A digital transformation is upon us, where ‘digital marketing’ will no longer exist. There is a bigger picture emerging where the use of digital media and technology is no longer separate from broad-spectrum marketing efforts. Digital is the consumer lens. The world is digital. Marketing is digital.
98% of marketers say online and offline marketing are merging (Gartner, 2015). A Gartner survey reveals that digital marketing is now the top priority for marketers, while some savvy marketers are even moving beyond digital marketing techniques and creating new business models with digital at the forefront. This has become essential for all businesses, as customers have gained power over marketers due to extensive technological capabilities, an unlimited access to information and the capability to purchase any product or service on the market. This has changed the customer decision journey entirely. Today, customers are in control and they engage with companies on their own terms, not yours. Therefore, understanding and responding to your customer’s journey online should be the core of your marketing strategy.
‘I’ll Google It’
A term so popular it is defined as a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary; ‘googling’ is the action implemented by a person in need of information and the action your potential customer takes when they are in the market for a product or service. Unfortunately, customers aren’t always googling your company, in fact, they are connecting with one another to communicate product or service recommendations. 68% of people trust customer recommendations they read on social media, online forums and blog posts (Nielson).
Leveraging social media is critical for your business, as this is where opinions are shared 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, between buyers around the world. Currently 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form (Aberdeen), while 59% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more each week. (Social Media Examiner). Implementing an effective social media strategy is what will grow your brand and lead the discussion that will influence word-of-mouth marketing.
It’s all about value
As customers hold more power than ever before, they are looking for value. There is nothing more engaging than multimedia content rich with the insights that your customer is looking for or a timely email presenting a special offer on the product your customer has been considering. Providing value through relevant and consistent content is key for an effective value exchange, whether that is a sale, social share or access to prospect data.
The ‘Digital body language’
In a digital world data is everything. It is the digital body language that allows you to understand your customer and nurture them through their decision journey. It is the information you need in order to provide personalised content that will make your brand stand out from the crowd. Data is your opportunity to gain power as a marketer and implement a marketing strategy that will help your business thrive.
As the marketing landscape develops with our ever-evolving digital world, don’t get left behind. Consider the key digital trends and how this is affecting your customer’s buyer journey. Is your marketing strategy on par with your customer’s digital lifestyle? You may need to reevaluate your marketing approach and implement new digital methods in order to maximize your reach and ROI. To help with this, ensure you are up to date with the latest marketing insights and have the right digital experts help you create a tactical digital strategy that will ensure the growth and longevity of your company.
Ganter, 2015. http://gartnerformarketers.com/CMOspend