In the digital space, endless end user wishes for the new are served by a never-ending stream of innovations, and it is a good thing, although keeping up with the latest and greatest is sometimes a challenge. According to a recent survey by Forrester Research and the Business Marketing Association found that 34% of B2B marketing executives admitted that they were “overwhelmed” by the rate of change driven by digital innovation in marketing. 97% of these executives said they anticipated the pace of change was only going to accelerate in the future.
The early years of online marketing focused on rapid growth – we all were into counting numbers. This was true for social media, email lists, and web analytics regardless whether it was a B2C or B2B business. But as digital platforms mature, the focus is shifting more towards lead generation and creating quality content that is worth sharing with others.
ictQATAR is not an exception – our own digital platforms have grown over the years – our Facebook account, for example, today boasts more than 20,000 followers, and we started with just a few hundred in 2010. But as has happened elsewhere we are fine tuning our online models to stay on top of people’s minds. Here are a few strategies that we are using in this year:
1. Finding and nurturing brand influencers. Your customers don’t trust advertising, they trust their peers and influencers. Finding and engaging influencers has become one of the key marketing tactics, and we will continue blending it with SEO, content marketing, and social media campaigns. This principle was championed in a recent traffic safety campaign, WranSade, meaning “wrong side” in Arabic, supported by ictQATAR. The campaign went viral over just a few weeks, with no paid advertising, solely relying on advocacy of a small group of local movers and shakers.
2. Growing in context native advertising. With the rise of search, social, and mobile, as marketers we have endless choices when it comes to reaching target markets. A survey by Hexagram and Spada found that 62% of publishers use native advertising currently, and another 20% say they will begin to offer it within the next year. A recent example of a native advertising strategy in action is an ictQATAR’s social media campaign promoting SafeSpace, a website dedicated to keeping kids safe online.
3. Getting deeper into marketing automation. We are leveraging online display as a part of the overall marketing automation processes. Marketing automation is great for building evergreen lead nurturing programs, mostly around e-mail communications. In a typical scenario, 90% of your typical site visitors remain anonymous, and 70% of your known contacts don’t open promotional emails, so you can’t reach them through their inboxes. Integrating and synchronizing online display as a core part of the marketing automation effectively addresses this problem and allows moving contacts through the marketing funnel faster.
There are many more marketing trends to cover, and hopefully in 2014 we’ll see more localized examples of marketing innovations. Over to you. What are your latest experiments using the latest in digital?