Over the past few years, digital marketing has encountered rapid advancements, forever changing the world of marketing as we know it. As a result, an abundance of marketing tools and trends have emerged, not only aiding the marketing industry, but creating opportunities and challenges that must be navigated by marketers. But with, “only 47.1% of Australian businesses having an online presence”, some businesses are not adapting to the evolving marketing landscape. From my many years of experience as Director of Agent99, a full service communications agency, I believe that in order to survive the ‘new world’, businesses should be aware of these 5 digital marketing truths to be able to reach their desired audience.
- Engage in data-driven digital marketing
The needs of customers are rapidly progressing, with higher expectations than ever before, where more personalised experiences from brands are required. This can be achieved through the interpretation, analysis and use of data as insights will allow for improved decision making and increased personalisation. Understanding this, it is not surprising that a survey of more than 7,000 professionals found that, “53% of organisations chose ‘data-driven marketing’ as their strategic priority”.
Through the evolvement of data-driven marketing, marketers are able to gather crucial information that aids in the overall success of their strategy or campaign. Most importantly, data provides accurate representations of the audience, when, what and how the advertisement or campaign performed. This will allow marketers to define demographics and behavioural trends of their audience. Thus, businesses can develop appropriate products and relevant messages to key target markets, furthering the success of their business in general.
- There is a continual rise in Chatbots
In 2018, you will most likely see chatbots being introduced into more industries with more complex transactions. This type of instant response not only improves internal efficiency but is fast becoming a consumer expectation. Chatbots may make a consumer feel like they are indeed speaking to a human, however, they’re merely computer generated simulations that mimic human interaction.
Although their existence is not entirely new, businesses are only starting to deem them trustworthy enough to handle tasks such as customer service. In fact, chatbots have become such a success that the National Bank of Australia are currently trialling their own bot which will aid 200 customers at a time. It is predicted that it will improve overall positive customer experience and free up the time of NAB workers.
- Marketing automation tools can streamline multiple tasks
Due to the evolving nature of the digital marketing landscape, marketers need to keep up with multiple activities and tasks daily. Marketers must be utilising marketing automation tools now to simplify time consuming tasks and streamline processes to ensure they focus on bigger, revenue generating tasks.
I recommend using a multi-functional platform like Marketo which offers a range of tools such as marketing automation, consumer engagement marketing, real time personalisation and marketing management.  Similarly, Hubspot is an inbound marketing platform with worldly recognition due to its services for blogging, social media, SEO and email marketing.
It is through the development of such marketing automation platforms that businesses have the ability to thrive through building and maintaining strong consumer and business relationships.
- High level of mobile usage offers vast opportunities
Consumers increasingly depend on their mobile in most aspects of their day, with “40.44% of Australians engaging in data via mobile phones.” As consumers are constantly engaging with brands through smartphones, marketing has the opportunity to become more mobile friendly and thus reach a wider audience.
As the director of Agent 99, the importance of generating mobile friendly sites and campaigns has become particularly evident over recent years. To accommodate this, we urge our clients to amplify their campaign on a digital level and ensure it is mobile friendly so they can receive the best return on investment possible.
Sadly, many businesses are yet to generate mobile friendly sites, essentially missing out on potentially substantial revenue. It is also important to note that mobile devices are becoming consumers’ most valued expert when shopping as they can source recommendations from their network, fact-check and use online vouchers.
- Overall customer experience can be a source of competitive advantage
Customers are interacting with brands across many different touchpoints and marketers need to be aware of how this experience affects the overall customer journey. Consumers are also seeking more genuine content from brands which is why live content has become so popular over the past years.
Customer experience is seen today as a service that can easily separate businesses apart. Businesses that are adapting to the ever changing world of marketing can recognise the importance surrounding customer experience as it has been found that “6 in 10 customers are not satisfied with the experiences delivered by brands.”
Furthermore, “Almost two thirds of consumers (64%) will be more likely to trust a brand if they interact with consumers in a positive way on social media.” Our recommendation to clients is to constantly listen to their customers and create authentic and unfiltered content that is appropriate and appealing to them.
Owing to the continual expansion of digital marketing, you must keep up to date with the latest trends, implement these five new truths into your digital strategy and watch your business continue to thrive.