Most companies have now faced facts: in order to succeed, it is essential to have a digital strategy. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to discover that digital marketing accounted for a quarter of overall marketing spend last year – a proportion that is expected to rise. But what are the key trends that are currently making the biggest impact in the digital marketing industry? Econsultancy has noted several with regard to data. Online travel companies – take note!
Understand the data
Companies are realising that it is all very well collecting data – but it is how the data is used that can lead to transformational results. Automation is still in use, but many firms now understand that they cannot rely too heavily on such tools; having lots of data won't necessarily boost the bottom line.
Data is now being used in a more clever way in order to anticipate consumer requirements and demands – helping to inform the choices that customers are presented with on their buying journey. While many brands have always excelled at this, it is becoming more commonplace and is now considered a standard marketing approach.
As well as having a better understanding of what customers want, it is now possible to anticipate demands in real-time. "Real-time" is certainly a buzzword at the moment, but – according to the article on Econsultancy – the number of businesses that take advantage of real-time data is relatively small.
However, it says, real-time applications – whether through mobile apps or beacon technology – are showing no signs of going away, and we are witnessing a rise in customisation and personalisation at a mass level.
The article notes that "this kind of thing can start from quite humble beginnings, and there are a lot of people trying it with beacon technology, through to really quite sophisticated systems." With better implementation of data, the customer experience can be vastly improved.
Lastly, there is a lot of talk currently about where data should live, and it's a source of great debate. Should it sit with IT or marketing? Should it be outsourced or handled in-house? Data, as we all know, is extremely valuable, so many believe that it should be kept in-house, while others want to use the knowledge and experience of agencies to bring extra value to it.
Different approaches work best for different businesses. But one thing is certain: the right data, used in the right way, is indispensable when it comes to digital marketing.