Marketing in 2016 is a brand new practice compared to strategies that were implemented over the past 5 or 10 years. Why the major changes?
The fact is that people’s schedules are stretched very thin, and there is little time in busy lives for market research. When we describe time, we don’t just mean the flow of days, weeks or months that account for each calendar year. Time is one of the most valuable yet limited assets that each person manages within his or her everyday life. A line from Pink Floyd’s massive hit “Time” summarizes this dilemma brilliantly:
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time.
People don’t want to decipher through advertisements and unclear messages because there is little time to spare for such unnecessary tasks. Clarity is invaluable to prospective customers since concise messaging is quick and easy to process. A brand that clearly communicates the value of its products or content registers in the mind of a prospective customer. This recognition and awareness encompass the first stage of the consumer journey.
The ever-changing consumer journey has a tremendous impact on marketing and how marketing teams analyze the effectiveness of their campaigns. The consumer journey resembles the marketing funnel and is the path people follow to become paid customers and brand advocates.
The Consumer Journey is the #NewPath of Marketing
Establishing a community of engaged users is one of the primary objectives of any marketing team. How you build that community is a long and complicated process that requires a consumer-first approach to marketing. This means creating a consumer-first content strategy; developing a social media presence that encourages interaction; crafting an email marketing campaign that shares valuable insights with targeted end users; and on and on.
Community development and content marketing initiatives were the main focus of the
Cocktails & Content event hosted by ScribbleLive in New York City. The event was given the hashtag #NewPath as a representation of how effective marketing teams must address the needs of the end consumer to have success in 2016.
The event was hosted inside the Helen Mills Event Space And Theater in Midtown Manhattan. Marketers were invited to partake in the event and listen to success stories from some of the industry’s most prominent leaders, including:
- Brad Young, VP Digital Content Strategy at Prudential
- Stefan Tornquist, VP of Research at eConsultancy
- Dan Levi, CMO at Clear Channel Outdoor
- Penry Price, VP Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn
- Matt Cooper, SVP Corporate and Business Development at ScribbleLive
The speakers shared insights and solutions to help marketing teams stay ahead of the ever-changing consumer journey. Some of the broad themes that were addressed were:
- The impact that millennials have on marketing in 2016
- How B2B and B2C marketing teams execute similar yet different marketing campaigns
- Content marketing recommendations to help your team stay ahead of the game
Effective Marketing Solutions in 2016
Topics of discussion revolved around the various changes in marketing over the past 5 to 10 years. Matt Cooper, who emceed the event, related each of the points raised by the speakers back to the broad theme of the event: how the consumer journey impacts marketing teams and effective communication campaigns.
Adapt to Mobile Friendly Marketing
Dan Levi stated that smartphones have made one of the most significant impacts on marketing over the past decade.
“The big change in the past five years is the emergence of mobile and data.”
Dan suggested that easy access to information allows people to conduct their research on the go and at their convenience. Many people establish feeds or streams in their social media accounts with interesting content from trusted publishers. Once the content is pulled in, they frequently skim the highlights using their smartphones.
To remain on the minds of mobile-savvy prospects, marketers must re-commit to social media marketing and create headline-worthy content. Teams should review their social analytics to decipher what types of content get the most clicks and who engages with the brand. Use this data to determine what types of content should be distributed on your brand’s social channels to increase engagement and clickthrough rates. There are many powerful social media tools that can help you interpret the meaning behind data and make logical decisions with marketing.
The Content Feed Is The New King
Penry Price took the mobile discussion one step further. He says the content feed had a tremendous impact on marketing strategies and the consumer journey.
“The feed has transformed all of us in the way we consume, discover and engage with content. This makes us think about ‘How do we build the best content for the feed experience?'”
Penry said that marketers use the content feed to begin a dialogue rather than forcing a one-way line of communication upon people. Feeds make it easy for people to click, like, or share a piece of content that catches their interest. This interaction tells the publisher that the content was well received and that the consumer journey may begin.
Content feeds allow people to interact with brands in ways that were never possible before. The lines of communication between a company and a consumer are no longer a one-way street. Commenting solutions help brands build communities of engaged users who post feedback or participate in group discussions. Creative marketing and thought-provoking content help facilitate many of these interactions. Ensure your team uses these tactics to craft social marketing strategies that cut through the clutter and increase engagement.
Marketing And Sales Are Interconnected
Stefan Tornquist believes the biggest change in marketing is how marketing has become integral to sales success rates.
“Marketing has been thrust from understudy to sales in a leading role. Companies that are already customer centric are therefore marketing centric.”
Stefan believes that marketing success stories will become as important to corporate boardrooms as sales numbers and new product developments. Marketers who move people through the marketing lifecycle help sales teams convert prospects into paying customers or brand advocates. This process requires earning people’s trust, establishing a dialogue, and building credibility – all of which increase the value and reputation of a company or a brand.
Marketers create thoughtful and engaging content that allows people to connect to the brand. The marketing lifecycle, working in parallel with the consumer journey, increases the overall reach of the brand. This process is crucial for companies to scale growth.
Deepen The Relationship
Brad Young says the most important task for marketers in 2016 is to deepen the relationship with would-be customers or brand advocates.
“At the end of the day, all we’re trying to do is deepen the relationship. If we aren’t addressing a problem we can fill, we aren’t deepening the relationship.”
The fact is that the consumer controls what appears in their feeds and when to take the next step of the consumer journey. Marketers break through the clutter and earn a rightful place in those feeds using educational and thought-provoking content.
Content marketing is one of the most important parts of any marketing campaign in 2016. Content marketing allows teams to express a brand’s image and develop a reputation as providers of credible and valuable information. If the content is high quality and grabs attention , people are more likely to click and interact with that content. This process allows people to begin the consumer journey.
Content marketing brings things back to the concept of time and how people have little patience for brands with no value. Great content, if effective, saves people the time and the hassle of conducting market research. A great piece of content intrinsically encourages a prospect to begin the consumer journey with your brand.
Cocktails & Content
Once the discussion was complete Matt Cooper thanked each of the speakers for participating on the panel, and thanked all attendees for coming to the Helen Mills Event Space. The feedback from both panelists and spectators was very positive, and the ideas raised during the event presented fresh opportunities for marketers to connect with clients throughout the consumer journey.
With the wrap-up complete, it was time for cocktails!