How to Tap the Power of Digital Marketing

A recent Advertising Age article headline declared "AAF Survey:  Industry ‘Behind the Curve’ in Digital Marketing."  The premise of the article is – while many marketers believe in the power of digital marketing, they aren’t entirely sure how to tap into that power.

I thought I’d try to find an example of, specifically, online marketing done well.  I was hoping to find an example of online marketing to women done well, but couldn’t find a good example.   So, for today, we’re going to switch to online marketing to men done well.

Axe Body Spray  – launched into a mature 2.4 billion market just four years ago, Axe deodorant has taken leadership of the category.   So what’s Axe’s secret?   I believe it’s smart marketing.   (I’ve never tried the product, um, since I’m not a guy, so I can’t speak as to the quality of the product itself)   But Axe seems to know who its audience is, where its audience is, and what matters to its audience (young men). 

They’ve done an extraordinary job of turning that knowledge into sales.    So how did they do it?  I believe a large part of it is due to their online marketing efforts.  Where so many others failed, Axe has been successful.   Here’s why….


Axe knows its brand – it’s all about sex appeal, or, to put it in the "keywords" of their audience "game".   It’s all about your ability to attract chicks.   Every marketing message touches on that core brand attribute in some way.   

Talk about taking advantage of digital – there’s the main Axe website

they promote their new scent "Clix" with a video featuring Nick Lachey.  (once again promoting how guys who wear Axe get more "looks" thus have more sex appeal.   (though one critique – after the video ends, this is a dead end in the persuasion scenario – there is no more scent – nowhere you really want to go)

Gamekillers is another website

I just love this – it features characters who are out to "klll your game" – in other words, try to keep you from scoring with the woman you’re interested in.   These characters are just great – the site is totally engaging.    And it’s all tied in with the brand message.   

The site also has wonderful viral elements like "The Obituary Generator" where you can rag on your guy friends who "lost their game" and struck out.   (must be a male bonding thing – I couldn’t imagine girls wanting to rat out friends who struck out, but hey – if it works for guys – terrific)

and the multi-channel marketing doesn’t end there.     Gamekillers is a show on MTV. 

Axe has identified who their audience is and where they are – Axe is on MTV, they’re in MySpace, they have at least 4 websites I could find.   They have product placement in video games.  (see an interesting discussion of how gamers feel about that product placement)

They did such a good job with the music in the commercial – people are searching all over to try to find out who did it and buy it.

The reason I think all these efforts work is – they are all coordinated – they all promote the brand – no purely entertaining stuff that has little or nothing to do with the product.  They know who their audience is and how to engage them.   They coordinate their online and offline efforts.   The brand message is consistent across multi-channels.

Axe gets an "A" on their digital marketing efforts. 

Want to know more about how you can gain the kind of customer insight that Axe has? Want to know how you can coordinate your marketing campaign across multiple channels?   Learn this and more in Waiting for Your Cat to Bark. 

Now, if I can just find an equally good example for marketing to women….

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12 Responses to How to Tap the Power of Digital Marketing

  1. This is really smart marketing that makes profit.
    For example you should always know who will be your audience.
    Besides Susan LaPlante-Dube at (this is not an ad, just a research) notes that research is very important. She say that we should clarify our objectives and measurements so know if our investment brings us the expected return. For example, if we want to replace our sales and marketing kit, we should identify the cost of creating and mailing each kit. Then determine how many we send out each month. Set a goal that our Web site will reduce the number of kits we mail by 80 percent and tie a dollar figure to that. After our site’s been up several months, we can measure its success.
    It’s reasonable cause “Knowledge is power” especially in an interactive world.

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  8. Sun Tzu says:

    I know about Pull Digital Marketing. This involves the visitors and potential customers coming to you through directly finding and looking at the content you want them to.

  9. Aiden Carns says:

    Digital marketing is a surfacing trend in advertising. It allows marketers to sell their goods and services in a way which will reach a larger number of audiences. I won’t be surprised if there are less print ads in the years to come. XD

  10. Yes, yes. Digital marketing is just around the corner, but the challenge comes when marketers formulate ways to harness the power of this potent marketing platform. I can’t agree more with your example about Axe Body Spray. True enough, a concrete market research will serve as an edge in your online marketing efforts.

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