Thursday, November 7, 2013

Three Trends Impacting Digital Marketing

digital trends wordle
Earlier this fall, I keynoted at Lee Jean’s Digital Days, a day long event for Lee Jean’s marketing teams and their agency partners. They asked me to share a few digital marketing trends that were beyond the tipping point. I discussed three:
  1. Real Time Marketing
  2. Creating Youtility Through Care, Context & Creativity
  3. Empowering Employees & Fans
Here’s the slideshare for your review and I highlight a few key talking points below.

Let’s dig into the three trends starting with Real Time Marketing.

The term Real Time Marketing is overhyped. I’m sure a few of you are rolling your eyes. I get it, but I don’t think we – in the digital marketing industry – have really defined it and provided the rationale for a more steady state of Real Time Marketing.

What does Real Time Marketing mean?
Real Time Marketing is using data analytics with a process flow to shift marketing messaging in real time or near real time. 

The key words in my definition are really process flow and shift. Real Time Marketing isn’t going to work without a documented and blessed process flow. If there is no shift in your marketing messaging, then there’s no “real time” element.

And you can call it whatever you want if you think Real Time Marketing is too limiting or overhyped. Call it Agile, Right Time, Marketing in the Moment, Engagement Marketing… – really, at it’s core it is simply Marketing.

Real Time Marketing has three unique layers: 1) It’s an process, not a project (meaning there’s no start and stop date); 2) It’s an ongoing newsroom not an advertising campaign; and 3) The content has to be brand relevant and current but not a buzz wedge. How many buzz wedgie RTM tweets have we all seen and groaned over? I think I should devote a post to a few of them, eh?

Ok, so on to number two – Creating Youtility Through Care, Context & Creativity. Jay Baer coined the word Youtility and it’s the title of his NY Times best selling book, Youtility – Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype. I highly recommend you grab yourself a copy. It is jam-packed with excellent content marketing case studies from companies large and small and plenty of how-tos. Youtility is marketing so useful, people would pay for it.

I bundled a few of Jay’s key Youtility points to explain this second trend – Creating Youtility. In the digital world, customer service is front and center, with a two-way dialogue it is mandatory. Secondly, social listening isn’t just for passive company actions like brand protection and reactive ones such as customer service.  Social listening is also for proactive company actions like product innovation, marketing sideways and sales. We will see more and more traction with Youtility as we roll into 2014. Yes, you can hold me to that.

And finally, let’s chat quickly about the last trend I discussed which is Empowering Employees and Fans. This is about enabling your best fans to tell your brand story in digital. Brand advocacy boils down to having simple tools like Expion's Social Advocator, providing content with guardrails and making sure you don’t mandate employees or fans (through loyalty program requirements) to share. So, no voluntolds period.

The three trends cover always-on marketing; providing creative content marketing and product innovation through social listening; and, giving your brand advocates the means to share stories about your brand. There’s a ton more to cover and I’d love to hear your thoughts below in comments or shoot me a tweet so we can keep chatting this up.

This post was originally published on Expion's blog.


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