Mar 10, 2014

Digital Marketing Strategy Facts

Times are changing, and if you haven't embraced, with the ferocity of an overzealous bear hug, the fact that mobile devices have fundamentally changed the way consumers shop and engage with brands, then welcome to 2014.

New consumer behaviors and fickle buying habits have made brand loyalty and push marketing a thing of the past.  Acquiring and keeping customers requires more intensive and targeted consumer experiences and engagement.  More important, as Millennials (and Digital Natives soon thereafter) continue to enter the workforce with increased purchasing power, having a digital strategy becomes key to long-term success.

Check out the summary below of econsultancy.com's recent Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing.  I'm sure you'll find the tips very useful, if not persuasive.
Top Opportunities for Digital Marketers:
  • Customer Experience: Creating a memorable and personalized customer experience is key.
  • Mobile Marketing: Without a doubt, people access information via mobile devices, so any digital strategy will need to consider mobile.  This is a tough nut to crack, however, as there has not yet been a clearly defined formula for success.  This, in and of itself, creates an exciting opportunity for those with the resources to experiment.
  • Content Marketing: Not only for improving search engine optimization, but for offering more reasons to engage with customers (much like this article does).
  • B2C vs B2B: While the priority for B2C digital strategy is customer experience, mobile optimization and conversion rate optimization, the priority among B2B marketers is clearly content management.
  • Experimentation:  Most marketers indicate that 2014 will be a year of experimentation, as they all attempt to try to find the most effective "formula" for content, mutli-channel and mobile optimization. 
Consumer Expectations:
  • Control Moves from Marketing to Market: Consumers have complete control of choice, so brands will now need to "battle to provide a continuous flow of ever-changing content for customers to digest."
  • Brand Loyalty is a Myth:  Information, choice and personalization is creating fickle customers.
  • Expectations are Outpacing Brand's Imagination and Investment:  Customers want, and have access, to more of everything, so staying ahead of their expectations will be tougher.  
  • The Future of Social Media is ... ?:  With savvy consumers being able to tailor their social media engagement and privacy settings, it will be increasingly more difficult for brands to get in front of them.  As well, the behaviors, from written (Twitter) to visual (Instagram, Snapchat) is quickly evolving, so the next popular social media platform is and will continue to change.
Email:
  • Devolving Effectiveness: While it is losing its effectiveness, marketers still see it as a key to a customer engagement strategy.
  • Cross Channel Approaches: It needs to be properly balanced with other means of reaching consumers, specifically younger consumers, such as social media.
  • Keep It Simple Stupid:  Consumers read email on small mobile devices these days.  Marketing messages can often become clustered or difficult to read on a small screen, so engagement should be reconsidered altogether.  
Television:
  • Disappearing Effectiveness:  Still a primary channel for reaching consumers, but with the fragmentation of cable, dwindling audiences, and rising advertising costs, television is becoming less and less effective.  Of marketers polled, 50% indicated that television advertising doesn't work, and only 20% thought that television would still be useful strategy in five years.
  • Content Marketing: 90% of those surveyed indicated that "the role of content will continue to grow as push marketing becomes less effective".
  • From TV to Mobile: The shift of viewing audiences from the desktop to mobile devices is inevitable.
  • Prioritizing Mobile: For many organizations, there is already an imperative to become “mobile-first”.
Cross-Channel Marketing:
  • Consistent Message:  Maintaining a consistent brand image, culture and message across all channels of engagement is important, especially when considering content may differ from a mobile device to websites viewed online.
  • Consumer Behavior:  Understanding how and when consumers utilize different devices when making a purchasing decisions is key.  This is especially true as consumers continue to use mobile devices for price comparisons and consumer reviews during their shopping experiences.
Digital Strategy Skills For Success:
  • Understanding technology and how it can be applied to improve marketing efforts
  • Unveiling and utilizing data patters to improve strategies
  • Thinking creatively and having a willingness to experiment (and the perseverance to fail)
  • Understanding business and business concepts in general, specifically ROI
  • Being agile and embracing collaboration