Everyone is writing blog posts about digital trends and you no doubt will have read a few. So we thought that we should jump on that bandwagon! New developments and opportunities in digital marketing move so fast that sometimes it’s hard to keep up. It’s also difficult to know which crazes are one hit wonders and which trends of today will underpin tomorrow’s essential marketing strategy. In some clever (or lucky) cases, brands – latching on to a development in a timely manner with the right execution – can really capture a moment and steal a march on their competitors. I spent some time talking to the chaps here at twentysix HQ to see what we should all be keeping an eye on in 2013. Let us know what you think!
Be disruptive – show Google you have “unique value” to perform well in search engines. Jono Alderson, Head of SEO and Analytics enthuses; “SEO only works when it is more than SEO… 2013 will throw up some big challenges in helping clients to change the way they work, enabling them to produce interesting content to help disrupt their markets to ensure long term results. Unless a brand is offering some kind of value, whether that’s great content, engaging and compelling social activity, great video, or even better customer service, it’s imperative that you are disruptive within your market if you want to deserve to rank. You need to earn every single visit and you do this by being demonstrably better than the competition.”
Social is now absolutely integral to brand management and conversion. “The information you share online will be core to making interaction with brands more personalised than ever. Peer-to-peer recommendations have never been so influential, so ever-increasing social sharing must be embraced by e-commerce and product websites to stay ahead of the curve,” states Sean Murricane, Social Media Account Manager at twentysix. Social media is no longer an add-on or a supplement to your core marketing strategy; it needs to be integrated directly into your plans.
Pete Manning, Information Architect at twentysix notes how “brands have now realised that users are not necessarily just using one or two channels to interact with them and 2013 will be about continuing to improve the cross channel user experience.” Mobile is currently a weak area for most brands and needs to be addressed to stay in tune with user demands. Sam Watson, Senior Account Manager at twentysix points out that simply ticking the “mobile website box” is not enough, “according to Gartner Inc., we will see mobile become the primary tool to access the internet.” A coordinated and optimised multi-device experience must be achieved. Personalisation and consistency of voice, service and brand experience across online (and offline touch points) is paramount – how are you understanding your users’ worlds and coordinating your message?
Multi-channel tracking and the challenge of big data is set to become a huge consideration in 2013. Matt Pallatt, twentysix’s Director of Technology and Development, points out the data challenge to brands in a world where “2.5 quintillion bytes of data is generated on a daily basis… how this leads to better targeting, and more sophisticated segmentation will be very interesting.” Big data will require intelligent management as brands seek to understand the true value of each and every digital touch point. Andy Chung, Head of Affiliates at twentysix, points out that “in particular, the value of mobile traffic and mobile-influenced sales and their impact on in-store as well as online sales must be continually tracked, analysed and optimised.”
Experiential content such as games and practical learning tools will really come into their own in 2013, spurred on by the popularity of mobile marketing and social media alignment. John Lucas, twentysix’s Content Manager emphasises that “video content will move away from the hit-and-miss attempts at becoming the latest viral craze and towards practical, inspiring, value-added executions which can be created inexpensively and applied to a huge variety of business models.”
Gail Dudleston, CEO at twentysix throws a curveball into our countdown by citing how tablet technology has significantly reinvented the world of B2B sales and marketing presentations. “At first glance, an eDetail is simply an interactive presentation delivered on a tablet, but hidden in the background is a whole suite of statistics, content management and useful reporting tools to help head offices see exactly who has presented what – to whom – when and where. It offers sales forces an effective way to communicate a huge array of information clearly, whilst ensuring central brand control, content compliance and significantly reducing the operational costs of creating, managing and controlling lots of print material. An eDetail can extend the time allocated to a sales rep by up to 400% and its value has just begun to be realised by B2B sales teams in a wide range of sectors; from construction and engineering to finance and legal services.”
Socially Empowered Customer Services
It will become increasingly important for brands to have a strong customer service presence on social media. How often have you been tempted to complain about an experience using Twitter or Facebook? How satisfactory was the response? An empowered, well-trained social customer services team can impact a brand’s image and ensure long term customer loyalty and recommendations. Is your brand using social media for more than just broadcasting messages? Sam Ineson, New Business Director at twentysix, points out “It’s already annoying that I can be tweeted at by a stale Jamaica Ginger Cake… Why would I engage with that?”
If you are not yet familiar with CRO, you will be in 2013. “CRO stands for conversion rate optimisation and in essence it is the science of converting visitors on your site by either getting them to place an order, make an enquiry or submit an application as easily and quickly as possible” explains Amrdeep Athwal, Web Marketing Analyst at twentysix. “We achieve this through analysing user behaviour on-site and using these findings to create theories which are then tested to create uplifts in conversion rates. A successful CRO campaign only needs to be run once to deliver successful results while with SEO, PPC and affiliate marketing, campaigns need to be active month on month to deliver results. CRO campaigns have the effect of maximising efficiency of your other marketing campaigns thus reducing your cost per acquisition and making your whole business more profitable in a relatively short time period.”
We hope you found this list inspiring. What have we missed? Please let us know your thoughts!