Digital Marketing Today
Wow, it has truly been an interesting year for those who keep track with the digital marketing world. First of all the hype around content marketing has been immense. In addition, terms and technologies such as responsive, cross device, CCO, CMTO and many more have seen the daylight. As we slowly approach the second quarter of the new year, we figured it's time stop for a few seconds and see what the digital marketing landscape looks like right now.
1. Mobile world
The ever increasing amount of mobile users worldwide is undeniably one of the biggest forces shaping up the digital marketing world right now. The increasing mobile usage affects technology and content as well as the analytics side of digital marketing. One of the major challenges is in identifying individual users that now often tend to switch devices in between their browsing experience or online shopping path. For example, someone might use a tablet for the initial browsing and later make the actual purchase with a desktop. Last year already Google announced the launch of the new cross device metrics based on user-ID instead of client-ID. This way, the user may be identified as being the same person using many different devices. Moreover, device paths and other metrics help companies identify the most profitable devices or purchase paths.
Latest research shows that mobile email opens already account for more than 50 percent of all email opens worldwide. In addition, more and more web pages are being browsed with a tablet or mobile phone. Despite the obvious change in peoples' behaviour the actual execution of web pages and emails has for long dragged behind. In consequence people get frustrated as they still come across pages that are either not mobile-optimized at all or the optimization is done poorly.
Luckily there also also numerous examples of great and astonishing mobile optimization. When it comes to technologies, the responsive design of web pages and emails seems to overcome others. In responsive design the content automatically scales to an appropriate layout regardless of the device in use.
2. Marketing automations
Marketing automations are becoming more and more widely used as a digital marketing tactic. The reason why companies have adopted marketing automation practices is the increasing demand to produce content that is both interesting, personalized and timed right. In addition, companies look for new ways to save resources and attain scale advantages. Mass mailing to a group of anonymous people and utilizing rented lists are reaching the end of their life cycle. Instead companies now want to target their customers on an individual level and make their marketing efforts more inspiring and wanted.
Companies often see marketing automations as clumsy and slow projects. Instead of massive IT-projects people now look for agile solutions that the marketing and communications personnel can easily adopt. Just as any other marketing, automations should stem from actual customer needs. Instead of initializing complete makeovers it's better to start with small steps by testing, learning and fine-tuning step by step.
The role of marketing and communications in companies has changed significantly over the past years. IT has now become a big part of marketing and communications professionals' daily job which requires them to have a better understanding of technology than ever before. One can argue that a new kind of decision maker has been born in companies – a marketing professional who's job field is somewhere between the old marketing manager and IT-manager. Along with this change, new titles and terms such as the CMTO (Chief Marketing Technology Officer) have seen the daylight.
Today's CMTO is quite a different customer compared to the marketing manager of previous years who could leave technological concerns mostly on the IT department's shoulders. Technical solutions are a crucial part of the daily job for today's marketers and therefore a significant part of decision making as well. Part of the IT-purchases in companies are today completely on the marketing professionals' shoulders that now know how to demand technically functioning, agile and modern solutions. Service providers on the other hand need to answer this demand by developing marketing tools that are more user-friendly and customer-oriented than before.
Content marketing was one of the hottest and most discussed theme of digital marketing last year. And still is. In short, content marketing is marketing that is based on offering the target audience useful and interesting content or information. Successful content marketing is therefore based on successful content rather than solely marketing a product or service itself. The content shouldn't be just persuasive but rather answer to the target audience's challenges and objectives by educating, guiding and inspiring them.
The theory is well understood yet companies seem to struggle with the tactics of content marketing. In other words, finding the right tools, processes, content and style to bring the concept to practise and hype to benefits. With this challenge a new kind of decision-maker has been born in companies: CCO (Chief Content Officer), who's primary responsibilities is the design and decisions concerning content marketing.