Ten New Trends in Digital Marketing

Boomerang marketers thrive because they don’t “follow the data.” Instead, they win by using data analytics to shape creative, expose trends before other marketers do, create extraordinary audiences and run direct-response campaigns. Here are 10 trends and the ways they’re winning.

1. The purpose of execution is not to deliver results—it’s to inspire. Marketing isn’t about getting results. It’s about creating a passionate and engaged audience and a shared experience. Founders and CEOs don’t care about short-term satisfaction or return on investment. It’s time for B-to-B marketers to hit the reset button and start looking at their results with a customer-focused lens, not the business benefits lens.

2. Data must take root in the DNA of the organization. Data is not a legal term or a tagline in a quarterly report. It’s central to the process. Creating a culture that emphasizes data is one of the key building blocks that will create a meaningful return on investment. There’s no other way.

3. The baseline budget must be performance-based. Don’t build a product or service on paper. Customize by your customers’ needs. In digital marketing, this means creating an amazing experience, not just a product. Every dollar must be an investment in performance.

4. Data must inform—not predict. Data is powerful. But what it tells us about real customers is not as important as their opinions. Focus on small, specific insights and use the data to not only figure out where to put your dollars, but how to create an amazing customer experience.

5. Visual metrics and engagement metrics must be a core tool. A single attribution metric based on transactional or standalone behavior can no longer provide you with an effective experience. Follow your customers on channels and screens all day and all night long, and you will generate true value.

6. Winning teams are the new most valuable relationships. Add attention and passion to engagement. At market entrants, scale comes cheap. Success comes at the cost of friendship and passion. The game just changed. With the proliferation of inbound marketing, attendees to an event experience, and retail customers, B-to-B marketer relationships can shift from first impressions to friendships.

7. Technology is no longer the enemy—it’s the friend. Touchpoint integration and a seamless digital retail environment are synonymous with sales and marketing success. E-commerce is no longer another channel. It’s the conduit to online action. Only connect with your customers in the optimal context by engaging in the appropriate content and timing.

8. Make it personal. Our personal data isn’t corporate data. Personal data is also what defines us as human beings. Content matters to us and our lifestyle. Google, Facebook and Instagram are not the enemy, they are our friends. Since the internet has created personal spaces, all the community has ever wanted from marketers is their voice back, not their data. They have been hijacked by data miners.

9. It’s the style of understanding that wins. Never repeat the same message three times. Never overcommunicate the same content. Tailor your messages to your audiences by their interests and behaviors. Business intelligence tells you what that data is. Your customer is the currency of your brand.

10. That’s just the start. Far beyond one-size-fits-all, we need to have a conversation with our customers that evolves each and every day—in order to see the marketing ROI on the longer journey. The only way to keep innovating is to listen, grow and connect with your customers in the right way. If you’re going to create change, make sure it’s for the better.

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