Disambiguating Digital – Sorting Through the Mixed Messages of Online Marketing

In the modern age, with our plethora of platforms, it can be extremely easy to miscommunicate (or misinterpret) the messages that we are sending online. When different departments of businesses aren’t in sync, this miscommunication only magnifies.

For example, the sales and marketing sectors, although often at odds, are truly dependent on one another for the successful operation of any given company. However, one thing remains paramount for both parts of the business: commercial messaging is crucial. We’ve put together a simple guide on how you can sort through the mixed messages of digital marketing and ensure that your business delivers brand consistency each and every time.

The value of brand equity cannot be overstated.

Via online marketing, your brand needs to appear consistent, as it will garner value based on the perception it has from the general public. There are many points to discuss here. However, first we will elaborate on the miscommunication that can be so often apparent between different sectors of a company.

One one hand, sales reps team members can argue that the messaging and positioning they get from marketing is largely irrelevant, bypassing the marketing team’s collateral altogether. Sometimes, it’s evident that sales reps opt instead to create their own campaigns they believe will more quickly move customers through the purchase funnel.

On the other hand, marketing team members often gripe that the sales reps fail to tailor messages to address the unique needs of different customers. This results in missed opportunities to make the company’s given solution truly resonate with customers, which ultimately translates into missed revenue. However, let’s quit the blame game. If you’re company machine is broken when delivering consistent messages across the slew of interactions you have with our customers.

To avoid sending mixed messages, leading companies get two things right:

  1. They work closely with their marketing teams to first identify what your brand or industry niche is, via tools such as web scraping, then:
  2. They communicate these differentiators at major decision points across the purchase cycle.

It’s important to consider exactly what specific benefit a customer obtains as a result of buying your product or service. Not only does this build appreciation for how your company differs from the competition, but it will also help you move your customer interactions towards conversions.

Remember: Above all else, your brand needs to adopt uniformity and consistency.

A great way to do this is to collate a company style guide. This can host everything from fonts, colours, design, stimuli, mission statements, attitudes, dress codes, and more. The dot points below are some areas you may want to touch on in a style guide:

  • Is the spelling of your company the same? e.g. “ACME” vs “Acme” vs “Acme Inc.” vs “ACME INC”.
  • Do you have a standard body and heading font?
  • Do you have a standard mission statement?
  • Do you have a standard for your title tags and meta descriptions?
  • Do you have a standard logo background?
  • Are your company photos standardized?
  • Is the voice or person of your social media status updates standardized?
  • Do you have a preference for branded anchor text?
  • Do you have a standard for link shorteners? Do you have a custom link shortener?
  • Do you use standard icons?
  • Is your online invoices standardized?
  • Are your conference presentations standardized?
  • Do you have a featured image standard.

Your brand needs to have a consistent look and feel across all channels, both digital and physical. Digitally speaking, think about what you can do to up your brand’s equity across all platforms: your domain name, your user name, the name of your company, etc.

When making a business decision or engaging in a customer interaction, think about the following three points: awareness, consideration, decision. If you execute all these steps well, you will end up with customer loyalty. Repeat customers are the customers we want, so this is essential.

Author: Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science for business management domains. Professionally a professor (IIT, IIM) and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a Regular Contributor of Business Fundas and a blogging addict. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.