Embracing a modern marketing approach requires many things, but one key aspect is to grab ‘digital’ with both arms. As with any marketing plan, the modern methodology still involves developing clear strategic goals, knowing your market, and being clear about your proposition. But now more than ever having an integrated approach across all channels matters. There is a catch, though. Digital marketing requires a set of skills and a breadth of knowledge and experience that, though akin to traditional marketing, have significant differences. And this can be a big ask of a marketing department. What’s the solution?
A digital marketing consultant can be worth their weight in gold
Sometimes, staying in-house just isn’t going to ensure you’re getting the best talent for the job. Here are some signs to look out for that might suggest you should ‘go external’ for some advice:
- Your company website, social media profiles and email marketing campaigns aren’t consistent
- Your medium to long term strategic digital planning has gone by the wayside, to be replaced by short term reactive content
- Online engagement, lead generation, and conversion is stagnating or slipping
- Your online content and web copy is out of date
- You don’t have to the time or understanding to analyse the online data that’s available to you
- You don’t have the following skills in-house: SEO, web language coding e.g. html or PHP, graphic design, copywriting, content marketing, social media, analytics… to name but a few requirements
- Plain and simple… you’re out of ideas
To give you a taste of the knowledge and expertise an external digital marketing consultant can bring, here are some thoughts on the prevalent marketing trends for B2B marketers in 2017.
Tailored end-customer content
End-customer content used to be purely the domain of B2C marketing, with websites cutting their teeth on tactics such as ‘people who bought this, also bought…’ etc. But Amazon then took that concept and blazed an even more personalised content trail, and with their technical wizardry and cleverly persistent email campaigns, the game changed forever.
However, off the back of this, B2B is beginning to reap rewards in this arena too now. Big data analysis, combined with account based marketing on steroids, is enabling digital marketers to reach decision-making individuals within a business. An experienced digital marketing consultant knows how to make the most of the constantly evolving technology and can tap into this.
Strategic goal alignment across marketing and sales
Many businesses struggle with departments operating in ivory towers, but with the digital age exponentially leaping forward this isn’t something to just shrug at any more. A truly consistent approach towards a company’s strategic goals is the only way to ensure digital campaigns (and other traditional marketing approaches) work. An external digital marketing consultant can help to bridge the gap across departments in a way that internal staff simply can’t achieve.
Understanding data… and doing something with it
First off, let’s think retrospectively in a traditional way, and consider KPIs. You decide what you want to achieve and how you want to measure it. You execute a campaign and see how well you did. You then adjust your activities according to the results and start all over again. You might be thinking an external consultant doesn’t need to teach you to suck eggs here. However, consider this… More and more data is becoming available real-time now. Your competitors know this and are on it, even if you’re not. You can’t afford to bury your head in the sand for much longer. Somebody who has already been advising, consulting, and working in this real-time arena for some time is probably your best bet to enable you to ride this wave too.
Keep up to date with the trends
We’re talking digital trends, of course. What software, hardware, and apps are the hottest at any moment? What’s engaging on social media? How personalised can you get things? Your target audience may well be B2B, but in their domestic lives they’ve got used to consumer speak and this is leeching across the business/consumer divide now. Behavioural patterns are changing. Only individuals who live and breathe this stuff, day in day out, can hope to keep up to date. But who on earth has time for all that? A consultant who specialises is the best answer to this conundrum.
Tapping into the subliminal through science
So much of the success of a marketing campaign relies on subliminal responses. Some call this an ‘art’. Some write it off as luck. But ensuring that the art of marketing is informed by the science of data analysis is a sure way to enjoy some luck. Branding, positioning, engagement, and conversion, they’re all aspects that rely heavily on both art and science. Used wisely by an experienced professional and your bottom line will make you smile.
If chatting to a digital marketing consultant to find out more about what they could do for your business sounds like a good idea, then please do give us a ring. We’d be delighted to help you take your digital marketing onto the next stage.