Digital has become a part of everyday life for most Americans so there’s no question of its importance in a best-in-class marketing plan. But the digital landscape is constantly in flux, and marketers face the challenge of keeping abreast of all this change while establishing innovative and efficient ways to execute winning marketing strategies.

As the President of Millward Brown Digital, Stephen DiMarco is all too familiar with this challenge, as he spends his days helping our clients navigate the evolving digital landscape. In the latest Digital Dialogue, I interview him to understand his opinions on how marketers, agencies, and media companies can get digital right.

At Millward Brown Digital, we talk a lot about “Getting Digital Right.” How would you define what it means to Get Digital Right?

Simply put, getting digital right means navigating all of the digitally-driven opportunities impacting your business to accelerate growth. A few years back, that may have meant simply growing online sales to some companies, and redirecting media spend to digital channels for others. Those strategies worked when digital touchpoints were still emerging and secondary to traditional ones. That’s not the case anymore as mobile, connected devices, and social platforms are often the dominant touchpoint. This means if you’re not getting the entirety of digital right, you’re getting marketing wrong.

What do you view as the biggest barrier to brands Getting Digital Right?

Time, talent and money. If I could wave my magic wand for brands, I would grant them the ability to put their existing businesses on hold so they could reprioritize, restaff and rebudget their business without damaging current business performance. For most brands, the challenge comes down to running a base business that is going through epic transformation due to changes in consumer behavior and technology. It’s virtually impossible to move fast enough to keep up with the pace of change when you approach transformation with an incremental mindset.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for marketers to Get Digital Right in 2015? How can marketers capitalize on that opportunity?

Unfortunately I don’t have a magic wand…which means that marketers need to identify those few things that combine to have the biggest short-term impact and put them on the path to long-term digital dominance. It’s tempting to jump right into choosing what digital programs to prioritize, but I actually think it’s more important to first be crystal clear on what outcomes you want to improve. In my view, the two most important outcomes are: Increasing Sales (shorter term) and Increasing Brand Equity (longer term). There is no set formula to do this since industries and companies vary so widely. That said, most of the work that we are doing with clients involves both optimizing digital within the path-to-purchase to drive sales and optimizing digital within the media mix to drive brand metrics.

Thanks, Stephen! To learn more about what it means to Get Digital Right, download our latest report here.

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