5 Digital Marketing Truths for 2016

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Facing 2016, we decided to take stock of what we’ve experienced and learned as marketers. It’s more important than ever to truly understand your target audience, to focus on improving the customer experience, and to provide value with your advertising by way of personalization. The only difference that comes with operating in a digital environment is the speed at which we must adapt to our customers’ continuously changing habits and preferences across all channels. Thankfully, there are some tools and strategies that have helped us out greatly along the way.

1. Seamlessness is a priority in your cross-channel marketing strategies.

We should be happy to live in a time where our products and services can reach a global audience. That said, each one of our hundreds of thousands of customers has a unique set of preferences when it comes to communicating with your brand.

Data Management Platforms can organize your customer information and prime it for action. Marketers can use this kind of software to reach customers and deliver relevant content across multiple touchpoints, including web, mobile apps, social media, email, and text. The actions that a potential buyer makes on one channel should be remembered in a unified customer profile that carries over across all channels.

Given the endless amount of options that your customers have access to online, it’s important for remove as many barriers to communications as possible. Making your customer experience seamless across all channels will make them happy and absolutely drive your revenue. Case in point…

2. Mobile marketing channels are more important than ever.

While it’s important to have a robust presence on every channel, marketers should understand that no other channel has risen so sharply in growth, use, and importance than mobile.

Mobile = Money, and nowhere this year was that more obvious than the record-breaking Thanksgiving sales weekend that spanned from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, where mobile hits accounted for a whopping 49% of all shopping visits across eCommerce sites. Not only was more money spent in eCommerce than ever before, but the amount of mobile browsing and purchases increased so much that the crowds at brick-and-mortar stores looked noticeably thinner on Black Friday.

3. Marketing automation boosts efficiency and effectiveness.

It’s important for today’s omnichannel brand to be able to provide content with impeccable timing. It’s possible to automate this process using data from your digital marketing hub, meaning that you’ll put your customer information to work to generate real-time advertisements and messages that are personally relevant to each one of your buyers.

Why wait? A Data Management Platform never sleeps, and it’s available to message your customers instantly based on preset triggers that adapt your marketing efforts on the turn of a dime. Don’t make your customers wait to be engaged: automate your marketing to improve each campaign’s efficiency and effectiveness.

4. Your content must be useful and shareable.

One of the great marketing challenges of 2015 was learning to adapt to the AdBlocking software that became a standard in web browsers on both PC and mobile channels. We as an industry came to terms with the fact that the traditional ad died a long time ago: the new standard for engaging with customers is based around providing them with relevant, personalized content that adds value to their lives.

We saw examples of this as Facebook adapted its Newsfeed to embrace video, reaching an average view count of 8 billion per day and going toe-to-toe with YouTube. The key to this incredible growth? Promoting high-quality content that can be shared within social circles. When your content is just that good, people will advertise for you and sing your praises without any added prompting.

In other words, you get what you give. That’s a lesson that NectarOM learned when working with Avocados From Mexico to double their Facebook likes to over 1,000,000 in total over the span of just three months. NectarOM and Avocados From Mexico enticed its users with shareable, quality content such as recipes, giveaways, and eBooks that were passed on to friends and family and grew their social media presence in a very organic way.

5. Marketing personalization increases customer loyalty and engagement.

As much as marketers would love it if all of their customers were found in one place, the fact is that we live in an age where our products are connecting with more people than ever before. Each one of your customers has their individual preference for communicating with your brand, whether it’s over your website, your Facebook page, your mobile app, through emails, your brick-and-mortar store or some combination of all of the above.

Personalization has become more than just a “first name” tag at the beginning of a mass email. It’s about understanding your customer based on their interactions with your brand, their shopping history, and the critical life events they choose to share on social media. Learn it, embrace it, and make it a part of your marketing toolkit moving forward.
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