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Digital marketing isn't about the tools - the customer still rules

Most marketers and entrepreneurs make the mistake of assuming that devices, websites and apps are the main cornerstone of digital marketing instead of the customers.
However, this is a recipe for disaster! Nothing can ever replace the position of a customer at the nucleus of any digital marketing strategy. Principles should not be compromised and if this is done then unfortunately failure inevitably follows. Trust me, you do not want to be in this position. Most people who have failed to unlock the potential of digital marketing are guilty of this one dimensional fascination with new technology for its own sake.

Digital marketing isn't about the tools - the customer still rules
© Mark Adams via 123RF

Just as the focus was on the reader and not the newspaper in the bygone days of traditional marketing, so should the focus similarly remain squarely on the customer than on the digital devices being used in this new media dispensation.

Welcome to the world of people-based marketing.


Take the optimisation of a webpage for instance. The best conversion rate optimisers know that they cannot optimise the webpage, but rather they focus on how their customers experience it. This deliberate focus on customer behaviour produces profitable reactions.

Search engines like Google have put a lot of value on human signals to determine the ranking of websites on their results pages. This follows their realisation that much of the SEO work done previously was to simply dupe their algorithm.

Hitherto, a website with no clear value to the customer could rank higher simply because of technical optimisation. Thank God, those days are long gone.

Focusing on the customer enables a business to choose the right platform too. The choice of a platform on which to execute marketing campaigns must be determined by how many of the targeted customers use it and not its mere popularity.

For example, a business must not necessarily integrate Instagram in its marketing mix simply because it enjoys the highest usage over Twitter when reality shows that most of its customers and prospects use the latter.

When an organisation recognises that customer data is tied to people, rather than devices, it can create personalised experiences across channels. The experience then becomes more fluid while still being unique for each device.

For me, understanding the customer and customising marketing campaigns to match his demographics, psychographics and device usage patterns is foundational to success. Those who are motivated by fads and trends potentially lose revenue through misplaced ad budgets.

About Joseph Neusu

Joseph Neusu is a digital marketer with extensive experience in digital strategy and execution, including social media. He has a great passion for understanding human behaviour and is an expert in neuroscience marketing. He is helping brands in the travel and hospitality industries in Africa get the best results out of their digital strategies. He offers strategy formulation, campaign execution and consultation. He can be reached on 071 811 7753 or jneusu69@gmail.com.
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