Looking ahead into the future, trends with the most momentum will continue to be in the social and mobile fields. We’ve seen that if a new digital marketing opportunity has to survive, trackable performance must be delivered.
This implies that marketers must have the capability of reaching out to key audiences, attracting and engaging them, getting them to move along crucial business paths and get required data for proving and improving performance. Brand marketers have embraced digital for all of this.
While the “TV advertising” tidal wave promised by Twitter and Facebook is surely having an impact, the core of digital marketing is related to driving tangible and trackable outcomes.
Digital is very deeply trackable while traditional advertising isn’t. Because of this, anything we do with digital is done in greater “performance” context –whether it’s driving impressions or video views or anything else. All digital campaigns capture data which brand-focused marketers need for analysis.
Digital channels like search, display and email follow this model. The next huge digital channel Social is feeling the pain of this and adjusting accordingly. Facebook deliberately focused on scale and reach while developing tools for targeting and innovated around ad and post types that engage and capture attention. It emphasized a focus on the API rather than marketer reporting tools. Facebook has struggled a bit with the provision and delivery of value later on in the business funnel.
On the other hand, Twitter is working hard towards getting data and baseline tools in place. It has brought a few interesting targeting tools to the market and promises more. But there hasn’t been much done in the arena of driving business value, engagement and analytics. The missing elements might slow down their ability to spend and grow.
For the new digital marketing channels to succeed in the long term, they must have the ability to deliver and provide business value for brands. Though channels like Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat are low cost and low effort, they provide lower value because they haven’t yet managed to develop trackable, tangible outcomes.
Real Business Value
Looking at the speed at which Social has been developing into an advertising channel, the near future is destined to be big, not simply in growth of revenue or increased media hype, but also in this channel’s capability of delivering sustained business value.
It’s difficult to be a world class digital marketer, but using the right tools gives you a fighting chance. Your brand’s voice, your tweets/ads, posts, copy, photography and social mobile experiences must be excellent. Of course, your products and managing the entire experience must be state-of-the-art.
I think the discipline and idea of “social performance marketing” is what marketers need to look at. This assumes clear business and brand objectives, considers the context of social mobile and optimizes the key performance metrics.
Media buyers need to be knowledgeable about targeting, retargeting, conversion-driven buying and more. Content creators need to align according to target audiences and understand the key conversion events and entire funnel totally. Data must be available to planners, buyers and creative teams in order to iterate together quickly.
For optimum social performance, breaking down of walls is required. Consumers have chosen Social and social networks are desperately working towards fulfilling marketing promises. We marketers need to shift our teams and focus towards key outcomes and with this, the future will be awesome.