“If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.”

- David Brier

True to the words of David Brier (an award-winning veteran in branding, rebrands, design, and brand strategy), making the brand ‘talk’ calls for smart efforts in storytelling. The end motive of all digital initiatives is an engaging narrative that compels the audience to initially purchase the brand offering and eventually, make it a solid part of their lives. 

Trends Defining Digital Marketing Strategy

Before any other strategy, one of the most important principles that every human endeavour has to abide by is 'Kaizen' or 'continuous improvement'. This means any marketing activity a company engages in, must be defined by continuous refinement and new learnings. Before one delves into the principles of engagement, shareability, and virality, let’s look at some key trends that are defining the brands these days. Some of these trends are:

• Defining and strengthening the mission and vision statement of the brand. 

• Associating and building the brand and its offerings with the 17 sustainable goals defined by the UN to create immense value in terms of sustainability.

• Defining the brand with experiences and not just the product or service offering.

• Embracing the change in business models and working the marketing strategy around it.

• Making a data-driven approach a pivotal part of the strategy.

Based on these trends, here are the top 5 Digital initiatives that empower a brand to stand out amongst all the noise.

1. Different banner designs and names for the same brand, customized as per platforms and geographies- Take a look at brands like AXE and Lay's. Lay's is known in Canada as Walkers in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and the UK. 'Walkers' is the original name by the brand was initially known.For this, the digital marketing team has to consistently perform a social media audit to understand the target audience sentiments in different geographies and platforms. 

2. Create powerful digital campaigns bordering on UN SDGs across different platforms to build a robust digital persona. Brands that do not resonate with the struggles of people stop making an impact. Take a look at 

#NewRealities The India Chapter, a campaign co-created by The Better India and Lenovo. This campaign focussed on showcasing extraordinary works of women who leveraged technology to impact substantial change in society at large. This campaign was all over social media platforms and webinars were organized to generate a great buzz. This brought Lenovo to the forefront as a brand that recognized the contribution of women in building an accessible and better society. 

3. Expand the branding visually and that too consistently across different digital platforms so much so that audience can instantly recognize the brand without looking at the logo. Consistently in the presentation posts in terms of font style, font type and colours can reinforce the brand presence. One of the most robust examples is Amul. The brand mascot is so strong that one can immediately recall the brand even if the creative doesn’t have the logo. 

4. Every brand must establish a voice and a distinct tone. This gives it a unique identity. The voice of the brand happens through its distinct content, and this is minus the visuals. Take a look at the brand Zomato. The content is almost conversational using local dialect  and is quirky and humorous. Just the tone of the content is enough to reinforce its brand identity. 

5. Have multiple accounts for the same brand pertaining to different areas of focus. If an organization has multiple products, then it is imperative to have multiple social media accounts under the same brand umbrella. Take the account of Nike, a giant in the world of sports and fitness. Nike has separate FB pages for its shoes and swimwear. These separate pages are to target a separate audience with content relevant to them. 

With the world of digital is constantly reshaping and evolving, digital marketers today must have the toolkit to fathom where the market is heading to. For that, it is imperative to have a sound marketing foundation built through academic training. For those looking forward to making a mark in the world of digital media, one can explore the Executive Programme on Digital & Social Media Marketing Strategy offered by IIM Calcutta in collaboration with Hughes Education. The programme is focused on providing in-depth knowledge in digital and social media marketing & analytics strategy that would help in planning, implementing, and measuring the digital and social media marketing activities to create awareness, and ultimately drive sales.