Value Propositions and Digital Marketing

Last week I was invited to speak on a panel at Kingston University Business School, on the future of digital marketing. In some ways I felt unqualified (I grew up just as BBC computers made it into schools and there was just one for the whole school). Yet I often help my clients with their digital marketing strategy – helping them connect what they’re saying and who they’re talking to, with their value proposition.

Digital Marketing has become a discipline but I’m with Mark Ritson on this. Digital is a channel and a medium that you can use to market your business. Social media is a very powerful tool (I’m using it now, see!) and allows brands to connect directly with customers, loyal followers and importantly, to show a more human side.

It’s also useless if you don’t know who you are, who you serve, why you’re different and what you stand for. These are the central points of a strong value proposition. They need to shine through clearly in any media. They’re especially important if you want to cut through in digital channels – where there are millions of other voices all talking at the same time.

I loved learning from the other panellists Corrie Jones (Social Media), Kaya Cheshire (Influencer Marketing) and Raj Anand (Digital Leads Applications) who were all great experts in their fields. I took away lots of tips from each of them and a common theme was authenticity. Know yourself and what you believe and be true to that in what you say. This is what a value proposition will help your business do. Too many brands make the mistake of not having an opinion and I’m sure we can all name none of those brands!

Your value proposition can also guide your team on what to post online to help you.  It’s great for an organisation if all their employees are socially active and drawing potential customers or suppliers into relevant conversations.  But it’s their profile not yours and they have to be authentic too.  It doesn’t work if everyone posts exactly the same thing (company or cult?).  It also doesn’t work if everyone posts lots of stuff that undermines your company values.

Consider your value proposition as your digital guide-rails.  And use it to channel your true digital voice.