Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As the shift to digital continues, traditional marketing is increasingly being disrupted by digital marketing. Digital marketing teams are under enormous pressure to manage this transition, seize the opportunities offered by digital marketing and deliver outsized gains. Here are seven tactics for doing that.
Automate to improve workflow efficiency
Improving workflow efficiency is a great way to enhance the client experience, reduce costs of service and improve agency profitability. A decade ago, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said that “software is eating the world.” Today, it is truer to say that artificial intelligence (AI) is eating the world. AI is disrupting industry after industry, and digital marketing is no exception. One easily deployable tool is the use of conversational intelligence to unearth insights from conversations with clients and improve marketing strategies. For instance, conversational intelligence can determine which keywords clients use and shift marketing so that products and scenarios reflect customer language.
SEO remains important
Any marketing expert will tell you that search engine optimization (SEO) has grown beyond the days when all that mattered was sending a site up Google’s page ranking. Although rising up Google’s page ranking remains important, SEO has changed in fundamental ways. Digital marketers have to consider alternative SEO strategies. Although Google’s dominance among search engines continues to rise, search strategies on platforms such as Amazon, Instagram and Twitter will become increasingly important.
Stand out with thought leadership
Thought leadership is a novel and increasingly important way to grow a brand. It’s also a high-margin way of doing it, requiring very little economic investment. What it does require is an investment in developing unique insights. This may even require having someone whose job is to do nothing but read, think, write or post videos.
People are hungry for insight, and what they want is someone who can deliver profound insights that make it worth their time. If you can win people’s trust as a reliable authority, you will build the value of your brand.
In the era of Big Data, data is the new oil. Possessing data is the foundation of a great business. Your business needs to invest in tracking your client’s activity not just on client websites, but also on third-party websites. On Apple products, they will of course have to explicitly consent to this, and you might even proactively seek their consent when they land on the customer’s website. The fraction of traffic that you can track will give you insights into what people want. Lead conversion tracking is vital.
If you can’t measure something, it’s hard to know what you are doing right. Data collection is key for understanding what’s working in your digital marketing strategy and therefore reducing the cost of acquiring each customer. It’s also important for doing right by your customers by giving them just what they want and need. Without data, you cannot maximize the return on investment (ROI) on your campaigns. In this way, you can increase your chances of retaining your customers.
Prepare for Google Analytics 4
From July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics will no longer process data. Although you will still be able to see Universal Analytics reports for some time, new data will be processed by Google Analytics 4 properties. Google Analytics 4 has been touted as the “next generation of Analytics”.
It’s advisable to start running both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 in preparation for the transition so that by the time July arrives, you are comfortable with Google Analytics 4. Furthermore, you should start using Google Analytics 4’s tracking features to give yourself a little treasure trove of data once the July deadline arrives.
Build customer loyalty
Each customer’s lifetime value is determined by the degree of customer loyalty that you can foster. This is not only because clients will stay longer the more loyal they are, but it is also because loyalty will lead them to use more and more of your services, allowing you to “land and expand”.
In order to enhance customer loyalty beyond what your own operational excellence can achieve, you should offer customers freebies, loyalty and referral discounts, and you should over-communicate your fulfillment expectations to build trust. These things are even more pertinent in times like these when customers exist in a state of uncertainty and might even be experiencing declining revenues. These investments pay off in the long run. You want to go the extra mile for repeat customers so they understand just how valuable they are to you.
Forget third-party cookies
Third-party tracking is dying. Apple is one of the big reasons for this, as it leads a push to answer customer fears about privacy. For digital marketers, what this means is that you will have to reimagine how you advertise in a world without third-party cookies. More specifically, digital marketers will have to do more to collect first-party data. Data’s importance remains, but now, success will depend on if you own enough data to gain meaningful insights. Digital marketers who can succeed in building out their first-party data will be ahead of those who cannot and will be able to analyze and forecast the performance of their ads and conduct better market research.