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Digital Futures: Navigating the Digital Future for Businesses

Written by Tiffany | 04-Oct-2016 10:21:00

In September we hosted two of our popular ‘Digital Futures’ roundtables; the first in Bristol and the second in London. The specially invited guests at both events were senior marketers and business decision makers and we were delighted that James Nesbitt from Google joined us to share his thoughts in London, too.

We looked at the latest tech and media innovations in digital marketing and how brands are using them to attract and retain customers. The conversations were lively and the creative ideas flowed as we discussed the exciting new developments!

Consumers now set the agenda

Consumers today have high expectations of the brands they buy from. Not only do they have expectations that they can contact brands through social media and through any device (especially their mobiles) and get a fairly rapid response from a human being who will listen, but they expect brands to be accessible through the social channels and tech tools they love the most.

Mapping new opportunities

The rate of change, and the sheer number of new developments can be overwhelming. The challenge is for businesses to know which media channels will deliver the maximum reach amongst their customer audience segments, generate the maximum benefit for their budget, and against their business goals. Daunting!

Where are your customers?

Jamie and I discussed the importance of not getting swept away and investing in an innovation without understanding how it will work for your business. Be ambitious and open to new ideas but look at your ideal audiences and their rate of adoption of the new in order to plan how and when to reach them and when a new innovation might be right for your business now or in the future.

Brand-led innovation

Customers and their love of new innovations are shaping the future of business. Examples talked about at the event were Amazon’s Dash button which could mean you never run out of washing powder again, Ditzo (a Dutch brand) using WhatsApp for its customer service, Malibu’s connected bottles using NFC contactless connectivity, MasterCard’s selfie sign-ins and Tesco’s use of geo-targeting to send messages about offers to customers who are nearby. Businesses are actively experimenting, and while not all these experimentations will be successful, digital innovation and testing are critical and deserving of investment if relevant to your audiences and deployed so that investment in testing is balanced with your business aims and budget.

More targeted than ever before

One digital trend that is clear is the increasing ability of marketing campaigns to reach potential customers on any platform including more traditional media channels. A great example of this is the Piriteze programmatic TV advertising campaign. Using pollen forecast data, Piriteze were able to target TV adverts to areas with the highest pollen count using programmatic technology (the automated buying and selling of adverting).

It’s easy to envisage a future where digital innovation means marketing messages become increasingly targeted and relevant to the individual, creating a more personalised experience for customers and greater opportunities for business growth.

If you’d like help with working out what’s right for your business right now in everything from Paid search to mobile specific campaigns, please get in touch.