approach.
With advances in technology, societal shifts in the dissemination of information, and an involuntary leap towards online communication and remote working, modern businesses must now integrate their marketing approach to include all forms of marketing.
Furthermore, this approach should focus on the most effective and efficient methods, using any method below as a support. Even so, all methods must promote a central theme that reflects how the modern world consumes information.
The difficulty with this approach is that every marketing method (especially online marketing methods) has its own “language” that needs to be spoken in a real voice. Otherwise, they will be ignored and possibly despised (likely despised for platforms like Reddit).
As with any system dealing with a mature global environment, the complexity of marketing strategy has grown and modern marketing directors need to create ways to evolve with it. Here we describe how modern marketing appeals to today's environment and customers and how an integrated marketing method is the only way to adequately serve both.
The last 20 years have been interesting …
Before we dive into the specific ways companies can reach prospects with an integrated approach to marketing, we need to understand how the current environment came about.
Since 2000, there have been several key events that have shaped the current marketing landscape. These events weren't necessarily significant when they occurred, but have since changed the way companies market themselves, creating unique industries, professions, and companies to serve them.
The current marketing environment can be explained using four key developments: tech monetization, internet speed and accessibility, remote working and live streaming, and marketing editing.
It may be difficult to remember a time when digital ads weren't a "thing", but if you are over 25 years old you probably can.
In 2007, Facebook Ads was launched. The new service promised "a whole new way to advertise online," and surprisingly, they are not exaggerating. Marketers now have more access to demographic and visitor details than ever before.
Even so, some large companies still don't even understand how they work.
One of our Scalable employees, Erin MacPherson, was working in marketing at MTV Networks in 2007 when Facebook Advertising hit the market. She remembers company leaders who convened a team all hands meeting where they explained what Facebook is, why it would matter, and why they would invest in training the team on Facebook. She recalls that it was impossible for a website that college students were planning to party on to ever serve as a real, professional marketing tool.
But unfortunately she made an account.
It was less than a year later when no one had any doubt that a college social platform could and would move the needle in business.
Advertising on all social media and search engines changed the online landscape from a purely organic content exchange to a controlled, monitored and targeted environment with promotional information.
Internet speed and accessibility
Unsurprisingly, speed is a factor in marketing. The type of media and where it appears depends entirely on how quickly it loads online. Fortunately, that speed has increased. A higher speed means that improved graphics and videos can load faster, resulting in a better experience for viewers.
Speed and accessibility have primarily led to the creation of "digital marketing". The original term was used to refer to the use of Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), paid search advertising, search engine optimization, paid social media ads, social media marketing in general, content marketing, and email marketing to describe. Thanks to the increasing speed and mobility of the Internet, these "fringe methods" have gone from being a small part of the overall marketing plans to extensive (and sometimes even exclusive) marketing methods.
In addition, prospects can now interact with content on multiple platforms. Using interactive quizzes, infographics, polls, polls, calculators, ratings, e-books, emails, and webinars is now part of the mix.
Remote working & live streaming
Many people now realize that remote working has changed the workplace, but few really understand how it has changed life in general. From saving travel time to lowering physical workplace costs to reducing face-to-face meetings, remote working has an impact on everyone's life. Long distance calls aren't just for work. The use of telemedicine has increased over the past decade and has received a massive boost in recent years.
Remote working, also known as teleworking, increased 159% between 2005 and 2017, according to an analysis by Global Workplace Analytics. It is now estimated that at least one in four employees is now working remotely.
Everyone has known "content is king" for a while, but almost all marketers are starting to take it seriously. According to Aberdeen Strategy & Research, 56% of the best companies use content to support their marketing campaigns. Additionally, up to 80% of these companies have an active content marketing initiative.
What does this mean for your marketing efforts? This means that your high-profile competition is following customers through indirect, informative content rather than direct marketing. Any company that does not create a knowledge base of informative information useful to its potential customers will fall further behind.
Customers in the 2020s
How have all these developments shaped today's customers? The answer is massive … but not as anyone would have expected. Let's examine how each of the developments affected the customer experience.
Overflowing with advertisements
Back in 2007, the market research company Yankelovich carried out a study in which it was estimated that the average person sees up to 5,000 ads daily. Given that the speed and access to the Internet have increased significantly, it is inconceivable that this number would increase by 2 to 5 times. Conservatively, let's say the average person now sees 10,000-25,000 ads a day.
The ads are now so numerous that customers can barely see them.
More time online
Everyone is online a lot. Since 2011, the daily online per capita time worldwide has increased from 75 minutes (43 minutes on desktops and 32 minutes on mobile devices) to 192 minutes (37 minutes on desktops and 155 minutes on mobile devices).
That's a 156% increase, and let's face it, we all spend more than 3 hours a day online. As we are becoming more and more digital by spending more and more time online, it only makes sense that we should be exposed to more ads.
Customer Experience Expectations
The biggest difference between consumers of the past year and consumers in the 2020s is that they need a unique and enjoyable customer experience. Instead of basing every purchase decision on individual products or prices, the modern consumer is becoming more and more loyal to the brands he enjoys.
A survey of 1,920 business professionals conducted by SuperOffice found that nearly half (45.9%) believed that the customer experience is the number one priority of their business. This is for good reason; A good customer experience contributes to repeat business, increased willingness to pay, and higher impulse purchases.
What marketing means today
Now that we understand how we got here and where we need to go, it's time to talk about SpaceX again. As I noted at the beginning of the article, her ability to close a huge $ 3 billion deal had as much to do with her marketing as she did with her offering.
Here are three ways SpaceX is leveraging the most successful version of "Marketing" used in the 2020s.
A holistic marketing approach
Just like all aspects of life these days, information is interrelated, and so should your marketing strategy. How do you create a complete, integrated approach to marketing that includes both online and offline methods? Here's the trick: you stop dividing online and offline into different categories. It's ONLY marketing.
The old way of integrating all methods (online / offline) together looks like this: Turn on a viewer offline and then show it online for conversion. However, a truly holistic approach doesn't differentiate between the two and simply includes both in every step of the conversion process.
SpaceX took this concept (literally) to interplanetary levels. Rather than simply creating ads offline and putting them online, they managed to integrate online and offline product development events and updates, public relations, brand partnerships, and traditional online and offline ads into one cohesive approach.
The best example of this holistic marketing approach is the launch of a Tesla Roadster into interplanetary space with a Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. The car was used as ballast instead of sending a much more expensive payload (like a billion dollar satellite) during the high risk test. But much more than that, the launch was used as a showcase for SpaceX and Tesla.
Needless to say, everyone is set to launch in 2018. While rocket launches are fun (let's face it, as long as there aren't people on board, everyone enjoys a good blast), who cares about a test launch?
Using a Tesla advertising partnership made the start sexy, memorable and interesting. This offline event then resulted in thousands of blog posts, videos, articles, press releases, and pictures that were then shared online in the millions.
Transparent business development
The old adage "You only have one chance to make a first impression" is no longer necessarily true. With the internet making all information more public than ever, both people and businesses are more forgiving than they used to be. Combine that with 20 years of fairly detailed information on millions of websites and you have a modern view of "forgiveness" and therefore no reason to hide bugs (or at least some bugs).
SpaceX missiles sometimes boom. Affectionately known as "quick unintentional dismantling", SpaceX has caused public errors in the past. Elon Musk's goal of making reusable missiles required a landing, and that didn't always go according to plan.
During development, the errors included parachute test failures, ocean test failures, drone ship failures, and floor cushion failures. All of this amounted to millions and millions of dollars in sunken costs, and every mistake was recorded and publicly shared.
Most recently, SpaceX developed the SpaceX spaceship. This ambitious project resulted in securing the $ 3 billion contract mentioned at the beginning of this article. Believe it or not, at the time of this writing, you have not successfully landed the thing at all!
The prototypes SN8, SN9, SN10 and SN11 were destroyed due to various errors. Nevertheless, they won the offer. The fact that they developed their system quickly and publicly could have had a huge impact on the win.
How can this be implemented in your company? Instead of hiding developments (even bugs) until you believe your product / service is 100% complete, you can use them as content for your ongoing marketing campaigns.
While the method of sharing the information depends largely on your types of business, this approach can provide you with the following benefits:
- Significant content generation without additional resources
- Real connection with viewers who can become fans / subscribers of the process
- Ongoing feedback from potential customers / investors / owners
- Improved internal and external communication regarding company status
- Free advertising through media presence and reporting
Community Interaction & Advocacy
I've long been an advocate of encouraging rampant fans to get into brands. Not only do they consume your products and services, but they can also become marketing services themselves.
In this case, SpaceX was regularly featured on YouTube channels dedicated to ongoing operations and further development. These channels have millions of subscribers and offer free coverage. Here is a short list of them:
Some companies would shy away from this type of reporting because they cannot control the narrative. This is not the way to be a modern day marketer. SpaceX has shown that inviting the community can make all the difference in free coverage.
Elon Musk went so far as to invite Tim Dodd, the owner of the Everyday Astronaut's YouTube channel, to interview him at the SpaceX launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The video received 2.9 million views and over 127,000 likes.
What led to this extraordinary level of free advertising, viewer interaction, and widespread awareness? Here are some important aspects of SpaceX community management.
- Constant interaction with fans by top executives through social media
- Promotion of information exchange through leaky development details
- Invitations and interviews for high-ranking fans
- Free sharing of product details through the website and downloadable materials
- Visitor interaction via a largely inaccessible public offer system (https://www.spacex.com/rideshare/)
Your Marketing in the 2020s
You might be thinking, "Sure, a billion dollar company can do this, but what about me?"
The beauty of marketing today is that most of the methods are available to any business, and most are fully scalable. It doesn't take more money to implement them, it takes more skills to be carried out effectively. Better still, the more you do them, the more you will be able to grow with them as they evolve through the 2020s.
This is where DigitalMarketer comes in. The first step in growth is knowledge, and you can start here.