Bricks and mortar startup teams often believe that digital transformation means traditional marketing strategies have outlived themselves. The truth is that technology and digital transformation further emphasizes the need for modern ventures to shift away from building an image of the business as a perfect mechanical system to building a company that resembles a living organism.

Information is irrelevant unless it’s used wisely

Information is widely available and easily accessible to everyone but it’s not enough to just do the research, you have to apply what you’ve learnt in the right way. Applying this information as an instrument of client engagement is the key to creating successful digital and offline strategies.

There is no such thing as useless data, but there is a big knowledge gap in analysis and application of this data to real life situations.

Over the past decade, knowledge sharing and educational marketing have been gaining popularity in the B2B world at an unprecedented speed. One reason for this is that businesses can hardly compete with an effective product and service innovation strategy alone. Building relationships with customers is the key tool to drive sustainable growth.

The key trends in 2019 will continue focusing on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and measuring customer engagement to enhance the seamless omnichannel experience for both B2B and B2C segments. Going forward, data integration and master data management will be the most important digital transformation enablers for any venture.

Desired vs. perceived image of the brand

In today’s world, it is increasingly difficult to communicate to clients as the decision-making process of an individual and a company have more variables and information inputs from a diverse set of channels, such as social media, blogs, personal contact, references etc.

According to Kotler (2017), 8 in every 10 individuals do online research about items before they even visit a physical store. This availability and access to data can make customers more demanding and impatient.

What does this mean for business? Going digital does not mean leaving traditional marketing behind, but effectively incorporating a diverse approach to marketing communication.

What does this mean for a brand? With the increasing consumer agility and internalization of brands through the digital environment, it is time to start making a distinction between the brand identity and brand image. Brand identity is the upstream of the marketing strategy, the idea, and culture that the venture aims to develop.

Brand identity communicates: (a) Who you want to be and (b) Where you want to be, with a unique language and interconnected messages. Brand image, on the other hand, is downstream of the brand identity communication strategy. More specifically, the brand image refers to how your customer perceive the brand, how they read and receive your message and how they relate to your brand. This means that the brand message on the downstream is interpreted differentlyfor each receiver, or potential customer, based on their unique life experience.

Marketing strategy should focus on influencing the interpretation of the brand identity rather than how the message is understood. Digital marketing tools and techniques such as Google Trends, Google Analytics, Facebook Learning tools, and other machine-based learning techniques can make a fundamental difference for the companies that understand this difference. The key, however, is to realize that digital marketing tools are only as effective as the individuals that apply them.