In the last few years, marketing has shifted tremendously; digital marketing has grown in popularity. Most have either started or figured out how to put their best foot forward in these digital spaces. It creates endless opportunities for marketers. While we still use traditional advertising, we have definitely seen a decline and an upward trend in digital. I predict we will continue to see this pattern in the next 10 years. Traditional forms of advertising like written work such as newspapers and magazines might fully erase and become digital. However, most companies have determined how to navigate and enter that digital space as well. In my opinion, the pandemic excelled this shift and it will continue to shoot in this direction.
When creating an online digital campaign, there are several ways to promote the content online. First, it is important to understand and consider each element to make it the best it could be and evaluate its performance. It should also all be connected; they need to intertwine and feel like they are all coming from the same place. For example, your social media channels need to match one another and link to your website with the same aesthetic. An online media creative and digital campaign includes ways to interact and respond. They are website home and landing pages, all social media platforms related, personal chatting like email communication or chat boxes, and even offline like what happens when they call the phone or walk in the store. While the last ones I mentioned aren’t online, they are still critical in creating the same cohesive feel and experience. Online promotion can elevate the brand and it’s important for that promotion to give the same experience and feeling you would hope to give when making a sale in person. It all needs to resonate with the audience and create a positive impression. When thinking through your online promotion, make sure that these elements are considered for a successful campaign and overall positive experience, this is called experiential marketing. According to HubSpot article, “Experiential marketing, also called “engagement marketing,” is a marketing strategy that invites an audience to interact with a business in a real-world situation.” Read more from that article for some really good examples of how to create that memorable experience.
In the most recent years, marketing has shifted significantly with multichannel and omnichannel marketing. Even more so with the pandemic and businesses in the B2B industry have been forced to adapt. While they may have been hesitant before the pandemic, they were pushed into it and have noticed it works and exceeds the previous methods and approaches. It is now engraved into this new strategy moving forward. Now instead of just traditional interactions, they are tapping into remote human interactions and digital self-service and are seeing growth in both those categories. According to McKinsey and Company article discussing omnichannel in B2B sales, “Moreover, 83 percent of B2B leaders believe that omnichannel selling is a more successful way to prospect and secure new business than traditional, “face-to-face only” sales approaches—a notable sign of confidence, given the higher cost and hurdle of acquiring new customers.”
However, as a marketer working in the B2B world, a tribulation they face is adapting to the shift and moving forward from the learning curve as most were farther behind and have only excelled with the pandemic. This is a significant opportunity to shift their mindset and move forward to excel in their industries.
With digital media versus traditional media, the conversation is always on by using always-on marketing. The idea is to build out a dialogue with the customers, content with a strategy based on the central theme, content calendars, and communication relevant to the customer. Instead of building one story for one message, there are creating an account on a central theme. With always-on marketing, you get frequency, agility, duration and experience. With traditional media, you don’t have the circulation to distribute as often, as many iterations, themes that stay overtime and the opportunity to facilitate each step of the customer journey.
To decide how to invest between digital and traditional media, marketers need to consider online versus offline. They need to measure the following product, price, promotions, and the level and mix of media investments to determine the best elements. Additionally, it is essential to think through the funnel to distinguish the different referrals and sales processes. To choose where to spend, is important in understanding where the customers hear about your brand. According to array digital, “One significant difference between traditional and digital marketing is the what’s called attribution – where the lead came from.” That’s what you need to determine you’re spending by.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Erica Vazquez Bacardi, the Assistant Brand Manager for DUSSE Cognac, a brand owned by Bacardi Limited and Jay-Z. We discussed marketing, branding and social media in her industry.
- Daniella: Hi Erica, thank you so much for doing this. It has been a pleasure meeting you. Can you please briefly share with our audience your title and position and explain your background a bit further.
Erica: Hi Daniella, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, so glad you asked me to be a part of this. I’m an Assistant Brand Manager for DUSSE Cognac, at Team Enterprise, a cognac brand owned by Bacardi Limited and Jay-Z. I have also worked with this company as a DUSSE account coordinator and Incubation account coordinator. Before that, I was an intern for Bacardi in 2018. I also worked as a PR and Marketing Coordinator at Identity Media PR from 2015 to 2017, an Advertising and Marketing Interns at TURKEL Brands in 2015 and as a Social Media Manager at Pearl Dragon Brands from 2014 to 2015. I am also an alumnus from Florida International University and got my bachelor’s in advertising, go panthers! After that, I got my master’s in public Relations at the University of Miami in 2018.
Daniella: Wow that is so interesting, you’ve had a few different opportunities. I actually did not know Jay-Z had his own liquor, but I’m not surprised with all the celebrities creating their own liquors. I definitely need to try some!
2. Daniella: Now, can you explain your brands distribution channel methods?
Erica: In the liquor industry, we have two channels: on premise and off premise. On premise includes anywhere you would drink alcohol on the premise, for example places like restaurants, bars, nightclubs, etc. Off premise would be where you buy alcohol and drink it off premise (take it home, to a friend’s house, etc). Off premise locations also include liquor stores and grocery stores.
3. Daniella: What challenges in distribution channels will marketers see in your industry in the foreseeable future?
Erica: In the foreseeable future, the challenge is returning to normal after the COVID pandemic. Although bars and restaurants are opening back up which you would think returns us to “normalcy,” it hasn’t yet. With that issue, the demand is so high that liquor brands are now running into out-of-stock issues and can’t keep up with the demand. We’ve noticed that people don’t just want to go out — they want to make up for all the time they lost not being able to go out so we’re seeing people are going all out to return some sense of normalcy of what they missed out on for all that time.
Daniella: This has become an issue with many brands and business throughout the pandemic, hopefully soon there will be more supply to keep up with demand.
4. Daniella: What are your most successful marketing strategies and/or channels?
Erica: For our brand currently, one of our most successful strategies and channels is dominating (DUSSE domination) and controlling in the off premise. Cognac in general thrives in the off premise because it’s a liquor that people love to consume at home or take to a friend’s house. So, for DUSSE, we have a program called DUSSE Domination where we deck out liquor stores in our POS (point of sale) those include counter wraps, window displays and more. This helps builds our brand awareness because that is where we lack, and we’ve seen a great return on investment in doing this.
Daniella: That’s definitely a great way to stand out when there are usually so many choices in a liquor store and it’s hard to figure out what is preferred.
5. Daniella: How does your brand try to stand out from the competition?
Erica: We try to stand out by showcasing how luxurious/upscale our liquid is. We do this by ensuring we “keep things classy”. We also strive to create liquid to lips programs (programs where we get consumers to try the brand) because we know our liquid is so good that if a consumer tries it, they will switch from Hennessy or Remy Martin to our brand.
Daniella: Certainly, love that method, it’s a great way to let the brand speak for itself!
6. Daniella: In social media marketing, what’s your favorite platform to use for the brand and why?
Erica: We like to use Instagram as our main platform. It’s the most popular platform currently. It’s a platform that makes sense for this market and brand, Instagram is a great social platform to market to customers and share their best moments. We use it to promote our brand, events, point of sale and more.
Daniella: Instagram has a lot of great marketing opportunities right now and I can see it being a great spot for your brand with POS and events in the future.
7. Daniella: How has your brand grown in the last year?
Erica: Our brand has grown 40-60% every year. This is due largely to our partnership with Roc Nation via Jay-Z (he owns Roc nation) and utilizing their influencer/artist network to build brand awareness and desire. These connections and affiliations have really helped develop our brand’s awareness
8. Daniella: Was your business at all affected by the pandemic? If so how did you shift?
Erica: Our business was largely affected by Covid — but in a good way! Unlike vodkas and tequilas that thrive in the on premise, cognac like I said thrives in the off. So, when everything closed, people were forced to buy alcohol in the off-premise, so our sales skyrocketed. We used this to our advantage and made a larger effort with our off-premise programming.
9. Daniella: Are there any trends that have caught your eye and you believe will grow in the next few years?
Erica: RTDs (ready to drink — so cocktails in a can) have been HUGE and will definitely continue to grow. Unfortunately, this is not a trend DUSSE will jump on (or any cognac brand really) because cognac is associated with more upscale occasions/luxury whereas RTDs are “cheap” and are associated with more casual occasions.
10. Daniella: What was your most successful marketing campaign? Share a bit about why it was such a hit.
Erica: We have a program called DUSSE Day Party which essentially is when we take over an account (a bar) during the daytime for a day and have a big party. We do bottle service with our D’USSE POS, have D’USSE cocktails featured, have big photo ops with a D’USSE backdrop for social, etc. We do a couple in a few of our top markets. It’s a big win for us because it’s an awareness driven program which like I said is where we lack. The goal is to get people to hear about it by becoming aware, joining the party and enjoying what we have to offer!
Daniella: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me, this was such a great experience!
Erica: Thank you for having me this was a pleasure!
Omnichannel marketing strategies focus on a multiple channel system approach that aims to give customers a seamless experience through each possible shopping experience for the customer. It’s not just a multi-channel strategy because it’s also considering the shopping experience between each platform and purchase. For example, is the purchasing experience in-store similar to online for each brand you’ve shopped for? No, why is that because not every brand is focusing on it even though they should be? While it makes sense to have multi-channels, it must all be connected to become an omnichannel strategy.
Thinking through the customer’s journey, the service, care and experience all need to align with one another and provide the same or, if not, a similar experience. It creates a strong opinion and recognition of the brand and solidifies what the customer is thinking. It needs to be a similar experience. Shopify’s article shares 10 of the best omnichannel retailers and what you should learn from each. Out of the ten, Ulta’s was one I was interested in as an avid shopper. They invest in internal communication to constantly collaborate and create that one experience for the customer. What really fascinated me from the article was the concept of webromming. “This is because they noticed their customers webrooming and checking the websites before buying products in-store. Two weeks gives people enough time to learn about a new product, decide if they like, and make plans to go into the store.” It’s definitely something I’ve done and knowing the funnel is a lengthy process, it is essential for these touchpoints and experiences to align. The shopping experiences are the same both in-store, online and in-app besides the obvious reasons they aren’t exactly. They provide a seamless encounter with service on all those ends, care with communication and similar experiences webromming and in person. Omni-channel strategies and internal communication are crucial to making them successful and improving marketing overall.
The website you’re selling your product and services on plays a significant impact in your customer’s journey and experience in marketing. It can be what keeps them or deter them besides the products and messaging and is essential to evaluate. Understanding the flow and what’s working and what isn’t is critical to determining your customers’ best online experience. You want them to hop on and be able to understand and navigate easily. To do this, it’s vital to pick a good website host and design elements that you plan to keep for an extended period. It’s best to avoid making significant changes all the time; instead, it’s wiser just to run small audits and create improvements quarterly. The impact the experience has on a customer is significant and quality is key. Therefore, it’s important to measure elements like the following:
- Tangibles, for example, ease of use, content quality and price.
- Reliability and responsiveness like availability and call-back time.
- Assurance like security and contact with call center.
- Multichannel communication preferences like how it is performing on each channel, even each browser.
- Empathy like privacy and personalization.
Issues in all these areas should be considered in content strategy because it ties with website flow and your user’s response. Your content strategy affects all elements of your marketing efforts. It’s essential to determine your website flow and improve in areas to succeed and keep growing. Optimizely glossary on user flow explains, “collecting data on each step in your user flow will allow you to evaluate how your users navigate through your sales funnel. By their very nature, funnels will shrink at each step, where users drop out. Data will indicate where your funnel is ‘leaky’ (with a large percentage of people dropping out between steps) and might need help.” Solving this wil help optimize your marketing performance and efforts overall for better success.
When negotiating, the goal is to win, win the sale or deal and be the seller’s first choice in who they want to vend to. So let’s think about how to make that happen. According to Harvard Business Journal (HBR), playing nice isn’t always going to close the deal. They made a study comparing two initial messages and they noticed that the ” tougher” messages have a higher response rate, warm notes were more likely to be ignored.
As a marketer, negotiating is important as a leveraging tool and can help you get the best deals with different vendors and new opportunities. With tougher direct language, you will get more response; whether it’s a rejection or we got a deal, it’s better to know and move forward than assume they may have never seen it. Be straightforward and get your responses to negotiate your best deal.
With technologies growing innovations, marketers have access to loads of information. Instead of sending out advertisements with mass messages now, we have many tools to make them customizable. With targeting, we can focus on specific people like retargeting; it allows marketers to target people who already have an interest and have visited their online site; now, they can retarget them and add personal elements. How do they do that?
Every time we use our technology like our phone and internet, our data is being recorded and tracked. So when you shop online, marketers can get information about you, like your demographics and what you looked at while you browsed. In retail, you can use applications like SalesForce to create automated messages and continue the funnel and conversation with your audience. According to Piesync, “This means that if you’re trying to reach out to your audience with generic, impersonal content, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage them and encourage them to stay with you in the long run.”
For example, when you give your email or phone number to an online retailer for, let’s say, a discount code for the items you might buy, you’re giving them the option to personalize and make automated contact with you that they can match for you. This way, they can encourage you down the marketing funnel and get you close to the sale. Maybe you ignore the first one, but then a week later they send a second one, you’re more interested now and might decide to convert with the discount they provided. With automated personalized contacting equipped marketers with a new opportunity to capture and recapture their audience. Piesync further explains, “In a nutshell, marketing personalization means interacting with your audience and customers in a way that feels personal and human, taking into consideration their likes, preferences and interests.”
This resource will continue to progress and help marketers develop the best tactics and strategies for their brands and businesses.
How many times have you hopped off of a site because it became too difficult or frustrating to navigate? The customer needs an easy experience to continue to return and build loyalty. So how does that happen? We create a good customer experience by considering every element and understanding their journey. It’s important to realize that for that to happen, a good user experience and customer experience need to work in tandem with one another to provide those essentials for the customer. User experience (UX) is about their interaction with the product and how they encounter intercommunication.
On the other hand, the customer experience (CX) tackles the whole experience for the consumer by measuring the exposure they have to it and its rating. UX is really a small fish in a big pond that encompasses CX. Both need to be successful to attract customers and build your reputation. Consider constantly implementing and improving your UX and CX experiences for the growth of the company and enhancing client relations. Read more from the digital gov about UX and CX differences.