Smart Branding and Digital Marketing: the Perfect Match?

POSTED BY Greg Keating ON Oct 4, 2016 8:05:00 AM


In today’s customer-centered marketplace, where customer inclinations prevail in the interaction between consumers and companies, digital marketing has become a complicated, multidisciplinary and multi-departmental effort. Brands need to be able to engage with their audiences in a variety of mediums and to be able to bring these interactions together in a single, all-inclusive view.

Enter smart branding and digital marketing. By combining these two contemporary and complementary facets of marketing, brands are able to reach more customers than ever before, and make a greater impact on them as well. The tactics used in digital marketing are boosted with the proper use of smart branding, and vice versa. Whether or not you’re familiar with these terms, it’s probably best to review them both, so that we can better understand the potential benefits of using them together.

Smart Branding

Smart branding segregates and expresses the most significant thing about a certain consumer experience by framing it in memorable terms. It does this by tapping into bigger concepts and feelings that already exist as part of the collective memory, and associating them with the specific thing being branded.

Smart branding makes you believe you've come across it before. Its familiarity makes the customer able to both relate to the branding identity, and comprehend what the brand represents. The feeling that's left on the user isn't from overpowering typefaces or color, but a product of unity and consistency in the form of simplicity.

Every identity is different, and there's no one method that guarantees success. Consistency is important, although in some cases it helps if the identity can be flexible. And of course it needs to communicate. A smart identity needs to be multifaceted: it's about more than just a logo. A strong brand is recognizable and consistent, but also needs to be creative and inventive.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has become more complicated than ever, not only in terms of the various new communication channels that have become known, but also in terms of the scrutiny now necessary to make sense of customers and their preferences. Brands are currently using a variety of tools to understand the behavior and preferences of customers and shoppers. From social media listening to predictive and big data analytics, brands now utilize a variety of resources to better comprehend customer responses to their digital marketing efforts.

The Financial Times defines digital marketing as, “The marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers. The key objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media. Digital marketing extends beyond Internet marketing to include channels that do not require the use of the Internet.”

Digital marketing now encompasses both inbound and outbound techniques. With outbound marketing tactics, for example, brands may place ads, email or otherwise reach out to potential customers. Brands have also begun to use advertorials to disseminate their message, where advertising is directly embedded in editorial content. While outbound marketing can potentially reach a wider audience, it also runs the risk of irritating indifferent consumers.

On the other hand, with inbound marketing techniques, brands may use social media, digital content in eBooks, videos or e-newsletters to encourage shoppers to click on links and learn more about a brand and its products. Inbound marketing is designed to reach interested customers through audience segmentation, but by its nature may reach a much narrower segment of potential consumers.

Final Thoughts

It is worth noting that marketing automation software has become ever more important to digital marketing, where brands are trying to reach a broader range of potential customers and also trying to link customer behavior with would-be new purchases. Brands want to use marketing automation to measure visitor behavior on their website, target these visitors through marketing automation software, and potentially sell these contacts products or target them with promotions later. 

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