Today we are living in the age of the customer, where the customer calls the shots. Due the ubiquitous nature of technology, your customer now knows more than you do about your products and services, pricing and reputation. This means you need to shift your budgets away from traditional advertising and towards digital marketing initiatives. According to Business 2 Community, 28% of marketers have reduced their advertising budget to fund more digital marketing. A recent report conducted by Mondo found that 80 percent of marketing departments plan to increase their digital marketing budgets in the next 12 to 18 months. In 2015, how can you make the most of your digital marketing budget? Below are three key areas you should invest in this year.
The customer experience
Today, the customer experience is seen as the only source of sustainable competitive advantage as the effectiveness of traditional marketing continues to diminish in the face of new technologies, changing customer behavior, and rising customer expectations. This point was rammed home recently by Brad Rencher at the 2015 Adobe Summit where during the keynote he said, “the customer experience is now your brand.” Consumers now interact with your brand when they want and how they want. This creates more opportunities for brands to delight consumers but also creates more opportunities to disappoint. The key for marketers is to be consistent and continuous in creating experiences. Therefore, in 2015, make sure you set aside budget to collect the voice of your customers in order to effectively manage their experience. Only by understanding your customer’s intent, needs and experiences across digital platforms can you create relevant, consistent and continuous experiences.
Effective content creation
The content revolution is here. Many marketing departments are devoting over 25 percent of their budgets to content marketing. This make sense considering 70 percent of consumers prefer to get to know a company via white papers, e-books, blog posts and infographics rather than ads. To stay ahead of the competition it is essential to invest in creating high quality content that amplifies your brand. One way to ensure you create engaging content that resonates with your audience is with customer feedback. By directly engaging with your visitors for feedback you uncover your customers’ real pain points. From their feedback you can create content that speaks to them. Investing in a content marketing strategy is no longer enough. Today you need to ensure you are investing in content that deeply resonates with your audience.
This year, marketing departments are attacking mobile with budgets. This is especially true in the wake of Google’s decision to penalize companies that don’t have a mobile friendly site. According to Venture Beat, mobile marketing budgets are jumping 36% this year. But investing blindly in mobile is not a solution. Mobile strategies need to be structured around mobile-only experiences. A recent white paper from the Altimeter Group noted that for companies to take a bigger slice of mobile-commerce “Organizations must focus on learning more about customer frustrations, expectations and behaviors specific to mobile…Only then can mobile strategies produce results that increase engagement, lead generation, sales, retention, loyalty and more.”
Don’t invest in the dark
In 2015, you need a digital marketing strategy that revolves around your customers’ intent, needs and experiences. Whether you are investing in the customer experience, content marketing or mobile, make sure your investments are not made in the dark but driven by the voice of your customers.