Digital hype is engulfing the sector and many leading F&B brands can be now found on social networks, creating podcasts, launching microsites or hosting blogs.
This hype risks many businesses getting lost in a digital deluge as they quickly revolutionise marketing strategies to include online tactics. Companies are keen to capitalise on the opportunities created by the internet and digital communications such as SMS messaging and smart phone applications (apps). They fear losing market share as internet users grow and target audiences become ever influenced by the world of digital.
However, companies need to avoid being blinded by the communication channel and maintain focus on the message. Digital tools need to be adapted in line with communications strategies as opposed to vice versa. Taking an inline approach avoids neglecting effective offline mediums and ensures that the right digital tactics are deployed specific to business objectives and market behaviour.
This approach rejects silo strategies, where online is developed independent of offline or standalone digital campaigns are rolled out as companies fear getting left behind. Ultimately, companies should no longer question whether something is off or online. Inline plans create and execute campaigns without distinguishing between the channels used.
Successfully implementing this approach stems from knowledge and understanding. As was the case in the pre-digital era, in-depth research and analysis remains key to enabling companies to realise what they should be saying and how to be heard.
Yes, digital rules of engagement are different, but the principles remain the same. Digital design and tactical execution still needs to be based on integrity, transparency and respect.
Social media, mobile and video will all continue to grow in popularity next year and provide even more opportunities for corporate and consumer communications. Inline strategies will enable companies to capitalise on these opportunities to create and amplify advocacy. Better still, they’ll help businesses save time and money, and avoid damaging their own reputations.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020