Understanding Mobiles: Understanding mobile devices is a significant aspect of digital marketing because smartphones and tablets are now responsible for 64% of the time US consumers are online (Whiteside, 2016).[43] Apps provide a big opportunity as well as challenge for the marketers because firstly the app needs to be downloaded and secondly the person needs to actually use it. This may be difficult as ‘half the time spent on smartphone apps occurs on the individuals single most used app, and almost 85% of their time on the top four rated apps’ (Whiteside, 2016).[43] Mobile advertising can assist in achieving a variety of commercial objectives and it is effective due to taking over the entire screen, and voice or status is likely to be considered highly; although the message must not be seen or thought of as intrusive (Whiteside, 2016).[43] Disadvantages of digital media used on mobile devices also include limited creative capabilities, and reach. Although there are many positive aspects including the users entitlement to select product information, digital media creating a flexible message platform and there is potential for direct selling (Belch & Belch, 2012).[45]
Connecting the dots between marketing and sales is hugely important -- according to Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate, compared to a 4% decline in revenue for companies with poor alignment. If you can improve your customer's' journey through the buying cycle by using digital technologies, then it's likely to reflect positively on your business's bottom line.
Before I give my view on the more strategic marketing trends, I thought it would be useful to look at changes in tactical priorities that marketers think are important to growing their business. It’s been really interesting to ask this question on our blog and in our research reports over the last few years to see what the most significant trends are ‘across the board’ and how these vary through time.

To engage customers retailers have shifted from the linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model of mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer.[23] Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing, and both one-to-many or one-on-one.[7] The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels, such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily create content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, and thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.[24]
Optimization is not strictly for content; it’s important that you optimize your website as well. Your landing pages need to be user-friendly and straight to the point. If you want to secure as many registrations for your event as possible, for example, you need to make sure that your landing page drives users to that end result. This is where your unique selling proposition, a video or slideshow of images, the benefits of attending your meeting, client testimonials, and a solid call to action all come together.
A key trend in overall digital strategy development is the ongoing popularity of digital transformation programmes. A recent poll on a members' webinar in digital transformation showed that a third of businesses are planning transformation within the next 12 months with a quarter already having embarked on them. This is similar to what we’ve seen in our more general surveys.
But what kind of information should you gather for your own buyer persona(s) to inform your digital marketing strategy? That depends on your businesses, and is likely to vary depending on whether you're B2B or B2C, or whether your product is high cost or low cost. Here are some starting points, but you'll want to fine-tune them, depending on your particular business.
LinkedIn and Twitter are not shown in the OfCom compilation data. For B2B marketers, LinkedIn is likely to grow in importance, although the 2016 acquisition by Microsoft makes it harder to determine how platform revenue is split up between advertising and recruitment. The most recent Q2 2018 trading report suggest the growing importance of the platform with LinkedIn revenue increasing 37% (up 34% in constant currency) with LinkedIn sessions growth of 41% and users of 562 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
Make a list of your existing owned content, and rank each item according to what has previously performed best in relation to your current goals. If your goal is lead generation, for example, rank them according to which generated the most leads in the last year. That might be a particular blog post, an ebook, or even a specific page on your website that's converting well.
According to DuckDuckGo’s general counsel and head of policy, Megan Gray, this model is profitable: “We make a ton of money. We are a privately held company, so I can’t tell you exactly how much we make. But we are subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which requires at least $25 million in annual revenue, and we are well above that.”
TalkWalker Alerts - This is a free alerts tool to help you find versatile opportunities for link building quite easily - for instance if you set up alerts for your brand name or keyword, you’re going to get a list of posts which mention your brand and/or keywords. You’d be surprised at how often people mention you but don’t link to you! After you're done identifying a list of these posts, reach out to the authors and request that they link back to you. You can track mentions on Twitter, blogs, and discussions. 
For example, to implement PPC using Google AdWords, you'll bid against other companies in your industry to appear at the top of Google's search results for keywords associated with your business. Depending on the competitiveness of the keyword, this can be reasonably affordable, or extremely expensive, which is why it's a good idea to focus building your organic reach, too.
To reinforce a more personalized manifestation of sending engagement-based emails, an obvious direction is resurfacing again: plain text emails. This sends those engagement-based emails in a more individualized and hand-crafted way to the targeted user, which gives a more personalized aspect to the communicated piece. Moreover, because HTML style emails containing detailed graphics may increase the potential for spam, marketers are considering plain texts as alternative ways to minimize this problem.  Besides, plain text emails address the need of the user and improve the engagement rate.
As email marketing is getting smarter, marketers have started to care more about sending emails to subscribers who are active on their lists. For instance, if a contact highly engages with your emails, he should be regularly nurtured with content and updates about your company until he converts into a loyal customer. On the other hand, if a subscriber hasn’t opened an email for a certain period of time, he will be considered as a dormant contact and will no longer receive additional emails.
This is both an opportunity and a worry for marketers. Especially for those that are reliant on Facebook as a way to reach a lot or most of their marketing audience. They will start seeing a steep dive in their ROI as fewer people use the social media platform. It is, however, a great opportunity to begin using up-and-coming social networks before they become popular.
A lot of really awesome tools on this list. A few that I wasn't aware of that I can now add to my arsenal. I've come across a really great tool for anyone that uses a lot of different channels for paid marketing, called Funnel (funnel.io). It eliminates all the tedious time that it takes to aggregate all of your spending data. They currently support integration with more than 400 advertising sources and you can either use their built-in dashboards for analysis or export to a data warehouse, BI tool, or even Google. It's an amazing time saver for anyone who has ever spent an insane amount of time gathering data that seems to be outdated even by the time you've gotten it all together. Might make a nice addition to the list!
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