Staying relevant in a mobile, multichannel, data-driven world177 views
by Nellie Chan
In a digital world of ongoing change, lead nurturing, segmentation, and the effective creation of quality content are essential in order to help your business stay relevant.
Over the last decade, companies have had to transform the way they engage with their existing and prospective customers. Marketing has been at the center of this transformation, both in terms of the potential impact we can have on the business and the role we play.
Today, marketers are in a strong position to drive the success of their businesses, but most of us could still accomplish much more. The stumbling blocks that hinder effectiveness can be overcome by adhering to what we like to call “the relevance imperative.”
Before we delve into the concept, let’s take a look the factors that brought us here:
Marketing beyond sales
The great progress of marketing in the last 10 years lies in a marketer’s expanding role and ability to influence the purchase process. Sales cannot impact the bottom line alone. A Forrester report found 90 percent of the buying process is over before prospects feel the need to contact sales. This phenomenon has driven tighter alignment between marketing and sales, to the benefit of both groups.
On average, website conversion rates are two percent to three percent – the best marketers have a five percent conversion rate.
According to MarketingProfs, of the five percent that do convert – which is denoted by the filling out of a Web form – only 20 percent of them will open the email marketers send them. That means 80 percent of converted website visitors are left largely unengaged.
It’s a sobering picture of our collective effectiveness today that we are engaging just one percent of our intended audience. The challenge, in part, lies in the new control buyers wield: they are independent and self-sufficient at researching.
Channels have proliferated and there’s not enough money or time to take advantage of them all. The majority of channels marketers do choose to invest in are not able to measure true marketing effectiveness. Often successful metrics do not align with the original goals. Marketers are then left to invest blindly in channels they think will be most effective, like email or search.
What is the relevance imperative?
For both business-to-business (B2B) and high consideration business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers, the long purchase decision process and proliferation of channels makes it hard to realize the potential impact we can have on our businesses.
The crux of the modern marketer’s problem is relevance at scale. Target buyers are empowered with real-time access to information across a limitless number of channels and on a variety of devices. Therefore, marketers need to participate in their buyer’s education and research process in a meaningful way.
This demands a customer experience-centric style of marketing to get the right messages and content in front of the right people, at the right time, via the various channels it takes to reach them.
While this may appear to be a daunting task, there are several trends that can help make this goal a reality:
- It is getting exponentially easier to find the signals in the noise of big data.
- Relevance in mobile is becoming a reality. 50 percent of our audience engages through the mobile platform, where the challenge for marketers has been a lack of sophistication behind delivering relevant messages on mobile.
- Cross-device attribution and advances in targeting and native ad formats allows marketers to engage at the right point in the buying cycle and message prospects according to their needs.
- Marketers have access to tools and data to do persona-based marketing, and are now moving towards delivering helpful and relevant content that not only contributes to a customer experience, but dramatically improves it.
- Advances in nurturing and segmentation – which is the sequencing of relevant content – will be applied to every channel marketers invest in and bolstered by quality, persona-based marketing.
- Identifying patterns helps leading marketers predict who their most compelling prospects will be. As pattern identification becomes more sophisticated, marketers will be able to use it to proactively target the right people.
Consistently delivering a relevant experience lets marketers build relationships and allows businesses to thrive. Once you have incorporated relevance into the foundation of your marketing strategy, you can take advantage of these improved tools and technology to run solid and effective campaigns.
As Charles Dickens once said, “Change begets change.” For marketers, change is creating more opportunities and a cultivating a stronger ability to positively affect the bottom line more than ever before.