Parking & Mobility, July 2021

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You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks: Digital Marketing Edition By Bill Smith


’M WHAT YOU MIGHT CALL AN OLD TIMER. When I started my public relations career back in 1986, there

was no Internet, nor was their email, and there certainly wasn’t digital marketing. I typed on an IBM Selectric on actual paper. If you aren’t familiar with that model typewriter, Google it. It wouldn’t look out of place on Mad Men. plementing a digital marketing campaign and it can be quite complex. For the sake of this column, however, I would like to focus on some elements of digital marketing that can easily be implemented by your marketing team or consultant.

Digital Marketing

Identify the Targets

Digital marketing is defined by marketing tactics that use digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps to reach key audiences. Digital strategies open up a whole new universe of opportunity because they allow you to reach people directly on their personal devices and computers. Because smartphones have become ubiquitous during the past decade and a half, these strategies give your key audiences near constant access to you, your brand, and your messages—and it gives you near constant access to them. There’s a science to creating and im-

The first step in developing a program is to do some research to identify your key targets—who they are and what they want from you. This can be done by surveying your existing customers, industry leaders, and people within your organization. Once you know who your targets are and what they want from you, you can develop your messaging. Of course, once you have messaging that promotes your brand, you need to convey it. There are a number of digital marketing tactics you can implement. First comes social media. You and your


Dig ital g Ma r keti n

people should already be connected to your key contacts on LinkedIn and other social media channels. If you aren’t, you need to get started today. Social media is the perfect place to share news, features, and items of interests with your customers, prospects, colleagues, and other contacts. For instance, on LinkedIn you can post articles generated through your public relations program, items of interest to your followers, and updates on what’s happening in your organization. Likewise, you can post photos that illustrate your products and services, as well as informational content


We’ve come a long way. Right now, I’m happily typing away on my MacBook Pro, gazing at my 27-inch monitor. If I hit the wrong key (which I frequently do), I just backspace and try again. There’s not a bottle of Wite-Out in sight. Like everything else, marketing is always evolving. Just as my tools have changed in the past 35 years, so have the ways I approach my job as a marketer. Sure, the traditional elements of marketing—public relations, advertising, newsletters, etc.—are just as relevant as ever, but the digital age is now offering us many new, effective ways to reach customers, partners, thought leaders, and colleagues. It’s time to embrace digital marketing.