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In times past, advertisers were told “to make the ad jump off the page” or “make it pop” or “make a first impression that lasts a lifetime.” All of these are still true, except in the modern age, this needs to happen in the digital world. Today, Americans spend more than twelve hours with media devices whether at work or home. They could be interacting through their desktop, laptop, TV, cell phone, or tablet. So, today, a brand that does not have a digital presence can not expect to engage consumers, since they want to connect to a brand in the digital world.

Consumers have expectations to communicate on a digital platform and not by calling a “1-800” Customer Service line. The consumer wants a quick response to their on-line inquiry, and 84 percent of consumers expect a follow-up within 24 hours. The customer service on a digital platform is as important as the digital branding. Poor performance on either side can lose customers for you.

It is very important to build your digital identify by being present in the consumers’ preferred platforms—websites, blogs, mobile apps, social media, on-line videos, email, etc. Next you have to assure your content is recognizable and consistent with the brand whether it is on a 72-inch television screen, a 12-inch lap top computer screen, an eight-inch tablet screen or a four-inch smart phone screen. Things like fonts, font size, white space, logos, and color need to be consistent on all digital platforms. Just imagine not seeing the colors midnight green, silver, and black in an ad for the Philadelphia Eagles; or black, gold, and white in an ad for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Another benefit of a digital-first approach allows you to prioritize targeted marketing in a way that traditional advertising does not. Digital allows you to create different versions of an advertisement to personalize them based on demographics, purchasing history, etc. Sixty percent of web searches are done through smartphones and tablets, so you have to ensure fast response time and the ability to be flexible and adaptable as new digital strategies become available.

A quality digital-first approach can provide a better consumer experience and interaction with the brand. This will attract and maintain customers for your brand and products.

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