In the Philippines, the digital marketing landscape also saw a sudden boost at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, a few companies have already tapped cloud technologies and other software solutions before the health crisis. However, establishing digital marketing transformation frameworks has grown into an abrupt necessity for every business sector since last year.
88 percent of companies experienced stunned sales last year while the thousands of individuals needed remote working solutions to earn. For the country’s MSMEs and solopreneurs, digital marketing transformation seems like the most productive path towards sustainability and growth.
In 2021, the pandemic changed the way Filipino consumers shop, with 23 percent opting for online cashless transactions. This development encouraged more established businesses and new startups alike to focus on digital transformation strategies.
However, regardless of how great your products or services are, all your efforts might be futile without a complete digital marketing transformation. This guide aims to help those still unfamiliar (and there are many) with the opportunities digital transformation strategies can bring to Philippine businesses.
- Digital marketing transformation in a nutshell
- Building a DMT framework
- Digital marketing transformation in the Philippines
- Leveraging the power of digital marketing transformation
- Final tips to boost your digital marketing transformation
Digital marketing transformation in a nutshell
Being a ‘digital first’ company is not tantamount to undergoing a total overhaul of your traditional marketing practices. In fact, digital marketing often adopts and enhances strategies first seen in traditional marketing playbooks. In other words, everything is crafted from the same marketing skeleton, but we choose to make better skins in order to cater to the evolving markets more effectively.
Today, companies are more synchronized with their target audiences, thanks to digital marketing transformations. They have an improved gauge of the potential customers’ profiles, knowing them on a more personal level so they can adequately tweak their strategies according to the customers’ needs.
These days, for example, the market continues to see a steady increase in mobile consumption among consumers. That means you also have to evolve your marketing efforts to rank high on search pages.
Whether that entails improving the content you present to your target audiences or switching to better online channels for better traffic, marketers should always harvest helpful insights from data.
Building a digital marketing transformation framework
Every business should withstand any disruption by improving how it conducts business. Without a digital marketing transformation framework, you might as well throw in the towel.
Digital marketing strategies allow you to keep your business competitive while decreasing costs and realizing improved productivity. More online users consume a great deal of digital content, with a projected USD 1.8 trillion in sales by 2023. This figure shows how it’s a good idea to start scaling your digital marketing efforts right now.
In building a digital marketing transformation framework, you should always start by reviewing trends. After all, gathering insights into your niche market will make it easier for you to devise strategies and introduce innovations.
Once you have a clear perspective of the state of the market, focus on these three factors that can make your transformation efficient:
1. Guide your organization
By now, you’ve probably experienced bouts of frustration due to how the pandemic disrupted everything about work. Adjusting how you conduct business means mixing a few things up. There is no doubt that digital transformations are central to most of these changes.
Adopting digital solutions for your marketing efforts is the easy part. However, things can get complicated when you and your colleagues are not on the same page about your business goals. Fortunately, you can sort these things out by creating digital roadmaps and culture guidelines they can follow.
Polish your company goals in a way that they position digital marketing transformation strategies as the heart of all your efforts. Discussing its benefits and how these new solutions work can encourage them to create ways they can optimize their functions.
It’s best to think along the lines of increased information-sharing and improved productivity. Most importantly, gather feedback to improve your overall marketing mix further.
2. Ensure a cohesive channel mix for digital marketing
Now that you have established your marketing goals with your team, ensure that your marketing channels are interconnected and consistent. Not optimizing your cross-channel collaborations can be tricky and put a dent in your ROI. The key is maintaining an integrated marketing team that lets the left hand know what the right hand is doing.
However, how traditional marketing marries lead generation and sales can differ slightly from how digital marketing works. Most modern advertisers note that digital marketing is keener on achieving ‘top-of-funnel’ results. This insight means that your team will be measuring a whole new set of values and not just traditional marketing’s usual sales or media ROI figures.
Properly managing your integrated digital channels will tell you which values you should be measuring as key performance indicators (KPIs). Focusing on last-touch attribution in sales performance may only be limited to your paid search results.
Considering the performance of your organic content can help you improve your top-of-funnel objectives and guide more consumers on their purchasing journey. Try to improve your SEO efforts, content management, and social campaigns, among others. Doing so allows you to efficiently manage and grow more loyal customers with better data on hand.
3. Use the best tech for your digital marketing strategies
Choosing the best tech solutions and tools that could best achieve your business goals is crucial in building your digital marketing transformation framework. The first steps in determining which ones you’ll need usually entail creating a data management platform.
You’ll have to define your audiences through various customer points to do this. Having access to data and analytics can help you gain insights into their purchasing behaviors, preferences, and pain points.
Remember that knowing what your target market will eat up on social media makes it easier to create the right content and approach. Of course, better engagement also means strengthened loyalty for your business.
Digital marketing transformation in the Philippines
One important lesson MSMEs learned from the last two years is how essential digital marketing is in times of major disruptions. What remains vital in digital marketing is providing great online experiences while ensuring optimum privacy. Companies need to constantly evolve and mature in their digital marketing framework through first-party data in this day and age.
Cloud-based analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning contribute to more efficient data mining, storing, and segmentation. Because relying on such tools can be a daunting task for most companies, third-party agencies provide these services at costs that companies can scale accordingly.
According to recent studies, businesses that tap services from elite digital marketing agencies enjoy wider reach and website traffic with cost savings of up to 30 percent, and revenue spikes as much as 20 percent. The bottom line is that your marketing efforts can significantly mature provided you have good muscle support from expert agencies.
Understanding Filipinos’ need for digital marketing transformation
If you’re still thinking twice about building a digital marketing transformation framework for your business, then think faster. Social media advertising continues to flourish, and Filipinos can’t get enough of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok. These are the channels that could spell your marketing success considering its 4.7 percent growth in ad spend last year.
On average, each Pinoy online user spends four hours and 15 minutes on social media. That means focusing on digital marketing maturity is best for newer brands looking to raise online presence and awareness on different platforms. Last year, social media ads accounted for 50.2 percent of major sources for brand discovery. That’s because users have gone digital as well– having discovered new brands on search engines, websites, mobile apps, blogs, and vlogs.
Still, in 2020, eCommerce spending in the country surged at a 42.5 percent growth valued at USD 3.55 billion. Save for the hospitality and travel sectors that received the most significant economic blows, more business sectors amplified their digital marketing initiatives for business continuity.
In hindsight, these figures are not surprising considering the difficulties brought about by the health crisis. However, without an established digital marketing infrastructure, companies won’t know how to talk to their customers or understand what they need during these difficult times.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to start. As more businesses rebound from the economic crisis of 2020, more consumers are poised to shift to digital means of purchasing goods. If anything, now is the best time to start preparing for the incoming digital normal.
What are potential challenges in digital marketing in the Philippines?
In every aspect of business, risks are always inevitable. Even if you have established your digital marketing goals, there’s still never a good time to be complacent. One question you’ll always have to ask yourself is: how can I achieve full digital marketing transformation despite the roadblocks?
Among the most common hurdles you’ll come across in creating your digital marketing transformation framework and how to address them are:
Companies who strike gold in their digital marketing efforts tend to be complacent and rely on existing data. Remember that consumer behavior constantly changes as fast as digital marketing tools and algorithms do.
Keep yourself updated on the latest tech and economic developments that will help you develop valuable insights way ahead of the competition.
Digital marketing works wonders in gathering data, but some companies forget that standards are in place that require compliance.
For example, you opt to use custom audience features on social media. Make sure your digital marketing partner possesses strong data analytics knowledge and capabilities. While you’re at it, ensure that they are compliant with established data-gathering rules.
The mindset that “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks” is an ‘Error 404: Not Found’ prompt in digital marketing. Building a digital marketing transformation framework in the Philippines requires you to keep an open mind. That means you might have to shun a few traditional ideas you’re holding up inside.
Good examples of keeping an open mind may range from conceptualizing ads, composing your mailers, or conducting telemarketing activities. Always be aware of ad policies and community guidelines to offer better online experiences to your audiences.
Then throw in the new tech and strategies that come with it, and you’ll find yourself measuring new pros and cons for more contemporary sets of values.
4. Company politics
Company politics has been around since the time of Caesar and might never be scratched off any risk list. As mentioned earlier, making more concrete company values and digital roadmaps can help turn everyone’s head towards one clear picture.
Ensure that everyone knows their role in achieving digital marketing objectives. Shifting to digital solutions also means tracking how your workforce is either motivated or intimidated by them. Doing so will allow you to strategize a better way you manage your team.
5. Low digital knowledge and talent
Choosing the wrong members for your digital marketing team can directly affect your business. While most marketing tools and platforms are usually user-friendly, having a good grasp of various software is necessary.
Filipinos are very tech-savvy individuals, with around 73 percent knowing how the fundamentals of the internet works. Hire fresh talents who are well-versed in new technologies and Philippine digital marketing trends. More importantly, constantly train them as more tech develops to avoid complacency.
Customers won’t know how your digital marketing efforts work. They will always resort to the most convenient means to engage with you. Since that’s the case, you’ll need to align all your marketing channels.
Keep everyone in your advertising, communications, content, digital, public relations, SEO, social, and web teams in the loop. There are always great ways to establish efficient collaborations that can offer your customers better services which translates to increased sales.
7. Tech fatigue
Elite third-party digital marketing agencies can offer integrated legacy solutions for a fraction of the price larger companies pay. Most agencies provide pay-as-you-go packages so MSMEs can scale their digital expenses according to the influx of revenue.
Purchasing replacement software, tools, and equipment can break the company bank. The good thing is that most digital marketing partners usually spare you from constant upgrades, maintenance, and storage. Look for ones you can reach for IT support 24/7 and are ready to help whether you plan to scale your business up or down.
Leveraging the power of digital marketing transformation
Digital marketing transformations in the Philippines continue to break into the mainstream rapidly. However, there are still some companies that rely on traditional media channels. However, all that has changed since the onslaught of the pandemic to businesses. Today, 78 percent of Philippine companies have adopted some degree of digital transformation.
If you want to boost your business presence online, here are the top five strategies in today’s local market:
1. Website Optimization
This strategy involves improving your landing pages for the best user experience you can offer. Optimized websites rank higher on search engine results pages, increase traffic to landing pages, and lead to higher conversions.
Among the familiar elements optimized for websites are site speed, content keywords, title tags, URL and outbound links, and click-through rate.
2. Search Engine Optimization
One of the most common strategies used by modern marketers is SEO. This detailed plan focuses on achieving higher SERP rankings. This strategy covers most of what you need to perform efficient digital marketing, from technical optimization and content management to providing users with a great online experience.
3. Content Marketing
As you may have noticed by now, various digital marketing strategies are interconnected. Content marketing also requires SEO and website optimization solutions to work wonders for your online traffic and search rankings.
However, the main objective of a content marketing strategy is to produce and publish content that is valuable and appealing to your target audience. Providing relevant and consistent articles that address your customers’ pain points can attract, retain, and convert.
4. Paid Search
Applying this strategy requires more funding than others. It entails signing up to Google Ads, so your content shows on its SERPs for better visibility among users.
Paid search works on a pay-per-click model, meaning the frequency of user clicks on your ad determines how much you have to pay Google. However, on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand impressions determine your ad costs.
5. Email Marketing
It’s probably about time to reveal the secret of how email marketing works best for Philippine companies in terms of ROI. With a 38-fold projection or an average of USD 38 for every one dollar spent, it presents the highest ROI among all the strategies on this list.
However, the challenge lies in how well you manage your content and entice better engagement. If you send mediocre mailers that only have selling in mind, your efforts might fall on blind eyes.
Final tips to boost your Digital Marketing Transformation
It’s never easy to start your digital marketing transformation from scratch. Rest assured, though, that its promise of higher revenue can be as endless as a stream once it’s up and running.
The most important takeaways you can get from everything we’ve discussed are the following:
- Harness first-party data for better customer insights and lifetime value;
- Integrate your data sources into one platform to avoid silos; and
- Foster cross-channel collaboration among your team members.
Ensuring these three are accomplished allows you to adapt to a more agile DMT framework. Most of all, it will give you the organizational muscle you need to meet your business goals for the long haul.
Learn more about how Eight Media can help you scale your digital marketing transformation framework today!