Practical ideas to use on the fundamental pillars of effective digital marketing
This review covers the latest developments in digital marketing across the many digital marketing channel tools businesses can use, shown in the following image based on SmartInsights’ RACE digital marketing framework . This has been developed to help companies build a robust approach. To creating integrated digital marketing strategies across 25 key activities that we defined as part of the RACE Growth System.
The figure below shows common digital marketing activities throughout the customer lifecycle:
The goal of this post is to make the forecast useful to people who work in different types of businesses. From small businesses and startups to medium-sized companies. And larger international brands in sectors ranging from retail, financial services, the pharmaceutical industry and B2B.
The six essential pillars for effective digital marketing that we will cover are:
- Strategy and management (or management) : Analysis, Objectives, Strategy (segmentation, targeting, brand positioning), integration, alignment with marketing and sales, resources, structure, skills development and marketing technology.
- Goals and Measurement : Forecasts, digital reports including KPI dashboards, attribution, and customer insights.
- Media : Paid, owned, and earned media, including paid and organic search, social media, and display advertising.
- Content – Content marketing strategy including product and blog content to drive content marketing, PDF downloads, interactive tools, and content distribution.
- Digital experience : Website and desktop/mobile applications, Online customer support.
- Conversational Messages : Email, chat, social media, customer support, site interactions, and personalization.
1. Digital Strategy and Planning Trends
Strategic planning is vital to digital marketing success as it defines how marketing budgets are best allocated among the other pillars.
Gartner’s latest research on digital marketing spending: State of Marketing Budgets and Strategy in 2022 highlights trends in budget allocation among the largest companies where:
- Marketing allocates more than half of its budget to online channels (54% avg)
- Within the digital budget, more than 60% is in paid media
- There is a fairly even balance across the range of digital media channels , as shown in the chart in the media trends section of this post.
As for non-media spending, again there is a balance, in this case, between paid, owned and earned media. Information and analysis also attract a significant amount of spending.
The mix of marketing resources is virtually unchanged year over year, with a breakdown of agencies and services (23.7%), paid media (25.7%), labor (24.9%) and marketing technology (25.4%).
2. Trends in Marketing Technology
Gartner research found that, according to chief marketing officers ( CMOs ), companies typically spend 25% of their marketing budget on marketing technology . This is a surprisingly high amount, especially as ROI can be difficult to establish and research also highlights that there is a challenge in using all the features. Gartner explains that
“ The 16 percentage point drop in overall martech utilization over the past two years can be attributed to a significant amount of overlap between marketing technology solutions (30% of respondents), difficulty identifying and recruiting talent to drive adoption/use (28%). and complexity/expansion of the marketing technology ecosystem (27%) ”.
The chart below shows emerging digital advertising technologies being implemented by large companies.
While around a quarter of companies have no plans to implement them in the next 6 months. The most popular ones being tested or implemented are:
- Branded Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
- Advertising in audio and video streaming
- Advertising within the metaverse
- social trading
- Ads in online games
We rate these as most relevant to large consumer brands and least relevant to smaller businesses (SMBs) or B2B organizations. And while they are interesting, they are examples of niche applications that will continue to be less important than the main digital media channels. Such as organic and paid marketing, social media and search engines, and email marketing.
Digital Information and Reporting Trends
We have seen in the previous section that there is a trend to increase spending on business science and data analytics. Artificial intelligence (AI) and in particular the use of predictive marketing analytics is on the rise.
The other trend in this area is increasing restrictions on data usage due to consumers’ desire for privacy and governments acting to enforce this. In the European Union (EU), digital services law is part of this. In the US, many states have now enacted stricter privacy legislation and Latin America will very likely soon follow suit.
These laws to protect consumers can potentially make targeting and analytics more difficult by requiring restrictions on cookies and mobile device IDs, as well as less use of other personal signals such as IPs and email addresses. This has also led platforms like Apple and Google to react. Especially significant is the removal of support for third-party advertising cookies in Google Chrome (now delayed until 2023). It has also involved updates to analytics platforms, most notably the release of consent mode in Google Analytics 4 , which many companies will implement next year before the previous version is retired in July 2023.
At a higher level, the means available for marketers to invest in has been stable for many years. The following image shows the digital media channel options that are fixed.
However, the mix between these mediums has changed. One of the big changes is the growing need to invest in paid media . With the need for social media platforms to monetize their platforms and the deliberate restriction of organic reach by the platforms, it is normal to ‘pay to play’ on social media.
This graph shows that the two largest categories of media spend are paid social media and paid search. Also interesting to see are the partner marketing options included; they are referred to as co-marketing in the table above .
Around the world, major social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and WeChat remain the largest platforms. However, their growth rates are slowing or declining and engagement. Levels are falling due to lack of novelty and privacy fears. While they are unlikely to be overshadowed by new competitors. Other relatively new networks such as TikTok, BeReal and Supernova are rising in importance. Also Check Descargar videos de Facebook
Content Marketing Trends
We have identified content marketing as one of the main pillars of digital marketing, as it drives all other digital activities, including different types of media, and supports conversion through the digital experience.
In our experience, content is often not managed like the strategic asset it is, requiring a dedicated content marketing strategy and resource (staff) .
In the fall of 2022, Google’s “Helpful Content Update” reminds us of the importance of quality content. Which can penalize low-quality content.
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is helpful in understanding the latest trends in content marketing. Their latest 2022 reports for B2B and B2C show content marketing activities being used by leaders.
The graph shows that leading companies have:
- A documented content marketing strategy
- A measured approach to evaluating the effectiveness of content
- Dedicated Resources for Content Marketing
Current trends in content formats are shown in the graph below, which shows that the most effective content continues to be those with insights from experience, such as Webinars , Research Reports , Whitepapers , and Case Studies . Rich formats, such as video and podcasts, are popular, but are rated less highly.
Digital Experience Trends
In general, there is a trend towards richer and more interactive experiences. The trend is shown in the following figure:
Some of the latest innovations in digital experiences can be seen by reviewing what agencies offer brands. For example, check out these augmented reality app client presentations for the Zappar agency
Considering trends in web design , one of the most interesting trends from a communications standpoint is a reversal of the long-standing trend of minimalist, simple, and accessible designs that might lack impact and restrict the ability to stake. In this compilation of trends from 99Designs who say:
Minimalist approaches have given rise to a sea of interfaces that (while intuitive) are overwhelmingly uniform. It’s no wonder then that many web designers turn to Memphis design for a burst of colorful personality that visitors won’t soon forget .
They give these examples of Memphis design showing that strong typography. And bold imagery can bring balance rather than being seen as too overbearing.
Conversational Messaging Trends
Our trends conclude with Conversational Messaging which warrants a separate category as the importance of messaging is growing and there is a proliferation of techniques as shown in this image.
We call the trend “ conversational messages ” instead of “messages” as it was coined by Gartner, who explained the value of, instead of using simple “push messages”, we should try to encourage interaction and dialogue through of messages:
“ Conversational marketing technologies enable business-to-customer interactions that mimic human dialogue and do so at scale . ”
In terms of practical tools to support this, email , SMS , mobile notifications , chat , Social Media Retargeting , on-site interactions , and personalization are common and well-established techniques. Its power is suggested by the visual showing the opportunities to use ‘sense and respond’ communications to interactions throughout the Smart Insights RACE customer lifecycle shown at the beginning of this article.
Email and mobile messaging, social retargeting, and on-site personalization are established techniques here. The newest developments involve text and voice based chat using AI and bots. For B2B marketers, tools like Intercom and Drift that bring together personalized promotions, a knowledge base. And chat with a bot or employees help integrate these techniques for both lead nurturing and customer onboarding.