How COVID-19 Lends Credence to Relevance of Digital Marketing, How to tame Monster – Gbenga Sogbaike
The significance of embracing digital marketing has been brought to fore as one of the most critical media vehicles for business and brands to stay relevant now and in the post-pandemic era.
This assertion was made by Gbenga Sogbaike, the CEO, Plaqad during a live Instagram session with BrandCrunch recently where he also alluded to how to control or prevent a digital campaign from going awry and how to save such campaign.
Speaking on the theme: “How to Galvanizing Business through Digital Post Covid-19 Era”, Sogbaike affirmed that the business model has changed from the traditional media to digital media while highlighting that it is in the best interest of businesses to get required digital skills or expertise to stay relevant as we progress into the post-COVID-19 era.
According to him, “one of the most exciting things about digital technology is its ability to reach a large audience, it is not limited by time and space. It gives brands the opportunity to reach a large number of customers beyond the shores of the country online in real-time. It does not any longer make sense for anyone or marketers to ignore such vast opportunities for brands and organisations.”
For Gbenga, people and organisations will be doing a lot of harm to their business if they still doubt the importance of digital marketing in this dispensation.
“I see no reason why anyone should be skeptical about digital technology; it’s where the world is going. We thought CMOs would disrupt marketing but COVID-19 has disrupted it. Now, brands that still do traditional media now leverage digital technology to pivot”
He added that digital marketing becomes a viable way for brands to reach larger audience who are online or hooked on social media during the pandemic because people now spend more time online. He reckons that instead of business cutting back on marketing budgets, they should rather channel the same to digital marketing in a bid to achieve set goals.
According to the Plaqad CEO, digital marketing as a genre of marketing is very broad and it includes but not limited to – Influencer Marketing, Content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and others, adding that there is a place for everyone to operate while they choose and acquire relevant skills.
“Influencer marketing as a part of digital marketing is an advanced form of the age-old mouth-to-mouth marketing, very effective in reaching a large number of people online”, he declared.
To buttress this, he quoted a research study which shows that 60% of people claimed that buy something because an influencer recommended it.
While digital marketing may have further proved its potency during this on-going pandemic, Gbenga said that digital marketing remains a potent channel that businesses have been exploring before the pandemic. To underscore the veracity of this claim, he recalls that in 2019 Amazon reported having made 8 billion dollars through digital advertising.
“Irrespective of what happens, digital marketing has come to stay” he declared. He, however, said traditional media is not totally obsolete as traditional media also commands credibility for brands, but said that it may be better some brands to combine both depending on the target audience to be reached.
Traditional media are still relevant in terms of confirming credibility because some people are still bent on getting information on different things they care about from the traditional media and some brands want to be in the national newspapers to gain credibility. Suffice to say it’s not as effective as it used to be. Hence, “if you are looking at it in terms of reach, effectiveness, measurement, traditional media does not offer much. You can practically launch a new product and do whatever you need to do with the product without using traditional media. From the blogs, to the social media pages, to influencers, sponsoring digital ads, you can run the entire business on digital platform, he further explained.
“Marketing is about choice of the audience you want to communicate with. Nigeria has large population of young people and they use digital more, if you want to reach them, you need to explore digital marketing” he said.
In the interactive session moderated by O’Lekan Babatunde, the guest projected that digital media will take the lion share of advertising budget in future because that is where the consumers are drifting towards and the ability for brands and business to measure and track their progress using digital tools ensure clients are assured of on-line real performance tracking with their eyes on the dashboard always.
Though digital media may be effective in reaching the target audience within a short period of time and to influence their decision, the channel also remains delicate and vulnerable for brands to lose trust and confidence of the people when a campaign goes awry.
According to Gbenga, “consumers interpret things differently” which could make a campaign go south. When this happens, “it is best to pause, evaluate and check the point at which the campaign took that bad turn”. The good thing is that every campaign can be salvaged. You can always restart your campaign. So when that happens, pause the campaign, re-evaluate it – the people, objectives, strategy and its execution as any of them could be responsible for the failure, he explained.
The important thing is you must consult your team of experts, protect your brand but should not come across as abandoning the influencer or ambassador just in case the crisis arose from mere a falsehood. So do not be in haste to dissociate your brand or release a statement. It important, however, to consult all stakeholders to determine the position the company wants to take.