By Worldwide Branding Member Patrick Visser
When I tell most people that I work in online marketing, they think I am responsible for those annoying banner ads interrupting their browsing experience. Well, yes, that too.
But online marketing is so much more today and has permeated every fiber of our online existence. If you’re using Facebook, upload your photos or leave comments on articles, well you are in the business of online marketing too. You are marketing your personal brand. Every byte you post is a part of your story.
And it’s no different with a business. Online marketing these days is not just placing ads, it’s a combination of a wide range of activities that allow you to promote your business, care for customers, tell your story and sell your products or services. And you can’t afford not to do it; I’m quite sure your competition already is.
What makes online marketing so exciting is that you can reach your customers in more ways than ever before and they can reach you! Most of all, it’s measureable. You know exactly who does what, when and how often. This in turn will help you refine your efforts until your results far exceed those of traditional marketing and will also tell you a thing or two about your demographics.
I’ve spent the last year in consulting a division of Pfizer Australia in their transition to take their marketing online. The biggest challenge we faced was to define their story and figure out where marketing would be most effective. Websites, blogs, social media, search advertising, viral videos? As a start we decided upon a mix of sponsored articles on consumer websites, a cause marketing campaign on Facebook highlighting their engagement with charities for children, and an online competition to build up a customer database.
While there’s a lot you can plan on paper and in boardrooms, there comes a point where you have to embark on a trial and error journey. However, the benefits of marketing online is you can limit your spend, start small, experiment and refine. Crucial to the success of your online marketing, though, is that you understand it and partner with people who are passionate about it. Work out which channels are right for you and your business. For example, a Facebook fan page at this point may not be the right choice for over-the-counter drugs, however a forum where parents can share their concerns and experiences is. I strongly advise my clients to find dedicated experts for each area, including social media, search optimization, display advertising, media buying, etc.
The field of online marketing is wide and seems overwhelming at first, but the key is to choose a medium with which you’re comfortable to get you started and build from there — whether you’re an international corporation or a self-employed contractor.
About Worldwide Branding Member Patrick Visser
Australian-based member Patrick Visser has a total of 12 years of experience in the field of Web, mobile and motion design. For the past five years he has directed strategies for Indigostars Creative, a design agency where he currently serves as art director. He has steadily amassed an impressive stable of clients including Pfizer, NineMSN, Fairfax Digital, MercerBell and numerous small companies in the Sydney area.
Mr. Visser, who is a member of the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) and Toastmasters International, received a diploma in multimedia studies from the SAE Institute in Sydney before embarking in his career just after the Internet boom. He has since established himself as a highly capable visual designer who can convey a range of concepts and messages to reach his clients’ targeted demographics. He has a conversational knowledge of English, German and Dutch, which has helped him to build up an international client base across the globe. One to watch in the future, Mr. Visser expects to expand his consulting work to further stretches, particularly as the capabilities of Web and mobile marketing grow.
To learn more about Patrick Visser, please visit his website, www.patrickvisser.net.