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Five Takeaways from Technology for Marketing 2016

Written by Gemma | 07-Nov-2016 17:09:33

Last month, equimedia media team members Gemma Farley and Valentina Vitale attended the Technology for Marketing event in Olympia. Eager to ensure our clients are kept updated with the latest thinking, Gemma and Valentina went along to listen to discussions around the hottest topics the digital marketing industry is focusing on right now.

Gemma and Valentina have pulled together the 5 key themes they took away from the two day event:

Data is essential to get results

Consumers want to be targeted, but they want to be targeted with products that are relevant to them. Many companies sit on a goldmine of invaluable data and could be using it to target customers that are most likely to respond and purchase their product or service.

Komal Helyer, Head of Marketing at Pure360, asked 1,000 people ‘What makes people click within emails and why?’ and found the following to be true:

  • Emails with red and green backgrounds demonstrates urgency, and results in a higher response rate.
  • Appealing to the emotional side of the brain is effective because the user takes less time to make a decision. Examples could include testimonials and being clear and honest about why you’re communicating with them.
  • Including the right Call to Action (CTA) will result in a higher response rate. In a charity email, for example, people responded better to the CTA ‘Take action’ than ‘Donate now.’
  • Creativity is vital to elicit a response, consider tactics such as real-time weather triggers, videos and countdown clocks.

Laura McHenry, Marketing Director at RedEye, explained the importance of reviewing your customer data across different devices. If a user has converted via desktop and is then retargeted on their tablet they will undoubtedly feel irritated, and this can be damaging to brands. Social media has given the customer a loud voice and it’s more essential than ever now not to annoy them, so make sure all tracking and reporting is joined up.

Surviving in the ‘digital disruption’ age

As technology continues to evolve at rapid pace, embracing digital transformation has become a high priority for many businesses. Dom Carter, Chief Commercial Officer for News UK, talked about why their biggest papers such as ‘The Sun’ and ‘The Times’ have had to embrace ‘digital disruption.’ With more readers consuming content through different online channels, it became clear that they weren’t moving fast enough with the evolution of consumerism and technology. They implemented the following to tackle this:

  • ‘Data scientists’ now work with their creative and content teams, providing additional insight.
  • Optimisation towards digital mobile.
  • The launch of apps such as ‘fantasy football.’
  • A change in content approach – engaging with users rather than simply targeting them.

Claire Hazel, Director of Marketing and E-commerce at Cosmos, explained how she has had to adapt to the digital era. She believes that it isn’t about hiring ‘techy teams’ or buying the latest technology but rather about looking at the culture of an organisation and involving everyone, making digital change less intimidating. Here are her top tips for digital transformation in your organisation:

  • Use your data and understand your customers. Predict what they want. Find out how they use technology and what interests them.
  • Understand your business. Find out what you’re doing well and not so well, and how you can improve the customer journey.
  • Concentrate first on the areas of the business which deliver the greatest value. Test different strategies and learn from mistakes.
  • Keep it simple. Try not to talk too techy as this can unnerve colleagues, and take colleagues with you on the journey.
  • Digital transformation is about structure. It’s about having the right people to lead it, so if your structure doesn’t work, amend it.

Six steps to successful content marketing

Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi describes himself as one of the leaders behind the content marketing movement. He took the audience through the 6 step approach that he says will inevitably see your content marketing succeed.

Did you know that 90% of businesses highlight that they use content marketing but alarmingly only 30% are actually successful? (Source: Content Marketing Institute). This tends to be due to two key reasons:

A) There is too much focus on campaigns and not an all year round strategy – content marketing is a marathon and not a sprint!

B) There is no strategy – businesses need to consider their own content marketing goals and who and where their target audience are.

So what do you need to do to ensure you do not fall into the 60% of businesses that are unsuccessful in content marketing? Follow Joe’s 6 steps:

1. The Sweet Spot

Think about what your company is passionate about. What does it have authority to talk about? As an example, a pet insurance company will be passionate about pet health and have the knowledge and expertise to talk about this. Think about what might frustrate your customers in everyday life. Using the same example, a pet insurance customer might find removing flees from their dog frustrating – so a top tip guide on how to remove flees from the pet insurance company could be useful to them.

2. Content Tilt

Does your content stand out against your competitors’ content? To succeed, you need to find new ways to communicate your message and give your content greater leverage. Focusing on your content mission statement is important:

  • Who are your target audience?
  • What will be delivered to your target audience?
  • What will the outcome be for your target audience?

Using the example above again, the article could be titled ‘Dog Owners, Alleviate Stress! Top tips on how to remove fleas from your dog.’

3. Building the Base

Building the base = content type + main platform + consistent delivery + long period time.

  • Content type e.g. audio, video, text.
  • Main platform e.g. website, YouTube.
  • Consistent delivery e.g. Monday, Friday and Sunday at 7pm.
  • Long period time e.g. 12-18 month strategy.

4. Harvesting the Audience

It is extremely important to ensure you are communicating regularly with your audience across your digital channels. Initially you should be focusing on email subscribers as this provides you with control to communicate to a large following. It is also important to understand the impact of the new Facebook and Twitter algorithm changes whereby organic social reach is hugely declining and therefore to get in front of your audience on social media you will require a paid for boosting strategy.

5. Diversify

Your customers will encounter a certain number of media touchpoints before they complete the action you desire them to take. Therefore, once you have a strong content strategy in place, it is essential to diversify. For example, 
the Moz blog initially started with blog posts, then Whiteboard Friday was introduced, and then webinars. This gave the SEO experts at moz numerous opportunities to display their content and reach their customers on a number of occasions.

6. Measure the Value

It is vital to determine the value of your content strategy. Linking it to your CRM database will give you an idea of ROI. For example, what is the difference between your newsletter subscribers and your non-subscribers – do your non-subscribers hold any value? One key point here is to ensure you provide the customer with value before you try to extract value e.g. a whitepaper download.

Attribution is crucial

Display activity and generic PPC often come under scrutiny from businesses due to not directly driving cost efficient sales. But when you actually look at the larger picture and their true impact they can often be more efficient than channels that initially look stronger. So how do you prove the ROI from these channels?

What leads up to the last click? What initiates the user journey but doesn’t necessarily end it? For example, you might find that your display banner starts the majority of your brand PPC journeys and therefore weighted modelling may give a stronger view of display in terms of conversion and cost per sale (CPS). How much value do you want to attribute for the journey starter? Focusing on the last click does not provide you with the entire view user journey and how each channel behaves in terms of assists. equimedia recently conducted an attribution project for one of our clients and found that the display CPS dropped by 3.6% when taking into account assists.

Lifetime value (LTV) is another key part of understanding the true value of each of your platforms. This data may highlight that although your display or generic PPC channels might not appear as strong in terms of direct ROI in comparison to Brand PPC, you may find that these channels are driving higher quality sales in terms of LTV.

Link online marketing with offline sales

No one has really truly mastered linking online and offline sales as yet, but there should always be a consideration towards the uplift online activity might have offline e.g. through the use of specific codes unique to online activity, and monitoring the uplift of offline sales in conjunction with an online campaign. Technology will certainly continue to advance in this area over the next 12 months and is one to keep an eye on!

How can we help you?

equimedia has strong experience across all digital marketing channels and therefore if you have any questions around how to approach your content strategy or determining the true value of display, please contact our new business team: