History has a tendency to repeat itself, and with digital marketing in particular, there is a pattern of disruption.
After finding that B2B organizations are not getting the most value out of the old digital marketing playbooks, our company decided to create digital marketing frameworks. These frameworks, which should be visited at least once every 12-24 months to ensure relevancy, are a guide to help prepare for periods of disruption.
We’re entering into the fourth digital marketing framework — the first was in 2000 — and there are things your business can do to prepare for the next disruption.
What Is Digital Marketing 4.0?
The prior framework includes websites, email campaigns, digital advertisements, basic social media management and basic blog publishing. It only focuses on increasing visits to websites but has no focus on lead conversion and proper online lead qualification. This most recent iteration, though, includes:
More Integrated Global Marketing: Inbound and outbound marketing should now be combined. In comparison to cold-calling, consider this “warm-calling.” For example, after someone reads a blog article on your site, follow it up with an email sharing more meaningful content.
A Cohesive Marketing Technology Stack: No one software tool can save the day. Marketing is not about the creative aspect alone anymore. Marketing technology infrastructure needs to be designed and integrated correctly. One social media tool alone will not save the day, nor will one CRM tool be the solution to a challenge anymore. Consider your full stack and how it can work together.
Evolving Marketing Roles: Digital transformation is no longer limited to the CIO. Your CMO now needs it more than ever. The CMO needs to know more about the possibilities of implementing marketing automation to not only help execute on the marketing playbooks but also to help CIOs measure a full, end-to-end ROI.
Omnichannel Marketing Strategy: This includes deep analytics and data mining, such as AI and machine learning. Omnichannel marketing brings a diversity in mediums when it comes to communicating your brand and value-add. Focusing only on one medium can be limiting, especially if your buyers don’t exist on that channel.
A Focus On Account-Based Marketing (B2B): Account-based selling should be an integrated part of your digital marketing process even if you are a B2B SaaS or a modern managed service provider (MSP). This will be the key differentiator between B2C and B2B organizations in 2017 and beyond.
Understanding What Drives Disruption
While working at a Fortune 100 company for nine years before moving to lead my current team, I became fascinated by customer behavior. What kinds of digital offerings most deeply engage customers in their digital lives? I started by looking at some case studies of the products, services, communications and experiences that had been embraced and adopted by customers during the first two decades of the internet. Over a period of seven years working on inbound marketing campaigns, what I found was a recurring pattern of three behaviors that drove the adoption of new digital experiences, which I call the three core behaviors of a network:
Consumers are looking to interact with digital content and access digital data as quickly and as conveniently as possible. Any offering that enhances this access is incredibly compelling. Think of text messaging on early mobile phones, which revolutionized communications with the ability to receive and send messages from anywhere at anytime.
Once consumers can access this content, they want to engage with something that fits their needs and is sensory and interactive — from the early popularity of web portals to the spread of online video, to the next generation virtual realities. Their digital desires are marked by a thirst for content. The old media adage that “content is king” is correct. There is no question that the desire to engage with content is a key driver of customer behavior.
How are you transforming mass online marketing to one-to-one interaction and engagement in your online marketing plans? How do you become a source of valued content for your customer? Always focus on the customer care. Be consultative in your online conversation. Seek to ask and go deeper into a prospect’s business challenge, and be very honest in your marketing campaigns to ensure you are progressively qualifying the prospect.
Consumers seek to customize their experiences by choosing and modifying a wide assortment of information, products and services. In a generation, customers have gone from having a handful of television channel options to a digital world with more than a trillion web pages. They have been trained by their digital networks to expect more options for personal choice, and they like this. From Pandora’s personalized radio streams to Google’s search bar that anticipates search terms, consumers are drawn to increasingly customized experiences.
In summary, whether you are a B2B or B2C business, building the buyer’s journey is very critical when building your marketing engine.
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