If You Already Know Everything About Digital Marketing, Don’t Read This…

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 by Frank Radice

To make your business thrive you need to do more than just think new! Having a Twitter account and a Facebook page is good, but knowing what to do with them is better. Having an iPad and an iPhone app is good, but having ones that really fill a consumer need is better.

Traditional advertising has becoming increasingly inefficient, so how do you effectively reach your customers today without breaking the bank?

The Big Idea: Own Your Edge!

Case Studies in Music & Publishing

Forrester Research shows music industry sales have dropped 50% in the last decade, from 14.6B in 1999 to 6.3B in 2009. The Publishers Bureau reports that for the first quarter of this year, magazine ad pages fell 9.4% to 34,800 pages compared to the same quarter last year.

Clearly both industries are in a state of flux. These stats are stunning, but they pose a great up side for new technology, social media and digital marketing. So what will these two industries look like in five years and what can they learn from each other? Will publishers charge for on-line versions of their magazines? What can the music business do to stem the tide when their sales continue to decline?

Both industries have to contend with a world where people are more and more consuming on-line content for free. The iPad alone won’t save magazines, but it’s a start. There is no doubt that publishers need to harness the power of this new device immediately.

This is where publishing can learn a thing or two from the music business. The iPod and iTunes saved an industry on life-support. Apple clearly helped change the paradigm. Ever since Napster came into the lexicon the industry was slow to embrace it but Apple made it easier to buy music than to steal it, and that should help do the same for magazines.

Direct sale of content has always been the easiest way to determine the success or failure of any business, but now there’s more!

Now is the time to foster B2B strategic relationships and grow your brand community if you want your business to really survive.

“Own your Edge” everywhere you can. Having the best product in the store isn’t enough, you have to have the best communities online. Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook… everywhere!

Now, promotion and marketing is as monetizable as the product being marketed, and new technology and social media are the tools to success going forward.

Last week The Financial Times announced it is using Foursquare to target a new younger consumer, and the Warner Music Group has started-up an in-house social media team.

So it’s clear some music and publishing businesses are going in the right direction, that is significant, and an understanding of what they are trying to do is sure to open up the door to the companies that have been reluctant to try something new.

Even if entrants into a space aren’t paid subscribers, get subscribers wherever you can. Extend the brand, generate awareness through reach and frequency across all platforms, and the money will follow. Plus these new subscribers will be your best brand evangelists.

But everyone wants an immediate ROI and these tactics alone won’t provide that.

The secret sauce then is to add a layer of strategic partnering to the mix. Create strategic B2B relationships and enhance the bottom line at the same time you are creating a base of engagement in the social sphere while better utilizing the new technologies.

It’s all about creative thinking in the digital space. The Mantra should be “Think Better!”

And that’s why flux in the marketplace is a good thing for digital marketers.

If you use the new tools effectively, create strategic partnerships while creating a loyal brand community, you will “Own your Edge.”