We’re at an exciting point in the age of digital marketing, as the convergence of data brings together easy-to-read dashboards reflecting digital advertising (PPC), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). New measurement tools, coupled with existing website-based tracking software, marketing automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software tools are providing marketers with amazing insights to customer behaviors. This, in turn, provides marketers with the opportunity to create well-defined personas that help hone communications for better experience and better conversion. Moreover, advancements in software and integration between open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allows a new generation of marketing dashboards that permit executives to actively view performance and activity like never before. Solutions like Web Presence Optimization (WPO) promise revolutionary insights, allowing organizations to respond with greater speed and accuracy. One of the things in which I am particularly interested is how this toolset may allow marketers leverage to prevent deteriorating brand value due to Social Media.
Enter the Age of Omni-channel
Quoting directly from WPOinc, “WPO is a strategic framework for holistically managing an online marketing mix. Web presence encompasses all web visibility — essentially anything that appears somewhere online — whether owned (company-generated), earned (third party-generated) or paid content.”
A Social2B article, “Measuring Multi-Channel Marketing Performance for CMOs” correctly points out key areas of interest, and I really like that they start the article with PR as the ROI from editorial and press release activity. Historically, this has been one of the more difficult areas for marketers to monetize within the sales conversion funnel. The truth is, brand impressions created across disparate touch points and channels are assimilated in the audience brain to form brand recognition and subliminal identification of brand values and offerings. This positioning is established long before conversion occurs.
Brand patterns are recognized by marketers and neuroscientists alike, and form the foundation of many studies and books, such as Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy by Martin Lindstrom, or Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing by Roger Dooley. Based on insights gained through scientific experiments, marketers understand the need for a holistic, omni-channel brand viewpoint. They understand that individual impressions in various channels are amassing the greater picture of the brand in the eyes of customers as it is developing in real-time. There are many approaches to big data insights, and today’s executive marketing dashboard must encompass a quick read visual representation of trending insights, to actionable data and metrics that allow for accurate reporting. How that data is used, however, continues to be the domain of great marketing – where leaders make adjustments to the marketing emphasis and mix in order to gain market share and customer loyalty.
In the next couple of years, I believe that the balance between traditional art and this new form of science in decisions made by marketing executives will significantly influence their decision-making in media allocation and messaging. Choosing the right software will afford outstanding insights for actionable decisions. Choosing the wrong software will lead to data inaccuracies with potentially devastating results. Those marketers who can’t or won’t embrace data will need to find a new career path altogether.