Resourced Leaders

'Resourced Leaders' is a premier Australian based Leadership Performance organisation that specialises in working with senior executives, leaders and high performing individuals who aspire to greater levels of personal leadership and success.

Pitfalls of digital marketing #1

Posted by Phil Owens
Phil Owens
Philip is one of Australia’s leading performance and leadership specialists. He
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 09 August 2012 in Leadership

After working with a number of clients recently on cutting edge marketing approaches, it appears the concept of ‘Digital Marketing’ causes a lot of problems for businesses big and small.  

Over the next few weeks I will put a few ideas on darketing and its pitfalls here for you and how to avoid them– and I look forward to your digital feedback!

The first issue of Digital Marketing is often the cause of many issues for businesses– What is 'Digital Marketing' and why should I do it?  If we don't get this right, then any digital marketing that we engage in is bound to fail.  So what is digital marketing, and why should you do it?

There is a lot of time, effort and column inches given to the discussion of 'digital marketing'.  Often there is a lot of confusion about what it really is, and why you should engage in it.  Too often we are extolled to chase the ‘latest thing’ and fear that we are missing out if we don’t have the latest and greatest in new technology or ideas.

Are you ready for the truth?

Digital Marketing is simply marketing applied through digital channels.

Wow, complex, isn’t it?  In fact, we can break it down even further.  Perhaps digital marketing can better be defined as:

“Digital Marketing is the use of digital channels as a vehicle to influence and modify the behaviour of prospects, customers and clients in relation to our offering”.

On this basis, digital marketing is a reflection of shifting the way you market to your customers, rather than any new or complex idea that has only just been invented.   What if it was nothing 'new', but rather a new way to go about it?  There may be new issues with the way you do your marketing, but it still is part of the business process that has always been there. 

The first pitfall of Digital Media is therefore believing it is something new, complex or based only on a new system or technology.

The second question is “why should I have it?”.  Again, you may be confronted with mountains of stats about how all of your customers are now online.  Or about how many of them own an I-Pad or other such device.

The question that you should be asking is not ‘should I have it”, but rather “Is this a meaningful, trusted and actionable place for my customers to interact with me and my offering?”

You should only invest in Digital Marketing if this is going to be highly relevant to your customers or prospects.  If they are not in Linkedin, why go there?  If they don't click on the ads in Facebook, why advertise there?

Because If they don’t ‘trust’ the medium, they won’t trust the message.  

Digital marketing can be seen as expanding the options open to marketeers to get their messages to clients.  Truly understanding how it will allow you to create meaningful, actionable relationships and messaging opportunities with your target consumer will then answer the question “why should I have it”.

The second pitfall of digital marketing is therefore launching into digital marketing campaigns without ensuring that the channel is meaningful, relevant and actionable by the target consumer.

Have you been 'victim' of these two pitfalls?

As you start the process of engaging with digital marketing, as yourself:

  • What is the purpose for engaging in digital marketing?
  • Where do your customers hang out, and how do they want to be engaged?
  • Does the message fit the channel and the consumer's actions there?
  • What other (non-digital) options also exist - and have I chosen the most effective and efficient means to drive improved ROI?

I would love to hear what you think on this one, and if you have any pittfalls you would like me to address.

Stay resourceful,



Philip is one of Australia’s leading performance and leadership specialists. He honed his skills working with executives and leaders around the world, coaching and consulting in over 30 countries, from entrepreneurial start-ups to boards of multi-billion dollar businesses.


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