Business-critical digital marketing trends

We love reviewing innovation in marketing. It’s interesting to see ‘what’s hot’ and ‘what’s cool’, but to keep it practical and actionable as we like, we’re equally interested in which communications and transformation techniques will make the biggest commercial improvement for businesses.

A good example of the commercial impact digital technology and media can have is Dominos. I recently heard about the impact of digitization of Dominos from Dave Wild, their UK CEO at Technology for Marketing / E-commerce Expo. Dominos UK only took its first mobile phone order in 2010 when online sales accounted for less than 30% of revenue. Eight years on, Dominos have a market share of more than 50% with digital transactions accounts for more than 80% of sales and the UK smartphone app accounting for more than two-thirds of those sales.

In this review of digital innovation, I’ll take a look at examples of the latest marketing techniques leading companies are deploying which are likely to be adopted as trends across businesses next year.

To structure my review I will look at these new techniques and technologies across these 8 key digital marketing communications techniques which form the digital channel essentials toolkits used to structure our planning templates in our members’ area.

Which marketing techniques will be most important to marketers in the year ahead?

Before I give my view on the more strategic marketing trends, I thought it would be useful to look at changes in tactical priorities that marketers think are important to growing their business. It’s been really interesting to ask this question on our blog and in our research reports over the last few years to see what the most significant trends are ‘across the board’ and how these vary through time, visit actionsolar.net site to know the marketing techniques they follow.

Here’s my view on why these tactics form the top five techniques.

#1 Content marketing

– this has featured consistently in the top 3 for several years. I think it’s number 1 since content marketing can be applied by all types of business regardless of their sector or size and if the right strategy is followed can make an impact that supports communications across all touchpoint of the customer lifecycle. It fuels all digital channels from search, email and social media marketing. This makes having a defined content marketing strategy essential to competing in many sectors.

#2 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

– This is an exciting ‘new entry’ into the top 5 and suggests that marketers now believe they will see a return from deploying the latest AI tools supporting the many marketing applications for AI we review in this infographic. Within AI, I believe the most popular marketing applications will enhance personalization and marketing automation which brings us to…

#3 Marketing automation and email marketing

– This is also a perennial feature in our top five and it’s no surprise since, like content marketing, it’s effective for both B2C and B2B marketing. While some more mature organizations will make improvements through use of AI, other less mature businesses will benefit from improving the relevance and timing of their emails through using rules-based automation and personalisation.

#4 Big Data (including market and customer insight and predictive analytics)

– It’s good to see big data in the top five since we believe in the power of data-driven marketing. Big data analysis such as predictive analytics typically requires larger budgets, so will be restricted mainly for larger organisations, but the use of market and customer insight using the tools shown in our Martech tools wheel is open to all businesses and I think is why this is a relatively popular choice.

#5 CRO and improving website experiences

– This is the first time that CRO has featured in the top 5, which is again a sign of increased adoption of data-driven marketing as processes improve in organizations who can now run ‘always-on’ improvements using structured AB testing programmes. There is also the option of new lower-cost tools including Google Optimize which is freely available.
I’ll now take a look at the different types of marketing management trends grouped by the main techniques in our multicolour sunflower.

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