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Sponsored bySix Steps to a SuccessfulDigital Marketing StrategyWrangle the data, glean the insights, and get in front of your customerStep 4Step 1Step 5Step 2Step 6Step 3

SIX STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGYThere’s no question that having theright digital marketing strategy iscritical to winning over customers.But many brands are still not get ting it right. As marketing strategies haveshifted from transaction-based to customercentric — powered by the bigger and bet ter data sets that are now available as well asby the number of platforms — being able todistill real opportunities that will help driverevenue has become key for marketers.There is one certainty: Any successfulmarketing strategy, digital or otherwise, requires a solid rationale. Without bench marks, established goals, and a clear visionof how to define success, marketers will missthe opportunity to fully leverage the abilityto measure and track customer engagementsin a holistic way.Take a look at the six steps outlined in thiseBook, designed to help create an effectivedigital marketing strategy.Step 1:Know thyself: your prioritiesand your customers’Marketers hoping to create a successful digital market ing strategy need to establish firm priorities in order tomake decisions about the best channels and tactics inwhich to invest, says Lisa Henderson, MD, client ser vices, Epsilon. “This starts with knowing which chan nels and media your prospects and customers use toidentify, evaluate, select, and purchase your productsand services. You can then concentrate your messagesin those places.”Begin by leveraging the data you’re gathering by con solidating customer information into a single multi dimensional data location. This will reduce redundantor conflicting messaging while enabling better target ing, relevancy, personalization, and timeliness.Be sure you maximize each investment by providingan integrated customer experience, following throughon each response, and extending it to the next stage,thereby capitalizing on your channel investments.“This requires that data across the channels you investin be integrated and centralized into a single customer“Work with a partner that understands audience and individual targeting, knows howto work across devices, mobileand PC, and has the ability to utilize data from both”Nancy Hall, Conversantdmnews.com Six Steps to a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy 2

SIX STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGYview,” H enderson says. “Having robust customer- recognition capabilities as the foundation of yourdig it al marketing efforts enables marketers to reachconsumers across devices, time, and media in the moments that matter most for their brand.”It all comes down to the brand taking on the per spective of the customer. Charlene Li, founder andprincipal analyst at research and consulting firmAltimeter Group, told DMN that marketers need towork with other departments, such as sales and ser vice, to form “one revenue team.” That team can thenbudget and align its plans and offerings for customers.This will allow various teams to grow their customerinsights, relationships, and wallet share.Partner upJoining up with a knowing partner is an insightfulplace to begin, says Nancy Hall, SVP, eastern sales,Conversant. “I don’t think starting with a data man agement platform is the right place for a newcomerto begin,” she explains. “It’s important to learn andgather some experience first before going all in with aDMP and the rest of the tech stack.”Her recommendation? Pick a partner that can dothe heavy lifting, while the brand’s team learns andgathers experience.“Work with a partner that understands audience andindividual targeting, knows how to work across devices,mobile, and PC, and has the ability to utilize data fromboth,” she says. “Work with a partner that can activatedata on social media and can control brand frequencyand duplication.”The partner, Hall adds, should offer transparency interms of methodology and strategy and have completeunderstanding of the privacy issues surrounding themodern marketing arena.Step 2:Acquire dataThe “always on” customer requires that you have thedata and insight to act immediately to support thecustomer experience, Henderson says.Marketers must acquire the right data, create deepcustomer profiles to derive insights out of that data,and be sure they are then ready to act on these cus tomer profiles. “Digital marketing requires marketersto make data-driven decisions in real time, and action able data is what will drive digital marketing successand business growth for brands,” she adds.But how does someone acquire that actionable data?Start with identifying buyer personas, says M. J. Anderson, CMO of Trekk. “Start with informationyou know about your current customer base, usingyour best analysis of that base.”Within a buying group there are many shades ofgray. There are customers who are kind of good, thereare your best customers, and then there are consumerswho probably aren’t worth too much effort.“Take whatever data you are able to collect and useand determine what your best customer looks like —what is her buying persona?” Anderson says.Look at your total sales and then find your top 20%of customers. Then look at past behaviors and geo- demographic characteristics to view those top spenderssegmented both as parts of a group and as individuals.Look for predictors that show what the consumer hasdone in the past, which is good for under standing howthat consumer will buy in the future.Focusing on the needs and wants of a particularaudience and hyper-serving those needs let marketers“Take whatever data you areable to collect and use and determine what your best customer looks like —— whatis her buying persona?”M. J. Anderson, Trekkdmnews.com Six Steps to a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy 3

SIX STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGYsee that audience’s behavior. “I can anticipate whatthey are and address that need, in some cases, beforethey’re even aware that they have that need,” Li said.Seek out data sources that are part of everyone’s ar senal — especially your competitors’. It’s key to reachdifferent users, users your competitors probably aren’treaching, says Hall.For example, if you start a search with “Bahamashotels” as a keyword, that is a likely indicator that youhave some intent of going there. From there, you maygo to travel review sites. For a travel brand, “Thesetypes of additional data sources are key,” explains Hall,“because they aren’t being sold or necessarily madeavailable to everyone.”Matching users to their devices and to actions is alsocritical. And consumers, as every marketer knows, per form different actions on different devices at differenttimes of day. Where is your customer at 3 p.m. duringthe workweek versus 3 p.m. on Saturday? And don’tforget about offline activities, either, reminds Hall. Donot overlook such activities as grocery shopping, whatkinds of video they watch, and where they spend theirmoney — perhaps at AMC theaters or Starbucks?Insights are gleaned from looking at both the individ ual and the groups into which she fits. Kathy (the indi vidual who loves the color blue and oversized sweaters)is also Kathy the mom of a toddler and Kathy the mar athon runner, among other personifications of Kathy.Take the attributes of your best customers and gointo the marketplace. Either purchase models or listsor create campaigns to attract the same kind of people.Find your best customer“It’s a process of finding out who your best customersare,” Anderson adds, “and using that information to gointo the marketplace to find people with similar attri butes to begin more conversations.”The idea is to find the people who are likely to wantto engage with your brand. “Assume that of all thepeople in the world who drink soda pop, half the worldprefers Pepsi to Coke,” professes Anderson.“People feel strongly about that particular prefer ence,” she says. “There is nothing you can do to makethem switch. By using the process of elimination,you’ve already eliminated half the market of peoplewho will never hear your message, no matter what youdo. By using that process before you do anything else,you determine who is your best customer.”That process also includes using that data to under stand how, when, and how often your customer wantsto be communicated with. “That’s why working with apartner is a great place to start,” Hall emphasizes.Step 3:Translate insights into actionDigital interactions happen in milliseconds and con sumers leave digital footprints behind, Hendersonsays. “Marketers today have both the time and data toeffectively test marketing messages. Yet we are makingthe same mistakes with digital channels that we havehistorically made with older direct marketing channels.“We aren’t taking advantage of existing data to helpus shape our strategies and tactics,” she continues.“We need to take advantage of available data assetsto further advance the core tenets of direct marketing— test-and-control strategies, personalizing throughtargeting and segmentation, and measuring.”“Marketers today have both thetime and data to effectively testmarketing messages. Yet we aremaking the same mistakes withdigital channels that we havehistorically made with older direct marketing channels”Lisa Henderson, Epsilondmnews.com Six Steps to a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy 4

SIX STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGYTIONALSACC O N T EXTUALPRETFERENUCANT IALPHICALPERSONALRKERAMAT ING EOGONCIn today’s digital-centric world, content is king. Here’swhy: Eighty to ninety percent of all consumers con duct online research prior to making a purchase.“Are they going to find the answers you provide, orare they going to find your competitor,” asks CarynKomensky, principal, director, digital marketing, Gladstone Marketing Group.“The more content you have, the easier it will befor someone looking for your product or services tofind you,” she adds. “But not just any content will do.Effective content is well optimized, relevant, and valu able. It is also published across multiple platforms in aconsistent, frequent manner.“Content can include anything from blog posts andsocial media updates to videos, eBooks, and webinars,”Komensky continues. “Effective content improvesSEO rankings, offers opportunity to position yourcompany as a thought leader in your industry, drivestraffic to websites, offers opportunity for conversion,and helps to nurture existing leads.”The opportunity — and challenge — is ensuring thatconsumers discover the content. The goal for brands isto further tailor their content, based on deeper insightsabout their audience.“Consumers are intelligent, informed, and savvy,which marketers need to understand,” Anderson says.Trekk is an advocate for inbound content marketing,which, Anderson claims, assumes that the person onthe other end of the dialogue is intelligent.“Inbound marketing is a conversation that utilizescontent — such as eBooks, news letters, social media,and blogs, for example — to provide value to con sumers to help them make informed decisions aboutpurchases,” he adds.TRContent rulesCaryn Komensky, Gladstone Marketing GroupDStep 4:“Are [consumers] going to findthe answers you provide, or arethey going to find a competitor”P RO“Part of that partner’s job is to control frequency andduplication throughout the process,” she emphasizes.“Understanding that messaging someone four timeswithin a seven-day period is too much, for example, orthat it’s necessary for the brand to know that someonealready purchased a particular brand of boots so he orshe shouldn’t be in a pool to retarget is important.”You need to have a process that considers all the datapoints that help describe the individual and then usethat info to create communications that are conversa tional and intelligent. “People don’t want relationshipswith brands, they want relationships with people,”Anderson notes.“Consider all the tactical capabilities so you canhave a dialogue and meet people at their point in needand not assume something,” she adds. “You can’t justplace things front and center and hope that consumersimmediately respond.”To help establish that dialogue, you need the rightkind of content.VEGRSATIONALdmnews.com Six Steps to a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy 5

IBM Marketing CloudSIX STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY“By the time a lead reaches the bottom of the fun nel” — BOFU — “they are ready to buy and the onlyquestion is who they will buy from,” Komensky adds.“Often, BOFU leads just need a gentle nudge to getthem to take action. The right BOFU content offer canbe very effective in helping you to close deals.”Refine the message“Just because push content isdeemed valuable owing to a successful ‘open’ rate does notnecessarily mean that everyindividual user is finding thosemessages to be useful”Josh Todd, Localytics“Inbound marketing is designed to create a funnelthat allows us to identify who wants to have a relation ship with us and who doesn’t,” Anderson says.Think of it like speed dating: You either like thisperson or he or she isn’t your type. “Part of the processis being OK with the reality that your message isn’t foreveryone,” he admits.It all comes back to knowing who the customer is,based on intelligence gathered through data, and thenusing that intelligence to create messaging that res onates with that particular consumer. It’s also usingthat data to determine when and how your customerprefers to engage with you.So part of your content strategy needs to considerhow to speak to customers and prospects at variousstages of the buyer’s journey. “Are they at the top ofthe funnel” — TOFU — “casually gathering informa tion to solve a problem or meet a need? If so, you’llneed content that educates buyers and shows themhow they can solve their problems,” says Komensky.“Or, now that they are aware and educated,” shecontinues, “a