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.

What is Marketing Cloud and why do I need it?

What is Marketing Cloud and why do I need it?

Marketing Cloud is the marketing platform of Salesforce’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that primarily assists small and medium enterprises (SMEs) get the most from their marketing efforts by better segmenting audiences and helping them improve engagement.

 

Arguably the world’s leading CRM tool, 83 per cent of Fortune 500 companies use Salesforce. As it continues to develop its cloud services, Marketing Cloud is gaining more traction with its clients and is rapidly becoming responsible for more of the company’s revenue. In 2015, Marketing Cloud contributed 10 per cent of Salesforce’s revenue; this figure expanded to an estimated 13.9 per cent in 2018. Between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, Marketing Cloud revenue grew 56 per cent.

 

What Does Marketing Cloud do?

As with every Salesforce platform, Marketing Cloud is designed to enable SMEs to create richer customer experiences. Marketing Cloud gives users complete control over their data, allowing them to look at the attributes and behaviours of a specific customer or groups of customers, segment their customers into audience groups and receive easy-to-understand reporting.

 

Marketing Cloud, as part Salesforce, gives unprecedented power to users through:

  • A Cloud-based system that enables SMEs to access their data and change their processes or automation from anywhere in the world with the internet, on any mobile or device
  • Its reliable cloud infrastructure framework that allows for multi-tenancy, which gives SMEs and their customers a guarantee that data is secure
  • An integrated artificial intelligence (AI) system, Einstein AI, that automatically delivers insights and personalises the customer journey
  • The largest business app marketplace in the world, AppExchange, which allows SMEs to add apps to ensure their CRMs perfectly fit business requirements

 

Why Do I Need Marketing Cloud?

The level of integration that Marketing Cloud can have in your business – and the impact it can have – is unprecedented. One of its key functions is to help SMEs build and clearly understand customer journeys so they know when to engage. SMEs can seamlessly adjust customer paths and create trigger events, where certain actions deliver content or another form of engagement. That can all be overseen by rules that prioritise messages and ensure you do not have too much contact with your customers. The platform is simple enough to empower anyone within a business to be a digital marketer – a key consideration of SMEs, which have lower numbers of staff.

 

Marketing Cloud’s email studio gives SMEs customisable, easy-to-use templates to communicate with customers and design that responds to comfortably fit any mobile or device screen. The integrated AI features enable SMEs to pair the audiences developed through Marketing Cloud’s powerful analytics to the correct content, and know-how built into the platform ensures marketing emails have the greatest likelihood of making it through filters into customers’ inboxes. Detailed performance reporting allows SMEs to see what works and what does not. Pardot, a tool within the Marketing Cloud platform, also helps here by tracking closed leads back to specific campaigns, shedding light on the reasons for conversions.

 

Through Social Studio, an SME’s social media manager can post content across all social media accounts while listening across all platforms and catching content to do with the SME. The social platforms are also plugged into the CRM system, meaning that customer profiles are created or updated as people post, and service cases can begin based on social media feedback. The intelligence built into the CRM uses customer data to improve the targeting of social media advertising and work on additional conversions for new and existing customers.

 

In a similar way, Marketing Cloud uses the data stored in the CRM to effectively shape digital advertising and to build appropriate SMS and MMS messages. The platform can tell the customers that are inactive and may need contact, while it can suppress advertising to customers who are existing, so they are not bombarded. Its mobile proficiency also enables SMEs to promote their brand to customers who are entering or exiting a certain targeted area. The combined intelligence and insights available through the platform ensure Pardot can give customers personal messages with targeted offers and improve the customer experience.

 

Lastly, one of the best features of Marketing Cloud is how it can help SMEs through the confusing world of sharing data. Through the platform, SMEs can activate data partnerships with the world’s largest enterprise marketers (where appropriate), maximising their revenue and potentially securing them additional lists. The platform ensures that SMEs continue to retain complete control over who can access their data, whether it is available to many other businesses or only to trusted partners through peer-to-peer sharing. Salesforce offers access to an e-book on second-party data to help businesspeople who are unsure about the practice.

 

What Blirt Does

As a Salesforce Cloud Alliance Partner and a Salesforce Pardot Select Partner, Blirt is well-positioned to help small and medium businesses get the most out of this world-class platform. Blirt focuses on implementing CRM technology through the lens of customer experience, which helps make your business a more successful, customer-focused organisation.

 

It will take us just weeks to have you adeptly using Marketing Cloud and delivering incredible experiences to every one of your customers. To find out more, book a discovery call with us and we will show you how to get started.

Marketing Cloud Release – April 21 2018

Marketing Cloud Release – April 21 2018

At Blirt, we strive to be on the forefront of release updates for the Salesforce platform to ensure both our team and our clients are utilising the latest and greatest features to date.

We are excited to see some new integrations and productivity enhancements in latest Salesforce Marketing Cloud release that went live on April 21, 2018, especially the added ability to publish directly to Instagram from Social Studio! 

 

We have some key highlights below.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR is a challenge for all marketers but can also be an opportunity for marketers to deliver greater value, and a deeper, more trusted relationship with customers and consumers.

To navigate the GDPR, you need to balance customer-centricity, governance and compliance, you can learn more here.

 

Google Analytics 360

Google Analytics 360 has integrated with Salesforce Marketing Cloud to give your business the ability to access the analytics dashboard within Journey Builder to visualise and analyse engagement on the web and in emails coming from both Google and Salesforce, without having to leave the Marketing Cloud.

With an intuitive tag configuration tool, you can quickly and accurately align your emails with Google tags to pass more engagement data back to Google Analytics 360 to be used within the Google platform for things like website personalisation, ad optimisation, and attribution measurement.

You can learn more about this integration here.

Social Studio: Instagram Publishing

Businesses using the Salesforce Social Studio platform can now manage their Instagram account directly from Social Studio.

Now there’s no need for additional steps through mobile.

You can now target multiple accounts and publish content at scale to key Instagram accounts.

Publish images, captions, and hashtags to the feed for your Instagram followers from Social Studio desktop or mobile. You can learn more about this new feature here.

Journey Builder: Einstein Splits

Marketing Cloud has now enabled Einstein Engagement scoring behaviour predictions seamlessly within Journey Builder with the new Einstein Split flow control.

Test subject lines, content, offers, and different channels to personalise the journey for each individual.

Simply drag-and-drop onto the journey canvas and choose from pre-configured splits based on consumer likelihood to engage and guide customers down the best path. You can learn more about Einstein splits here.

Distributed Marketing: Quick Send

Salesforce Marketing Cloud can now give advisors, owners, and partners the ability to quickly personalise the send a single, on-brand email to their customers and prospects directly from the individual’s record.

You can learn more here.

 

Content Builder: Enhanced Dynamic Content

Content Builder is now a new type of dynamic content that allows a user to import a delimited file containing multiple variations of content. Marketers can use this for an email that contains multiple content blocks with numerous dynamic variations.

You can learn more about the dynamic content here.

Salesforce has also released a webinar that expands on the above key highlights and includes a insight from Salesforce experts. You can watch the new feature overview here.

Still have questions or want to expand your Marketing Cloud capabilities?

Let’s talk. Blirt is a certified partner of Salesforce and we would love to answer any questions for new or existing users of Marketing Cloud.

Talk to a Business Strategy Consultant – let us know what you need here.

Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Tech Stack

Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Tech Stack

Did you know that over half of all consumers will immediately walk away from a brand if the customer experience isn’t “personalised” to fit their needs? That the number of lost opportunities ramps up to more than two-thirds of potential customers in B2B markets?

To succeed and serve your customers, you’ll need to become highly skilled at delivering a truly “personalised digital” service. That means learning about your customer and making suggestions specific to their desires.

New research indicates that consumers are demanding personalised experiences, and that same research indicates that they don’t mind spending more to get that experience. They want recommendations. They want product reviews. According to Segment, a company that helps other companies understand and leverage data about their customers, shoppers expect brands to recall who they are as part of a “tailored experience.”

According to Segment, personalisation not only drives impulse (they say forty-nine percent of customers bought items they did not intend to buy due to a personalised recommendation), it also leads to additional revenue and fewer returns. The data shows that just 5% of impulse purchases were returned and the vast majority of impulse buyers end up happy with what they selected.

Segment’s survey of more than 1,000 consumers discovered that 7% of them expressed a level of frustration when their experience lacked personalisation. If customers are willing to spend more, making the effort to deliver a personal experience is an obvious opportunity.

Those are some sobering numbers, and they represent a substantial opening for your business. That’s why we’re focused on delivering digital business transformation which joins your sales, marketing, service, and finance teams together to deliver amazing customer experiences at every touchpoint along the customer’s journey with you. 

When you’re faced with building your organisation’s digital marketing technology stack and artfully integrating a CRM automation infrastructure and email marketing campaigns, you begin by building out your website.

Next up is planning how you’ll extend that website’s utility by integrating forms to capture data, selecting the tools you’ll use to sharpen search engine optimisation, creating Calls-to-Action (CTAs). As part of the build out, you’ll want to know which blogging platform to use deliver content and landing pages.

As part of the roll-out, you’ll continue to integrate marketing and sales tools in progressive stages. These elements will include email, a CRM solution like Salesforce, a tightly focused and up-to-date database of contacts and additionally, tools to manage your social media efforts, and PPC advertising elements. Once you join all those elements together, you’ll have in place an end-to-end systematic method to join your marketing automation with lead scoring, personalization, and analytics.

While the project will require Tcomplex array of technologies, our deep experience with Salesforce consulting in consulting in CX Strategy, Sales Strategy, Brand Strategy, Content Marketing, Customer Research, and Web Development means we can help you seamlessly integrate, manage and understand the tools and interfaces involved in building and maintaining a successful marketing technology stack.

One thing to keep in mind is that using multiple tools loosely joined together will makes it difficult to complete the many steps along the journey. As you collect, process and manage your organisation’s data, you’ll require a fully-unified strategy for your marketing and sales.

At the core of the effort is how you choose to personalise the experience for your customer and relying on a series of disconnected and untested methods and tools can seriously affect your efforts to market and sell.

It’s a “digital-first” era, and to kick-start your search engine optimisation, we offer our Omnibound CM to connect your content marketing, a proven customer experience strategy. Omnibound CX provides a sure and clear path along the purchase process and it helps lock in customer retention.

We’ve chosen to specialise in the Salesforce ecosystem. Why because it represents the largest CRM tech stack solutions across your potential service, marketing, and sales teams. 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 to shift the needle in your favour.

We know that harnessing the power of data to drive the personalised customer experience with tools like Salesforce DMP and marketing automation platforms such as Pardot can help you optimise performance, measurement and attribution, and you can find out more about Salesforce here.

The team here at Blirt has constructed a roadmap to help you refine your customer experience strategy.  This roadmap is a framework based on our deep experience and a diagnostic survey we call, “The Experience Curve”.

Book a discovery call with us and we’ll put you on the road to understand how we can serve your needs. We’ll take you on a journey to which ends with your company’s growth and digital business success.

 

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.