How data is changing the face of marketing [Q&A]

Marketing compass

Thanks to increased ability to collect data in real time, and the use of AI to process and interpret that data, marketers have more opportunity than ever to personalize their offerings to customers.

But what does this mean for enterprises when it comes to spending their marketing budgets and establishing a digital strategy? We spoke to the CEO of DMA | Digital Marketing Agency, Solomon Thimothy to find out how digital marketing can be used to drive business growth.

BN: What are the most important sources of customer data for marketers?

ST: Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and the company's CRM. First, even though it's free, Google Analytics is a robust, intuitive program that gives you real-time analysis and in-depth details about how visitors are interacting with your website. Second, with over two billion users worldwide, Facebook Analytics provides customer data not only from profiles but also details about the way users engage with other pages and posts. The third source is your own CRM system, where you can dig deep and find out how customers are interacting with sales and support so that you can see what's working and what isn't.

BN: Consumers are more focused on using mobile devices, what impact has this had on marketers?

ST: All websites need a 'Mobile First' strategy, as most consumers now shop and interact with product/services on a mobile device. The most significant shift we are seeing now is the ways consumers are engaging with their mobile devices. People are using their phones for voice search, and mobile is now the dominant channel for watching online video.

BN: How important is AI and machine learning in the processing of marketing data?

ST: As businesses collect more consumer data, AI is essential in analyzing and managing the volume of data we now have. Before marketers can derive value from AI, they will need employees with new skill sets, infrastructure and a financial investment. Marketers can start with out-of-the-box AI tools and software-as-a-service providers that offer AI-ready solutions at low or no cost to help them take advantage of AI's insights for future campaigns.

BN: Where does social media sit in all of this?

ST: Social Media is at the core, as it’s essential for reputation management. Social media messaging apps make it fast and easy to connect to the customer and make them feel valued with more personalized interactions. Consumers will also use social media to see how others feel about the brand/product in question, which gives marketers new opportunities to identify influencers, and a window into public perception through social listening.

BN: What are the challenges of integrating digital and traditional marketing channels?

ST: One way to create attention-getting impact is through a remarketing campaign that syncs with a direct mail campaign. The biggest challenge, however, is that the information is fragmented. Teams must share performance reports and encourage cross-collaboration. Brand consistency is vital. The consumer should always recognize the brand, whether they see you on social media or through a traditional print ad.

BN: What will be the key digital marketing trend for 2019?

ST: Voice Search. This past Christmas, people purchased more Amazon Echo devices and Google Home products. Our comfort with personal assistants, including Siri, have led us to talk directly into our devices rather than typing. Marketers will need to evaluate their web pages to ensure that voice assistants can find the answers they want on their pages.

Image Credit: donskarpo / Shutterstock

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