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4 Digital Marketing Tips from CMOs

John Beaton
August 19, 2021
Last Updated On
September 7, 2023
digital marketing tips from CMOs

The marketing landscape has changed considerably in recent years, with digital strategies taking center stage for many organizations. Regardless of your industry, any marketing team — and strategy — benefits from digital marketing tactics. 

To help you refine your strategy, we’re sharing our best digital marketing tips to incorporate into your plans and use in your daily role.  

In this blog, we cover:

  • What is digital marketing? 
  • Types of digital marketing. 
  • Digital marketing best practices. 
  • Digital marketing tips from CMOs. 

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the act of marketing — promoting your organization, brand and products — on digital channels. For brands specifically, this means using the internet and social media to communicate with your target demographics, promote products, run advertisements, generate leads and more. This can be done with various tactics — from running campaigns on social media, partnering with creators and influencers, creating sponsored ads on Google, and any type of virtual content creation. 

So, what is digital marketing strategy? Digital marketing strategy is when brands ideate specific digital tactics to reach their goals. For example, a brand planning its holiday campaign might use a social listening tool to learn more about its audiences’ desires for the season, or a brand experiencing negative sentiment online might use social media to speak to its community and manage its brand reputation

Why Digital Marketing Is Important

Digital marketing is important — and effective — because it lets brands directly reach their consumers and target audiences. 

Moreover, people spend more time with digital media than ever before. In 2024, audiences in the United States spend an average of 466 minutes on social media versus 268 with traditional media, and this number is projected to grow to an average of 478 minutes spent with digital media each day by 2025, versus 258 minutes with traditional media. If marketers want to reach existing and potential audiences, digital marketing is vital to their success.

Types of Digital Marketing Strategies

The digital marketing landscape is vast — and so are the various types of digital marketing. The best digital marketing strategies for your business and your overall marketing plans depend on your goals, objectives, buyer personas and more. Here are some of the most common types of digital marketing strategies: 

Content Marketing 

Content marketing is an umbrella term for most of the tactics described below. Content marketing involves using your website, social media and email outreach to educate, inform and promote your brand to online users. 

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, often called SEO, is vital to content writing and social media. SEO means optimizing your writing, visual content and social media profiles and posts to give them a better chance to rank organically in online search. This typically involves focusing on a specific term users search and creating content that ultimately matches the intent of that search. A digital marketing strategy example using SEO could be a beauty brand optimizing a product page featuring mascaras for the term ‘best mascaras.’   For social media SEO, this means optimizing posts with tags, hashtags, alt text and more to increase their chance of appearing in internet and social media searches. 

Influencer Marketing 

Influencer marketing is one aspect of social media marketing that brands can leverage to reach users organically and increase brand awareness. This requires creating partnerships with creators that resonate with your brand and audience. 

Another effective way to leverage influencer marketing is to work with nano and micro-influencers — nano-influencers (those with under 10,000 followers) receive an average engagement rate of 9.3%, micro-influencers (those with 10,000 to 100,000 followers) receive an average engagement rate of 3.8%; compared to macro-influencers (accounts with over 100,000 followers) with an average engagement rate of 3%. 

Email Marketing 

Brands use email marketing to target specific, niche news, information and products to users. Often, brands collect emails through their website or share links on social media, encouraging users to sign up for updates. 

Affiliate Marketing 

If you’re unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, there’s a great chance you’ve encountered it. Affiliate marketing is when brands market a product or service with online content to drive users to links where they can purchase these. Brands can do this on their own website and social accounts, but influencers are often utilized to share reviews and thoughts or promote a product with a link where users can purchase. 

PPC Ads 

PPC stands for ‘pay per click.’ PPC ads can run on search engines like Google and social media sites like TikTok. To run PPC ads, brands budget a specific amount to promote ads with relevant keywords. This keyword strategy is similar to SEO but requires paying or bidding for your ad to be shown for relevant keywords. For example, a makeup brand with a new mascara might bid for their ad to be seen when someone searches for ‘black mascara’ and will pay a small amount when a user clicks it. 

Promoted Posts 

Promoted posts are ads or boosted posts on social media. Most sites have various options to boost an existing post or create your own ad. Promoted posts and ads are effective since they often let you select your reach, target audience, budget and more, so you can create ultra-specific content for multiple campaigns, purposes and intents. For example, a brand might boost a post explaining their company’s purpose and another promoting a specific product. 

Digital Marketing Tips From CMOs

Chief marketing and brand officers see how these changes affect their brands, and their insights give a valuable glimpse into how brands navigate this period of volatility.

1. A Greater Focus on Wellness and Community

“Supporting our guests’ desire to feel their best in any moment, through the products we create and community connections we help build, is a shift that we believe consumers and the category will benefit from.” Nikki Neuburger, Chief Brand Officer at Lululemon

Lululemon has always been a wellness and healthy living innovator. The brand’s latest campaign, “Feel,” takes it a step further by exploring isolation's impact on people, using Oscar Wilde’s short story The Selfish Giant as a metaphor for the modern sense of loneliness that has emerged recently.

Brands understand that they have the power to change the conversation surrounding cultural challenges that have arisen due to the turbulence of the past few years. Content that explores wellness, renewal and feeling your best has the potential for long-lasting social impact. These digital marketing tips are essential, as Gen Z consumers seek value-driven brands, so expect this theme to be prominent going forward.

2. Heightened Awareness of Convenience

When people could no longer go in-store, even customers that were reticent to change tried new ways to have their needs met. And what they discovered with curbside pickup specifically, is that it often met their needs for ease and convenience even faster than traditional e-commerce. Frank Crowson, Chief Marketing Officer at Best Buy

Frank Crowson spoke with the Association of National Advertisers about the changing retail landscape. Best Buy experimented with curbside pickup as a safer alternative to in-store shopping, and what they found was that customers ultimately want the buying experience to be as easy and convenient as possible. They even found that, in some cases, customers preferred the speed and convenience of curbside pickup over e-commerce.

Now that the range of buying options has grown, customers can choose the path to purchase that is right for them. Brands must understand the full range of commerce, whether online or in person, and make purchasing as straightforward as possible regardless of the customer's preference.

3. A New Focus on Inclusivity

“There’s a proliferation of more activities that are now defined as sport. There are more people who want to participate, so we’ve got to empower their voices. That, in turn, requires more innovation and connection with youth and the next generation.” Kalen Thornton, Chief Marketing Officer at Gatorade

The status quo is constantly upended, and one of the biggest mistakes a brand can make is to assume that its industry will always remain the same. The changes of the past few years have impacted CPG companies as well. Gatorade is an example of a brand that has taken the stance of breaking down barriers and becoming more inclusive to continue expanding its reach.

Kalen Thornton spoke with The Drum about how Gatorade is responding to the changing sports industry and the needs of Gen Z consumers. More activities are considered sports, and people want to feel included in the athletic landscape. 

Gatorade is rising to the challenge by expanding its marketing presence into channels it needs to be present on, like Discord, to meet its consumers where they are most active. These digital marketing tips are also relevant outside of the CPG industry, as there are many emerging channels where Gen Z consumers spend time, and identifying the best opportunities for your brand is vital to continued growth.

4. Content That Is More International than Ever

“Because of the pandemic, people consumed content from other places at an almost 200% increase. Meaning that if you were in Brazil you were watching content from France, or from the U.S. you were watching content from Turkey. Or if you were in Nigeria you were watching content from Colombia … I think it’s such a beautiful thing to be able to expand your world or understanding or knowledge of places based on content.” Bozoma Saint John, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix

Consumer preferences change. People spend more time watching videos, and the variety of content consumed is more international than ever. Bozoma Saint John spoke with Stanford GSB’s podcast, View From The Top, about how people view more Netflix content from countries other than their own. Consumers are finding content from different cultures that resonates with them, and geography is no longer a barrier to entertainment becoming cultural cornerstones. This is very apparent in the media industry with the increased popularity of international television. However, this is also applicable to other forms of content as well. Anything that goes on the Internet can find a global audience.

Marketers must consider the international impact of their content. In doing so, there will be an opportunity to reach a substantially larger audience, as viewers from multiple markets are paying attention and looking to expand their worldview.

These four quotes about prioritizing comfort, convenience, inclusivity, and the international community will continue to resonate with audiences. For more expert insights into how global industries are growing, check out Dash Hudson’s Social Media Trends Report.

How Dash Hudson Bolsters Digital Marketing Strategies

An essential part of digital marketing is social media — Dash Hudson supports your strategy all the way from planning to measurement. Dashboards let you segment content by campaign or content type, with reports you can tailor with only the KPIs that matter most. Your Content Library contains all of your owned, earned and paid content; while AI-powered Vision takes the guesswork out of which visuals to choose with AI-powered insights into which content will perform best. Measuring the impact of your digital content is especially important, and Social Analytics and Monitoring helps you keep tabs on metrics and share with the wider team, Relationships help you measure — and source — the best creators for your strategy, while Competitive Insights and Benchmarking help you set goals and compare your performance against industry competitors. 


What are some digital marketing ideas?

The best digital marketing ideas ultimately depend on your goals and objectives. To produce effective tactics for your digital marketing strategy, first, you need to develop your goals and objectives. Once you’ve determined what’s most important, it’s time to start brainstorming potential strategies and tactics to achieve these goals. When brainstorming, it’s important to consider:

  • Have you created SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable and timely — goals? If not, your ideas won’t be effective if your goals are unattainable. 
  • Are all relevant parties included? This includes designers, social media managers, analysts and any other team member involved in rolling out the strategy. 
  • Now to start brainstorming ideas. For example, if one of your goals is to boost brand awareness, you might want to tap into TikTok influencer marketing to reach new users, run an awareness campaign on Instagram and boost your most popular posts, or set up PPC ads with branded and industry terms.
  • Have you decided which metrics will help your team indicate success? For example, if your ultimate goal is to increase new product sales, your team will want to track conversions, product landing page clicks, and social engagement on posts featuring these products, to name a few. 

How to succeed in digital marketing?

Success in digital marketing is a broad term — especially when you consider the many roles in a marketing team. Although we’ve mentioned goals and objectives throughout this blog, it bears repeating how important these are. Setting realistic goals, discovering industry benchmarks and learning more about your competitors success will help you measure your own success in digital marketing. There are also some general skills that will help you find success in digital marketing — these include: 

  • Data analysis: Gaining an understanding of metrics, KPIs and how to analyzed them will help you hone your strategy for future campaigns and overall planning. 
  • Flexibility: Digital marketing trends can change quickly — remaining rigid, stuck on old ideas and being closed to hearing new ideas can be detrimental to your success. 
  • Communication: Marketing, especially with digital means, often means communicating whether this is through social media and speaking with your community, creating digital ad copy or even with your team. Communication is also helpful for presenting metrics, campaign ideas and more.

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