Within digital marketing strategy, there is continued interest in developing integrated digital marketing strategies across multiple channels. Digital transformation programmes are a response to the challenges of digital silos in some companies where there has been a failure to integrate digital across a company. Instead, we recommend using a customer-centered approach to audit your approach for different personas across the lifecycle as shown below.
If your company is business-to-business (B2B), your digital marketing efforts are likely to be centered around online lead generation, with the end goal being for someone to speak to a salesperson. For that reason, the role of your marketing strategy is to attract and convert the highest quality leads for your salespeople via your website and supporting digital channels.
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 can expect that Instagram ad spend continues to increase in line with increased usage and better advertising options on the platform. This shift in ad spend is indicated by a Merkle report of their clients' investments that showed that while Facebook ad spend grew 40 percent year over year in Q2 2018, ad spend on Instagram jumped 177 percent during the same time period.
Preroll ads are a form of paid content on YouTube wherein you pay YouTube to roll 15- to 20-second ads ahead of videos that have the same audience as the advertiser. While some companies try to squeeze as much messaging as they can into that short slot, Geico has taken the opportunity to make fun of itself for taking up your time in the first place. In this way, its YouTube preroll commercials are actually entertaining. Check out one of them below.
We live and breathe digital marketing. For events large and small, online promotion is an absolute must. But CASL and GDPR legislation, as well as the recent buildup of negative sentiments surrounding data privacy issues, have all contributed to a reduction of enthusiasm about digital marketing. We think it’s time to step back and remind ourselves about the incredible potential of online communities.
For organic search the update to keep an eye on in 2019 is Google’s Speed Update which penalizes slower sites and was released after months of trials. While this will initially only affect the slowest sites, from past experience, we can expect Google will change the weighting on the algorithm to affect more sites that don’t improve their speed within time.

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.
Nine Digital offers a complete entourage of services for integrated digital marketing solutions. We specialize in search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per click, website design, social media marketing, consulting, insights and analytics and email marketing. Using our digital marketing services, improve your business performance in terms of better lead generation, engagement and enhanced ROI with a more customer centric approach.
Prioritizing clicks refers to display click ads, although advantageous by being ‘simple, fast and inexpensive’ rates for display ads in 2016 is only 0.10 percent in the United States. This means one in a thousand click ads are relevant therefore having little effect. This displays that marketing companies should not just use click ads to evaluate the effectiveness of display advertisements (Whiteside, 2016).[43]
Putting digital marketing actions into motion without a previously-devised plan or strategy could lead to failure for not considering all the aspects that could impact their development. When developing a digital marketing plan, you have to include components such as determining your target audience (buyer persona), business objectives, and an adequate value proposition.
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.
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.
With the benefits of big data comes the need for companies to leverage this data better to “significantly simplify tasks that formerly could only be completed by data scientists.” More importantly, “This continued democratization will lead to new use cases that are closer to the needs of business users and will enable faster time-to-market for AI applications in the enterprise.”
#5 CRO and improving website experiences - This is the first time that CRO has featured in the top 5, which is again a sign of increased adoption of data-driven marketing as processes improve in organizations who can now run 'always-on' improvements using structured AB testing programmes. There is also the option of new lower-cost tools including Google Optimize which is freely available.
It's important to note that even if a campaign runs over the course of a couple of years, it doesn't make it a strategy -- it's a tactic that sits alongside other campaigns to support a larger marketing strategy. For example, ETF Securities (cited above) hosted a campaign to increase its followers on LinkedIn, using the digital strategy of sponsored content (a form of paid media). This one strategic campaign might be one small part of a larger digital marketing strategy that serves to generate more leads for one of its products or business lines.
Red Bull has become more well known for its sponsorship of extreme sports than the energy drink it sells. It's a natural fit for the types of people the drink appeals to. But instead of creating digital content on the energy drink industry, Red Bull captures its audience with articles and videos all about the latest happenings in the extreme sports community.
Conduit’s SEO marketing campaigns include a diverse range of deliverables that provide flexibility to adapt to any changes in the Google algorithm. We use proven tactics and keyword-rich content to help local businesses rank more prominently and more often in their desired search results. When you partner with Conduit, you are always ahead of the competition.
Unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. If you've ever put an advert in a newspaper, you'll know how difficult it is to estimate how many people actually flipped to that page and paid attention to your ad. There's no surefire way to know if that ad was responsible for any sales at all.
Digital marketing activity is still growing across the world according to the headline global marketing index. A study published in September 2018, found that global outlays on digital marketing tactics are approaching $100 billion.[41] Digital media continues to rapidly grow; while the marketing budgets are expanding, traditional media is declining (World Economics, 2015).[42] Digital media helps brands reach consumers to engage with their product or service in a personalised way. Five areas, which are outlined as current industry practices that are often ineffective are prioritizing clicks, balancing search and display, understanding mobiles, targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic, and cross-platform measurement (Whiteside, 2016).[43] Why these practices are ineffective and some ways around making these aspects effective are discussed surrounding the following points.
Quite simply, earned media refers to the exposure you've earned through word-of-mouth. Whether that's content you've distributed on other websites (e.g., guest posts), PR work you've been doing, or the customer experience you've delivered, earned media is the recognition you receive as a result. You can earn media by getting press mentions, positive reviews, and by other people sharing your content on social media, for instance.
If Jimmy’s Medical Blog (not a real site) gives some bad advice that leads to a mom poisoning her child with some amateur advice on home remedies, that’s not good for Jimmy’s brand – or Google’s reputation of delivering quality results. So as the new year progresses and SEO evolves, Google may crack down on major industries, particularly in health and finance where accurate information is critical.

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:


On the other hand, marketers who employ digital inbound tactics use online content to attract their target customers onto their websites by providing assets that are helpful to them. One of the simplest yet most powerful inbound digital marketing assets is a blog, which allows your website to capitalize on the terms which your ideal customers are searching for.
Unlike most offline marketing efforts, digital marketing allows marketers to see accurate results in real time. If you've ever put an advert in a newspaper, you'll know how difficult it is to estimate how many people actually flipped to that page and paid attention to your ad. There's no surefire way to know if that ad was responsible for any sales at all.
If you're focusing on inbound techniques like SEO, social media, and content creation for a preexisting website, the good news is you don't need very much budget at all. With inbound marketing, the main focus is on creating high quality content that your audience will want to consume, which unless you're planning to outsource the work, the only investment you'll need is your time.
Content marketing specialists are the digital content creators. They frequently keep track of the company's blogging calendar, and come up with a content strategy that includes video as well. These professionals often work with people in other departments to ensure the products and campaigns the business launches are supported with promotional content on each digital channel.

The key trend here is the way digital technologies and media offer the opportunities for digital disruption. Yet digital marketing is not always used as a disruptor. As I discuss in my Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice book, digital marketing is more often used for market penetration than new product or market development (these are the classic Ansoff growth strategies). To give you a benchmark, this new CMO Survey research from Duke University Fuqua Business School, Deloitte and the American Marketing Association based on the views of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) in large US organizations is useful. It’s interesting since it translates the theory of Ansoff into practice, showing how businesses are mainly investing, but other strategies are significant.
The development of digital marketing, during the 1990s and 2000s, changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing.[4] As digital platforms became increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life,[5] and as people increasingly use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops,[6][7] digital marketing campaigns have become prevalent, employing combinations of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing,[8] e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, and optical disks and games have become commonplace. Digital marketing extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as television, mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones.[9] The extension to non-Internet channels differentiates digital marketing from online marketing.
B- Link building: This involves getting reputable websites whose content relates to yours to link to a page on your website with specific keywords highlighted. For example, if your event centers on urology, then you would want a well-known urological website to link back to your event, and the hyperlink should contain keywords like “2018 Urological Association Event” and not “Click Here.”
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.
In 2020 and beyond, the customer journey will be more dynamic and unpredictable, as it needs to respond to rapid changes in consumer desires. After all, in the mobile age, people have become accustomed to instant gratification. If they think or talk about something, they want to learn more, see more and buy more of it with just a few clicks of a button.
#2 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning - This is an exciting 'new entry' into the top 5 and suggests that marketers now believe they will see a return from deploying the latest AI tools supporting the many marketing applications for AI we review in this infographic. Within AI, I believe the most popular marketing applications will enhance personalization and marketing automation which brings us to...
#4 Big Data (including market and customer insight and predictive analytics) - It's good to see big data in the top five since we believe in the power of data-driven marketing. Big data analysis such as predictive analytics typically requires larger budgets, so will be restricted mainly for larger organisations, but the use of market and customer insight using the tools shown in our Martech tools wheel is open to all businesses and I think is why this is a relatively popular choice.

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]


Content marketing specialists are the digital content creators. They frequently keep track of the company's blogging calendar, and come up with a content strategy that includes video as well. These professionals often work with people in other departments to ensure the products and campaigns the business launches are supported with promotional content on each digital channel.
Using an omni-channel strategy is becoming increasingly important for enterprises who must adapt to the changing expectations of consumers who want ever-more sophisticated offerings throughout the purchasing journey. Retailers are increasingly focusing on their online presence, including online shops that operate alongside existing store-based outlets. The "endless aisle" within the retail space can lead consumers to purchase products online that fit their needs while retailers do not have to carry the inventory within the physical location of the store. Solely Internet-based retailers are also entering the market; some are establishing corresponding store-based outlets to provide personal services, professional help, and tangible experiences with their products.[26]
A content marketer, for example, can create a series of blog posts that serve to generate leads from a new ebook the business recently created. The company's social media marketer might then help promote these blog posts through paid and organic posts on the business's social media accounts. Perhaps the email marketer creates an email campaign to send those who download the ebook more information on the company. We'll talk more about these specific digital marketers in a minute.
We live and breathe digital marketing. For events large and small, online promotion is an absolute must. But CASL and GDPR legislation, as well as the recent buildup of negative sentiments surrounding data privacy issues, have all contributed to a reduction of enthusiasm about digital marketing. We think it’s time to step back and remind ourselves about the incredible potential of online communities.

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.
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.
It may not be widely used yet, but by all accounts, visual search is set to become an extremely efficient and popular method of online search. It likely won’t ever surpass text-based searches, but as AI improves more people will certainly start using it. Some mobile phones already have AI implemented in their camera functions that will help speed the use of this technology along.
As the number of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest users are growing and buying impulses are triggered through feeds and stories, ecommerce businesses are realizing the impact social can have on their ecommerce sales with measurable numbers and increased traffic. According to Instagram, the number of active worldwide users is 1 billion and 90% of them are following shopping brands.
Having the right set of software tools to manage data insights, content and digital marketing is essential! Without the right ones, you won't be able to create a strategy which reaches target customers and follower them through the customer journey - giving you insights into customer journeys, personas, conversion rate optimization and many more digital metrics essential to staying ahead of competitors.
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