Showing posts with label analytics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label analytics. Show all posts

Marketing Trends That Matter for Every Business

Seems that every conversation about marketing these days somehow raises interest in “what are the big trends in marketing?” and “what’s hot in marketing?”.  While some so-called trends may be fleeting, there are a number of recent and future trends that have or will change what and how we do marketing.

Here’s a list in no particular priority or sequence of the more frequent marketing activities and trends encountered on a daily basis:

Social Media – no question that social media has a huge impact on marketing and will continue to be one of the most prevalent trends in marketing for the foreseeable future.

Marketing Automation – there is growing interest and use of marketing automation software to plan, manage, execute and track marketing campaigns in a more structured, integrated and consistent manner.

Sales 2.0 – although there are many interpretations of what Sales 2.0 means, the primary aspects of this trend are the convergence of sales, marketing and customer collaboration using internet-based technologies and tools for improved performance.

– internet-based technologies, automation systems and database capabilities have vastly improved the availability of relevant and accurate data for analysis, performance measurement and management to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing.

Metrics – there has been an explosive increase in the definition and use of standardized marketing metrics over the past several years to measure marketing performance and results in a consistent and comparable manner.

– while still a nascent trend and technology, location-based media and marketing to deliver relevant content specific to a user / customer / buyer’s location will become an increasingly important and effective approach for reaching target audiences.

Mobile – mobile technologies continue to play a more prevalent role in everyone’s personal and business life.  As mobile capabilities continue to improve and evolve, and usage increases, marketing must reach their target audiences through mobile technologies.

Inbound Marketing
– the trend from traditional ‘push’ style outbound marketing approaches such as print advertising, direct mail, trade shows, email blasts, etc. continues to shift to more effective and measurable ‘pull’ style inbound marketing methods such as search, websites, content, social media, etc.

Content – buyers and customers want information and resources to make informed buying decisions.  Content marketing uses educational, informative and authoritative content delivered in multiple media formats such websites, newsletters, white papers, articles, videos, etc. for specific target audiences.

– is one of the most important tools and resources for marketers across all types of businesses.  Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has become a sophisticated marketing strategy encompassing both Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Placement methods.

Integrated Marketing – persistent campaigns and consistent messaging across multiple channels such as websites, video, online and other media advertising, content and collateral.

Adaptive Brand Marketing – the shift from traditional command-and-control and/or hub-and-spoke approaches to collaborative approaches that include new technologies and social media.  See article ‘Adaptive Brand Marketing – More Than Just Four New Ps’ for more information.

Customer Loyalty – means that a customer desires to continue doing business with a company based on their positive experience and satisfaction.  Marketing is increasingly charged with measuring and improving customer loyalty, providing loyalty programs, and driving customer-specific campaigns to get more sales from existing customers.

– traditionally marketing primarily used demographics to define market and customer segmentation based on tangible characteristics.  The use of psychographics to define target audiences and market segments based on aspirational, opinions and value characteristics enables improved targeting and more relevant messaging.

What do you think about this list and what you’re seeing and experiencing?  Your comments are always welcome.
Copyright © 2010 The Marketing Mélange and Ingistics LLC.

Is Marketing becoming a numbers game?

Based on conversations with fellow marketers over the past couple of years, seems to me that our conversations have shifted significantly to discussing marketing data and metrics. Marketing has been under pressure to produce more measurable and visible metrics about their activities and contribution to the business results. Marketers have responded very well to collect and produce more data and metrics about almost every facet of marketing activities. CEOs, Sales, Finance and other areas of a company now have much better insight into what marketing is doing and the results produced. Marketing has more insights into what they’re doing and tracking their activities and results as never before.

This is all good and great progress over the past several years, but it seems to me that many of our conversations and the preponderance of article and blog topics these past couple of years are mainly about marketing data and metrics. This raises two concerns for me about where our focus in marketing is heading;

First concern is that we’re mostly talking about volumetric data and basic metrics such as percentages, ratios or trends derived from the data. We also keep adding more data and metrics because it’s becoming relatively easier and less costly to acquire the data and produce the metrics. While this may be a significant leap forward from not having good data and metrics previously, it’s only the beginning. The part of the conversation that still needs attention is the next step of generating information and intelligence. The data and metrics tell you what happened and while there may be some intuitive feel for whether it was good or bad, it doesn’t tell you why or how it happened, or how to improve the results, or whether to continue a particular marketing campaign, or answer a myriad of possible questions. We need to generate actionable insights and intelligence from the data to provide real guidance for improving marketing’s effectiveness and contribution to the business. The metrics may be interesting, but it’s the analysis, insights and intelligence that will really make a difference.

“Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.” – Clifford Stoll

The second concern is that the customer and value proposition appear to be somewhat overlooked in our attention to metrics. Who specifically are the target customers for this campaign – what industry, market segment, psychographic, persona, etc? Is there a clear picture and understanding of the target buyer and their buying cycle? Does the value proposition really resonate with these buyers? Is the price correct for this target audience? There are so many fundamental marketing questions that determine the outcome of a campaign and the eventual metrics. The story is not in the metrics, it’s in the marketing decisions that went into a campaign that caused the metrics. While everyone initially pays attention to the marketing fundamentals that go into developing a campaign, we need to do causal analysis to revisit these decisions based on the metrics produced from executing the campaign. And most importantly, there is no sale without a buyer – don’t lose sight of the customer and their motivation for buying amongst the captivating metrics.

What’s your opinion about Marketing becoming more of a numbers game? Your comments are always welcome.
Copyright © 2009 The Marketing Mélange and Ingistics LLC.