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The Digital Marketing Promise



"We see people and things not as they are, but as we are."
                                                                                         - Anthony De Mello

Every Marketing textbook, and every business book, must have a few pages dedicated to laying emphasis on this statement. Understanding this is a must to making a successful mass product. You can make successful products without understanding this. But that will only cater to an audience who are fairly similar to you, the creator. If you want a wider audience to accept and remark about your product, you have to understand that they see your product as they are, and not as you intend it to be.

I wrote a post a couple of months ago about the importance of choosing the right context to communicate with your audience. While the context is an important aspect to consider, the frame of mind, the behavioural traits and the personality of your target audience matters a lot as well. Understanding this is extremely hard. That is what makes Marketing hard. And that is what makes building successful global products hard.

Geographic traits, local cultural traits, demographic traits all aid in the process of understanding behavioural traits of your target audience. But this is only helpful as long as you cast a wide net (target thousands of people with the same advertisement). This will give you a reasonable success rate as a good number of the target audience will receive your communication the way you want them to.

But as precision targeting of advertisements increase (especially online), this strategy is no longer good enough. You need to understand your target audience a lot better than you do right now. And this is the challenge for digital marketing at the moment. Big Data is showing some promise in meeting this challenge, but there are still a lot of hurdles to cross.

It is true that digital marketing is not showing success rates as promised. It is true that very few brands have been built through digital marketing efforts alone while thousands have been built through traditional marketing efforts alone. But that is no reason to give up on the hope of realizing the promise. We just have to find ways to make it work. The first step is to gain credibility when making claims about overcoming privacy concerns of people.

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