One way marketers can reach out to consumers, and understand their thought process is through what is called an empathy map. An empathy map is a four step process. The first step is through asking questions that the consumer would be thinking in their demographic. The second step is to describe the feelings that the consumer may be having. The third step is to think about what the consumer would say in their situation. The final step is to imagine what the consumer will try to do based on the other three steps. This map is so marketing teams can put themselves in their target demographics shoes.[69] Web Analytics are also a very important way to understand consumers. They show the habits that people have online for each website.[70] One particular form of these analytics is predictive analytics which helps marketers figure out what route consumers are on. This uses the information gathered from other analytics, and then creates different predictions of what people will do so that companies can strategize on what to do next, according to the peoples trends.[71]
With offline marketing, it's very difficult to tell how people are interacting with your brand before they have an interaction with a salesperson or make a purchase. With digital marketing, you can identify trends and patterns in people's behavior before they've reached the final stage in their buyer's journey, meaning you can make more informed decisions about how to attract them to your website right at the top of the marketing funnel.

TopRank® Marketing B2B marketing consultants specialize in understanding your customer’s journey from awareness to consideration to purchase. We can help you develop a digital marketing strategy that helps create easy to find, engaging experiences that inspire action – from joining your social network community to buying your product to referring your brand to peers and social networks.
Email marketing - Email marketing in comparison to other forms of digital marketing is considered cheap; it is also a way to rapidly communicate a message such as their value proposition to existing or potential customers. Yet this channel of communication may be perceived by recipients to be bothersome and irritating especially to new or potential customers, therefore the success of email marketing is reliant on the language and visual appeal applied. In terms of visual appeal, there are indications that using graphics/visuals that are relevant to the message which is attempting to be sent, yet less visual graphics to be applied with initial emails are more effective in-turn creating a relatively personal feel to the email. In terms of language, the style is the main factor in determining how captivating the email is. Using casual tone invokes a warmer and gentle and inviting feel to the email in comparison to a formal style. For combinations; it's suggested that to maximize effectiveness; using no graphics/visual alongside casual language. In contrast using no visual appeal and a formal language style is seen as the least effective method.[49]
Tech Republic notes that there have been over 3,800 data breaches within organizations – in 2019 alone! While the hacks at huge companies like Yahoo, Facebook, Equifax and Marriott make the headlines, there are plenty of breaches at smaller firms, too. As a result, just 25% of consumers believe that most companies handle their sensitive personal data responsibly.
By populating its YouTube channel with user-made video content, GoPro has encouraged an entire fanbase of outdoorspeople to take amazing footage of their adventures and post it online -- often with credit back to GoPro. This ongoing digital marketing campaign has championed the use of video to spread the word about the GoPro product line -- and a lot of the content is created by the customers themselves.
Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences.[24] Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.[28]
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.
Customers are often researching online and then buying in stores and also browsing in stores and then searching for other options online. Online customer research into products is particularly popular for higher-priced items as well as consumable goods like groceries and makeup. Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to look up product information, compare prices, and search for deals and promotions.[23]

We are living in the age of data abundance where people engage with brands over several channels, they consume content in an unstructured manner and do a lot of homework before making a buying decision. Predictive marketing is taking all these unstructured interactions, looking at existing positive data patterns and anticipating results accordingly.


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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