In a world where mobile technology is perceived as a given; where huge amounts of data are just waiting to unveil; where the lines between the personal, social and commercial have already blurred – digital marketing is about to get even more personal, connected and instant.
To understand and benefit from the opportunities in digital marketing, we obviously need to understand the channels, tools and behavior patterns that are key to consumers’ lives. However, we should always focus our attention on the one most important element of digital marketing: the consumer value. In that light, any action, tool, innovation or tactic that would help us increase the benefit we deliver to the consumer should be included in the marketing budget, and any tactic that doesn’t – should not.
The key for consumer benefit optimization is to offer the most compelling, relevant offers, which are helpful to the consumer, and fit the consumer’s purchase journey in terms of time, place and channel. The “degree of relevancy” is the scale which we believe would determine the success of any digital marketing tactic, as described here:
Time: real-time and contextual marketing will continue to grow, since they add relevancy and accuracy in accordance with the consumers’ current needs and activities. Those tactics require a strategic team, engaged in monitoring trends and responding to them in real-time. Another aspect of on-time marketing is enabling instant two-way communication – including on social media platforms (social CRM) and through instant messaging platforms, which have already surpassed email as the top messaging channel in 2014.
Place: the “internet of things”, wearables, beacons, and virtual reality tools can help merge digital marketing into physical experiences, which help activating and engaging the consumers.
Channel: Naturally, mobile is the single most important channel to be addressed by companies. The numbers speak for themselves – there are 7.1 billion global mobile connections (approximately 100% of world population!) according to a recent “We Are Social” report; and more than half of the global population watches videos from their mobile phones and tablets per Consumer Entertainment Index from Arris. But don’t write off those more traditional channels just yet: a cross-channel strategy is the most effective strategy for marketing communications.
Content is an empowering tool for consumers, because it provides them with both entertainment and decision supporting information. Yet, as the diversity in media and content consumption grows, so grows the marketer’s need to adopt a cross-channel strategy, which takes into consideration the different calls-to-action that are relevant for each stage of the path to purchase. Avoiding content overloading can be achieved by personalized, relevant, useful content (as we’ve described in earlier presentations).
Ultra-Personalization is something to really look forward to: time-starved consumers welcome messages that are helpful to them personally - rather than to the general population or a certain segment, and for marketers this will reflect in better conversion rates.
To successfully implement any relevancy-oriented strategy, companies need to know how to use “Big Data”. The collection of consumer data is far from sufficing: The key to proper big data implementation is first to recognize the questions on which the data would answer; then, to gather the information; and finally, to analyze it. Wearable technology and connected “things” will add another layer of data, which in turn will help marketers to make hyper-personal offers immediately.
Turning to 2016, the key for successful digital marketing is, in our opinion, to keep your eyes on the consumer, and build marketing capabilities that will enable you to immediately execute initiatives that will create personal, channel-specific, on-time value for the consumer.