Recently, Standing team members joined a crowd of almost 1,500 at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference (MDMC). Digital marketing has come of age and has power to drive results for both B2B and B2C organizations. It allows us to build personal relationships with customers, and those relationships will be enhanced even further in the coming years through the power of digital. Here’s what our presenters and participants took away from this thought provoking event.
Ashlyn: Who can best manage your digital gap?
Most companies see the digital gap and want to close it, but they don’t always know how. Many think they need to hire from outside to be able to grow their digital bench; however, that doesn’t always go well. They may not understand the culture, company or politics well enough to make the change successful.
In our presentation, Nick and I recommended that companies look internally to find digital advocates who can lead the revolution. External forces can be helpful, but you can’t underestimate knowing the company and how to navigate its culture. Both are incredibly important in making a digital transition successful.
Have someone in mind internally who could use a thought-partner? See how we can help with your digital strategy.
Lindsay: There is a way to get unblocked.
Ad-blocking is becoming more prevalent, especially among younger users. This software can be problematic for advertisers, but by learning how to properly interact with the right audiences, advertisers can find themselves unblocked. Users have come to expect “acceptable ads,” or ads that are non-intrusive and relevant to the individual.
This may seem like a difficult creative and technical jump, but ads have evolved since their inception in 1994, and internet users have now come to expect a personal experience. Their message is simple: users expect more from the ads they see, and it is the job of the marketer to learn how to respond.
Tyler: You can learn a lot from your customers’ footprints.
Users are aware of the size of their digital footprints – and are happy to grow them. But these users expect tailored content in return that doesn’t exploit their personal information. A digital marketer must interpret how individuals spend their time online and translate that information into actionable content for each user.
On the flipside, each organization also has a footprint that informs the user about its products/services, brand and reputation. Before engaging with a brand, the user wants to know if the organization is worth their time. Brands must find and fill these gaps so that the user has a valuable and lasting brand experience.
Learn more about how authentic engagement is essential to strengthening your reputation.
Andrew: Don’t go chasing waterfalls.
Back when there were only five marketing channels, the standard “waterfall method” of plan, produce, deploy, review (repeat) was infallible. Doing so created the optimal process to launch and learn from campaigns. In today’s marketing world, there’s no time to go through this by rote anymore. As Slalom’s @Tara_Nesbitt put it, “it puts you, as a marketer, at a disadvantage.”
So, what’s the new way? Agile methodology – a product of the software development world. This approach represents a fundamental shift from the waterfall method, replacing long-arc plans with a series of iterative “sprints” and “scrums” to increase alignment with business aims through short marketing experiments. This improves the speed and predictability of any marketing function. Different? Yes. The future. Also, yes.
As big data and new technologies gain traction, the best digital marketers will no longer fine-tune their content to a demographic. Instead, the future of digital marketing will target the individual in an interactive and personal way.
To help you improve your organization’s ability to deliver personalized, agile marketing programs, take advantage of the resources provided in this article. And, don’t forget we are here to help.