Digital Marketing: It’s the same as it’s been, but here are a few things to keep your eyes on
Over the course of the next year, digital marketing budgets are anticipated to increase to over 35% of total budgets. With mobile continuing to grow stronger and viable wearables on the horizon (and projected to be on the market by the end of 2015), you need to be prepared for the coming year.
A Warning to Marketers
First and foremost, now more than ever, I’m cautioning marketers to be smart and focus on the fundamentals. Remember that digital isn’t the only kind of marketing you should be looking at, and that all digital marketing tools are simply tools. Don’t get lured in by the latest shiny object. Stay focused on your target market.
If You’re Not Mobile-Friendly, You’d Better Be!
2014 was the third “Year of Mobile” and I’d say we definitely saw mobile rise dramatically. If your web site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll want to address this issue in 2015, just in case 2016 is the “Year of Wearables,” which will likely necessitate more adjustments to web strategy and presentation.
Some Things Don’t Change
A colleague of mine mentioned that in 2015, the new trend will be that marketers who sell, sell, sell will be ignored. Um, that’s been the “trend” forever. That’s not new. But it’s also not a bad idea to be reminded that you need to be using social to be social and stop trying to sell so darned much. Communicate, connect, and darn it, yes, provide value.
Create the Mix That’s Right for You
You really need to know how to create the right blend of digital marketing tools including both paid and owned media, curation and content creation, and all the options available to you on the digital marketing menu.
Always remember that you need to reach your target market and look for the tools that will enable you to tell the story of your brand most effectively.
These days it’s not hard to quantify and measure marketing results, and measurement should become very important to helping you to decide what marketing strategies you should invest in. If you can tell what methods have the highest return on your investment, making decisions about what to invest in gets easier. But remember that your measurement should take into account that marketing isn’t always as simple as a 1:1 measurement. The cumulative effects of a marketing mix are difficult, but not impossible, to measure, and should be considered. A method that seems like it’s not performing might be a linchpin holding your overall marketing strategy together.
Try New Things
You do want to experiment, and I recommend that most of my clients allot a percentage of their marketing budget to experimentation, because in this ever-changing landscape, “what works” changes from quarter to quarter. Don’t assume that because something worked yesterday, it will work just as well tomorrow, because that just isn’t the world we live in anymore.
Digital marketing is not an easy thing to do on your own, if you’re not a marketer (and sometimes even if you are!). Over 65% of firms outsource their digital marketing efforts, leaving this complex work to the experts. There’s no shame in hiring a team of digital marketing experts to help you create your digital marketing plan and implement it or to train your staff in the most relevant digital marketing tools for your brand.
Overall, in 2015, with digital continuing to grow as one of the strongest tools in your marketing toolbox, as long as it makes sense for your brand, you definitely want to invest at least part of your marketing budget in digital, and probably a significantly larger piece of the pie than last year.
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