Strategic Digital Marketing is Now Mainstream

It had to happen sooner or later. Marketers first dabbled in the online world and then, seeing its huge potential, began to move more and more marketing dollars to the Internet. Now, according to a just-published report by consulting firm McKinsey, digital marketing has truly gone mainstream. Marketers are “rethinking their priorities and budgets, and substantially reshaping their processes and skills” as they focus on digital marketing.

Based on McKinsey’s work with dozens of companies, the firm says the most successful digital marketers are skilled in four core areas:

Coordinating marketing activities to “engage the consumer throughout an increasingly digital purchase journey.”

  1. Coordinating marketing activities to “engage the consumer throughout an increasingly digital purchase journey.”
  2. Syndicating content that “empowers the consumer to build his or her own marketing identity and, in the process, to serve as a brand ambassador.”
  3. Thinking like big publishers “as they manage a staggering increase in the content they create” to support their business.
  4. “Strategically plot” how to make the best use of digital data.

None of this should be a surprise to online marketers who’ve been playing in this world for quite some time. But it is notable that McKinsey, who deals with global Fortune 100-size firms, is now beating the drum loudly for digital marketing.

The report suggests that companies must move away from the traditional one-way sales-driven messaging to a two-way dialogue with consumers. That will require “core changes in the way marketers do business.”

McKinsey makes a strong revenue case for “coordinating the consumer’s end-to-end experience,” indicating that, by doing so, a company could increase revenue by 10 to 20 percent. According to McKinsey, these are the steps:

  • Capturing Internet traffic
  • Capture 50 – 100 percent of traffic
  • Increasing consumer management
  • Get at least 50 percent of a top competitor’s engagement rate
  • Capturing qualified leads
  • Convert 10 – 15 percent of traffic into leads, and 20 percent of leads  into sales
  • Building consumer loyalty
  • Build a 60 percent loyalty rate, and get 40 percent sales conversion from loyal consumers each year.

McKinsey reports that a successful digital marketer spends about 50 percent of a marketing budget on content and about 30 percent of the budget on paid media. The firm points out that “Most companies have now essentially become publishers, with a more complex set of cost and quality concerts, yet continue to behave like simple advertisers.” This may well be one of the key, eye-opening observations in the report.

With an increase in digital marketing activity comes the need for dependable and accurate data. That’s why business executives “should demand better visibility into metrics about digital delivery and greater clarity about how marketing plans will directly improve performance,” says McKinsey. If anything, digital marketing demands more accountability, not less.

McKinsey’s overall assessment is that companies need to make “deep strategic, organizational, and operational shifts” to become digital marketers but, by doing so, they can “become more agile, more productive, and accelerate revenue growth.” Clearly, the future bodes well for marketers who embrace the digital world – but only if they understand that doing so requires changing the way they do business.

About Barry Silverstein

Barry Silverstein is a freelance writer/marketing consultant. In addition to writing for ReveNews, he is a contributing writer to, the world’s leading online branding forum. He is the author of three marketing books, The Breakaway Brand (co-author, McGraw-Hill, 2005), Business-to-Business Internet Marketing (Maximum Press, 2003) and Internet Marketing for Technology Companies (Maximum Press, 2003). Barry ran his own Internet and direct marketing agency for twenty years. You can find Barry on Twitter @bdsilv.

2 Responses to Strategic Digital Marketing is Now Mainstream

  1. Can you explain how we can increase traffic 50 to 100 %..and how digital marketing help to come with ranking in Google. is it right that digital marketing is applied only for big business not for small one