In the coming years, digital marketers are expected to take complete control over the customer experience. In 2016, the industry saw more than 40% growth and now that we are almost in the middle of 2017, we can confidently say that digital marketing awaits a very bright future. There have been several contributing factors behind this growth. Mobile has been one of the prime factors and is currently driving nearly half of all the web traffic. While Internet of Things too is a relatively new concept, it too has started defining the new kind of marketing experience. There are plenty of predictions and opportunities and to combine everything calls for a profound experience.
Personalization has been here for a while, but it is the amount of data available at fingertips that has changed the way the market works. CMOs have already started working on the opportunities at hand and personalization is coming of age. One of the first implications is geo-targeting but advanced marketing requires building statistical models that ascertain what these signals means for the customers who are interested in specific products, while serving them accordingly. The rate of change is both challenging and exciting. Ranging from ad blockage to increasing mobile usage, the new trends are constantly emerging and it is often a feeling that marketers won’t be able to catch up. Consequently, staying ahead of these trends is one of the most integral factors of running a company as technologies and consumer behavior change with startling frequency.
The advantages of digital marketing
Everyone is online – Literally, everyone is online today. Digital marketing doesn’t just encompass the ecommerce apps and websites but also social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and more. The new age digital marketing consequently allows you to connect will all kinds of audience groups across the world. Today’s consumer behavior has helped break the boundaries of language, demographic and geography. In the past two years, the number of users even in the age group of 55+ has increased by nearly 80%. For the younger generation, the numbers are thoroughly generous. It you have been looking for a wider target market, your customers will definitely be online.
Getting added trust – With ‘Cold Calling’ you would have asked potential customers to trust you without any solid reason. This has always been a challenging thing for marketers but the opportunities have changed. Today, if consumers can find a social proof of your product quality online, they are more likely to approach you. Whatever the need, people try searching for it online and for marketers, being online is a much easier way to lead them to your product line. By generating a helpful catalogue and creative content, you can seek to attract the attention.
More cost effective – It has always been a misguided concept among digital marketers that cold calling is a way cheaper option than new age digital marketing investments. The later does take time but it is this investment that will give you long term results. To be able to produce a positive ROI requires spending time in doing things that you are best at. For other things, you can always choose to outsource to the best. At the end of the day, digital marketing is cheaper since it is more profitable.
Broadening your reach – With Cold Calling, you are literally in a one-to-one game. This goes on to severely affect the number of people you can contact at any point in time. Even with the best cold callers, you are limited with leads. Digital marketing and its tools, on the other hand, allow you to grow your audience exponentially. Today, people read and share content and thus expose it to an entire list of demographic. The only thing you need to ensure is that the content is sharable and has the potential of going viral.
Prospects responding from their comfort zone – Prospects and leads are more likely to lay their trust on you if they have been able to verify your credibility and ability. With digital marketing, you have all the social proof for it. From testimonials to case studies to analytics, there’s a lot at your disposal to turn your leads into prospects.
So how can marketers prepare for the digital future?
The emergence of wearable technologies – Experts suggest that marketers need to be better prepared for connected devices and wearable technologies like smart watches. The idea is to be able to reach the customer at any time and through a service that makes his life really convenient.
A balanced advertising-marketing mix – Advertising has always been about being able to communicate to an unknown audience while marketing is about handling channels that you are in control of. With rising implication of marketing tech, both advertising and marketing are converging into a form that better communicates with a known audience.
Hybrid cloud technologies – One of the persistent problem for the industry has been ‘data dumping’, wherein all data is systematically stored without a practical forward moving strategy. Adopting hybrid cloud allows picking up all relevant data and putting it to the scalability of the business.
Mobile becoming priority – Mobile devices have easily overgrown the popularity of any other digital devices. Smartphones are handy and consequently is the basic choice for all. With increasing number of features and other conveniences, smart phones in the coming years will go on to rule the digital marketing industry. Savvy marketers are already making the maximum opportunities with their mobile but there are always challenges to overcome.
Mastering customer intelligence – The idea of customer intelligence is all about gauging the future and being there before the demand has started showing up. Digital marketers need to understand what’s relevant to their customers and use the power of analytics to create touch points of engagement.
Today, the average marketer devotes almost 60% of his time to digital marketing activities. While this is set to increase, top companies have already working to increase their digital marketing budgets. The opportunities are many but there will always be issues to tackle. It won’t be a smooth ride but it certainly would be highly profitable.