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Why CEOs Need to Focus on Digital Marketing in 2021

Anna Burgess Yang

Despite the challenges of 2020, businesses are entering 2021 focused on growth. Most CEOs are ready to make up for the lost business and lost attention of the past year.

"What has worked in the past" is not going to be enough in 2021 and beyond. There has been a critical shift in how we live and work. Potential customers for your business may not exist in the same places, but there is one place they can always be reached: online.

In order to find customers and make them find your business, the strategy needs to center around digital marketing.

A marketing strategy that embraces digital marketing will draw in more customers and have better ROI. Even with continued uncertainly, there is one thing known about where customers can be found: online.

Why Focus on Digital Marketing?

You want customers to not only find you but convert into paying for your products or services. Digital marketing levels the playing field by allowing you to appear in the same space as your competitors. Not only that, but it gives you the opportunity to find customers that you didn't even know existed.

In a world driven by personalization, digital marketing allows you to laser-focus your efforts and interact with potential customers. There are many reasons to choose digital marketing over other marketing tactics. 

Digital Channels Are the First Stop

Customers can't be reliably found through tv, radio, or print media anymore. However, they are online all the time. In 2019, it was found that the average adult spends more than six hours per day online. 

The world is digital, and digital ads are everywhere. In those six hours per day, you want your customers to find you

Hit Every Stage of the Customer Lifecycle

Marketing isn't only about finding new customers. It is also about repeat business and maintaining relationships. 

Yes, digital marketing can reach a new audience, but it can also be used to drive your existing customers back to your company. You can use different tactics with your new and existing customers to ensure that you speak to their needs.

A digital marketing strategy is not only about convincing the new customer to make a purchase but also about educating and continuing to inspire existing customers.

Immediate Calls to Action

Traditional marketing channels do not allow customers to take immediate action. They may be provided with a website or a phone number, but they have to take an additional step to reach your company.

With digital marketing, you can embed your calls to action directly into your campaigns. Whether you are driving customers to your website, asking them to sign up for an email campaign, or "buy now," the action they need to take is as simple as a click of a button.

Build Brand Awareness and Trust

More than ever, customers make informed buying decisions. They do their own research (online, of course) and rely on the information they collect. 

Your reviews and interactions with your customers online will help potential customers to trust your brand. When they go to your website or visit your social media and see that other customers have had a positive experience, they will feel more secure in their buying decisions.

Measure the Results

You can't measure the number of views from a print or tv ad. You may know the potential audience reach, but not the actual number of people that saw your ad. Your results only come from the increased sales after the fact, but you are unaware of the audience reach.

Digital marketing can be easily measured. You can find the sources of your traffic and track your potential customers throughout their buying journey. There is a straightforward path between viewing and action.

By using the right analytics, you can gain insights into essential metrics such as conversion rates, revenue per visit, average order per customer, and more.

What Makes Digital Marketing So Effective?

Your intended audience for marketing is not the entire universe. Your customers have a specific profile and buyer persona that leads them to choose you over your competitors. 

Digital marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars. You can target your advertising based on what you know about your customers. Compared to traditional marketing that puts content out for everyone to see, you can drive more valuable customers to your website to learn more.

Many businesses saw cuts to their marketing spend in 2020 in response to the economic conditions. While 2021 may be a rebound, your budget may still involve decisions about how to put marketing dollars to use. Digital marketing is a cost-effective choice and one that can yield high results. 

Timing and Expectations

What you need to understand about digital marketing is that it does not always offer instant gratification. (Nor do traditional marketing tactics, for that matter.) But it can be tempting to think that one PPC or email campaign will yield immediate results.

Instead, digital marketing is about entering the digital space, staying there, and continuing to draw in customers. It is about the right search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, quality content, and brand awareness.

With hard work and time invested in your marketing strategy, the ROI will only continue to increase. You'll be able to compare results from one campaign to another and make smarter decisions. 

It can take patience and discipline not to pivot when your business does not see immediate results. It is also about knowing when one tactic isn't working and making a shift. Luckily, the digital marketing space allows you to change courses quickly if needed.

Creating a Marketing Strategy for 2021 and Beyond

According to a Gartner survey, most CMOs expect a sharp economic recovery. That means that businesses are poised for a boost... if they can reach their intended audience. Digital marketing is the way to get there.

With the right marketing strategy, you can ensure that your business is ready to be found online.

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