15 digital marketing experts agreed to share their number one tip when it comes to digital marketing strategy. Their digital marketing experience is very diverse: an international panel of experts with experience ranging from big companies (Alcon, PepsiCo, Accenture, Coty, Upfluence) to boutique consultancies.
Their tips are useful for both business executives of established businesses and fresh entrepreneurs.
The Digital Marketing Experts Panel
Vittoria Gambirasi, Marketing Executive Director | Business Strategy | Digital Transformation | Consumer Communication
Christophe Subilia, Entrepreneur
Lindsay Schmauss, Marketing Director
Julie Collins, Head, US Digital, Alcon Laboratories
Yann Gouvernnec, Digital Transformation, Digital Strategy, Inbound Marketing, Author, and Entrepreneur
Soraya Ben Hadj, Digital Marketing Manager, Axys Consultants
Michael Kewley, Director of Marketing and Stakeholder Relations at Ecolint, the International School of Geneva
Dominika Mokrá, Digital Manager at PepsiCo
Giuseppe Vincenzo Presti, Marketing Director at Coty
Julien Lebreton, Entrepreneur
Nicolas Miachon, CMO @ Upfluence
Sébastien Almiron, Digital Marketing & Strategy Consultant | Keynote Speaker | Lecturer
German Ramirez, Digital and Social Media Pioneer; Strategy Consultant; Expert in Digital Transformation and Innovation; Author; Speaker
Sergio Brotons, Senior Account Director & Digital Consultant
David Drodge, Experienced Marketing, Digital & Social Media professional, leading global growth
Your #1 digital marketing tip you always share with your team at the start of a new project.
The Digital Marketing Experts Answers
1. Vittoria Gambirasi
The most important thing is that digital should not be a standalone unit! It is already time that digital is embedded in the marketing organization. In addition to that marketing and sales should collaborate much more. I am always saying to my customers that the key is the customer/consumer and we should design journeys/experiences around them. Consumer centricity should not just be just a buzzword, this should be really done!
2. Christophe Subilia
Analyze what social networks are needed before putting them in place. When customers contact me to create their digital identity, they usually want to be everywhere: Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Why create a Twitter account if you don’t tweet? My number one tip is to analyze this and choose all social network that will be really used. This way, you can better focus on an effective digital communication strategy.
3. Lindsay Schmauss
My “top tip” is really basic: design to win in a mobile format. 80% of internet users own a smartphone and 70% of the media is consumed via that smartphone. Given the predominance of the format, it amazes me though how poorly much content is designed for smartphone consumption. I always insist on actually reviewing any advertising on my own smartphone and in context before approving it – reviewing advertising on a laptop or (worse!) projected in large format is completely misleading. So that’s my nugget – I hope it helps to improve online advertising quality.
4. Julie Collins
The number 1 tip I always share is my philosophy on building strong digital capabilities: launch, learn, pivot. So many times, teams delay time to market to make things perfect, and they miss having their users/members help them create. Develop an MVP (minimally viable product) and get to market, and use your experiences to continue to build and grow.
5. Yann Gouvernnec
My tip is related to launching UGC (User Generated Content) digital initiatives. My main advice in this area is to do away with the sacrosanct “tone of voice” and the old “command and control” way of doing communications in business.
Businesses that want to succeed in UGC initiatives with their employees must learn how to let go and let people express themselves and mostly praise them for the work they produced, encourage them and guide them and coach them.
It’s perfectly acceptable to tell them, mostly when we are dealing with B2B experts, that you will support them and coach them as best as you can, but don’t tell an expert that you are going to “validate” what he or she will be writing about. They are the experts and you are only there to guide them, and not to tell them what’s right.
6. Soraya Ben Hadj
The very first tip I would give to my internal customers is that they always have to be customer-centric and to listen to the customer’s voice. Social channels give us a huge opportunity to take care of our customers’ needs and to engage with them. It is a no-brainer to activate a social and digital marketing strategy.
7. Michael Kewley
My top tip is that “digital marketing is just marketing”, i.e. you still need to have a proper understanding of the landscape you are operating in, the strengths and weaknesses of your brand, how much you can stretch the brand or get away with, and most importantly your target consumer and the role you or your product/service category play in their lives, the media they consume to find out about the product/category and the context when they are most receptive.
I will never forget working on Bounty kitchen towel when digital marketing was still at the stage of having a website (pre-social media etc.). Everyone clamoured to have a website, only to discover that busy young families (mostly mums) had a million other things to do than surf websites containing irrelevant and boring info about kitchen towel. And yet everyone made the same mistakes when YouTube arrived, and Facebook came along, and Twitter….many people in marketing are unfortunately unable to distance themselves from the 50 hours a week they spend obsessing about a tiny detail and realize that for most consumers, most of the time, most of what we do is really, really unimportant.
Digital has made this problem worse because we can now get in people’s faces (literally) via mobile marketing multiple times per day through multiple media, meaning many brands I believe risk much more through using digital than they stand to gain. Unless they are lucky enough to run a brand which is genuinely indispensable or super cool OR is a real community/social brand (like a school – lucky me!), most digital “push” tools are simply not appropriate!!
8. Dominika Mokrá
If I should choose one thing that I try to remind my colleagues but also to our agencies – it is the need for flexibility in term of optimization. Digital is not about setting up a media plan and following it blindly. It is about testing what works best from platforms, formats, and creatives. Agencies should be ready to adjust the media strategy – at least on weekly basis. With this comes also the need for testing different versions of content (text, creatives, etc.) and targeting, media buying models etc…
9. Giuseppe Vincenzo Presti
I will always go for the risky option on digital. Only by learning how to manage risks we will have the opportunity to innovate in our business.
10. Julien Lebreton
« daily curiosity » => Everyday, even if you are very very busy, keep 10min in your agenda to read articles on LinkedIn and favorite websites (eg: Maddyness, Medium, TheVerge) to follow trends, get new ideas, identify potential partners. This is key to be one step ahead.
11. Nicolas Miachon
Digital marketing channels are swamped with competition so I advise clients to get out of the red ocean and invest their energy into building one very targeted strategy in a single channel. Know your audience: what they’re reading, watching, their commute, and reach them there. Not only will you save money in the ‘blue ocean’, you’ll also experience more success.
12. Sébastien Almiron
My best advice, if I were to give one, is the one by which I advise everyone to start: to know their customers. It is useless to want to address the same message to the whole earth, it will be counterproductive. The best way to communicate is to have the right message for the right customers at the right time.
13. German Ramirez
Digital and Social Media Pioneer; Strategy Consultant; Expert in Digital Transformation and Innovation; Author; Speaker
Digital is not about technology. Digital Technology is a catalyzer of a change in mindset. We are the same humans that make decisions emotionally and rationally the same way. Just digital. – What digitalization has brought us is a change of power. We are more powerful than we have ever been. And we are more aware of it than we have ever been. That’s also why the time where you could buy attention is over. Even paid media needs to be earned. You need to be relevant. Presence only is not enough. You should stop putting the focus on “media” when you think social media. You should focus on “social”.
But maybe the most important tip is that there is no such thing as digital marketing. It is about marketing in a digital world. Therefore, whatever it is you do, you need to reinvent yourself. You don’t sell products and/or services. You are a company that delivers experiences. How is your customer experience?
14. Sergio Brotons
Keep learning, research, try and test, but don’t forget that it’s better done than planned.
15. David Drodge
I recommend internally to always start with the people you are trying to reach. There is a great framework from Forrester called POST. The T is technology and it comes at the end because until you know the People, Objective, and Strategy, you can’t figure out the technology. So whenever someone says we need the <insert> “latest technology” <here>, you need to ask who are the people?