Earlier this week, the Pew Research Center released their most recent study Understanding the Participatory News Consumer, which contained quite a few interesting nuggets for marketers.
First, the Internet now has surpassed newspapers and radio to become the third most popular news platform in the U.S. According to Pew:
The internet and mobile technologies are at the center of the story of how people’s relationship to news is changing. In today’s new multi-platform media environment, news is becoming portable, personalized, and participatory:
- Portable: 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones.
- Personalized: 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them.
- Participatory: 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Now for some of us, this research data didn’t really tell you anything new, just put out some numbers confirming existing suspicions. After all, we live in a world where Google’s Market Cap exceeds that of the venerable GE. And yet, we see everyday that many companies still aren’t placing enough value on their online marketing presence.
Typically, this isn’t by intentionally avoiding the online side, but because, as one client often expresses it to me “We don’t know what we don’t know.” With that in mind, here’s the first of a couple posts on how to make sure you are taking maximum advantage of your online opportunities.
Step 1: Take a Hard and Fair Look at What You Are Doing Now – And How it Fits With Your Overall Marketing Plan
Before you know where you are going, you need to figure out where you are. Take a look at your strengths, what are you doing online now that is working? Where are your areas of improvement? And most importantly, what does this part of your marketing plan look like? This piece is critical, as your Interactive Marketing Plan needs to be integrated with your overall marketing plan.
If you have the internal resources to do this assessment – great. Often, however, that isn’t the case, or you may benefit from an outside set of eyes, brains and experiences (remember “We don’t know what we don’t know?”). For our clients, we have a process called Interactive Shift and typically address the following areas:
- Marketing strategy
- Integration between traditional and interactive marketing strategy and tactics
- Website design
- Website usability
- Website content
- Search engine optimization
- Pay-per-click search engine marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Website analytics
Regardless of if you do it yourself or work with an outside expert, coming out of this first step you should now have a sense of everything you are doing online, your strengths and potential areas for improvement.
Now it’s on to Step 2, which I’ll cover in my next post…