The State of Marketing in E-commerce

By Erik Huberman, CEO of Hawke Media

Marketing is traditionally a moving target. With the goal being to grab attention and focus action, successful marketers are forced to be ever changing so as not to become cliché and therefor fade into obscurity.

This has become exponentially challenging in the digital age. Much has changed in even the past year as far as marketing goes, especially when it comes to ecommerce. The key is discovering scalable marketing tools, and trying not to get too focused on “quick bumps.”

Lower Your Emphasis on Social Media

Your Social Media accounts are important. It is a way to communicate with your fans and help reinforce your brand messaging and lifestyle. This should be executed by someone who really understands your brand’s persona and can create your voice in a way that your fans and customers feel as if they are speaking to your brand as a person, not a corporation.

The truth is this can be done by an intern.

Social Media Content is no longer a great way to gain new customers; it is just a good place to speak to your current ones. Understanding this will allow you to have social media covered and focus on channels that will grow your business.

Marketing Channels Are Not Vacuums

There has been more and more of a drive to attribute every conversion to the marketing dollars spent. Remember, direct attribution is a much more recent ability in the marketing world and did not exist in the past. Making marketing decisions based on getting your message and brand to your target audience is still important, even when it can’t be tracked.

Many ecommerce companies have crumbled because they miss great marketing practices by being stuck on the direct response and attribution of that marketing channel.

It is important to watch the data that is available, but make sure to understand that in marketing, every channel builds off of each other, and not everything is about a direct response.

“Email Blast” Should Be Removed From Your Vocabulary

And replaced with “Triggered Emails.” There are now plenty of amazing email service providers that allow you to base your email sends on behaviors and actions taken by your customers.

You should no longer be sending “batch and blast” emails where everyone gets the same message. You need to be sending emails based on what someone purchases, what they don’t, which emails they open, which emails they don’t, how long they have been a customer, how much they’ve spent, and any other data you can collect and create campaigns for.

The most valuable thing here is you can make your customer feel like you are talking to them specifically, at any scale, and the more you scale, the more granular you can get.

Facebook Direct Response Works

As surprising as it is for a mainstream channel to work, Facebook advertising directly to your ecommerce store will get you customers. There are many specific strategies to make it work properly, such as custom audiences and look-alike targeting, but the key take away is that this channel works, and is completely scalable.

The majority of the country is still on Facebook and you can target in such a way that you can hit your exact customer, while remaining very cost effective.

Influencers Have Replaced Celebrities

The amount of web influencers is astronomical, but what is even greater than their numbers is their influence. Celebrities have traditionally been great in driving eyes to a brand and increasing sales.

With the rise of web influencers, I have seen an incredible engagement from their followers. In the past year I have seen a celebrity with 200,000 followers send 4 sales to the same site that a blogger with 200 followers sent over 1000. This is no exaggeration; the power of digital influencers when it comes to driving e-commerce sales is unparalleled. They also assist with SEO, external validation, customer education and much more.

Plus, you can still see a direct attribution using proper tracking.

In addition to all of these benefits, the fact that there are many more web influencers than “celebrities” and that usually they are much easier to cut a deal with, influencer marketing is a much more scalable channel than traditional endorsement deals.

Marketing is Forever Changing

As you read this, it is safe to assume someone is already working on the next huge marketing channel. The key with marketing is to be quick to act, take calculated risks and always focus on campaigns and tests that you can build off of. Many marketers get stuck going for big hits, but nothing is learned through that method, and a long-term business model is not created.

Find scalable and consistent marketing solutions for your business and you will reap the benefits.

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