Recent technological development – along with social media – have transformed the consumer’s thinking process. The way they behave with brands has also undergone change as well. So, even though traditional means and methods are very much in vogue, modern-day marketers are upping the ante and learning the ropes of digital marketing strategies to get to know their customers better.
The digital gurus who are high on big data and analytics are also extremely creative and masters in their respective fields of design and copywriting, photography and filmmaking. Some of the CEOs of top digital agencies came up with great answers when asked what is required to be on the top of the game.
#1. Professionalisation is what is happening
For a long period of time, organisations have hired other groups to perform digital marketing. Now, with consumers wanting to know a bit more – after all, they’re demanding authenticity as well as transparency – organisations have finally taken the plunge. The emergence of in-house marketing personnel has given birth to an all-new professional. This has – in turn – led to the inherent needs of training, certifying and backing the requirements of in-house digital marketing experts.
As more and more digital marketing professionals get added to the workforce, businesses are quickly realising that there is a wide gap between skill levels. While some fare well in social media, others do a great job when it comes to research. In this scenario, certification courses add value and make a difference to the professional’s capabilities too.
#2. Time is of great essence
The ever-evolving digital world can overwhelm not just businesses but top notch marketers as well. There is a vast ocean of data and information available out there, and whether we like it or not we need it to stay afloat. But, apart from all the data analytics and consumption, we need to remind ourselves of one important facet which needs to be considered all the time, and that is time. To master the business and/or become a masterful digital marketer, the first thing you need to master is time. The way digital marketing is evolving, we need to understand that to manage everything from innovative technologies to changing trends, we need to focus our time and efforts on the most important revenue generators. Take time out and perfect the art of nurturing these generators without going astray. For the chosen revenue generators, put in your efforts into traffic channels which will bear fruit. They could be owned, paid as well as earned. This will help you garner awareness and exposure for your products or services which can then be converted to sales. See what works for you, and they don’t move away from it. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t try to do too many things at the same time. And most importantly, go ahead and build relationships, be true to yourself and form a renowned image throughout various social media platforms. You may think it’s frivolous, but your own branding is a must to build trust and get inbound leads. Your audience will find you credible and believable. When you manage to take time out for yourself, you will see that a lot of others are doing the same. While the inherent concepts of marketing will hardly ever get altered, it’s just the technologies and tools that shift. Think about it, give it time and don’t be intimidated or befuddled by them.
#3. Native commerce is the next big thing
Yes, this is about native commerce, not e-commerce. Just like the term native advertising native commerce also exists as well. Brands are concentrating their efforts to coerce a more direct response from their users, and native commerce is helping them with it. While practicing this type of commerce can be tough, you can serve customers best through this method. It attracts buyers of various genres through communities that are built and driven by content. So, if you’re into fashion and want to stay updated about all the latest trends, a business which is into native commerce will work towards building a content-rich community. And it would make perfect business sense to offer products that are in tandem with that community.
So, if businesses have a community driven by content, where users or prospective buyers could ask questions rather than facing the hard sell that e-commerce generally does, you can get feedback that matters. It is predicted that in some years, you will stop just transacting and shop with other native commerce communities.
Differentiation is the key in today’s cut-throat digital marketing scenario. You need to carve a niche for your business and differentiate your company from the competition. There are many evolving digital marketers that are generic, and might not last long in the rat race. Of course, there are some who would prefer to talk about past victories and not change with the times or adapt well, but they will also become obsolete in the near future. Digital marketing companies need to put in more effort and go that extra mile to remain competitive and make a mark in the industry. Agencies in the business should be questioning themselves, as they intend to go beyond the contract for their clients. They also need to introspect if they are bringing any extra value that their competitor is not offering. Apart from this, they need to know if their services are such that can be outsourced easily or even get replaced by machines or innovative software. If the answers to these questions don’t come quickly to you, then maybe you need to reconsider your stand in the industry – or maybe even look at doing things in a different manner.
#5. Customer-centric business is in
Digital marketers need to be in love with their customers, not themselves or the product that they’ve crafted with meticulous care. Businesses need to be defined on the basis of who is being served, and not what you offer to your target group. There is a serious difference between the two, and fully comprehending the difference is what will define whether you are a success or a failure.
Apple became a giant of their particular industry solely because they stopped taking their computers seriously, and started serving a certain demographic. Most successful companies have a clear image of what their customer looks like. They go ahead and change their products and services if the existing ones do not meet the needs of their ideal customers. Those marketers who concentrate on just their products slowly move away from what their customers actually need. It is extremely important to be a customer-centric business and design products that your audience demands.
The most important element in the complex world of digital marketing is a strategy. Without it, how will you make sense of all the marketing activities undertaken and implemented by your brand? Strategy accords a framework for optimization as well as measurement of each and every activity. Just ask yourself: if a particular activity was not driving any ROI, would you still be doing it? A strategy that’s already set in place would be able to answer that. Marketing can be based on intuition, but it still needs the backing power of strategy to take it further ahead. It can’t just be driven by one’s gut or powered by technical and trendy buzzwords. Analytics, measurement, and statistics are all required metrics, and these come about only through the use of the right strategy. If you wish to grow in digital marketing, then you can’t shy away from analyzing the data that’s present before you. Quantitative marketing is here to stay, and strategy will drive this change.