I was involved in a recent 'Gartner' seminar, the event was focused on emerging trends that all businesses need to be aware of as follows;
These trends have moved through the hype cycle and are very relevant and impactful for marketers:
Social marketing. Marketers should focus on new uses for idea management, market research, social media engagement, social analytics, and social campaigns.
Advocacy/loyalty marketing. Brand can focus on turning their best customers into advocates by giving them the tools and the ability to become their salespeople.
Lead management. B2B marketers are now investing in B2C technologies to maximize data mining, customer segmentation, behavioral analytics, multichannel campaigns, and real time marketing.
Email marketing. No, email isn’t dead. It’s still valuable since more email marketing is being consumed on the go, through multiple devices and is still extremely measurable.
Whether you 'buy' into these trends or not is a matter for you and your company, however what struck me is how unprepared organisations could be to meet these new trends.
New skill sets need to be learn't or acquired by the recruitment of new people and processes, there is certainly a need to embrace new (to some) technical capabilities to enable the delivery of these trends, but the thing that stuck out the most was/is;
Who in your company will be the 'Change Maker' that will help move these initiatives into the enterprise?.
I could tell that a high percentage of the people who attended (and going to read the findings) were motivated to do something, unfortunately evidence shows us that this 'motivation' quickly declines as companies look at whats required to be able to 'transform' from what they do today, into what they need to do, well, TODAY!
Here's where we add huge value.
Here at DLA Ignite (our new name don't ya know) we are a team of people who are obsessed with what Gartner call 'Social Marketing', which really means how the 'purchase funnel has been blown to bits' primarily due to changing behaviours in the buying research stages.
We help global companies with not only a better understanding what this all means, more importantly we also empower them to deliver it.
Our methodology includes all aspects of the outlined trends other than outbound salesy stuff, including e-mail marketing.
It's not because we don't think it doesn't have a place in the sales process, its just that we don't believe its as important a part of the pre-sales activity as it once was.
Equally, we also advocate that cold calling has become irrelevant due to a number of these buying trends.
We simply advocate and can evidence that sales in today's digitally connected world get started via social, and complete in the real world.
So if your business isn't visible with sufficient 'social proof' or footprint, and your competitor is then they will always 'win out' over you.
We don't do retainers, we are not an agency that creates and produces copy/content or sells your ads for you.
We are 'practitioners' of what we do, we already know and can evidence the ROI of a robust and internally aligned 'Social' strategy.
Part of that evidence it that you are reading this blog.......
We also don't do outbound pushy, salesy marketing, so if you would like to explore more, please contact the author of this blog.
"Customers have moved from a discrete linear purchase path, to moving at their pace when and wherever they want to"