The only constant thing is change
Never a truer word has been said. Especially when it comes to marketing. The world that we live in has changed forever. It is time to take a serious look at the future of marketing.
Traditional marketing taught us to look at a product, find the benefits, and promote them to a target audience in an interruptive way to gain their attention.
Consumers no longer want to be interrupted. They no longer want to be ‘sold’ to. By publishing ads or content that is too obvious, you risk repelling your audience to your competitors.
The path to purchase is no longer linear.
Online usage has grown 30% in the last month and is set to continue to rise as we are confined to our homes in lockdown.
What customers are looking for are connection, credibility, and control. They want to be able to buy at the click of a button, anywhere and at any time. This poses a challenge to ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses who only have a window of availability for the customer.
Society places a high value on convenience. Amazon has proved that. People are learning fast that a physical store is not necessary to meet their needs. Look at Primark. The clothing giant has gone from making £650m in sales in a month to nothing. Why? Because the chain that was founded in 1969, does not have an online store or offer click-and-collect. The decision to keep prices low has ended up jeopardizing the whole business. Recent reports stating that up to 68,000 staff will need to be furloughed.
Even if Primark started up an online store tomorrow, they’d have a long way to go to shift their traditional retail business online. Having a successful e-commerce business takes time and focus on engineering the perfect customer experience.
When marketers focus on cost alone, they lose sight of value.
Digital marketing enables you to take the first step.
By researching how your customers shop for your product or service and the influences that impact their buying decision, you can start to map the customer journey.
‘The typical B2B buyer is 57 percent of the way to purchasing before they contact a supplier.’
So, make sure you are providing the right type of content to aid their independent research. If you think of a funnel, at the top – you would have awareness. How can you build awareness for the product or service you offer? Let us re-phrase that with the voice of the customer. ‘How do I find the right product or service to solve my problem?’ If you were the customer, where would you start?
- Ask a friend /Influencer.
With more channels available than ever before, and competition for share of voice increasing, marketers must ensure they are in the places their customers are looking for. But using a scattergun approach to be online can waste valuable resources and end up costing a fortune on media spend. It is, therefore, equally important to be strategic.
Digital media is both controllable and measurable.
With the right tools to effectively monitor your marketing channels, marketing decisions can be based on measurement data that is trusted. This data can inform decisions on budget and resourcing that traditional marketing would not have even known about.
Data can be a powerful force, removing uncertainty to help you understand your market and customer dynamics. Analyzing performance and monitoring competitors will help you to move forward confidently, even in times of a crisis.
Word of mouth marketing is one of the oldest forms of persuasion. More and more, we see word of mouth marketing amplified by an active social media strategy.
How many times have you shared a funny meme or informative article on your social channels? What was it about it that made it shareworthy? If the content is emotive or generates a feeling within you, the likelihood is you’ll share it with someone else. By looking at popular articles within your niche on sites like Buzzfeed, you can identify what topics are resonating with your customers and think about how you can use this emotion or content style to deliver your message.
A reputable Social Media Management Company can advise best practices and assess the digital landscape, support you to create a content strategy, and provide results regularly so you can monitor performance. If you are doing this in-house, ensure you bring the whole team as social media can often get tasked with one person to manage. In contrast, it’s a company-wide initiative and shouldn’t be underestimated for its power.
The more we can find out about the motivations of customers, how they interact with the different marketing channels, the more personalized experience you can provide.
Digital marketing is more than just data.
It enables you to creatively teach and engage with your customers to exchange value, learn about each other, and demonstrate how your product can solve their problems. It is a platform for storytelling, to create conversations that resonate with your audience, to show them you are there, you understand, and you are listening.
At our digital marketing agency in Kent, we offer more than just content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, email, and paid advertising. We help brands to deliver on their promises. If winning attention, engagement, and permission is the value for businesses, we help them do that and turn that attention into sales.
The online world has become a vital lifeline in supporting our society to function and is an essential way for businesses to reach their customers. Having a website is not enough. You need to ensure that website can be found in search, and if you’re looking to grow or attract new business, then you need to be actively contributing to the conversation on social media too.
You are showcasing your expertise, authority, and trust all help to move people through the buying process and win over Google to promote your content in the search results. As an SEO agency in Kent, we understand the power of search and work with it to optimize your products and services. Using keyword research, we can tell a lot about our potential customers and their intent, which can inform a robust digital marketing strategy.
Measuring ROI with digital marketing
It is no longer acceptable to base your marketing on guesswork. In traditional marketing, ROI was measured by an increase in revenue and sales. If these dropped, marketing would adjust their strategies and try something else.
In digital marketing campaigns, not everything directly shows ROI. There may be other key performance indicators that are important such as audience growth or an increase in website visitors. It is essential to identify which KPIs are important to you so you can track the right metrics to track performance.
Many businesses hand over their digital marketing to an outside digital marketing agency because they simply do not have the skills or time to do it properly. Whether you choose to upskill your in-house team or outsource your digital marketing, the future of marketing is digital. Do not get left behind.
Claire Pankhurst is the owner and founder of Bright Marketing Company, a Digital Marketing Agency in Kent that supports brands to drive awareness, generate leads, and win more sales. Claire is an accomplished Marketing and Communications professional with over ten years’ experience working in digital marketing across the customer lifecycle, connecting sales and marketing to increase revenue.