5 Digital Marketing Resolutions for 2014

With the new year and new budget assessments upon us, this is a critical time for merchants to assess and reevaluate their strengths and opportunities. Marketers may experience many stages of resolutions, but to truly reap the benefits of 2014, all the following outlined should be realized.

1. The IT Epiphany

We live in a brave new world where the digital customer is king. The growing multitude of digital marketing technologies in firms today reflects the clear cut value they bring to customer experience, brand posture and revenue growth.

[CLICK HERE to view the entire 2014 Predictions archive]

However, understanding the potential benefits of tech assets and utilizing them correctly are two different animals. When the devil is in the details for supporting well defined strategies, taking control of IT can make or break a marketer.

As disparate marketing technologies are integrated into marketing suites, IT’s experience must be harnessed. Ultimately, it is the alignment of culture, organization, and technology around customer-centric approaches that will turn the tide.

2.  The Meaningful, Real-Time, Change

At the heart of every digital marketer, should be the ability to react on the fly, but without a hasty, reactionary approach.

Responding to the behavior of your visitors should come with both a historical and current context. Trends can have a systemic impact, flooding social channels and ultimately driving visitors to your site. Regardless of why they visit, if you’re only reviewing analytics occasionally, you’re going to miss a trick. And if your competitors see the trends first, you could lose out badly.

Real-time isn’t just taking note of your visitors or customer attributes and customizing, its taking note of their behaviors, and serving them the meaningful content they need.

3.  The Details Matter

Digital technologies are bringing the who, what and where back to marketing. The hindsight factors are now center stage and marketers will be remiss to ignore them. Weather can have a huge impact across the digital marketing sphere. It can contribute to your CSR campaigns or consumers shopping habits.

For ecommerce brands, simple trends, such as increased reliance on online shopping during heavy snow can be leveraged to drive sales. Additionally, brands, particularly ecommerce, have long taken it for granted that they serve local visitors, not some imaginary national archetype.

[CLICK HERE to view the entire 2014 Predictions archive]

After all, a shopper in California might have different taste then New York, and you’ve got to recognize and respond to those demands. But the ability to serve different sites to users in different locations is a must if you want to increase your conversions over this.

4. The Truth About Social

Marketers, while embracing this new age of customer engagement, might have forgotten the fundamentals of customer experience. In truth, the channels don’t matter if your website is uninspired.

Multichannel management is certainly paramount but once your visitors arrive, what matters most is what you do with that time. Content should be cultivated, reflecting the understanding of the visitor, their needs, and how you can meet them. Further, brands need to create cohesive CSR campaigns, ensuring their socially responsible messages are the same on all channels and the home website is true to brand.

The channels create a new agility but in a world of real time communication, there should never be a disconnect between the messages and the action.

5.  The Customer Journey Investment

A consumer Googles your brand and lands on your site through an affiliate link or an industry blog. A couple of days later, they’re on their phone and click through to your website. Later that evening, they’re on their laptop, they see your adwords ad and click on it.

Once they’ve made an inquiry or purchase from your site, which channel do you reward between these three?

Understanding how to allocate marketing spend must come from following your customer’s journey and reevaluating your attribution models. Using a last-click or first-click model ignores the rest of the route to purchase, and a linear, weighted model will always end up with inaccuracies and do not easily integrate with other platforms.

Without a carefully organized data set, many attributions become unreliable, and no better than using a last-click model. Investing in understanding your customer journey will extend the shelf life of your existing technologies and overall budget.

Graham Cooke is CEO of Qubit.

[CLICK HERE to view the entire 2014 Predictions archive]

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