2019 Trends for Business; Sales, Marketing, Service

As new technologies are created and innovated upon, our world as we know it changes – bit by bit. 2019 will see a deeper adoption of tech in our society and as a result consumer demands for tighter privacy and protection strengthens.

On The Digital Transformation Show we move through our top 8 predictions for 2019, which you can listen to here. But hey, you’re already here reading the article, so read on: 2019 Trends – The Digital Transformation Show

 

Blirt’s Top 8 Predictions for 2019

Prediction 1: Artificial Intelligence

If you’ve been following our podcast and articles, you will be familiar with the different tech waves we’ve all moved through. We unpack the different waves of technology in this article about the XMarketer –the 5th wave is AI.

We’re currently in the 5th technology wave and AI is the surging current that all business departments will be swept up in. Wave analogies aside, this means that now all departments are unified using connected systems and using the same data, there is now some powerful tools surfacing that can analyse every piece of information to predict what needs to happen next.

According to Gartner, all software in the coming years will use some form of AI. As a business, the question you need to ask is how can I make AI help me? 

It’s not just leading to accurate sales forecasts, it’s also tracking and automatically logging sales activities (calls, meetings, emails, texts), tracking and analysing contacts, providing sentiment analysis, and virtually coaching sales staff by suggesting next best actions to take.

We see AI exponentially increasing the impact sales operations has on sales results by enabling sales operations to finally provide sales staff at all levels with the sales intelligence they deserve to receive.

For the first time, reps are empowered to be the CEO of their own territories.

 

Prediction 2: Data Privacy & Security

2018 was not a good year for Facebook. The Cambridge Analytica disaster saw over eighty million peoples data shared inappropriately leading to worldwide awareness into the dangers of security breaches online. 

Marriott disclosed that in December 2018 , 500 million guest information may have been compromised. From names, emails and addresses to credit card numbers, travel locations and even passport numbers.

Quora was hacked by a malicious third party on December too. Basically anything account information you have on Quora was swiped if you were part of the 100 million users that were affected. 

So what can we expect from the top end of tech town? Increased security, better insights, closer tracking, and perhaps the intervening governance of a data security body.

One insight that we have pulled from all the differing reports is that no matter if you’ve had your data compromised, your best bet to protect yourself is to use the best tech.

Salesforce and Microsoft are best in class with near perfect track records for the robustness of their security systems.

The one differentiator that an organisation has over your own, is that they have hundreds of security-tech-nerds working 24/7 on their security, whereas an IT department aren’t equipped well enough to protect you from threats all over the world.

 

Prediction 3: Personalisation

Persona based marketing is where marketers place leads and customers into buckets for the purpose of tailoring the marketing message.

For example: I love the beach. I visit a website that sells surfboards and look at a few. The next day I start receiving emails and being retargeted with content about surfboards.

Whereas personalisation first tries to understand, then tailor specific messages that will best help the customer and maximise chances of a sale.

For Example: I’m a surfer. I visit a website that sells surfboards. I use a calculator that records my height, weight, skill level and location for the purpose of recommending the right surfboard. The next day I start receiving emails and retargeted with content that shows surfboards that are perfect for my body composition, even showing me the most popular boards that people buy in my area.

The difference between persona-based marketing and personalisation is trying to understand someone to offer the most specific recommendation possible. Not broad categorisation for the purpose of sending marketing communications.

 

Prediction 4: Resurgence of Brand

As a follow on from Prediction 3: Personalisation, the exploding amounts of data in a lead driven world can diminish core brand values. For this reason, the importance of brand will resurge throughout 2019 to provide more stability in go to market strategies.

Over last 2 to 3 years, brand marketers have been losing their share of the marketing budget to the lead gen focused digital marketers. Why? Because leads are now easier to acquire online at a much cheaper return in comparison with brand.

However the direct response strategy that shows almost immediate gratification loses effectiveness over time, whereas brand has the opposite effect; taking longer to get started but increasing in effectiveness over time.

Ty Heath, Global Lead Market Development at LinkedIn advises that via the IPA Study into Marketing Effectiveness you can reach best results using a 60:40 split. 

Making the 60:40 rule work will take the combination of both creatives and analysts to work in conjunction with each other. Data driven creativity is set to be one of the main differentiators of 2019 and it boils down to getting the customer experience right.

To do that, you need the perfect blend of data and creativity, that’s distributed with relevancy and accuracy. You need creative teams working with the data/analytics teams throughout execution.
“A data-driven approach to creativity helps marketers work more productively, create the right content faster, and deliver that content to the right customer, across the right channels, at the right time,” Stacy Martinet, VP of Marketing Strategy and Communications, Adobe.

 

Prediction 5: Evergreen Content

Content that is evergreen contains content that is timeless. The main benefit of creating content that doesn’t expires is mainly for SEO and reducing dependency on the content production.

Disclaimer: depending on your industry and products, some content will have an expiry date. E.g. content about health and wellbeing will have an almost infinite relevancy whereas content about 2019’s prediction will have a relevancy period of approximately 3 months.

The key takeaway from this prediction is to create content for a purpose, ensure it delivers value and avoid creating content for the sake ‘getting something out’.

 

Prediction 6: Simplification of Tech

Tech is complicated.

Throughout many organisations where a business function needs to be improved or innovated on, there is some form of technology that can help. The issue is that with all the differing business functions require differing pieces of technology that it becomes too complex to manage. Data becomes siloed, processes lap over and inefficiencies start to surface.

The requirement for single source of truth systems to communicate across the entire business and its functions will be sought after in 2019.

Simplification of tech into one core platform will be the only way to scale an organisation in 2019 and beyond.

 

Prediction 7: Outsourced Innovation

When Robert Kiyosaki in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad says that in order to succeed you need to pay the professionals. The individuals and organisations who try to do it all or look for the cheapest possible quote will always lose out in the end.

Often times with digital transformation projects, businesses attempt to self-implement or search for the cheapest possible solution for their innovation. While cost savings are important, it’s more important to invest in the right partner or the job, not the cheapest.

Organisations do what they do and do it well.

Introducing a digital transformation project and expecting your business operations team to execute it can lead to major cavities in workflows, overall productivity and performance.

 

Prediction 8: Unification of Customer & Employee Experience

We hear a lot about customer experience and how we need to get it right. Equally as important is the employee experience, encouraging our teams with a sense of purpose and positive working environments.

As we move through the different revolutions, we uncover that the 2 types of experience go hand-in-hand.

If you provide a poor customer experience, your employees will have a bad experience dealing with complaints. If you provide a poor employee experience, that will then be transferred to your customer.

 

 

How have you positioned your business this year? Have you set the compass through all of the above?

If you need help, speak with me and we’ll see if we can help you get on the right path.

The XMarketer: Leaders driving digital transformation

The XMarketer: Leaders driving digital transformation

Whether you’re a Marketing Manager, Marketing Specialist or an employer looking for the right type of marketing help, it’s important you know the key attributes of what we call ‘The XMarketer”.

When it comes to Digital Transformation, The XMarketer is like Keanu Reeves was to the Matrix, the tip to the spear or what Freddie Mercury was to Queen. Whatever your analogy, you need an XMarketer to drive digital transformation.

You can listen to the full podcast about the XMarketer here on “The Digital Transformation Show”. 

Before we deep dive into the XMarketer, it’s important to firstly understand how marketing has changed in modern times.

Over the course of the last 20 years there have been five major tech driven waves of change to wash over the world. Marketing is one of these waves but also is now impacted by all of these waves of change.

1.    Sales Technology Wave – From 1999

The CRM was often referred to as the sales persons best and worst enemy. Great for holding data and generating reports but tedious to update. The inception of the sales focused CRM saw the first wave of streamlining sales processes begin to emerge, and today its business suicide not have one.

2.    Service Technology – From 2005

Service technology has revolutionised the way in which make deliveries using GPS beacons instead of recording logbooks, provide customer support with online chat and integrated tele-systems and communicate with those who are ‘in the field’.

3.    Marketing Technology – From 2007

The early marketing technology platforms enabled marketers to send email series based on an action such as showing an interest in a particular product. Today marketers focus on collecting information about their prospects while the marketing technology delivers personalised content, showing that organisations know and understand their customers.

4.    Finance Technology – From 2012

From the inception of ecommerce, to PayPal, to apple pay and automated click to quote functionality, Fintech completely change the way we interact and pay for almost everything.

5.    Artificial Technology – From Now.

The new wave that will truly take a hold of the way we communicate as marketers is AI. Machine learning can unlock the secrets behind consumer readiness to buy, use the data to develop intuitive solutions and target prospects to accurately you’d swear someone is reading your thoughts.

The Marketing Technology (Martech) wave started to flow in 2007 – with early automation platforms using basic functionality. Today we now have some of the most sophisticated automation technologies using rich and expansive data, ultimately changing the way how marketers work, who they work with and what they work on.

What is the XMarketer?

An XMarketer is a term we use to describe leaders in the marketing community who push, innovate and better the customer experience to further drive the experience economy.

They lead their teams in a way that allows the skills of the individuals in their team to reach their peak performance through using the right technology and understanding clear strategy in the 21st century of marketing.

What are the characteristics of an XMarketer team?

In the realm of customer experience, there are six characteristics of market leading teams that encompass the spirit of the XMarketer:

1.    Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)

Continuous improvement as a team is the practice of becoming 1% better each day and allowing those small efforts to compound. Over time those small efforts amount to a scalable, high performing team. It’s essence is to make slight adjustments continually for the purpose of affecting large change in over a longer period.

For Example: A customer journey designed to take prospects through a product features showcase will be optimised hundreds of times over the course of a year. By the end of that year, all drop off points, conversion rates, timings etc would have been tested, compared and optimised to a point where positive outcomes are maximised. It wasn’t anyone activity that made this difference, but the cumulation of the hundreds of adjustments made over the course of the year.

2.    Collaborative

A connected team is a good team. Having the technology and openness do collaborate effectively around the things that matter, in real time – is what moves the needle on team productivity and innovation. All team members know as much as each other and therefore can apply their expertise with equal context.

3.    Journey Focused

The marketers funnel is no longer a one size fits all process. A team of Marketers work collectively toward personalised journeys and creating content to suit an outcome based on an activity is the key to unlocking journeys that work.

For example: Say you sell pushbikes online. If a prospect enquiries on a mountain bike, it’s logical to take them on the Mountain bike journey – showing them all the different mountain bikes and accessories they could purchase. But later they re-visit your site and start looking at road bikes. Your journey should capture this data and pivot away from mountain bikes and toward road bikes – all automated, all in real time.

4.    Content Creators

Ever heard the term ‘content is king’? Well today content is more important than ever. A team that know and understand that the right type of content, served to the right people, on the right platforms at the right time is the the difference between being head, and not. Today the consumer wants to know more than ever, details about the products they purchase so it’s important for a team of marketers to know the key is in the content – and produce it.

5.    Technology Investors

If you ever hear a marketer say ‘back in my day’ – run a mile. Technology is changing the way our society operates and marketers are always at the forefront, pushing boundaries and making the customers life easy. XMarketer teams use the best technology to get the best result and can’t afford to be stuck in their ways.

6.    Purpose Driven

This last point isn’t necessary specific to XMarketer teams, and can be applied to all teams across any organisations that value high performance. Teams and individuals that have a purpose in their roles and understand how their purpose contributes toward the vision of their organisation are the ones that drive change for the better.

What individual skills does the XMarketer exude?

Brand – Knowing a brand is more than a logo, but an entity that represents a certain set of values and attributes that customers can identify with.

Customer Experience – Marketers that understand the true value uplift in their offerings come from the customer experience – not from being cheaper, offering better quality etc.

Content – The ability to create content that solves a customer problem or helps a customer learn more about your product and how they can use it in their personal circumstances will accelerate any sales process.

Data Analytics – Being able to analyse data, pick trends, identify opportunities and spot weaknesses in marketing data is the insight and fuel required to drive the majority of today’s marketing activity. The answer is always in the data.

MarTech – Embracing new technology, mastering the technology and optimising your tech stack toward customer centricity and customer success now a non-negotiable for modern Marketer, let alone an XMarketer.

Leadership Development – In marketing especially, good leadership skills are crucial to cultivate a team of XMarketers. To focus on what matters and lead your team toward it is a strife difference to that of marketing leaders who focus solely on CTRs, ROIs and A/Bs.

Performance Management – Performance management is less about exposing the weaker performers, but to empower those team members to be accountable for their objectives and feel supported to achieve it.

If you need to build a team of XMarketers or bring your marketing team up to speed – talk to us.

Digital Advertising is Changing: Are you ready for the New Era?

Digital Advertising is Changing: Are you ready for the New Era?

The internet-based world of advertising, digital marketing, and social media, is a constantly changing, ever advancing progression of new, altered, and innovative. There are advancements happening at such a fast rate, that sometimes it can be hard to keep track and know what is in, what is out, and what is yet to come. This couldn’t be any more real than when it comes to connecting your business with the journey of the customer and their resulting behavior: we are entering a new era, and there are a few things you need to know if you want to maximize your business success. 

Creating the Customer Journey

One area that has grown dramatically with the changes in digital marketing and working to better meet the needs of consumers is customer data collection. Using specific digital marketing techniques, brands can gather data about a customer’s experience within a specific marketing campaign.  Systems, such as Salesforce and Google Analytics are able to collect and store information including site usage, browsing patterns and history, location, and demographical information. From there, this data can be used to create customer profiles that allow specifically targeted digital marketing campaigns, which effectively reach the ideal customer and bring in business as a result.  

But soon, with this increased level of intelligence, marketers will be able to draw on this information and take it one step further: to craft a customer journey thattells the customer what they want instead of asks them or makes them choose. This will show up in the form of software that will analyze Google’s data to build segments. These segments will be able to target perceived personalities, and create a personalized customer journey: a customized digital marketing exposé for the customer, which is targeted specifically to them, maximizing their customer experience and maximizing yourbusiness success. 

To put it plainly, if you want to stay ahead in the digital marketing scheme in 2018, your customer has a need for personalization – and you have the power to give it to them. You will be able to lead them on a journey that integrates content marketing, search marketing, and a whole lot of personalization, completing your digital marketing strategy and their ideal customer experience.

Quality over Quantity

While we are aware of the fact that video is very hot and effective, here’s the truth: people are picky about their videos. Creating a poor-quality video, lacking in editing, subpar on graphics, and lackluster in overall visual appeal, arguably won’t get you much further than just writing the words on paper.  

This year will be about quality over quantity. Consumers are bombarded with so much information, ads, ideas, and graphics every day, that at some point, a lot of it gets ignored.  And that is especially true when it is uninformative, thrown together content that lacks quality, information or connection. Part of the consumer journey is creating content that they can connect with and relate to, such that they then funnel through, relating to your company, and your product and wanting to buy it as a result.  Here’s the other thing: when we focus on quality, we are able to take advantage of new technology that is enabling new advertising options.

Sophisticated technology, such as smart TVs, wearable devices and voice activated digital assistants are bringing with it the opportunity and need for quality, sophisticated ads, essentially allowing professionals another avenue with which to reach and influence consumers. You, and your business can take full advantage of these avenues, and with a little bit of help and understanding, have the power to conform to the consumer influence that this technology promises.  

Putting it on Auto

Not only are we seeing new advertising options because of advancing technology, but also because of increasing automation.  With growth in automation in cars, home appliances, TVs and mobile phones, it is no surprise that the world of digital advertising is developing in automation as well.  Not only is this a key factor in the successful outcome of the customer journey you are looking to create, but it is also a key factor in your digital marketing success as a business.  We have witnessed first hand a dramatic increase in company’s ROI by implementing automated systems, such as Salesforce, which not only improves business, but also improves customer experience.  

A big advantage of automation in digital marketing is using options such as Salesforce and its Marketing Cloud and Pardot software. Marketing Cloud allows businesses to deliver “relative, personalized journeys,” across devices, ensuring the customer always gets the right message at the right time, that is completely personalized to where they are on their journey. Pardot meanwhile, allows businesses the ability to nurture leads. 

Nurturing leads is at the foundation of creating a customer journey and maximizing customer experience. It involves finding the customers who are the ideal fit for your brand or business, drawing them in and generating interest and trust so that they ultimately show intent to buy, before you reel them in and sell them what you are offering.  Through the implementation of things such as drip campaigns, marketing sales funnels, and the right software, this can all be done automatically. And you will have the power to control all of it!

As you continue to gain momentum in your business in 2018, check in with where you stand on your digital marketing plans and platforms. And then give us a call to set up a new strategy to help propel you forward through the rest of the year and maximize your business success.  

What you Need to Know About Automating your B2B Marketing and Nurturing Leads

What you Need to Know About Automating your B2B Marketing and Nurturing Leads

When it comes to running an effective and profitable marketing campaign for your business, there are a lot of fine details that can be the catalyst for success – or the crux of your downfall.  When each of these components are efficiently implemented and managed, the result is a B2B marketing campaign that generates good fitting leads, which successfully churn out customers who walk away with an exceptional experience.  Not to mention, companies who walk away with a profit in return. But first, you have to nail down those details.

Introducing Automation

If you find yourself already spending money on marketing, but not seeing the results in return, you are not alone. Consumers are exposed to anywhere from 400 to 4000 ads per day, and most of them go largely unanswered, get skipped, or go on ignored altogether. This is why, when it comes to advertising for your company, you need to have an edge, and it’s got to be more than just a catchy slogan. You need to have systems in place that cut through the clutter, catch that person who you almost lost, and grab the attention of the consumer who may otherwise look away. And having systems – including things such as engagement programs, email drip campaigns, and customer journeys – translates to automation, implemented using software, such as Salesforce. 

You can think of it as a domino sequence, where, when you initiate action A, it automatically initiates Action B, which leads to C and so on.  From a business and marketing perspective, this means you never miss a beat: you have systems set up to automatically allow marketing to happen and as such maximize the audience you reach and the efficiency and effectiveness with which you reach them – and maximize the ones that turn into paying customers as a result.

Why you Should Care about Nurturing Leads

When you automate your marketing systems, you can turn your big marketing campaign into a customer-oriented sales funnel, whereby the customer is drawn in and funnelled all the way down until the only outcome that makes sense for them and that they want to complete, is a sale. This is the process of nurturing leads, and is a key component of successful marketing plans and automation patterns. 

When it comes to working on your lead nurturing, you can think of automation as being the driver of the car that is taking your potential customer (your lead) all the way through the path (nurturing them) to the end.  At the end is where they buy your product or service – and walk away with a memorable customer experience due to the great driver (your business and campaign)! In other words, automating your B2B marketing and focusing on lead nurture is what is going to drive your success as a company, improving your ROI and reaching your business objectives and goals. 

Implementing your Solution

If you find yourself feeling slightly overwhelmed, however, we understand: business owners have enough responsibility without the addition of managing automation.  Instead, let us take over this task for you. We are a registered Salesforce consulting partner, keen to help you with your marketing campaign through the use of Salesforce Pardot.  Pardot is the automation software that we can implement into your business to deliver a strategic digital and content marketing campaign including things such as drip campaigns, marketing and sales funnels and personalized customer journeys. From there, we’ll work with you to understand how you can leverage digital marketing to scale your business.  At the same time, we’ll help you learn about the best ways to grow your business through marketing automation, learn how to improve your online SEO and offer you valuable sales tools and tips. 

Ending with Success

Let’s take a second and put this all together: your B2B marketing strategies have been less than stellar and can be greatly improved by the automation of your marketing (think automatic emails, tactical lead generating, and planned digital ads). Doing this allows you to nurture leads: find the people who could benefit from your product or service and who are a good fit; generate enough interest and trust in your brand that they become engaged, and then hold onto them long enough that they show intent to buy. From there it finishes with you coaxing them over the edge and having them buying your product or service.  This all happens in a strategic plan from start to finish, that can be implemented automatically and that can see you offer a customer experience that is professional, efficient, and performed by experienced experts. 

Remember that you deserve success within your business: you have worked for it and put in the time, are passionate about what you are doing and know what you want.  You are good at completing a lot of the tasks within your business, but reaching out to others who are proficient in the areas that you aren’t is the best way to grow, learn and develop. That can all happen when you commit to employing B2B marketing automation strategies such as Salesforce and Pardot. Collectively these will help generate and nurture leads, improve your customer experience and leave you with profitable business growth. We’re here to help, so contact us today and together we’ll make it happen!  

Everything You Need to Know About the New Google Ad Blocker

51% of ad blocker users maintain that too many ads are annoying or irrelevant. Are you one of them?

For those that work in digital marketing, the above statistic could be concerning. With the new Google Chrome ad blocker now blunting ads, how will this impact the marketing landscape?

The rules for online advertising are changing. Read on below to be in the know.

Google Makes Waves

Google announced last year that certain ad types would be blocked for users of its Chrome browser.

That date is now as the update was released in February, for the world’s most popular web browser.

As big as Google and Chrome are – it cannot be understated that the entire digital marketing landscape is undergoing a shift to improve the ad experience.

A fact not lost on digital marketers: Google is both the world’s largest ad seller and now they are playing arbiter of what ads can be served.

Looks like it’s Google’s world and marketers just have to live in it.

Consumers Frustrated

We started this article with a statistic showing that web users are annoyed about ads.

Some web users also state concerns over viruses or bugs as a concern regarding ads.

Per Google’s own research, there were over 5 billion “mutes” with people selecting the “mute this ad” feature in 2017.

With so many frustrated consumers on the web, the adoption of ad blockers has simply skyrocketed over the past few years.

Why is Google Doing This?

Google is not going after ALL ads. The idea to go after sub-par ones.

After all the search engine giant knows that advertising supports the vast majority of the content that we take in online.

The new ad standards Google hopes will create a better user experience, but in the short term that could mean some ad formats a by some marketers are blocked.

The offending websites that violate the new ad standards will be given 30 days to remove their ads, before they are blocked by Google Chrome ad blocker.

Mobile is Impacted As Well

Chrome is 62% of the mobile browser market. 

It turns out as people spend more time on mobile devices, the tension about ads increased. The smaller screens make it more difficult to avoid ads on a website.

With the Google update, there will be a total of 8 mobile ad formats affected:

·       Pop-up Ads

·       Prestitial Ads

·       Ad Density Higher Than 30%

·       Flashing Animated Ads

·       Auto-playing Video Ads with Sound

·       Postitial Ads with Countdown

·       Full-screen Scroll over Ads

·       Large Sticky Ads

These are broad categories – but common sense dictates that effectively every mobile ad format will be impacted.

On the Desktop

If you’re auditing the ads you will be running on desktop web browsers, we’ve outlined the formats Google is looking to remove.

·       Pop-up ads

·       Prestitial ads with countdown

·       Auto-play video ads with sound

·       Large sticky ads

The standard your ads will need to meet is called out in the Better Ad Standard which we will explain further down in this article.

Advertisers React

The marketing industry, in addition to brands that advertise online, has been under threat for a while now.

After all, how do you both preserve the valuable revenue model of ads while supporting a publishing world that is almost 100% digital nowadays?

Advertisers are finding out that adding more value, might make users more open to accepting ads online.

Put simply, ads that are more relevant will always be better received versus ads that do nothing more than just shout to get user attention.

Ads can also be made to be more relevant, in terms of context, to what the user is doing while online.

Google maintains that initially, their ad blocker will affect 1% of ads, so the shift might not be as monumental as initially feared.

The Better Ad Standard

The Better Ad Standard is an important element and helps dictate what the Googe Chrome ad blocker looks for.

The Better Ad Standard awards a site one of three grades: passing, warning or failing.

The standard Google created that websites need to match, is documented in their tool called the Ad Experience Report.

In summary, the tool allows advertisers to view examples of screenshots and videos of annoying ad experiences so they can be corrected or prevented.

The Google Chrome Ad Blocker

When a user loads a webpage on Chrome, the browser will check the site against what is called a Better Ad Standard, mentioned above.

If the site has a history of not meeting the standard, Chrome blocks the network request and prevents the ad from being displayed.

After an ad is blocked, Chrome will prompt the user with a message notifying them.

Also, note that Chrome will give users an option to disable ad blocking for the specific site.

Related

Also related to the Google Chrome Adblocker are a few other initiatives aimed at improving the online experience.

·       Google-served Retargeting. Users that are signed-in will be able to turn off individual retargeting ads.

·       Mute This Ad. This works on all user devices when they are signed into a Google account.

The above is dependent on users signing into their Google account, something not all people feel comfortable doing because of privacy concerns.

How to Navigate

Ad related URL patterns, network requests, content-filtering. It can all sound super technical, and really complicated.

A good marketing agency should not only be strong in technology but also helping brands deliver amazing customer experiences.

Brands that advertise online need their branded moments to reach customers at several stages, and touchpoints.

If your company needs help navigating the digital world, agencies like Blirt are experts at online customer experience strategy.

Moving Forward

For both publishers and online advertisers, now is the time to start creating a better ad experience.

Google is to be believed when it says they would, ideally, prefer not to block any ads at all. But the tradeoff is the ad experience for all must be improved.

Hopefully, by staying informed of the latest tools and resources, you can stay ahead of Google. Read more on this topic on the blog at Blirt Digital Strategy Consultancy.

Digital Advertising – What’s changing in 2018 and what you need to know.

With increasing innovation in technology, more marketing channels and tools to service them are available than ever before. Chosen from the masses, each business has its own set of software and platforms that they use to communicate, sell and market internally and externally that is also known as their ‘tech stack’. The challenge business owners and digital marketers face is choosing what tech suits their needs and will scale with growth.

At Blirt, we have chosen to specialise in the Salesforce ecosystem because it is the largest CRM provider that also has best-in-class tech solutions across service, marketing and more. We provide consulting services to clients across Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Pardot to help business owners empower their sales and marketing teams to deliver smarter, more personalised customer experiences and shift the needle on the business.

Staying up-to-date is essential to get ahead in customer experience. We recommend reading the latest Salesforce Digital Advertising 2020 report that provides insights into the new era of advertising and media buying.

We have summarised this report into three key themes:

1.     Utilising data for hyper-personalisation

2.     The rising importance of video and

3.     How new tech means new ad space.

Read on as we explore and highlight how you can apply the learnings to help focus your digital marketing efforts.

 

Utilising Data for Hyper-Personalisation

Data is the key to driving the customer experience and powering tech. With a huge amount of data at our fingertips, businesses need to know what data to collect and access to be efficient.

Customer relationship management data (CRM): CRM data, such as email addresses and phone numbers, is the most commonly used data to target advertising. As CRM platforms grow in popularity, so do the integrations with external data sources, which enable marketers to drill into advanced customer information for marketing personalisation. Over the next 2 years, there is a 27% projected growth in businesses using advanced CRM data, which includes purchase transactions, customer service information and postal addresses.

Online data: 90% of advertisers use some type of online data to target their ads. First-party data that is collected from the business’ own marketing and sales efforts into a CRM platform is still considered king, however, the use of second and third-party data is on the rise. Businesses are adopting the practice of accessing external data sources to increase reach and growth, however, we recommend that you have a good understanding of each data type’s strengths and weaknesses before jumping on board.  

Demographic data: 95% of advertisers use demographic data to target prospects they know nothing about, which includes information like age, gender, location, topics of interest and product categories. Use of interest-based data, such as personality and preferences, is expected to see the biggest growth over the next 2 years at 24% as it becomes more widely available to brands.

Businesses are managing their data in many ways, including the traditional spreadsheets (42% of businesses) and website analytics platforms (50% of businesses). As more data management solutions become available, businesses are adopting new ways to harness the power of data to drive customer experience. Data management platforms (55% of businesses) such as Salesforce DMP and marketing automation platforms (30% of businesses) such as Pardot have gained significant ground, identifying a shift in advertising requirements to assess performance, measurement and attribution. More information on Salesforce DMP can be found here

 

Video Rises in Importance

Businesses have been using video content for years, but it wasn’t until recently that major platforms like Facebook and Google have given it centre-stage. As a result, 65% of companies have increased their video advertising over the past year. Year-over-year growth in video advertising is averaging at 62% across B2C and B2B companies. The huge growth is attributed to a change in buyers’ preferences in media consumption, with more people choosing to watch a video than view a display advertisement.

 

New Tech Means New Ad Space

Consumers are experiencing new technologies in their homes, including smart TV’s, voice-activated digital assistants and wearable devices, as well as those on the horizon such as augmented and virtual reality. With the right tools, businesses are able to capture more of their audience’s personal and professional hours and leverage the data to target prospects at just the right moment. To help businesses to more in this space, Salesforce has developed the Internet of Things. IoT enables businesses to collect data from multiple touchpoints and analyse customer information in real time – without the need for a human to collect it and enter it. More information on this tool can be found here

A business that seeks high performance in digital marketing must leverage multiple data sources to target audiences. Determining what channels to use and what data to capture is a point of contention in many businesses, which is why we use best practice in combination with the latest technology to guide our customers to success.

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