Thursday, 24 January 2013

Digital marketing trends in 2013

Here are some interesting global trends which we can look forward to in 2013:

1. Search Engine Rankings
A brands' Facebook likes and Twitter followers are going to play a significantly larger role to boost search rankings of their page. In addition, brands will also have to continuously refresh and update their content on the website and blog to appear within the first few listings for relevant key words. 

2. Decline in paid search 
Paid search , especially or B2B businesses will continue to decline. In 2012 marketers saw the initial indications of a decline in lead generation and resultant effectiveness from PPC campaigns due to cost and stronger data protection. Marketers will find newer, more cost effective alternatives. 

3. Mobile advertising 
This will become a key component in your marketing budget as more and more people use their mobile to search. This is true specially for local businesses. Display advertising in mobiles will also gain steam with consumers spending more time on their smartphones and tablets. 

4. Growing popularity of mobile wallets 
With smartphones becoming integral to consumers' lives, mobile wallets will catch on not only to make online payments but offline payment too. Tech companies such as Isis are offering mobile wallets designed to work with existing marketing, CSM and loyalty activities. These services will not only help payments but also make it easier for consumers to present loyalty cards and redeem offers. 

5. Greater influence of social media
Brands will continue to see an increased customer engagement with their brands in social media. To improve customer relationships, 'listening' as a tool will gain prominence and more mass scale adaption. Businesses will have to re align themselves to respond to customer demands faster. According to Conversocial, 30% of Twitter users expect an answer from a brand's customer service in less than 30 minutes while 29% of Facebook users expect it in under 2 hours. These numbers will only grow. 

6. Gamification  
Regardless of industry focus,brands will look for inspirations from the video game sector to boost user engagement and brand loyalty. More and more brands will look at embedding gaming in their otherwise dull processes such as online form filling and collecting loyalty points by making it more fun and value added for customers.    

7. Single customer view analytics 
2012 saw a slew of niche data company acquistions as the big analytics players look to provide their customers a more holistic view of their customers and potential customers on one single dashboard. As marketers have access to more data about how customers engage with their products and content across the web - from shopping pages to social media sites- the need will now be to aggregate the data from across the web and different devices and present that back as a single source of useful information. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Sir Martin Sorrell on The Digital Market | Oxford Union

Interesting video to watch where the advertising mogul, Martin Sorrell talks of the changing media landscape and the growing importance of Mobile, specially in countries like India and China where a significant population will get a taste of the internet through their mobiles unlike the western countries.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Rise of the Self Educated Buyers

Reading IDC's report on CMO predictions for 2013 . Interesting and thought provoking if you are a marketer. 2013 is poised to be a watershed year. As the BIG DATA becomes the centre of focus, the role of the CMO and CIO will integrate.

One of the key challenges that they will have to jointly deal with is the rise of the self educated buyer. According to Rich Vancil, IDC Group Vice President, these  are the smart, resourceful and socially connected buyer who do their research before entering the vendor's marketing and selling apparatus. He says in the wake of all their self education is a stream of data that the CMO will have to understand.

Not something we have not known for a while but just re affirms our thoughts. As digitally connected consumers will help to create more and more data which exhibit their shopper behaviour, the CIO will be busy bringing in the science to decode the data while the CMO will bring in the art to use the information.

While the CIO deals with the complexity of harnessing the BIG DATA, the CMO will be busy taming the wild beast called CONTENT. They will have to bring the two together to create new magic in marketing.

The pragmatic CMO will have to do 2 things :
1. Acquire a team with data analytics proficiency to be on top of his game
2. Shift focus away from big platform projects to more on linking access to audience needs

My guess is industries such as finance and auto will be the first to adopt the system as they are the front runners in the digital marketing game. I am looking forward to seeing what emerges from this new system which has emerged basis consumer behaviour. Will it create more aware buyers who put in their hard earned buck to an informed decision or will the gurus of the black art called marketing beat them at the game and manage to control the information which forms the basis of their choice?  


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Technographically profiling your consumers

Sound knowledge of a brand's consumers is key to crafting a digital marketing strategy.  Apart from the usual relevant demographic and psychographic information, one key area of information which is useful is technographic profile of the brand's consumers.

With technology playing an increasingly larger role in our lives, it is important to segment consumers based on the role that technology plays in their lives. Technographic segmentation measures and categorizes consumers based on their ownership, usership and attitude towards information, communication and entertainment technologies.

How can this additional information help a brand to get closer to their consumers?

Consumers' online behaviour varies with their browsing device. Notice your own  online behaviour for the next 3 days and you will be amazed! It is very important for brands to measure how do majority of their consumers access their website - through their mobile or PC.  

More and more people in India are accessing the web through their mobiles. Of  our 137 million online population, 87.1 million access the web through their mobile devices according a recent report in Time of India.

With increasing fragmentation of devices, web browsing is becoming contextual. It is important for a brand to understand the context in which majority of their consumers access the site. Segmentation of consumers basis their device specific web access patterns especially w.r.t to the category will help brands provide suitable content and tools to the most profitable consumer segment.

Fragmentation of operating systems (iOS, Android, windows, Blackberry) could make it necessary to  profile consumers based on operating systems. Is their a difference between iOS users vs latest Android (Jelly Bean) users  in their online shopping behaviour, search patterns or social media interactions? Specific strategy could be drawn up for each segment if there are marked behaviourial differences.

An analysis of the consumers' attitude towards social media and how they use each of the medium (social technographics) can also help a brand to connect better with their most profitable segments. Forrester Research has classified consumers into seven distinct segments basis their of use social media.

A similar segmentation of a brand's consumers' will help to arrive at a sharp social media strategy. Relevant content and the right channel will encourage greater brand engagement in the social media sphere.

Going forth, I don't see it as just another marketing buzzword but a very important input to crystallizing  content strategy as well as user experience both of which form the basis of a good digital marketing strategy.