digital marketing trends
Customer experience trumps all
. Customer experience is the number one initiative for most digital marketers. 22% stated it was the single most exciting opportunity of the year.
Still experimenting with digital
. 69% of marketers will be experimenting heavily with digital over the next year which is an increase from 64% the year before. Why are we still experimenting with digital? Implementation over experimentation.
Content marketing is exciting but hasnt grown
. Content marketing still remains an exiting initiative for most digital marketers. 15% believe it is the single most exciting initiative for 2015. It was 15% in 2014 as well.
Video is growing as an exciting opportunity
. 5% of marketers believe that video is the single most exciting initiative in 2015 compared to 3% in 2014.
Focus on customer experience is non geo specific
. North American (24%), Europe (21%) and Asia (21%) all believe that customer experience is their primary objective for 2015.
The rise of marketing automation
. Focus on marketing automation is rising across all geographies with the increased need for nurturing in both B2B and B2C environments.
. More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents are attempting to differentiate their company through an increased focus on the customer experience.
The decrease in demand gen and increase in CX
. The focus will not be centered around demand generation or inbound marketing. It is about education and revitalizing the customer experience.
Customer experience is your only differentiator
. 5% of companies are NOT using the customer experience as a differentiating factor. Which is 100% crazy.
Pricing is not a differentiator
. Only 5% of marketers believe they will be able to set themselves apart with their pricing strategies. This places heavier emphasis on customer experience as a differentiating tactic.
Again customer experience is your only differentiator
. 44% of companies believe that customer service / customer experience will be the primary way their organization will set itself apart from competitors. What is your value-add? How do you tell the story AFTER the sale?
You cant pick which strategyto focus on and measure
. 42% of marketers believe that strategy building a cohesive plan and long-term view is of primary importance for building a brilliant customer experience. Unfortunately, you cant pick your strategy. Tools, culture, skills, technology, and data all need to be used to create a cohesive customer experience.
. Marketing has to be both the voice of the customer to the enterprise, and the voice of the experience to the customer.
Insight vs analytics
. Personalization depends on technology, but it is human insight that moves it beyond the algorithms relating products and people.
Mobile is an important part of the customer experience
. 33% of marketers will be placing the highest emphasis on marketing the customer experience as personalized and relevant as possible. However, only 4% will be focusing on marketing that experience as mobile friendly as possible. The two must be built together!
B2B and B2C are getting closer
. B2C marketers are 18% more likely than their B2B counterparts to be focusing their efforts on targeting and personalization. In 2014, they were 55% more likely.
Data shouldnt be ignored
. Only 15% of marketers consider joining up data across all channels as a priority for the year ahead. Look for an future blog post from me on this topic. It is a massive mistake to keep ignoring the dream of one central repository for all customer data.
We are ignoring the power of geo targeting
. 32% of marketers are not exploring the opportunities presented by geo-targeting technology for delivering location-based notifications.
Agencies need to focus more on content optimization
. The Adobe study found that 29% of companies listed content optimization as a top priority, yet 23% of agencies believe it should be a top priority. Content production is important but content optimization is the more powerful strategic tool.
B2B is more focused on content optimization
. 40% of B2B marketers selected content optimization as a top priority for 2015, compared to only 24% of B2C marketers.
Customer journey is still top priority
. 70% of companies cited having a clear understanding of customer journeys across channels as very important. The disconnect between data and the customer journey is still extremely apparent. In order to fully understand the journey, you must be able to analyze the past across all channels.
Offline is the bride of online
. Only 38% of marketers see using offline data to optimize the online experience as being very important over the next few years. How do you manage the entire customer journey when you are not measuring and tracking the ENTIRE experience?
Hiring data driven marketers are a key to success in the next five years
. Under two-fifths of respondents indicated they have a good infrastructure in place to collect the data they need, while only 38% say they have the analysts they need to make sense of the data. Marketing departments must shift to hire the left-side of the brain instead of the right-side.
ROI is still an issue for marketers
. 32% of marketers are not confident or are neutral in their ability to measure return on investment for digital marketing opportunities. However,80% of marketers agrees that their marketing activity will be more measurable in 2015.
Marketers become ridiculously proud of their writing
. In our online social world, we recognize that all marketers are writers. Everybody writes, and thats true whether you are the Chief Content Officer or Marketing VP or the mar-com manager. Our words are our currency they tell the world who we are, as Beth Dunn points out. They can make us look smart or they can make us look stupid and so being able to communicate well in writing isnt just nice; its necessity. Are you thinking writing doesnt matt
Stop relying on Google
. Dont misinterpret this point. Im not saying that Google is not on its way out. After more than a decade of domination, however, it may be on the decline. Up-and-comers like Duck Duck Go arent anywhere near dethroning Google GOOGL -6.11%. What their rise indicates is that consumers want alternatives a choice not to depend on Google if they dont have to. Marketers should take heed. Google is one basket, but it doesnt deserve all your marketing egg
Mobile Just mobile
. I wanted to say that mobile dominates, but that line is so utterly cliche, that I had to state it differently. The importance of mobile search, mobile optimization, mobile conversions, and mobile ubiquity cannot be overstated. Mobile devices and our collective addiction to them are fixtures of the modern marketing era.
Social conversion is coming
. Enough has been said about the power of social networks. Not quite enough as been said about the importance of social conversions. For ecommerce and lead generation sites, social provides a growing opportunity to improve conversion rates and gain new conversion channels.
New payment methods are on the rise
. With the advent of EVM credit cards (October 2015), the public is in for a new experience when it comes to payment methods. These changes will have a ripple effect on online payment and e-commerce sites. Privacy issues are a mainstream concern and its up to digital marketers to lead the way in reassuring, educating, and coaching customers through the transition.
Paid advertising is here to stay
. Whether you like it or not, youre going to need to pay for advertising spots. I agree with marketers who claim, PPC is dying, but I also see the advent of alternative forms of paid advertising taking its place. Consider Buzztala for instance. Although they provide organic video ads, they are still ads. And they still cost money. Rising methods of organic/paid advertising are entering into the marketing methods of some brands, signaling a growing
Marketing automation becomesde rigueur
. Marketing automation is nothing new. It is, however, bigger than ever. Marketing automation is now easy and affordable enough for any marketer with a budget to do it. Once upon a not-so-far-away time, the only organizations doing automation were big companies with world-recognized brand names. Now, marketing automation is nearly a requirement for any business that wants to stay on top
Content creators are more necessary than ever
. Ever since Web 2.0, the writing profession has had a heyday. Anyone and everyone could become a publisher. Anyone who had a voice could also have a platform on the web. Now? Some content experts moan that there is too much content out there. Or is there? Content, often referred to as king is so essential to digital marketing that it cant be dismissed as a trend. While individual publishers may be overextending themselves by publishing too much, t
The algorithm will change And change again
. The search algorithm will change. It will infuriate you, delight you, confuse you, and disappoint you. But it will change. Im referring, of course, to Googles search algorithm, the almighty search machine that decides which content ranks highest in the search engine results page (SERPs). Today, however, we need to consider Facebooks algorithm, Bings algorithm, and even the mashup of Twitter and Googles algorithm.
Conversion optimization has high ROI
. If CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is not in your 2015 budget, I suggest you take a look at the possibility of introducing it. Conversion rate optimization is the process of maximizing the number of site visitors who convert or make a purchase. By thoroughly understanding users and split testing changes on a website, marketers can determine what elements of a website or landing page will produce the highest number of conversions. The proces
Growth hacking will continue to evolve
. In my opinion, one of the most fascinating trends in 2015 is the continued evolution of growth hacking. Growth hacking will continue to demonstrate its indomitable power in the face of unlikely odds.