Long gone is the time when a marketing department would design a structured campaign setting targets, goals, strategy and implement on one-sided traditional channels. Then, cross their fingers that sales would roll in.
Consumers and clients are now in the power position. With the onset of digital, marketing is more fluid, we have powerful analytics tools which help make choices for sales targets and consumers now have instant access to a multitude of research. Marketing continues to change at a rapid pace and I could write about it forever. For your benefit, I won’t – if I were to pick three observations today, these would be them:
The buyer cycle has changed.
Customers are choosing to delay their contact with vendors and spend more time researching products and services online before their first contact. On average, they are 58% along with their decision before they do contact. By then, their decision may already be made.
Impact: Having a strong online presence with valuable content which provides solutions to your audience in all of your online channels is key to grab attention from buyers.
Sales and Marketing are not independent of each other.
Companies are leaning towards organizing a structured demand generation team which manages marketing technology (CRM), lead generation activities, execute key marketing tactics and report on performance.
Impact: This team works hand-in-hand with product marketing and sales (client solutions) to integrate a process where prospects are pulled in, nurtured and then handed off to the client solutions team closer to converting.
“Digital” will soon just be a part of marketing.
We are not there yet but getting closer. In slower-moving industries, companies are constrained by conventional marketing models and slow buy-in by management who may be wary of digital experimentation. Most companies are beyond this phase, with digital strategy weaved right into their marketing. Very soon, we won’t be talking about “digital marketing” – it will be completely integrated and just a part of the mix.
Impact: Digital has a profound effect on how we do business and can work well when combined with traditional marketing and on its own. Marketers are increasingly being challenged to acquire digital skills in order to stay current.
Digital is a fascinating, ever-changing medium. As a marketing professional, I believe we are very fortunate to live at the beginning of an exciting time of communication. Watching the medium unfold and change is exciting. Some people remember what life was like before it, and many can’t. I may not be able to memorize any of my loved one’s phone numbers, and that’s ok.