Two Nil (aka 2-0) as opposed to 2.0?


Social Rules

I frequently hear the term Digital Marketing team.  It makes me think that there is still an us versus them kind of mentality inside companies, where management is still not sure who should be responsible for “digital.”  It is still the case in certain media companies as well as in many “modern” brands.  Traditional marketers feel either threatened, uncomfortable, antagonistic, or all of the above when it comes to digital.  Digital education is one of the keys to making the transition more seamless.  In the interim, here are some digital marketing guidelines.

Digital marketing rules

Rather than a football chant for the Digital Marketing team, my experience leads me to believe that these are the five uppermost digital marketing rules that need to be applied when implementing a digital strategy.  Yes, rules are made to be broken and there is no cookie-cutter solution.  But, I thought I’d share these with you.

    1. First, you need to figure out why you want to use digital marketing.  Just like you might consider the why and the style of your marketing offline (e.g. more value added promotions to increase basket value, entry level ticket pricing to recruit, etc…), you need to have your digital marketing objectives well sorted out.

  • Behind your objectives (the “why”), you need to allocate the right resources.  The trick here is establishing the human resources.  Too often, particularly in social media (where the social = people), the human investment is underestimated.  Moreover, having the right talent in place is also strategic — and easier said than done.


    1. Make sure the online campaign is synchronized and/or fully integrated with any offline campaign.  Whether you are going for a “digital first” approach or adding digital marketing into the mix, social “buttons” must be on the traditional media (i.e. showcard, poster, tv spot, etc).  That said, in the effort to make sure that off and online communications are integrated, you still must look to make the digital component (a) optimally formatted, (b) channel specific and, for better tracking, (c) channel exclusive in terms of offers.

  • This 4th rule is arguably the most difficult to put in place: make your quantitative objectives flexible!  Yes, we all need the Return on Investment to answer to the bottom line.  However, in a world of everyday pioneers and constant evolution, the chances that numerical benchmarks and fixed objectives be appropriate for your business case are highly unlikely.  It’s a world of do, learn & improve. A fundament to a successful digital marketing strategy is the ability to listen, learn and adapt quickly.   These means making your quantitative objectives adjustable along the route.


  1. Digital includes mobile.  If digital marketing has gone from internet site (1.0) to social media (2.0), there are two burgeoning areas that need to be addressed in a digital marketing strategy, to round out the trifecta SO-LO-MO, i.e. social, local and mobile.  While local may yet be a tall order yet for certain global brands, the driving force behind going LOCAL will be the smartphone and the MOBILE platform.  Mobile will, in the future, not be an additional consideration, but an integrated part of the strategy.
Looking forward to any comments you might want to share!

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