Digital Doughnut Interview – Digital Marketing With Bite

Located in London’s trendy digital quarter of Shoreditch, fast-growing digital marketing community Digital Doughnut has become one of the most sought-after platforms for marketing content to be published online, and its marketing push-pull approach reaches 1.1 million members.

Q.What is the Digital Doughnut?

A. Our belief is that publishing has moved on and that if you’re not helping the community you serve, you won’t survive. So, as soon as you could set up groups on LinkedIn, back in 2007, we set up Digital Marketing which now has more than 1.1 million members and is the platform’s biggest marketing group. LinkedIn is a great resource for facilitating a conversation between professionals in the same industry, but we wanted a site where we had more control over the content, so we launched Digital Doughnut.

Q.What’s been the key to its success?

A. It helps marketers cut through the chaff. There’s just so much information out there that they don’t know where to go for independent, well-sourced advice on marketing as well as independent guidance on picking the right tools. It’s written for marketers by marketers and it’s a cut above those sites which just allow vendors to boast about themselves – we’re not sales. We understand that if people are good enough to give us their personal information, we owe them great content. Only, top-quality articles and advice appear on to the site.

Q.What are the top challenges for marketers right now?

A. Marketers are inundated with information. There’s just so much ‘noise’ out there, they don’t know where to look for decent advice. It’s the same with data, there’s so much data they can gather but they’re struggling to get any insight from it. So, that means it’s hard to know which tools to go for. There are estimates of more than 6,000 marketing technology software tools to choose from. At the same time, marketers are trying to improve their, understanding of clients to give them a better customer experience. There’s always a new channel or opportunity to try out but marketers don’t know which is suitable, and if just ‘going for it’ will jeopardise a uniform customer experience.

Q.What about the growth in social influence for brands?

A. We know how important social is – our Digital Marketing group is the third largest group on LinkedIn. That means we’re in a good position to help our clients establish meaningful relationships and build solid reputations through social. We can also advise if there is a good basis to work with influential people and groups.

Q.Many databases have been reduced through GDPR. Is this good or bad?

A. Ultimately, it has to be a good thing. Brands have lost a lot of their data because they weren’t sure where the personal information came from and so they decided to erase it. That means it couldn’t have been very good data in the first place. That’s probably why we’ve had a lot of interest in our lead generation service. You can start building up lists with people you know are interested in what you do, and want to carry on the conversation. It’s far better to have an engaged, smaller list than a sprawling database of people who are not interested in hearing from you.

Q.Will there be a resurgence in some traditional media like innovative direct mail?

A. Yes, we can definitely see people using more direct mail because if it’s done well if it’s relevant and personalised, it can drive engagement. The beauty of the channel is that people are taking a lot more careful with it now because there are significant costs involved. They’re being far more creative with mail than email.

Q.The BPMA prides itself in reminding marketers about the value of tactically engaging product media. How can brands maximise this more?

A. Promotional merchandise is often an after-thought, so you end up with people being given items that were a last minute decision. There’s no innovation or thought – how many phone power banks does the average person need? It can
have a negative impact if you’ve not thought about it. There’s also the brand risk element of handing out cheap electronics that could go wrong. So, we’d always advise sourcing through a reputable organisation, such as the BPMA, and putting a lot more imagination into merchandise as part of your early strategy.

The BPMA is pleased to confirm a business relationship has been agreed with Digital Doughnut as part of the BPMA End User Engagement.

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