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Remember when life was simple?
Many moons ago, sales people and marketers would jump in cars and drive endless miles, or hop on planes and fly about the world, all to meet and start conversations with people that might want to buy. Once they had actually achieved a meeting then came the headache of staying in touch, understanding if they were interested, being there just when they were ready to buy. It was a mammoth task and the size of sales and marketing departments reflected this. Yet digital solutions have completely revolutionised how we undertake how we do this- modern marketing and technology are now intrinsically linked. Take a look at the key factors with have changed the modern marketing world.
Modern Marketing is reliant on: Email
This changed the world (comment on whether for good or for bad is left for others). Nobody can deny that it opened up possibilities for reaching many people in seconds- not hours and days. It also enabled delivery of a message which need not be forgotten after the marketer leaves the room, as they can refer back to it. Segmentation of your audience was also simpler, as email brought the advent of email marketing lists. We all know where we are today, spam is rife and the vast majority of blanket email marketing is wasted.
Modern Marketing is reliant on: Internet Sites
As the language of the web grew and graphical sites became available, companies started to see the potential of moving the shop window to the internet. Site creation exploded and growth proceeded, exceeding 1 billion sites in 2014. Sites actually declined slightly after this due to inactive sites, but is expected to exceed 1 billion again sometime in 2015. With so many sites coming online, finding what you wanted was becoming an issue. Enter Yahoo in 1994 to bring search engines to the internet. Today the science (yes science) of search is probably understood if only at a basic level by most of the modern world. Narrow that audience to digital natives and they have a deep understanding of searching and how to find the information assets they require. For a marketer in the modern marketing landscape, people are looking for what you have- but do you understand how, when or even why?
Modern Marketing is reliant on: Social Networking
In 2004 Thefacebook (not a typo) launched. It was simple and allowed people to connect and discuss. The rise of Facebook needs little explanation and the resultant creation of many similar networks is common knowledge. Yet again we see that most of the modern world intrinsically understands how to communicate with peers, contacts, suppliers and more. Moving this to the digital native we see a major shift in the way they interact, buy, sell and discover.
Modern Marketing is reliant on: Tracking the mail
By now everyone is aware that repeated, blanket email is either going to get you blacklisted or turn off your customers. You need to track what is happening and record those metrics. Modern customer relationship management (CRM) applications enable us to target leads by creating well segmented marketing lists. They also allow us to track what happened to the email- was it opened, how many times opened, was it forwarded on, did they click on a link in the email, and more. Reporting directly back into the CRM, we can disqualify leads, remove them from marketing lists, promote leads to opportunities, discover further contacts through forwarding metrics and much more.
We have gained insight leading to informed actions which promotes increased revenue.
Modern Marketing is reliant on: Tracking the sites
If your email and marketing is reaching the right people then your site is going to see more traffic, right? Maybe yes, maybe no, but one thing is for sure we need to know one way or the other. Website analytics and the associated tools provide the ability to generate data in the form of metrics on site traffic. We have all seen the counters indicating you are the 5,000,000th visitor and this is an example of an extremely simple and blunt metric. It maybe that 4,999,999 of those were search robots, spammers and other poor quality traffic. Tools have developed over the years to allow us to filter out the noise and focus on the business critical metrics. How many true visitors, to which pages, how long do they stay, how many pages do they view, how long on each page and so on. Indeed modern tools can allow us to trap information about the visitors company name, location and more.
Modern Marketing is reliant on: Tracking the social universe
There are myriad ways for people to share their thoughts, feelings, likes and dislikes today. In fact everyday new ways of making ourselves heard are born. Imagine 300 people getting together in a park and shouting about how much they like your product. That would be a great place to be stood with your stand set up handing out flyers and picking up leads. Social Engagement tools such as Microsoft Social Engagement allow us to monitor the social universe. This can allow us to spot trends, zero in on opportunities, and be in the right place at the right time.
On the flip side we can spot problems, track issues and protect our brand by monitoring the social universe. Every company will let a customer down at some point. The question is how you deal with it to actually improve customer satisfaction. Imagine the power of responding to a problem aired on Twitter within a few minutes. Social Engagement makes this possible by monitoring Twitter and many other feeds. Analysing the content and spotting negatives using sentiment analysis can bring problems to your attention in seconds.
Modern Marketing is reliant on: Connected Marketing and Sales
The underlying theme, as I am sure you will have spotted, is that marketing and sales have become more tightly bound by digital solutions. The challenge is to keep this capture this information from multiple sources, zero in on opportunities, qualify vague leads into meaningful opportunities and close sales. To achieve this we need to connect these channels and one way to achieve this is through customer relationship management. Modern marketing solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM allow us to surface information from the social universe, track email metrics and develop integrations to provide insight into our markets. In short, collecting the information is not enough we need a way to understand it.