Systems to gather unstructured feedback from customers are also increasing in popularity with larger brands. This case study from Vision Critical gives an example of how How Prudential Singapore accelerates product growth with customer insights. The company launched the PRU for You (PFY) community in July 2016 to allow greater engagement with customers and to give them a voice in developing new products and services. PFY has  4,500 members: 88% are customers and 12% are agents.

Social Mention - Very similar to TalkWalker Alerts, Social Mention is a media listening tool that shows in-depth insights into phrases/discussions on the web. Tracking brand name shows the reach, strength, and passion that users are having with brand names. It also shows sentiment analysis (whether users are referring to your suggested phrases with a positive or negative sentiment. Another cool feature includes what other keywords are used in discussions with your brand. For Smart Insights our top keyword is 'marketing' ...that's always good to know!

Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to amplify your brand message to a larger market. Influencers can be well-known celebrities, but more often they are Instagram or YouTube personalities with a huge niche following who can help spread the word about your business or product through their social channels.


“Things are looking good. The influence of the top ten looks great and it appears we were even in terms of overall traffic from November to December aside from lower PPC numbers which is what we are attempting to do. Nice work. I am excited to see how things shake out when our busy season starts to really take off. Thanks again to you and the team.”

Influencer marketing is also going to be affected by artificial intelligence. With each year, AI is making the process of finding the right influencers to partner with easier and faster. It’s helping identify those with better engagement, fewer fake followers, and a higher chance of generating a positive return on investment (ROI). In addition, artificial intelligence is transforming influencer marketing in the following ways:

Too often, businesses think that they have fulfilled their social media duties by merely posting a few messages on various social networks. But a real and impactful presence on social media requires a lot more effort. If you are promoting a conference, for example, you can’t simply publish the link to the registration page on Twitter every day until conference time; you need to be ever-present and engaging, making sure to answer any questions by attendees and prospects. Did you know that nearly 50% of all customers who complain to businesses on social media expect a response in 24 hours or less? You need to make sure you’re present and available to answer your participants’ inquiries – it’s the norm.
In the new voice marketing funnel, leads can enter the funnel at different stages of the customer journey, as many consumers now conduct a lot of their own research online. This updated model demands that each customer is treated as an individual instead of a generic prospect. As a result, the funnel must cater to the demand for customized solutions:
It’s clear that the people (but not the companies) of the world are getting serious about privacy, and marketers – who rely on those people – have no choice but to play by the new rules or miss out. One of the new rules is that marketers and brands will have to “‘earn' the contact information of their targets” rather than engage in mass marketing. As Forbes points out:
Tweetdeck -  This is great for monitoring Hashtags. If you don't want to pay for social media scheduling software like Buffer or Hootsuite, Tweetdeck also allows you to manually schedule in Tweets (Facebook also has it's on scheduling feature) but it's great to have one tool that scheduling in social content across all your available social channels.
The marketing automation coordinator helps choose and manage the software that allows the whole marketing team to understand their customers' behavior and measure the growth of their business. Because many of the marketing operations described above might be executed separately from one another, it's important for there to be someone who can group these digital activities into individual campaigns and track each campaign's performance.
Since Google dominates the results that businesses get from search engine marketing our summary of the search trends here focuses on Google. Carolanne Mangles reported for us back in August on some of the biggest changes Google made in 2018, many of which will be deployed and evolve in 2019. The most obvious change is the launch of the Google Marketing Platform which saw AdWords renamed to Ads and the Doubleclick ad platform and analysis tools like Google Analytics, Data Studio, and AB testing through data studio more tightly integrated.

User testing services e.g. WhatUsersDo - this platform allows you to test your website remotely with users in their own homes. Users record their screen and audio, so you can see the full experience. You give them tasks to focus the user test. You can then use their tagging tool to collect insights from the video outputs. It's fast, focused research that provides insights to help improve your website


An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.[26]
It’s clear that the people (but not the companies) of the world are getting serious about privacy, and marketers – who rely on those people – have no choice but to play by the new rules or miss out. One of the new rules is that marketers and brands will have to “‘earn' the contact information of their targets” rather than engage in mass marketing. As Forbes points out:
Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive 24/7, give answers promptly, accurately recall your entire buying history, and never lose patience. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service by meeting customers’ expectations and automating repetitive tasks – which means that you can focus on more important work.

An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.[26]
Datavail is a perfect example of a company that did this successfully. They found a way to build a Monopoly-style game to help connect with their core target market: database administrators. Datavail leveraged data-driven marketing to create and position the game, while collaborating with all departments to ensure they were hitting realistic scenarios and pain points.

Of all the channels we cover in this article, finding new innovation in email marketing techniques is the most challenging. Most email marketing techniques are well established and most recent trends related to improving relevance and interactivity on smartphone. This recent report benchmarking email experiences of retail and travel brands gives a good summary of the state of the art.
In-game advertising - In-Game advertising is defined as "inclusion of products or brands within a digital game."[50] The game allows brands or products to place ads within their game, either in a subtle manner or in the form of an advertisement banner. There are many factors that exist in whether brands are successful in their advertising of their brand/product, these being: Type of game, technical platform, 3-D and 4-D technology, game genre, congruity of brand and game, prominence of advertising within the game. Individual factors consist of attitudes towards placement advertisements, game involvement, product involvement, flow or entertainment. The attitude towards the advertising also takes into account not only the message shown but also the attitude towards the game. Dependent of how enjoyable the game is will determine how the brand is perceived, meaning if the game isn't very enjoyable the consumer may subconsciously have a negative attitude towards the brand/product being advertised. In terms of Integrated Marketing Communication "integration of advertising in digital games into the general advertising, communication, and marketing strategy of the firm"[50] is an important as it results in a more clarity about the brand/product and creates a larger overall effect.
Influencer marketing: Important nodes are identified within related communities, known as influencers. This is becoming an important concept in digital targeting. It is possible to reach influencers via paid advertising, such as Facebook Advertising or Google Adwords campaigns, or through sophisticated sCRM (social customer relationship management) software, such as SAP C4C, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage CRM and Salesforce CRM. Many universities now focus, at Masters level, on engagement strategies for influencers.
As one size doesn’t fit all and customers want more relevancy, the need for a personalized approach in marketing is becoming more critical than ever. Although delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time is tricky, it will add a big value to your content marketing strategy because it plays a major role in boosting your users engagement rates.
By using Internet platforms, businesses can create competitive advantage through various means. To reach the maximum potential of digital marketing, firms use social media as its main tool to create a channel of information. Through this a business can create a system in which they are able to pinpoint behavioral patterns of clients and feedback on their needs.[32] This means of content has shown to have a larger impingement on those who have a long-standing relationship with the firm and with consumers who are relatively active social media users. Relative to this, creating a social media page will further increase relation quality between new consumers and existing consumers as well as consistent brand reinforcement therefore improving brand awareness resulting in a possible rise for consumers up the Brand Awareness Pyramid.[33] Although there may be inconstancy with product images;[34] maintaining a successful social media presence requires a business to be consistent in interactions through creating a two way feed of information; firms consider their content based on the feedback received through this channel, this is a result of the environment being dynamic due to the global nature of the internet.[31] Effective use of digital marketing can result in relatively lowered costs in relation to traditional means of marketing; Lowered external service costs, advertising costs, promotion costs, processing costs, interface design costs and control costs.[34]
The positive impact of implementing these technologies is shown by this case study showing how retailer George at ASDA boosted site speed and advanced customer engagement with PWAs and AMPs leading to 31% increase in mobile conversion since upgrading to PWA, a 1.71X faster site speed and a 32% improvement in click-through rate from organic mobile traffic for top 500 AMP queries plus a 15% increase in page views per visit. Asda has 65% of its visitors on smartphone.
Influencer marketing: Important nodes are identified within related communities, known as influencers. This is becoming an important concept in digital targeting. It is possible to reach influencers via paid advertising, such as Facebook Advertising or Google Adwords campaigns, or through sophisticated sCRM (social customer relationship management) software, such as SAP C4C, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage CRM and Salesforce CRM. Many universities now focus, at Masters level, on engagement strategies for influencers.

Yoast - a very useful and FREE (or freemium) WordPress plugin which analyses page copy in a traffic light signal basis for how SEO friendly the copy is based on keyword density, alt-attributes, SEO titles and Meta descriptions, slug etc. It cannot guarantee ranking, as it in no way affects search engine algorithms, but gives a great estimate of how well your copy is written based on your keyword. This is great to use as a guided SEO editor whilst you write and makes you aware of key on-page SEO techniques you should be utilizing.
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