What were the three most important things you learnt about digital marketing in 2015? We ask because these are the things that are likely to shape your digital marketing strategy in 2016.
Any business – travel or otherwise – which operates in a digital environment is alive to the speed at which consumers' habits change, and it is our job to ensure we keep up with the pace. That can prove easier said than done, of course, but the advantages of doing so make it worth the effort.
Here are the lessons we learnt in 2015 that we'll be making every attempt to apply in the year ahead:
1. Customers crave seamlessness across all channels
Here's the thing: each one of your customers has a unique set of preferences when it comes to communicating with your brand and they expect you to be attuned to their individuality to create a seamless brand experience, regardless of the channel they wish to interact on.
That's prompted many brands into integrating data management platforms, which are able to capture the actions that a potential buyer makes on one channel, creating a unified customer profile that carries over across all channels.
2. Customers are now doing everything on their mobiles
More than one in four consumers now make a purchase online at least once a week, according to PwC. In fact, we'd estimate that the percentage is even higher than that now, given those findings were from early last year. Consumers are completely on-board with online shopping and they are increasingly doing it on their mobile phones.
Not only are they shopping on their smartphones, they're interacting with brands on social media, they're going in search of advice, they're researching products and services. Consumers are now doing everything on their mobiles, as testified by the news that smartphones have overtaken laptops as UK internet users' number one device. Firms have to ensure their websites are optimised for mobile, otherwise consumers will simply click away.
3. You've got to engage with customers at the right moments
Social media is an extremely powerful marketing tool, but only if it's used in the right way. One element you've got to ensure you get right is posting at optimum points in the day, when your customers are likely to be logged on.
Obviously, it's impossible to see exactly when your customers are online, but with the data they throw up, you'll be able to get a good idea of when the usually log on, allowing you to send out posts accordingly. To be sure that you are engaging with customers at the right time, it might be worth automating the entire process – just in case you're away from your desk, say.