One thing is clear in 2018 — the digital world no longer represents merely one component of a larger marketing strategy. It is now foundational. It’s no longer a question whether or not digital avenues will be considered in the collection of data, inbound and outbound communication with customers, and marketing techniques, but a question of how they will be put to use. We’re seeing changes in the digital sphere daily—from the changing screen sizes that we’re tapping to the changing software updates and user interfaces and even the changing complexity of customer data available to marketers.
In the words of Mark Hodges, Sales Director at Teradata, “Consumers expect you to market to them like you know them. The rise of mobile has dramatically changed everything in that regard they also expect you to respect that they have the ability to throw the privacy flag when they want to.” Mark was referring to consumer backlash against “the creep factor” of marketers mistaking context for relevancy when personalizing communications.
Customers want “personalized marketing,” according to Lisa Moffeit, Customer Retention & Acquisition, Rhapsody, back at Teradata’s 2014 Partners Conference. She encouraged marketers to “look at shopping behavior and other brand touch points to determine their customers' preferences.”
Using Data to Drive Individualized Insights
New trends becoming the norm in digital marketing include using individualized insights, experimenting with toxicity testing, augmented reality, and geolocation.
Individualized marketing is now the norm, not the exception—it is either embedded or strategic for 78% of marketers, according to our 2015 Data-Driven Marketing Survey. And it’s on the rise as we move into the future. Many brands are just beginning to understand the best practices in digital marketing, and much revolves around simple trial and error. For example, with so many customers glued to their phones, push notifications are an up-and-coming digital marketing tactic. However, marketers must ask, “How much communication is too much? Do our customers want to be communicated with every day, every week, or every month?” And “How do I utilize push notifications in coordination with other communication channels?” If you want to step up your marketing this year, take note of these other trends:
This concept of trial and error as it relates to messaging frequency to customers is referred to by some companies as “frequency optimization” or “A/B Testing” and is gaining popularity as a relatively cheap and effective way for marketers to evaluate send rates. This kind of testing can provide invaluable insights on using data to communicate with customers contextually, and learn about their behavior. Marketers are always seeking that perfect happy medium amount of messaging—not too much, not too little. A recent study confirmed that customers who got more than one push message while in a brand’s store were highly likely to unsubscribe. Message overload is a marketer’s worst fear. Previously loyal customers ubsubscribing are a nightmare.
It’s also imperative that the use of data to provide relevant and contextual communication to customers is done the right way. Data governance is crucial for a brand to remain on the right side of the line that defines what is permissible and what is desirable. With so much available data, though, marketers are well advised to control and use data the best way possible.
Gamifying the mobile experience is a trend that many service providers and consumer goods companies alike have started to adopt. Gamification, the process of involving the user deeply within a brand through interactive, game-like design schemes, contests, competitions, tracking, or similar engagement, is becoming an increasingly popular way to enhance the mobile experience.
In addition, geolocation capabilities enabled by mobile are changing the way brands interact with customers on the go by providing timely and contextual push notifications and offers depending on when and where the customer is.
Paid SEO, and the infusion of the resulting anonymous data for experience targeting is another trend. This also enables clever retargeting such as “look-alike” targeting, and interest graph targeting. Secondly, pay heed to social marketing — we’re now generating more social data than ever before. Therefore, it’s no surprise that social marketing is really the go-to channel of choice for many marketers.
Content marketers, listen up! Focusing on the Three C’s—create, curate, cultivate—and working with your digital marketing team to execute these should be your priority. The more real-time interaction customers expect, the quicker they’re going to expect prompt responses from the brands they interact with. We’re experiencing a shift—it’s not enough to simply respond in real-time. We now provide content via social media (and other channels) in response to customers' needs. The Three’s C’s must be applied and quickly. Moving forward, it’s clear that the advances in digital marketing enable tremendous opportunities for individualized, real-time communication. Marketing is shifting to entertaining, informing, and helping the customer through any and all digital means.
See how you stack up against top marketers now — this is a must if you want to compete in today’s competitive landscape.