Today every consumer is a digital consumer, whether they’re tagging their tweets during live TV or reviewing retail apps before beginning the journey to an in-store transaction. The combination of vast levels of information and connectivity has empowered consumers like never before. No media channel is working in isolation. To gain positive brand sentiment, you cannot ignore the power of social influence. And to gain sales, you have to really understand your customers’ behaviour online and offline before tailoring a relevant offer.
As a communications agency, we help brands live, breathe and grow. To keep them nourished in the short term and sustained for the long term we have to help them put the digital consumer at the heart of everything they do.
Effective marketing means combining creative sentiment with technical competence, then collaborating with the very best teams to engineer consumer experiences that are meaningful, directional and measurable. This can only begin when brands decide to put the Digital Consumer at the heart of what they do. These are our four steps to achieving this:
1. Be Commercially Creative
The rapid expansion of technology into our lives has focused marketers away from ideas and towards infinite measurability.
The onset of Big Data and Marketing Automation means that we’re getting better at predicting the things that motivate buyers, and the marketing automation tools that exist allow us to test, learn and time our communications to perfection.
But it’s not the sophisticated CRM systems, technologies or mobile applications alone that make marketing efforts a success. It’s standing ahead of the competition and being noticed for the things that brands do best. And in a media saturated world, creativity is the key to achieving engagement with the digital consumer.
The most successful organisations apply their ideas and creativity to every consumer touch-point, initiating a clear set of principles that help them shape their brands and remain focussed on their commercial performance.
Being commercially creative in an increasingly automated world means two things: firstly, you need to be able have great ideas that sell products; secondly – and perhaps more importantly – you need to apply great ideas that enhance and build the brand.
2. Be Integrated
It is well known that the most successful marketing initiatives in today’s world rely on integration. This means adopting a customer view that is wedded to a consistent and relevant brand experience that integrates and permeates throughout every customer touch point.
Achieving this demands impartiality, appropriate utilisation of technology, a thirst for insight and a long-term partnership with brand marketing teamsand, ultimately, their end customers.
3. Automate to Resonate
Harnessing data directly informs effective action and we can all do it in real time. Studying online and offline interactions help us to attribute value to different media channels, and programmatic marketing, real time bidding and social media monitoring helps us be where our audiences reside.
Marketing automation and effective CRM systems are the key to a successful communications infrastructure for connecting with prospects. But off-the-shelf systems can be poorly tailored and bespoke systems are often expensive to build and scale, so a rigorous selection process is essential. Often, the answer lies in successfully integrating systems and tools that are off the shelf. Building something from scratch should be the last possible option.
A successful 21st Century business has to embrace collaboration at every level. It is no longer possible for most organisations to be expert in every aspect of the communications universe; the complexity of the landscape is immense, and the breadth of experience needed is just too vast. The new world is open source and license free, but we all have to get on board to make the difference.