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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Mar 2009

MARKETING: Digital Marketing The Place To Be


Recent Western Cape Business News

According to new research, online marketing is set to grow despite the global recession. The latest study from Forrester Research, one of the leading researchers internationally on online trends, shows enterprises will increase their focus on online marketing in 2009 and build on the collective growth and adoption of social media sites and consumer interaction.

Social technology adoption increased tremendously in 2008, according to the research, and by end of 2009, more than 85% of US online consumers, for example, will be reading or interacting with social content.

According to Dave Duarte, Director of the Nomadic Marketing course on online and mobile marketing techniques at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) this March, with the storm clouds of the global recession gathered over South Africa and many businesses being more cautious about where they spend their money, businesses need to begin to integrate social applications with traditional marketing campaigns and revise campaigns based on social feedback.

“As budgets tighten, the challenge for companies in South Africa is to get the most for each marketing rand spent. From the global trends in marketing over the last twelve months, digital marketing solutions (online and via mobile phones) are coming into their own as marketers’ channels of choice due to their growing stature as solutions that work extremely well and save money at the same time,” he said.

Duarte’s course at the UCT GSB is a unique digital marketing course offered by a leading South African business school and he said he expects greater interest from local companies as belts are tightened.

According to Duarte, the UCT GSB programme has been designed around three key take-outs, outlined under the general headings: tools and technologies; management and optimisation; and strategy. It also features prominent industry players such as Saatchi and Saatchi's Allan Kent and Cherryflava's Jon Cherry.

“The tools section outlines the concepts and uses of specific tools, while the management and optimisation component of the course will cover issues like search engine optimisation (SEO); online reputation management; aggregators; and tracking and statistics, to enable marketers to measure and manage the progress of their campaigns effectively,” he said.

The strategy section, he added, will teach delegates how to build a culture of participation within their organisations, how to integrate new tools with other elements of the marketing mix, how to understand the concept of "attention economics” and, above all, how all these various parts can feed into one strategic campaign.

He explained that there are several major benefits for businesses that employ digital marketing.

“Most digital channels are two-way and immediate, and can lead to a higher return on investment. Secondly, it's easier to track the results of digital marketing, with simple analytics tools, or pay-for-performance pricing on many channels such as on Google (you only pay when your ad is clicked on by a user). Thirdly, well executed digital campaigns gather momentum and can become marketing assets. Fourthly, digital campaigns can simultaneously inform consumers, while gathering insight about them – social media is a market research opportunity the likes of which most companies would never be able to afford, particularly in a recession,” he said.

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