Digital is the DNA of All Advertising

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Dr. Augustine Fou identifies the thread that should run through all advertising – the digital “thread” – which correlates the effectiveness and ROI of all forms of advertising.

Most products or services on the market don’t suffer from a lack of awareness, yet something is keeping consumers from buying them. If consumers are aware of them, then what’s the obstacle?

In his latest column for ClickZ, Dr. Augustine Fou says there exist many “missing links” in the “purchase funnel” that begins with consumer awareness, then progresses to consideration and choice, and results in an actual purchase and then possibly loyalty (the customer buying the product again).

“There are tiny bits of information that individual customers still need before they're willing to make a purchase,” Dr. Fou stated. “Digital channels can help you fill in those gaps by listening to what customers need and want throughout the purchase funnel.”

Don’t treat "digital" as an afterthought, Dr. Fou advises. Digital techniques and analytics “can and should infuse into every phase of the advertising process… it complements the blunt instrument that is advertising with finely detailed and real-time information.”

Further, digital tools and analytics, specifically lift-in-search volume, can be used to detect that target customers saw, remembered, and took action as a result of the advertising. In this way, advertisers can finally correlate effectiveness across all forms of advertising and marketing in what Dr. Fou calls the “Grand Unified Theory of Marketing.”

Here’s a checklist for integrating “digital” into marketing and advertising:
-- Understand the needs and habits of customers.
-- Assess how your product or service fits those needs.
-- Identify what information customers need to move toward and complete a purchase.
-- Deliver the information and more importantly ensure that the information can be found when customers look for it (e.g. search engine optimization).

About Dr. Augustine Fou

Dr. Augustine Fou is Group Chief Digital Officer of Omnicom's Healthcare Consultancy Group and President of Hyphen Digital. He has over 15 years of digital strategy consulting experience and is an expert in data mining, analytics, and consumer insights research, with specific knowledge in the consumer payments, packaged goods, food/beverage, retail/apparel, and healthcare sectors.

An Adjunct Professor at New York University in the Integrated Marketing Department of the School for Continuing and Professional Studies, Dr. Fou also writes a monthly column for ClickZ's Experts Columns on Integrated Marketing and is a frequent speaker and panelist at online and advertising industry conferences. He completed his PhD at MIT at the age of 23 in the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering.

LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/augustinefou
Follow Dr. Fou on Twitter: http://twitter.com/acfou

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