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PR Smith: “The digital transformation is about people first and technology second!”

The digital transformation is not just a threat for companies, it is also a challenge. But you need to be flexible and your plan has to be too. The SOSTAC® Planning Method can be a big support. It is logic, simple an crystal clear. PR Smith, the developer and designer of this method, will give the unique masterclass 'The guide to your perfect digital marketing plan' on Friday November, 25th at Beeckestijn Business School in Leusden. This is part two of an exclusive interview. You can find part one here.

What is in your opinion the difference between a digital marketing plan and a social media plan?

“Social media can be used for different purposes and objectives. To spread awareness, engage and nurture relationships, help and solve problems with social CRM and even run a business. See my Ladder Of Engagement which encourages customers to engage at the lowest level: like, share or comment. Furthermore social can be used to join in a conversation, to suggest improvements, to create the next ad or even just a strap line. And even to create new products. Less than 10% will engage at the lowest levels and perhaps 1% will engage at the highest level. If you only use social media for communications, then social media is just one of 10 tactical communications tools, which will appear in the tactics section (see The Tactical Matrix – Choosing Which Tool – Owned, Earned or Paid Media).”

How can a digital marketing plan connect with a traditional marketing plan and strategy?

“Soon we won’t use the word ‘digital’ anymore. It will just be good old ‘marketing’ once again. Right now ‘integrated digital marketing plans’ or ‘integrated marketing plans’ are preferred. Each of the 10 offline communications tools, like advertising, PR and sponsorship should be everaged, where possible, and used online in some way. The same applies to the 10 digital communications tools – see how they might be used offline – whether its artwork, or an offer, et cetera. For example, if you buy a product online. When it’s delivered, why not add the URL to the YouTube demonstration video in the packaging?”

PR Smith

As a consultant you get to see the inside of a lot of different companies. Perhaps you can share some of your observations and insights:

  • Which big trends do you see with respect to the development of digital marketing?

“Marketing automation, augmented reality, virtual reality coming at us outside of a screen, and bots. You see lots of intelligent bots: marriage counselling bots, openra bots, shopping bots, wedding bots. See ‘Here come the clever bots’. And of course Big Data is going to get bigger.”

  • In trying to get to most out of the digital marketing activities a company displays, what is the first thing a marketeer should do, check and try?

“Split testing and A/B testing, followed by multi-channel funnel analysis, followed by usability testing.”

  • What are the most important skills a marketeer should master to be a succesful digital marketeer?

“Analytics and understanding the buying journey and the lifetime journey of customers. Plus creative thinking and strategic alliances. See Measuring The Effectiveness Of Content Marketing for clever use of analytics.”

If you take an average marketing department into consideration, what can they do to improve? And what should they do first and why?

“Identify the customer lifetime journey, identify which communication tools are best for which stage. Continually think creatively re-adding value via digital. Make more informed decisions based on analytics.”

What is in your opinion the biggest challenge companies face while discussing ‘digital transformation’? And what should companies do now and immediately to successfully cope with that?

“Get top down, CEO and C-Suite. And bottom up support, by identifying digital evangelists. It’s about people first and technology second. Write a 2-3 year plan, using SOSTAC® or whatever planning model you prefer. But stick to the model to ensure consistency and easily aggregate-able, when bringing department plans, country plans or region plans together.”

What can and should every digital marketer improve, first thing starting tomorrow?

“Split testing, not only to optimise results but to learn about what customers respond to and what motivates them.”

What are the biggest mistakes you have seen made this year in the area of digital marketing?

“Mistake one. Thinking digital is transformation……. Thinking the digital transformation is all about ramping up your digital efforts. It’s not! As Gerry McGovern says: ‘Digital is the transformation agent, not the transformation.’”

“Mistake two. Old model organizations sitting on the sidelines thinking that if they just digitize by buying more technology are so sadly out-of-touch. It is the old organizational model, hierarchical and controlling the mindset, that must be transformed. Also a quote from Gerry McGovern this year.”

“Mistake three. Anyone who is how to align his IT to his business strategy, is in trouble. Because it’s not about alignment. It’s about helping the customer experience and helping the staff to do a better job.”

“Mistake four. Treating the digital transformation as an IT issue. The digital transformation fails when it is treated as an IT issue. Because it’s not. Its biggest challenge is the human issue. 90% is human, just 10% is technology.”


On November, 25th you give an exclusive workshop at Beeckestijn Business School. What can people expect during that session? What are the main lessons you will give that day?

“How to write the perfect integrated digital marketing plan. How to get new customer insights, mostly for free, answering ‘who, why and how’. 20 ways to build credibility and establish trust with your customers online. 10 ways to convert more visitors to customers. 5 ways to convert more customers into lifetime customers. And finally, the classic mistakes to avoid.”

PR Smith geeft op vrijdag 25 november 2016 geeft een unieke masterclass 'The guide to your perfect digital marketing plan' bij Beeckestijn Business School rondom het SOSTAC®-model. Dit is wereldwijd een populair marketingmodel dat je eenvoudig kunt gebruiken om verschillende activiteiten op het terrein van digitale marketing te plannen en structureren. Bij zowel het maken van overall strategieën als bij het optimaliseren van verschillende digitale middelen zoals SEO en e-mailmarketing kun je het model eenvoudig en doeltreffend inzetten.Deelnemers aan de clinic ontvangen ook het handboek en het werkboek die horen bij de methodiek, ‘SOSTAC ® - The Guide to your Perfect Marketing Plan”.

Tijdens 'Digital Marketing & Social Strategy in 1 Day' verzorgt PR Smith een keynote. Dit bijzondere evenement op het gebied van de digitale transitie vindt op donderdag 24 november 2016 plaats in ’t Spant in Bussum. Tal van toonaangevende sprekers uit verscheidene landen en sectoren wijzen jou die dag aan de hand van praktijkvoorbeelden de weg naar succes in een voortdurend veranderende maatschappij.

Bron: CustomerTalk
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