Trends Changing the UK Marketing Industry
This article discusses how and why the UK is at the forefront of digital marketing, leveraging new technologies and ways of thinking which enable businesses to both develop and/or retain their competitive edge, and find new ways to grow.
Most companies now recognise that digital marketing is the most effective way to reach and engage with customers. The last few years have brought a dramatic shift from more traditional marketing strategies and campaigns to more disruptive digital channels which are seen as being able to deliver greater value both in terms of results and engagement, and far more accurate attribution and measurement .
The UK is at the forefront of digital marketing, leveraging new technologies and ways of thinking which enable businesses to both develop and/or retain their competitive edge, and find new ways to grow. So, what are the trends that companies both in the UK and beyond need to adopt to ensure that they stay ahead of the game and deliver ongoing customer satisfaction and loyalty?
Putting the customer at the core
For a long time, there has been a focus on revenue-generated marketing as it allows businesses to optimise their marketing efforts through delivering qualified leads and maximum revenue. Churn-and-burn strategies or rank-and-bank strategies are frequently deployed as part of this revenue-generation model. The downside is that these tactics have led to customer dissatisfaction and do not breed long-term loyalty. More and more, savvy marketeers are moving towards retention-based marketing, deploying strategies that deliver both continuous engagement and advocacy. This includes putting the customer at the forefront of the marketing strategy not the business or the product, building communities instead of chasing social followers and shifting from trend-based to more personal brand-based marketing.
Embracing new forms of content
The rapid evolution of technology is having a huge impact on how consumers consume content, so it’s essential that digital marketers are ready to embrace these changes. Immersive reality (the term covering both virtual reality & augmented reality) has been integrated into pretty much every environment and many companies are now using it to power up their marketing efforts. Be they interactive shopping experiences, educational outreach or social media engaging, these technologies are transforming the way that brands personalise their content and engage with their customers. Artificial intelligence (AI) is another innovation which is allowing businesses to both revolutionise day-to-day practices and boost productivity. In marketing for instance, AI-based clustering and interpreting of consumer data is paired with profile information and demographics which continually adapts to a customer’s likes and dislikes and react with new recommendations tailored in real-time.
Merging creativity with analytics
Today’s new crop of digital marketers are completely changing the way that companies both use data and target customers, with analytics playing a pivotal role in digital marketing strategies. However, it’s a combination of the two that will deliver the best results. When merging digital targeting with creative appeal, campaigns don’t just reach the right audiences, they inspire those audiences to act and to engage, in turn increasing the potential for loyalty and retention.
Thinking laterally when it comes to your marketing is also key. While SEO and PPC will continue to remain valuable tools for marketeers, it’s important to think about where your customers spend their time, and the marketing methods you should deploy to engage with those customers natively on those platforms or channels. For instance, for local businesses, direct marketing such as flyers might be far more effective than SEO.
Investing in specialists
Arguably, over the last couple of years many companies have moved from considering marketing as a ‘nice-to-have’ to considering it as the cornerstone to brand building and customer advocacy. It has moved up from being a line item on a corporate budget to having an entire worksheet dedicated to it. However, it’s often still the first thing to go when budgets get cut or, worse still, there is often an expectation that the scale of marketing activity will remain the same but for a fraction of the original price. This often leads to over-promising and under-delivering and the deployment of poor practices, both internally and externally. Using low-cost, low-value providers to deliver a ‘lights-on strategy’ can often do more harm than good. If as a business you do find yourself in a situation where finances are a challenge, rather than trying to do everything for less, pick your key priorities and invest in a digital marketing specialist who will ultimately deliver far more value for your business.
To recap, if you want to remain at the forefront of digital marketing and set yourself up for success, then adopting the following strategies should be a key part of your
deploying the following should be a key part of your business plan: Think through a relationship-oriented lens; see technology as a key enabler to effective content delivery; combine data analytics with creative thinking in customer targeting; and invest in specialists.
Rakefet Yacoby From, CMO, Mayple with expert opinion from a selection of the UK’s leading digital marketing influencers