To say our digital marketing strategy changes a lot would be to deny just how crazy it drives our COO when we make yet another change to our email marketing campaigns or content creation schedule. With so many tools tracking our customer experiences, evaluating our marketing efforts, and telling us what our target audience and personas think about what we're doing, you'd think a surprise wouldn't happen. Oh, but they do, and we had a big surprise at our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) meeting recently when we got reminded about the power of digital marketing, the power of now.
We're a multi-channel marketer, so our marketing strategy and plans include social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click Google ads (PPC), email marketing, and other online marketing you're probably using too. We use algorithms and tools such as Buffer to post to social media platforms and AI such as ChatGPT and other new technologies to create, track, and analyze our content strategy.
We're far from traditional marketing, with social networks earning more views than the most significant streaming and cable channels combined. TikTok, podcasts, influencer marketing, algorithms, and my LinkedIn army, march on, but we saw data the other day that reminded me of something our Content Marketing Director Martin Wescott Smith said in an "interview" he and I had at lunch - the best brands never sleep.
Martin shared his experience working for P&G, where they ensured even old commodity brands had something "new and improved" to pitch to their grocery partners and customers. Today Martin bet P&G will use AI to understand and improve their user experiences and brands, but back in the day, "new and improved" retained brand loyalty.
Eckart Tolle was depressed and living on a bench in a park in London, England when he began to understand the power of the present moment and the nature of consciousness. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment is the book Tolle wrote about mindfulness and being present at this moment. The human mind, Tolle explains, often gets trapped thinking about the past or the future, which can cause stress, anxiety, and unhappiness. The Power of Now shares how happiness and inner peace come from living fully in the moment without letting past regrets or future worries destroy mindfulness.
The main concepts covered in "The Power of Now" include:
Tolle explains how the present moment is all that truly exists, so striving to be fully conscious and aware of it creates a path to happiness.
Tolle explains how much of human suffering is related to ego and something he calls "pain-bodies," with enlightenment coming from transcending ego and pain.
Observing our thoughts and emotions without judgment helps us break free from negative thoughts and emotional reactions.
Enlightenment comes from recognizing time's illusion and embracing the present moment fully.
While it may seem strange to think of a self-help book as a digital marketing guide, The Power of Now's lessons apply to your website and marketing strategy. Online enlightenment requires observing what is happening without judgment or blame because now is always where digital marketing truth resides. Instead, think of patterns as a series of "now" moments, and you'll understand Google Analytics and your Key Performance Indicators in a new way.
This chart reminded me of the power of now in digital marketing. TT is our slightly snarky weekly roundup of tech news called Tech News Tuesday, and FF is the weekly roundup of our Flipboard magazines called Flipboard Friday - content we create every week based on what is happening now. Tolle’s advice also applies to your digital marketing because the web lives in a constant state of NOW. What makes this reminder more dramatic is our NOW content outpaced posts about uber-hot ChatGPT and artificial intelligence.
This kind of content curation lives in the now because it shares and flips current content, with the proximity effect being one of its most significant benefits. The proximity effect is where your brand gains legitimacy and acceptance by association. In this case, we’re creating a proximity effect with tech, marketing, AI, software development, and web design news happening now. So by extension, WTE is happening now.
And there’s now digital marketing’s rub - appointment content marketing and a commitment to stay ahead of the curve. Since it happens over and over faster and faster once we put Tech News Tuesday and Flipboard Friday on our content marketing plan, we must create fresh content on our promised schedule, or customer responsiveness suffers. As a result, we dull our now digital marketing benefits.
We are a software design company, so falling and succeeding don’t go well together. Nevertheless, we’re committed to mining what’s happening now to gain seconds or minutes of advantage for our customers, and that’s an easy thing to say, so let me share an example.
Working on our web design whitepaper, something we’ll give away soon, we realized three web design silos would collapse and become one - responsive, interactive, and accessible or RIA. RIA web design looks great on any screen, creates the unique interactive and personal experiences your customers demand, and does the right thing making sure content is accessible by all while avoiding nasty lawsuits (always a good thing).
We’ll write more about RIA web design soon, sharing hard-won lessons we’ve learned about how each silo helps each other when you think of them as one instead of three separate things. The closer to NOW we are, the more advantage we and you create.