Need Help Knowing What To Do Next?
Are you wondering what you should be doing right now to improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts? Do you question if you’re using the best marketing tools? Do you feel overwhelmed with alternatives and fear missing the mark?
If so, relax, because although statistics and rationale for one tactic or another are thrown at you constantly, you don’t need to know all the best marketing tools, you just need to know the best marketing tools for your business. This narrows the field considerably and the best news is – your target people will give you the answers.
Your customers hold all the answers! They’ll tell you what you should be doing by what they’re doing AND what your competitors are doing. I mean actually look at what your customers are doing, where they are, where they’re going and what they need. The answers to those questions will provide insight into where they congregate, how best to reach them and interact with them, on and offline.
Certainly you will determine which social mediums, platforms and media outlets they prefer. That said, paid social and search are not necessarily or exclusively the best marketing tools for all businesses today.
Think Again If You Think Social And SEO Are A Panacea For Your Marketing
There’s a lot of hyperbole generated by those vested in the business of paid search and social media in one form or another (see more on this Will your online dollars be the ones wasted this year?). There’s also increasing noise about companies moving their spend from these popular platforms and their dissatisfaction in the platforms’ lack of enforcement of rules regulating hate speech, fake news, privacy and other misleading content. Businesses are concerned about brand safety in this environment.
Still, you could be forgiven for thinking digital marketing potential is two-dimensional dominated by SEO (search) and social. While each of these have their merits of course, as the 2020 Martech Landscape diagram demonstrates, there are thousands of other digital tools and facilities that await your discovery and this list only gets larger every day.
In fact there’s been a 5,233% growth in the marketing technology landscape since 2011 and with over 8,000 martech solutions it’s now 50x the size it started out! Of more interest perhaps is the democratisation of technology with the introduction of aPaaS (application-platform-as-a-service). Now every marketer could be a citizen app developer, using centralized technology (the platform) that enables decentralized innovation (the apps).
Do The Math
It’s worth contemplating how much of the growth of spend in the social and relationships category is spurred by suppliers to this market, versus how much of that growth in spend has actually delivered real sales results. Statistics that measure expenditure abound, but stats on the results of that spend are harder to discern…
The martech landscape has exploded and as people and businesses continue to endure hybernation for quarantine, its forcing adjustments that drive us all deeper into our screens. Some of these changes might be permanent, so reaching the consumer via online will become increasingly difficult, just by sheer weight of content volume.
Consider how many hours there are in a day, the hours consumed with essential activities such as eating, sleeping, socialising (in person, with people), doing chores, working and resting. Then establish an average of hours that remain for entertainment (TV, gaming, hobbies), personal and professional development (listen to podcasts or books, watch online presentations, courses or seminars), as well as checking a variety of social platforms and emails.
Now calibrate the time left, with how many businesses are trying to reach your target customers online. In our global marketplace, it is literally millions of suppliers trying to infiltrate your customer’s consciousness via the standard social media alternatives. That number is only growing by the minute, driven by the industry that has a vested interest in you putting your budget into paid search and social media campaigns.
Given the finite time available and the almost infinite range and volume of online marketing activists, this rough ready-reckoner pretty quickly demonstrates how much time per day people really have to find your content. The volume of competition demonstrates the absolute and inevitable randomness of you finding each other.
The Covid Consequence
Covid related restrictions have motivated people to be in front of their screens for more hours per day and the physical disconnect is driving more businesses to deliver their services online. This just adds to the volume of content that’s flooding our inbox and the Internet for entertainment, commercial promotion and socialising, when the consumer is already overwhelmed.
Don’t despair. As long as people LIVE, they LIVE in the real world. They’re social animals and they are energy receptors, so a purely digital approach to your attempts to connect with people might be short of the mark. Perhaps the human response to excessive hours of screen time are giving rise to the growth in experiential marketing revenues, including consumer event marketing and event sponsorships, which are projected to rebound with 6.1% growth worldwide in 2021, according to PQ Media’s Global Experiential Marketing Forecast 2020.
What To Do?
We’re flooded with tactical marketing alternatives and I’m always keen to explore what marketing tools technology is giving us. Marketing efficiency and scale will always depend on capturing people where they congregate and that can be on or offline, but here’s the news: people spend more time everyday in the real world than they do online (gamers excluded…).
It’s safe to say that the competition for your customer’s attention online has never been greater and in case you haven’t noticed, entertainment trumps education and information for consumer attention (note cat and dog videos, TikTok and any of the most popular posts or viral shares).
This makes accurate targeting, compelling content, relationship building and consolidating effort and resources more important than ever. You’re gonna need a valued product, ingenuity, talent and the tools of technology.
What Are The Best Marketing Tools?
The best marketing tools are the ones that help you manage your marketing effort, offer maximum efficiency, ensure compliance, report on campaign effectiveness and reach your people where, when and how they want.
There are some telling insights from martec.com, in the US statistics behind the shifting landscape such as a 70% increase since 2019 in sub categories of Conversational Marketing & Chat, next to a 68% increase in Governance, Compliance and Privacy. This indicates relationship marketing and engagement is exploding with a corresponding increase in respect for the consumer (see my blog on spam email…).
While Data as a martech category has experienced 25.5% growth since 2019, Management has grown 15.2% and Social and Relationships has grown 13.7%. This suggests the facilities that allow brands to interface to customers have expanded, but the category that provides facilities to manage the overall marketing intelligence and marketing function, has grown even more
What Are The Best Marketing Tools Available In Australia?
While social and search can certainly demonstrate growth in popularity, there are better examples of genuine growth to be found elsewhere, both as a marketing tool and as investment portfolio potential. As every business is now in the business of content creation for their marketing, content is overwhelmingly the core tactical marketing tool.
Q: What happens when you pair the growing popularity of video (82% of all consumer web traffic) with the targeted precision of search programmatic? A: One of the most effective and satisfying marketing mechanisms available today.
Point in case the Nasdaq listed advertising technology company The Trade Desk (TTD), which specialises in the fully automated process of buying and selling digital advertising, aka programmatic advertising. TTD began trading in 2016 at US$18, began 2020 at $232.75 and at time of writing is around US$480 p/share (you can read more here).
When you respond to or connect with a product online, it’s noted, allowing AI in the background to identify who is interested in that product with a good degree of detail. This data provides tight targeting parameters for programmatic advertising to position your advertising/promotional/commercial content to very specific audience criteria.
Benchmedia.com is a great example of a programmic marketing platform in Australia. If you’re interested to learn more about this space, I recommend you sign up for their weekly market wrap newsletter (genuine referral).
What’s Future Current Right Now?
There’s a lot I could write about here but the phrase ‘everything old is new again’ springs to mind. Once we take the blinkers off the notion of digital marketing being predominantly about social and search, and begin thinking in terms of tools, new and old can come together. What can you do to meld your customer’s heart and mind to your brand?
For instance, if the social platforms can identify which geographic regions have the highest number of demographic matches to your target eg. LinkedIn or Facebook, you can use that info to direct a letterbox drop or direct mail to reach them. If the creative in the piece is suitably executed, you may get as good or better result as you would from the social platform, certainly you’ll have way less competition in the delivery! Think of how much mail is in the average in box vs the average physical mail-box these days.
Online is certainly the most efficient and effective medium for video content and there are a multitude of ways to create and integrate content into your marketing strategy. Brands can tell their story, demonstrate values and engage their customers far beyond product placement. Creating, commissioning, sponsoring, curating or collaborating are just some of the ways a brand can up their game when using video content as a strategic tactic.
The humble bar coaster is a champion message carrier that can be resurrected to tie into an app for games, competitions etc., that perhaps lead to rewards collected at the venue eg. free bowl of chips. Taken further it could be the catalyst for a range of data collection and loyalty initiatives that tie back to the app the hotel operates from the bar.
What about on pack and in store POS and merchandising? We don’t hear much about those eyeball catchers and distribution networks. When you think distribution channels, think other suppliers you can partner with like content creators are doing with a major TV brand, now sending their screens out preloaded with access to certain streaming outlets.
If collecting email addresses – from people you know actually have an interest in what you’re selling – ask for their star sign, rather than a birth date reference. People are no longer comfortable (and they shouldn’t be) giving their key identity elements away, but a star sign still allows you to send a birthday or seasonal offer to them. Perhaps not everyone is into star signs but you can build an interesting offer based on the season or the astrology reading for each month…
VR an AR come to mind and like any new technology, requires critical mass to survive. As ever improving VR headsets proliferate society, this medium is gaining more acceptance and presents commercial viability. AR and VR have reached that stage now as VR and AR are finding application increasingly not just in entertainment, but for a variety of training and sales purposes too. This trend will undoubtedly be spurred by the implications of the Covid 19 pandemic, as people become increasingly receptive to living ‘vicariously’ in the confines of their home.
Start small by perhaps giving away a few promotional VR headsets that deliver your offer or entertainment directly to the consumer, make it exclusive, build demand and keep your end customer at the heart of your campaign objectives.
If you’re targeting younger audiences, gaming platforms such as Amazon owned Twitch or it’s rival Mixer, might be worth exploring for their potential to weave your brand or products into game play or streaming content. But beware in this zone, it’s a complicated marketing equation to evaluate.
Your Audience Will Dictate The Medium And The Message
The point is you want your efforts to be efficient and effective. You need to be relevant and build relationship. Digital tools offer great opportunity for efficiency and reach, while the real world offers lots of opportunity to actually interact with your customers where they actually LIVE, as in where and how they live their life.
If you’d like to know more about current martech tools, creating great content and interacting with your customers in their real world, call Wanted Consulting – Reward Offered.