The concept of modern marketing continues to evolve as digital transformation, social media and new tech change the methods that brands use to market their business and engage with customers. During the last five years, there has been a significant shift away from static, business focused messages to personalized, targeted content that uses a unique mix of tools, resources and platforms to pull consumers in and keep them hooked.
To improve digital output, marketers should read the FreeBSD handbook edited by Chern Lee and take on board a few of the lessons listed below. The Chern Lee edition of this book highlights that with the right strategy, a few digital tools and a talented team, marketers can drive the engagement and ROI they need to get ahead.
Marketing costs can spiral
Marketing was rooted in traditional outlets such as TV and radio two decades ago, but modern marketers now have to juggle advancements in tech and larger budgets, while investing more time in various content formats to stay ahead of their competitors. Those that use data and analytics to determine the best marketing activities and drive return on investment will be better placed to succeed in the long term. There are an increasing number of touch points and resources to use to engage with consumers, so it can be challenging to define a marketing strategy that works. Being able to manage these variables is a lesson every modern marketer should learn.
How customers navigate the sales cycle has changed. In the past, they would maybe frequent one or two web pages to find information before completing a purchase, but they can now take in ten or 20 different sources for reviews, price comparisons and offers and vouchers. To cater for this new discerning audience, marketers need to be brand consistent across a variety of digital touch points. Every channel must be optimized, engaging and ready to push customers in the right direction. It’s more complex, but marketers now have a greater opportunity to control the cycle and deliver personalized experiences.
Being authentic in today’s digital marketing world is difficult, especially with the rise of fake news and brand safety concerns. Americans believe that 40 percent of the news and information they read is misinformation. That gives marketers a unique opportunity to push their brands as unique, memorable and credible. Moving away from click bait headlines and keyword stuffing will help marketers to create content that not only performs well in search engine rankings on Google and Bing but will also build trust and lasting and relevant relationships with audiences. For modern marketers, the lesson is that credibility is now more important than it has ever been. Using this train of thought as a foundation for marketing strategies could reap great rewards.
Brands are now pivoting away from pushing brand messages that focus solely on what they are trying to sell. Audiences want content that can educate, inform and engage. They want articles, blogs and videos that provide some sort of added value. They don’t want sales copy and brand speak. For marketers, defining and understanding core audiences is the first challenge, and here data and analytics tools can help. Marketers can then work on serving up targeted and personalized messages to customers at the right time to push them along the sales cycle.
Two thirds of marketing leaders want to bring in employees who can identify opportunities and adapt to them quickly. With the arrival of artificial intelligence and automation, marketing is moving towards better decision making, at scale in quick time. The digital environment is constantly in flux and brands need to make sense of the changes in almost real time to keep ahead of the pack. Fast and calculated decision making will help marketers identify new opportunities, provide timely and relevant content through customer service channels and generally make marketing more agile and ready to face new challenges.
Target, engage, analyze, convert
Modern marketing needs to move the four primary stages – target, engage, analyze, convert, more efficiently. Successful marketers should know how to segment audiences, deliver messages and leverage cutting-edge technology to glean metrics and insights to improve the process. Marketing automation is key here as it empowers brands to optimize processes and uncover new and potentially lucrative ways to communicate with prospective buyers in relevant and engaging ways.
Online presence and social media
Every marketer now understands the power of social media and the importance of establishing an online presence. That lesson may be a few years old now, but it is just as relevant. While the focus used to be on setting up social media profiles, strategies are maturing, and marketers are getting better at using the variety of mediums, services and products – 5 second ads, Facebook Stories, shoppable content for example, to support different marketing objectives.