In response to disruptive marketing methods and the ever-evolving digital environment, tons of digital, online, or e-marketing models have emerged in just the last few years.
Here we’re going to discuss the fundamentals of the most popular models and how they work.
You will get to see examples of how you can integrate the 7 ‘C’s of marketing effectively in any digital marketing model you use in your own business.
A marketing model is a useful framework to help you laser-focus your planning. It’s also a strong mechanism that enables your business to develop powerful marketing plans that will stand the test of time.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the 7 ‘C’s of digital marketing. and you will discover the frameworks and tools that you need to conduct digital audits, planning, strategy, and much more.
7 ‘C’s’ of Digital Marketing
Designed for the modern economy, these provide a useful framework for any marketers who want to assess the digital marketing landscape not only from an internal standpoint but also an external perspective.
Let’s consider the different elements of online marketing frameworks.
These can be internal, used for reviewing a business’s website as well as its related marketing communications, including how they’re managed. Alternatively, it could be utilized as an external audit tool to keep an eye on competitors’ activities.
With each of these, simply place the customer in the center, then review each element to see if it meets the customer’s needs well.
So what are the 7 C’s?
6. Creative Content
Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail.
Any marketing model in any marketing context needs to have the customer located right at the center of it.
The Internet offers marketers vast opportunities for extremely targeted marketing, and this element needs to consider the depth with which the business knows of customers.
- Do you have well-developed customer personas?
- When did you last collect insights from any of your customers?
I’ve written a lot of posts on my blog about how to create personas, and you’ll even find information there pertaining to mapping the customer journey across the web, email, social media, etc.
If your prospects and customers can’t find you online – although your position might be strong now, with the rate of change in the online world, you won’t be able to ensure your future survival, let alone success.
Customer behavior is dramatically changing, and these days they expect fast, transparent communication at every stage of your sales process.
New behaviors emerge every day, and your job as a marketer is to recognize these behaviors and adapt your business and its technology, strategy, etc. to support them. But, it can be extremely difficult trying to ‘sell everything to everybody’, and that’s why you need enhanced targeting in your online marketing efforts.
This means that it’s vital for you to understand your customer, their needs, shopping behavior, delivery requirements, and the online communities they belong to.
Basically, you need to be extremely knowledgeable about any and every single thing in the online environment that has to do with your customer.
In recent years, power has shifted steadily from the retailers to consumers thanks to their ability to shop anytime from anywhere.
This convenience for consumers comes thanks to the advancements of technology which allow them to now shop on their mobiles and tablets while waiting for meetings to start, on the train or bus, while commuting to and from work, and so on.
This element of convenience, however, involves a lot of factors that are part of a website’s online value proposition as a whole:
- Quick access for shopping on different devices, such as using adaptive or responsive websites.
- Easy recall of all previous orders, storing previous data so if a customize in a hurry to make a purchase, they can simply repeat any of the earlier orders.
- A simple acknowledgment of order, with details regarding when it’s going to arrive.
Although this is a little different depending on whether you’re dealing with B2B or B2C, the basic idea is the same.
Technology offers competitors and new marketers an opportunity to be disruptive in an environment where changes take place virtually overnight, and it’s not always easy (or even possible) to predict what the next step will be.
For instance, consider the fact that the five biggest companies in the world didn’t even exist just two decades ago:
- Ali Baba
And now we have new investors using new platforms for investment:
While big businesses harness crowds for ideas:
- Online tools (BrightIdea.com and IdeaScale.com)
- Walkers Crisps (Facebook)
- To mention but a few…
And while all this is happening, price comparison websites are giving consumers more knowledge than ever before – knowledge that is often shared among competitors.
As you well know, when it comes to technology, there are no boundaries because products can be ordered from any website, anytime.
Technology has also changed the route to market, and there are now a lot more options with regards to digital marketing strategies:
Single Channel Strategy
This involves marketing through one channel. A good example of this is Firebox.com.
Channel Migration Strategy
This is where you operate on one channel and persuades customers to use a different one.
For example, Marks & Spencer’s online exclusive.
Integrated Multichannel Strategies
This is where you adapt multi-modal channels that some customers demand for different forms of products. An example would be a shop that sells in-store, online, and on mobile.
This is where you remove intermediaries or ‘cut out the middleman’, so to speak.
For example, any online pure-play that offers direct sales without the need for retail distribution, such as Lulu Self-Publishing.
New intermediaries online create comparison sites which provide the interface between sellers and customers.
For example, travel sites like Trip Advisor.
This is where you create, buy, or even partner with publishers, comparison sites, and other online intermediaries.
An example of this is Amazon’s recent acquisition of the influential movie review app IMDb.
Once you know which of your competitors are using which strategies, you’re in a better position to make well-informed decisions to enhance your own marketing strategy.
Arguably, the greatest change digital media has brought is the new methods of inbound marketing, including organic search engine optimization, social media, and so on.
Here, we’ve experienced a massive evolution of communication into new types of inbound marketing.
Where social media is concerned, we see a two-way dialogue as well as a multiparty dialogue, rather than the previous one-way method of communication.
For most businesses, this presents a significant loss of control where other people online control their message (and this message might be inaccurate or even libelous when it comes from others).
Also, the nature of, and the skills required in copywriting have changed and now there is a need for sharp, to-the-point posts, as opposed to pages of brochures covered by elegant prose.
The best way for you to evaluate your online communications is through a content audit.
Use this to highlight the following:
- Format and types of communication delivered
- Key messages
- Tone of voice
- Potential gaps or pitfalls in your content
You can also apply this to your competitors to evaluate their communications.
This element is simple enough to understand. It’s all about being able to deliver the same service regardless of which channel you’re using.
From your blog to email to social media and beyond, you need to maintain consistency across all channels.
Whether you offer customer service through social media, email, over the phone, or online chat, you also need to set and apply the same standards and levels regarding your service in each of those channels.
6. Creative Content
A lot of bloggers and online marketers don’t update content on their websites on a frequent basis.
But with the evolution of Google’s algorithms, it’s now more important than ever to ensure that you update your content regularly if you want to stay visible online.
Although customers these days will seek additional informational resources on other platforms such as social media, YouTube, and so on, the main source of your business’s information should always be through your own website.
Make sure you take care of that first, and once that’s done, you can then start to look outward to the many review sites, review plug-ins, and other platforms which capture feedback from customers who bought your products.
This is a great way of converting hesitant customers and boosting customer loyalty, provided you arewilling and able to take care of all issues that arise in a quick, and professional manner.
Other types of creative content you can leverage include formats like video, infographics, downloadable guides, and so on.
A lot of sites these days have customized web experiences. The best-known example of this is Amazon.
It welcomes you back to the website, makes recommendations based on what’s new, suggests various other items that you can buy which are inspired by (according to them) your own shopping trends, and so on.
The advent of technology that’s easier to use has facilitated greater personalization. As marketers, we have a lot of data available to us to help us in this regard.
And you can customize the experience for your visitors without sounding scary by carefully wording your recommendation list, acknowledging that it’s evidence-based, but without sounding ‘stalkerish’.
Kind of like how Amazon does it!
Bonus ‘C’: Coordination
Imagine selling a product to a customer, and then a few days later sending a request for them to view your product online.
Only it turns out that the customer hasn’t received the product yet! There is no way to look more incompetent in your customer’s eyes than that!
Coordination is vital in your business. But I suppose a better term would be integration – making sure that from that first click to the final delivery, and even beyond, the customer experience is well-coordinated through multichannel service.
Whether you have a team or you’re working on your blog alone, it’s important to ensure that everything is integrated and there is coordination.
You need to have a full understanding of the fulfillment processes and you should also test your process to make sure it works properly.
The Bottom Line
As with everything else that you do in your online marketing activities, you need to test and measure all your efforts so you can see what’s working and what’s not working.
Most marketers just like to proceed on their gut feelings with regards to what they should do or not do to build and grow their blog.
But the few marketers who truly succeed online understand that measuring and tracking bring greater insight, which allows you to not only see what’s working and what’s not working but also to be able to do more of the things that work well and stop wasting your time on those activities that don’t bring results.
Google Analytics is a free, yet extremely effective platform that will allow you to become better as a marketer through measuring your efforts, testing new ideas, and generating higher interactions and conversions.
All of this translates to more sales and increased revenue.
Who doesn’t want that?
So if you haven’t already, make Google Analytics your new best friend, learn everything you have to know about the key performance indicators (KPI’s) you need to be tracking in your particular business.
Set goals and start to improve your marketing strategies so you can begin to see explosive results.
You may notice a bit of duplication in certain areas, such as creative content and communications.
In your business, you might embed creative content within your communications, and so on.
This is nothing to worry about. It’s something that happens a lot in digital marketing.
Don’t overthink it!
Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!
Updated: Originally published June 28th 2019