How Digital Marketing is Reshaping the Way Companies do Business

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Consumer Technology is moving at a blistering speed these days. The last decade has ushered in a world of social media, smart devices, mobile apps and companies have been modernizing their marketing technologies to keep pace with their customer’s behaviors. Some companies have caught up their users behaviors and are pushing digital trends across their Industries. Here are some key digital marketing trends that I am continuing to see focus on.

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Social Media
Social Media is now an integral part of daily life for consumers, and companies are all working to adopt social media marketing a some level. Ignoring the power of social connections and online word-of-mouth is no longer an option. In today’s world a disenchanted customer can complain through social media and one annoyed rant can take a viral spin over a short time. Most companies have realized that now that social media has to be taken seriously and have started to dedicate the right resources to properly manage the social experience.

One trend that I continue to see is that firms can enhance campaigns by incentivizing customers to share socially. These types of promotions are an attractive way to entice customers to follow and & engage socially. Once you get the follow, you have another direct line to communicate and engage with your customers and / or potential customers.

Marketing Analytics
The Business community was an early adopter of technology that brought customer data together. However, firms have struggled to cope with the recent explosion of big data from a number of sources including website behavior, social media interactions, digital footprint tracking, and retail interactions. Customers want their Companies they do business with to be proactive and provide personalized attention. Most firms already have the data, but the trick continues to be how to harness that data to deliver the right personalized message to the right customer at the right time.

Many firms are swirling around the Big Data term trying to figure out what tools can help them best in their quest to take what the know about customers and use that to engage their base. Marketing Automation tools are getting adopted left and right. Firms can combine CRM data with marketing analytics, and then use automation to systematically up-sell, cross-sell and nurture, based on the insights gathered.

Responsive Design
The emergence of mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones has sparked a shift in web development the past few years, from mobile websites and apps to multi-platform responsive websites. The responsive design shift is a targeted approach for the construction and visual structure of sites. The goal: to provide an optimal user experience –easy reading and navigation with minimal resizing, panning and scrolling –across the three major devices: mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers.

This year, I am also seeing the emergence and adoption of the forth screen, which is the smartwatch, brought on by the apple watch and others. Some firms are still catering to different user experiences via adaptive design (separate .mobile sites when access via a mobile devices) but 2015 is the year to implement or at least be planning on how adjust your platform to cater to the all screen experience. Mobile access to the Web continues to rise and is the preferred method for accessing information online for customers.

Video content
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, and accounts for 50% of internet traffic. Online Video is good at getting a specific message across quickly and 46% of consumers are more likely to investigate a product after seeing an online video. According to the Global Digital Landscape study, the Nielsen team reported that, viewing video is the most popular type of content consumption globally with 55% of the respondents saying that video programs are an important part of their life.

According to Marketo, firms having the most success with video are adopting high volume, low-production-cost video that can significantly boost a firm’s inbound and social marketing success. Online video is very effective (a person can retain 95% of a video after 72 hours vs. 10% of text they’ve read) and very searchable (video appear in almost 70% of the top 100 search listings). With the right video content, firms can then leverage their marketing analytics to target the right customers with the right video message. Also, video nurturing is an underutilized tactic among firms.

Email
As customers continue to move to online as their primary method of managing accounts & relationships, email has become a key channel for communication. In some companies however, email is still mainly used for operational alerts and / or news rather than marketing.
Compliance concerns and fear of bombarding customers has kept firms away from using email for marketing. Oracle Marketing Cloud team says, “The right marketing cloud technology, in addition to providing best practices, can automate the compliance process, ensuring that everything follows the right workflow. Marketing message are processed in one place, and are passed through the compliance team, to let marketers focus on what they do best: marketing.”

At the end of the day email is still a very effective way to communicate one on one with your customers even though the average person gets around 416 commercial emails per month. Companies can leverage email best practices to cut through the clutter and engage with this customers. Some best practices are to develop effective subject lines, communication cadence, and adjust messages in real time according to feedback. Firms can also leverage the data they collect from marketing analytics to segment, target and personalize emails better. This will increase engagement rates significantly.

Marketing Automation
A key component of many new marketing strategies for b2b and b2c firms is implementing marketing automation. This is a technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster. The marketing system and processes can be enhanced to allow for companies to automate email campaigns, track the digital footprint of customers and enable lead nurturing for retention and acquisition of customers by email engagement.

Companies are continuing to plan, purchase and implement marketing automation tools and processes across the industry since so many firms are having success with lead to revenue numbers. Marketo, a leading marketing automation firm says that firms should shy away from one-way communication. Firms can use marketing automation to create a two-way conversation by listening to the customer’s online behavior.
Research compiled from a number of different partners and leaders in the industry including.
Marketo & Oracle Salesforce.com.

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