We have many time-tested marketing strategies that we are certain will help our clients improve their digital footprint.
Yet, it also helps to see what other top marketers are doing. Salesforce works with household names like Dell, Coca Cola, Hershey’s, Philips, Canon, Black & Decker, Reuters, Sysco and more. This year they surveyed nearly 4,000 top marketing leaders in their vast network to compile their 2016 “State of Marketing” report. Here are the five most important points to guide your strategy for the coming year based on the industry’s best practices.
5 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Drive Success for CMOs (and Won’t Break the Budget)
1. Use your data to trigger automatic communications at key moments
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who came to your site filled out the contact form and called you up to see what your offerings were all about? It is exceedingly rare for a first-timer to land on your page and follow all the way through to a sale. The best marketers are using digital marketing solutions to flag them when customers are actively downloading premium content on their sites or browsing trial signup pages. The report found the highest-performing marketing teams were 9.7x more likely to actively map the customer journey, compared to the under-performers.
There are customers who need more information to feel comfortable doing business with you. There are customers who are doing business with you who need more information to use the product or service to the fullest extent and become a super-fan. There are customers who have done business with you that would offer a glowing testimonial or send you referral business if you only asked. There are prospects who left your site to do business with a competitor who could be won back. There are shoppers who left items in the shopping cart, who needed something more to complete the transaction. Mapping out the customer journey from interest to full engagement is an essential part of any functional marketing strategy. With today’s tools, it’s easier than ever.
2. Make improving your internal communications a priority
The Salesforce report found that high-performing marketing teams are 17.1x more likely to be “excellent” at collaborating within their organization. What good are sales if your service team drops the ball? What good is amazing customer service if your sales team isn’t converting the leads coming down the pipeline into customers? Why collect people’s personal information if you can’t guarantee their security with a robust IT department? Customers expect a seamless experience when they contact your organization. We use Hatchbuck to keep all our lead communications organized in one place so we can see every point of communication a person has had with our company to avoid crossing paths with each other or sending the same person redundant or irrelevant messages. We also use project planning software, to keep our various teams in-sync and connected throughout the day.
3. Divert some of your resources to mobile campaigns (if you’re not already)
Within the last year, 147% of marketers saw a return on their mobile investment. The best mobile marketers aligned their text and email campaigns and tracked mobile engagement, as well as desktop-based actions. The most-used type of campaign was the offering of exclusive deals through a loyalty program, delivered directly via text. Location-based targeting, particularly during holiday shopping seasons, proved particularly lucrative for businesses. More than 66% of shoppers prefer to make their purchases near where they live to support their local economy, so if you have a brick-and-mortar, it pays to connect with mobile users to offer timely deals when they’re shopping in the area. You may also want to consider building an app for customers to use, as over half of millennials are open to downloading a shopping app to enable a better mobile experience.
4. Send out real-time emails and social media messages
The top marketers use advanced forms of email and social media marketing. Of the marketers who say email is “core” to the business, almost half of these respondents said email was, in fact, their PRIMARY source of revenue. The best marketers use mobile and social media email opt-in forms to keep building their contact lists across channels. According to the marketing report, the highest performing teams are 2.3x more likely to send action-triggered, personalized emails in real-time. High performers were also 8.6x more likely to use social listening tools to time their messages just right. (Here are some of our favorite social listening tools.)
5. Spend more on social advertising
Ah, the age-old question: Where are your marketing dollars best spent? If you’re concentrating heavily on search PPC or big banner ads on partner sites — stop it! The report found 80% of the highest performing teams are increasing spending on social platforms this year. As you can imagine, the best social advertising is data-driven. Your ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like should be segmented by demographic and website activity for better relevancy and personalization. Successful marketers aren’t just looking at limited social media dashboards for insights; you can glean key information from data collected by phone or email, too.
Start Achieving Your Marketing Objectives
You may be thinking: “Ok, so the report says to increase spending on mobile, social media AND email marketing endeavors — but I can’t hike up spending EVERYwhere and focus on ALL of that!” True, true, we feel your pain. Achieving marketing objectives require a variety of integrated strategies but the answer is easier than you think. Use your money to invest in technology, and the rest will fall into place. Honestly! Top performers are 2.8x more likely to substantially increase spending on tools and technology. If you want to win, you have to market SMART. You have to be fluent in metrics and analytics. You have to keep up with changing tides. If you worry your team is falling behind the latest advances, a digital marketing consultant can offer you a crash course to bring your marketing up to speed sooner rather than later.
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