Ok, I have a website… now what?

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2009 is here. By now, pretty much every major (and minor) brand has found their way online in one form or another.

However, if you’re like many marketing managers, you’ve probably read some articles about how digital media are the future of advertising or that traditional media is dead. And yet, at the same time, you haven’t seen a notable boost from your online effort. You might be wondering if digital just isn’t right for your product. After all, some products perform better in different media and maybe, just maybe, you suspect that your product isn’t “sexy enough” to function in the attraction economy.

Snap out of it.

Given the right approach, there’s no reason why your Brand can’t thrive online. The usual excuses are gone: your target audience is online, and they’re engaging all aspects of the web. The “PEW Internet and American Life Project” reports that 75% of Americans are online. Even if your Brand targets an older demographic, they’re now using the internet too. With 74% of adults 50-64 online, it’s not like marketing to dinosaurs. Sure, they’re using the Internet differently than teens but those are standard challenges for creative and media planning. As always, the devil is in the details. For example, though older users (50+) are less likely to be members of an online community, once involved, older net-workers are more active than younger members, visiting and posting to their communities more often.

For years now, online has too often been relegated to “new media” or “bold experiments” in contrast to the “tried-and-true” traditional media. And yet, as the bell tolls for traditional media – witness the conversion of print media to digital media or that internet usage is rapidly outpacing TV viewing – too many marketing managers have refused to retool their budgets in the face of this rapidly changing landscape.

To ease this transition, we will be publishing a series of posts looking at different approaches to marketing in the Digital space – website, social, and mobile. It’s quite a bit different from traditional media – you’ll still need to be thinking about your Brand message and consumer target, but now, you’ll also need to think about engagement strategy, relevancy and value.

It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. After all, you’ve been building Brands 30-seconds at a time for years. Imagine what you’ll be able to do with all the 7, 8, 9, 15-minute engagements you’ll be creating with consumers.