Digital marketing 2.0: it’s on its way – more targeted, less frequent
Over the past year, innovations in technology have allowed marketers to reach consumers in new and exciting ways, but often at the expense of delivering the right messages that are relevant and targeted to consumers.
In 2012, we are equipped with the right technology to create automated, personalised and effective digital campaigns. However, marketers now need to recognise that using this technology, without forgetting the consumer and their preferences, is the key to increasing ROI.
So, across all the digital channels from SMS to email to online, digital marketers need to concentrate on attaining and retaining customers by improving their communication, encouraging interaction and deploying the most effective technologies available to them to achieve the conversion rates brands are looking for.
With the emphasis on the consumer, these are my three high-level predictions for the digital marketing industry in 2012:
1) The volume-game is dead; long live effectiveness!
According to comScore, the number of worldwide digital-marketing impressions in 1996 was approximately 127 million. By 2010, that number surged to more than 5.1 trillion impressions. Since 2000, we have seen a 572-percent increase in the number of impressions that consumers receive digitally.
The significance of these numbers becomes clear when one looks at the response rates that correspond to these timelines. In 1996, click-through rates were seven (7) percent. In 2010, they were less than one-tenth of one percent (<0.1%). That is a staggering drop.
These findings beg the question of whether consumers are reaching their saturation point.
In 2012, the industry needs to take heed and join our quest for effectiveness. To avoid bombarding customers with digital communications, we’ll need to speak less, and when we do, speak more convincingly. A more targeted, less frequent and succinct approach to consumer marketing, where each interaction holds real value, will make digital marketing more effective next year.
2) Technology drives effectiveness
In such a cluttered marketing environment, to capture consumer attention and response, we need to make interactions supremely relevant – personalising messages, promotions and rewards in terms of content, timing, frequency and digital channel.
This level of relevance and cut through, however, requires sophisticated technology solutions both in the domain of consumer data, analytics and segmentation as well as the actual content of any communication to the end consumer.
The amount of innovation taking place in marketing technologies is astounding, yet most marketing directors are not fully educated about these possibilities yet. These technologies go well beyond the CRM domain and can radically improve the effectiveness of any form of digital marketing.
This year there will be a far greater emphasis by marketers on how technology can remove the guesswork in driving high response rates.
3) The channels converge
Technology will enhance all forms of marketing and now is the time to view channels as an integrated whole rather than as separate mediums.
In 2012, watch for digital marketing campaigns incorporating mobile, email, online, video and social designed for roll-out across multiple channels to focus on the consumer. Today consumers increasingly expect a seamless channel experience and digital marketers will need to adapt accordingly. Marketers that have previously been specialists in one specific channel, for example, mobile or email, will undoubtedly see their roles shift from being a single channel specialist to a ‘digital consumer’ strategist and marketers need to ready themselves for this.
For this reason, brand marketers need to focus on the consumer and not the device used for communication, as strategies become more integrated.
Marco Veremis, is President of Upstream.