Ever since companies began to first get behind the digital revolution, strategists in the marketing department have eagerly explored the possibilities of cyberspace in an effort to expand, refine and optimize their campaigns in this new arena. From email marketing initiatives to search engine optimization and a wealth of other groundbreaking advancements, companies are putting more resources toward these projects than ever before. In fact, according to AdAge, a study from Mondo revealed that 80 percent of companies will increase their digital marketing budgets in the next year.
“Brand strategists must always evolve their marketing outlooks.”
Of course, as with any burgeoning tech phenomenon, marketing in the digital landscape is continuously evolving with the times and brand strategists are tasked with staying on top of these developments to maintain a strong competitive edge. To assist them in their efforts, here’s a look at four top trends in digital marketing today.
1. Personalized experiences: Individualization isn’t just a marketing buzzword – it’s a paradigm upon which the entire digital marketplace is built, from ecommerce to customer support and social media branding. As an article from Forbes recently pointed out, personalized marketing is essential to attracting and retaining the next generation of consumers, who expect tailored experiences across a multitude of media formats and channels. The source noted that 78 percent of digital marketers are prioritizing individualization, solidifying the trend across industries.
How can brands ensure that they are delivering a personalized experience to all of their current and prospective audience members? Lisa Moffeit, director of customer retention and acquisition at Rhapsody, recommended that strategists “look at shopping behavior and other brand touch points to determine customer preferences.”
2. Optimized mobile platforms: Mobile is becoming a critical piece of the marketing puzzle, and statistics show that more smartphone users are beginning their customer journeys on the go. However, brands need to tread carefully as they navigate this unexplored territory, as some consumers may be put off by technologies such as geolocation or overbearing message frequency. Forbes suggested that strategists experiment with frequency optimization tests and be sure to ask end users before utilizing geolocation tools.
“Consumers expect you to market to them like you know them,” explained Mark Hodges, sales director at Teradata, as quoted by the news source. “The rise of mobile has dramatically changed everything [in that regard]. They also expect you to respect that they have the ability to throw the privacy flag when they want to.”
3. Shifting search dynamics: Google is, in many ways, the judge and jury of today’s digital marketing campaigns, as strong performances on a search engine results page can mean big things for a brand in close competition. Consumers that search specific keywords or locations are almost always more inclined to click on a brand that earns a top spot on Google, so brands have plenty of incentive to develop a well-planned search engine optimization strategy. Forbes also predicted that social search will soon be a factored into Google’s algorithms, so this component cannot be overlooked.
4. Content and its three C’s: While most of today’s brands know the importance of content marketing to educate consumers and foster engagement, not many companies have mastered this relatively new element of digital strategy. Forbes advised that marketers employ three C’s – create, curate, cultivate – when constructing a content plan, as this will ensure diverse and well-rounded set of material for readers to enjoy. By mixing up delivery across channels and experimenting with different content types, a brand can set itself apart from the pack for impressive results.