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How to get your marketing message across in a digital world

Using digital tools to deliver effective marketing campaigns based on customers’ individual interests and spending habits

By Julian Birkinshaw 24 May 2018

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The essence of marketing lies in encouraging people to embrace your brand and buy your products or services. While that will likely never change, the way companies deliver their message has, with the digital age creating new channels through which to reach consumers.

Businesses that traditionally marketed via print and TV ads now need to understand what resonates with audiences on social media, video-sharing platforms and websites carrying advertising. So how do they gather data on potential customers and then use that information to create effective marketing campaigns?

Ira Dubinsky, Head of International Marketing at British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) and a London Business School alumnus, discusses the digital trends shaping his company’s advertising strategy with Julian Birkinshaw, Academic Director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. They are joined by Anja Lambrecht, Associate Professor of Marketing at LBS, who teaches and researches digital marketing and online advertising.

Digital marketing tools give companies such as M&S the platform to analyse individual customers’ interests, demographics, purchasing behaviour and future spending habits, according to Dubinsky. With that data, businesses can customise and personalise every consumer’s online shopping experience. They can also establish which channel to use when targeting certain people.

These techniques were employed by M&S in late 2017 when planning its Christmas advertising campaign featuring Paddington Bear. Aside from creating a TV ad that tied in with the latest Paddington movie, the retailer also developed several digital adverts for its YouTube, Facebook and Instagram audiences.

Advances in technology may have given businesses more marketing channels, but they still face an age-old problem: knowing how many people actually buy their products or services. Dr Lambrecht says companies use A/B testing to see whether, for example, their advert encourages more consumers to spend money with them. However, it’s difficult to establish how many of those people purchased based on the advert alone.

Other topics covered include the nuances of marketing in different regions, sensitivities around using people’s personal data and how algorithms select adverts based on web browsing and search history.

This podcast is part of the Digital Disruption Briefings. Another episode sees Professor Birkinshaw interviewing Gavin Flynn, Head of Strategy and Transformation at InterContinental Group Hotels, about how hotel groups can respond to the challenge of travel booking websites. Listen to Travel industry tips for hotel groups facing big changes

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The Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship equips and inspires entrepreneurs, innovators and the leaders who design the ecosystems in which they thrive.

Comments (1)

CNRI 4 months and 12 days ago

Great article. The importantance of ROI will increase especially since marketing clients want to how much bang they are getting from their buck! We have partially republished this article with original link into our student news post search at CNRI.EDU. Please inform us if you do not want this article republished in our search system.

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