The November edition of our Bank & Brews virtual workshop series was all about Digital Marketing in the era of COVID-19 and beyond. The workshop was led by Gordon Law, President of Swimming Duck, a marketing agency based out of Dallas. Gordon is also a professor at SMU where he teaches marketing and digital media. He has over 40 years of marketing and advertising experience and is a great friend of Extraco Banks. We were thrilled to have him lead our final virtual workshop of 2020.
Here’s what Gordon had to share:
In 2019, the average adult spent around six and a half hours on digital devices per day, whereas television made up around three and a half hours per day. The opportunity of digital advertising for small to medium businesses should not and cannot be ignored in the modern age. For the first time, digital ad spending exceeded traditional advertising spending in the United States in 2019. Over 66% of digital ad spend was focused on mobile users.
Digital Marketing Fundamentals
Paid, Owned & Earned Marketing
Paid advertising includes any marketing that will be purchased including print, television, radio, magazines, direct mail, paid search, and more. Owned marketing or media includes brochures in your location, retail stores, company websites, social media pages, and mobile apps. Earned marketing includes word of mouth, Twitter, Youtube, blogs, and more. The ultimate goal is for paid advertising to transform strangers into customers who interact with your owned advertising. These customers will hopefully become fans who provide your company with earned advertising. Feeling confused? Keep reading.
The digital age has transformed the model of Paid, Owned, and Earned advertising. Paid advertising is meant to inspire someone to take action. Ultimately, we want potential customers to become actual customers who interact with our stores, website, email, and more. The goal should be to inspire, activate, and amplify your customer base.
The Purchase Process
Gordon recommends every business to establish a purchase process for their customers. By identifying your paid, owned, and earned opportunities, you will be able to understand how your customers will encounter your business, products, or services.
There are five main steps in the purchase process. For each of these steps, it is important to determine what opportunities are available in the paid, owned, and earned advertising categories.
- Awareness - A potential customer has a problem or need and they are aware of what product or service will help them. (Note: this does not mean an awareness of your business, only an awareness of the need for a product or service that your business may be able to offer)
- Consideration - The potential customer has established their need for a service or product and they begin to assess what options are available to solve their problem. This is where the customer considers your business as their choice to fill that need.
- Trial/Purchase - At this point in the process, the potential customer becomes a paying customer. They've decided to use your specific business because it suits their needs. (Example: they eat at a specific restaurant, select a certain realtor, choose a doctor, etc.)
- Loyalty - Once the customer has experienced your product or service, they then assess if the experience was good enough for them to return to the business. If they do intend on returning to your business, you have now gained their loyalty.
- Evangelism - If the customer has had an exceptional experience and is loyal to your brand, they then become a walking advertisement for you. They will hopefully then encourage their friends and family to become patrons of your business through recommendations or referrals.
Once you’ve walked through a purchase process model for your business, Gordon advises business owners to zero-in on the consideration step. This is where your business will need to stand out to the potential customer and where paid digital media will come into play.
Gordon encourages his clients to use the Digital Media Pyramid. There are four layers to the pyramid:
First Level (the base): Before a business can advance their digital marketing, it needs to have online profiles. If you have a brick and mortar location that consumers can physically go to, your business should be actively managing profiles where consumers can leave you ratings or reviews. Active management is critical to keep information about your business up-to-date as well as respond to any public ratings or reviews. (Example: Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare)
Second Level: Now you should be managing destination sites for your business. This includes your website, social media pages, and blog. A landing place for potential customers is necessary to put them on a journey that leads to your business. By having destination sites, you can generate nearly unlimited page views using paid advertising.
Third Level: Once you have your online profiles and destination operating, use paid marketing to stand out amongst your competitors. Paid search (search engine marketing or SEM) will help consumers find your business early on in their search for a solution to their need or problem.
- SEO (search engine optimization): driving your website to the top of the page of Google (or other) search results by making changes to your site
- SEM (search engine marketing): buying ads on search to drive people to your website
Fourth Level: The top of the pyramid leads businesses to partake in additional paid advertising opportunities like display ads and paid social.
How to Get Started
First, you need to assess where your business is now. Ask yourself: Where is my business now? Where is my business coming from? Who is buying from me and who is buying from my competitors?
You can take a deep dive into these questions by using the following methods:
- Brand Development Analysis - % of sales divided by the percent of population by geography
- Focus your brick and mortar marketing on the zip codes where you are not getting as much business from .
- Target Analysis - define your target demographics, media usage of that audience, and more about their lifestyle/opinions/attitude.
- Use this type of analysis to create a "persona profile" of your target audience.
If You Need Help
If you feel overwhelmed by beginning your own grassroots digital marketing journey, an agency may be a great option. Bringing in experts to catapult you into the digital marketing world is a great investment especially if you are just beginning or have not previously done any digital marketing.
We'd like to thank Gordon Law for his incredible Bank & Brews workshop. We highly recommend watching the recap video to learn even more about how your business can enter the digital marketing space.
About Extraco Banks®
Extraco Banks and its affiliate companies are dedicated to building people, businesses and communities. Since the Great Recession, Extraco has extended over $2.5 billion in loans to 25,000 customers, while financially supporting over 1,275 community organizations working to create economic vibrancy, job growth and overall quality of life to our communities across central Texas. Founded as a cotton warehousing company, Extraco, at $1.4 billion in assets, is the largest and most comprehensive locally owned bank between Dallas and Austin, serving over 120,000 customers’ banking, mortgage, insurance and wealth & trust needs with creative and innovative excellence. Learn more at: https://www.extracobanks.com/.