5 Essential Marketing Skills in a Digital World

The overall goal of a marketer is to build trust with the consumer. It’s this relationship that will plant the seed with your brand, and it’s the continued confidence that will keep them coming back. Building this trust is difficult – it always has been. However, as consumers and products become even more entwined online, gaining the trust of a consumer is tougher than it ever has been.

Successful marketing campaigns need to evolve their strategies and methods, and tailor them to meet today’s challenges. In this article, we discuss 5 of the most essential skills every successful marketer needs to be successful. It may not be exhaustive, but these skills will put you ahead of the pack in gaining, and keeping, consumer trust.

 

 

  • Online Influence

 

Establishing an online presence should be a given at this point. However, successful marketers should go well beyond a mere existence online. Consumers are constantly inundated with ads and continuously visiting different websites. Marketers need to be active participants in this experience with the consumer.

Marketers also need to understand which social networks best align with the goals of their company and product. It’s important to know which platforms to publish on, and how to build an online community. Successful marketing requires being savvy in the social environment, and active with their online influence.

 

 

  • Mobile Marketing

 

According to recent statistics, 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine, and over 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while conducting a search on their smartphone. Mobile marketing has become one of the most important marketing skills, and this value will only increase as more activities are being completed with smartphones.

Prosperous marketers should understand not only how customers are using mobile, but also how to brand a digital presence and optimize content for a mobile medium. Marketers need to study mobile traffic analytics, e-commerce analytics as well as become familiar with mobile design.

 

 

  • Data Analysis

 

As noted above, marketers need to be familiar with various types of data analytics. And recent studies show that there is a huge shortage of marketers that are skilled in this area. In fact, a large study by the content creation firm Venngage showed that only 3% of marketers are competent in analyzing data.

With the power of tools such as Google Analytics, every visitor, view and share on a website is tracked and recorded. Sifting through such a large amount of data can be overwhelming, and as such, marketers are focusing on creative aspects while ignoring the numbers. Marketers that study the data can tailor their creative projects to those that will garner the most consumer traffic.

 

 

  • Communication

 

One of the best ways to plant the seed in building consumer trust is reflected in how well you can communicate your message to them. While this has essentially been the backbone of successful marketing for decades, its importance is no less significant in our digital age.

Successful marketers should be able to create content that is compelling and that tells the story of their company and/or brand. Additionally, the best marketers not only know how to create this story, but present it in a visually-appealing way. This visual rhetoric includes using the right titles, keywords and attention-grabbing visuals.  

 

 

  • Leadership

A truly effective marketer knows and understands that they cannot possess all of the necessary skills to be the best. The most successful marketer not only understands this, but can form a team that can complement their strengths and put together a campaign that reflects these abilities. This is especially true in a digital world that is changing faster than we can keep up.

Making the Most of Popular Marketing and Communications Channels/Platforms

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Know What You Have Before Adding On

Multi-channel marketing campaigns and integration of communications campaigns like PR, direct e-Mail, blogs, and sales force materials not only need cross channel management, but the future holds an expansion of online social media marketing with communications channels, not less. Forward thinking business owners understand the value of getting very familiar with available cross-channel marketing execution platforms now, to be prepared and positioned on the forefront, as the digital and print technologies continue to advance. Moving at a break-neck pace, digital media is attempting to keep up with mobile marketing options, while print and communications platforms rethinking marketing options are racing to understand brand touch points, learning brand generation and how to keep the brand message targeted and consistent across all channels.

Communications platforms include social media like YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Google Local, and Email using a business mailing list from their customer database or a purchased list of emails containing potential customers based on their documented purchasing patterns. In-product communication involves directly marketing with a commercially designed message to a target audience through their internet-connected device (PCs, laptops, mobile devices and tablets), or through their software application using ads or value offers.

Marketing and Communications Transitioning

The messages and related media produced is to be used within a market is the promotional part of the marketing mix, using a strategy of combining product information, pricing, placement, and promotional incentives. These must all be developed into a consistent look and feel through strategic use of the elements of branding such as logo, colors, slogans, and message statements. Brick and mortar customer service transitioned into digital customer relations, marketing communications transitioned human resources into humans solutions, and what was once “the elevator pitch” is now on trend tweets, blogs, and emails.

Some of the most interesting key players integrating marketing events, emerging social marketing technologies, and traditional broadcasting media advertising include ADRevolution, HubSpot, Marketo, smartFOCUS, Vtrenz, Eloqua, and Neolane. You get key innovation focus points like delivery to customers of only the ads they want, demand generation, open platforms integrating technology, strategy, and personalized marketing interaction, optimized ROI. Online marketing management of email, direct mail, banner ads, rich media ads, Web content, keyword search advertising, landing pages, micro sites, website visitor tracking, lead generation, and telesales.

Best Utilization Method

Obviously, a business must have an integrated contact management or CRM to tie marketing results with sales results to identify what is working and what is not. Making the most of popular marketing and communications channels and platforms means having the ability to analyze performance data and weeding out the stagnant approaches from the thriving, generating ones.

More Smartphones, More Opportunities

Smartphone usage has broken the glass ceiling – instantly connecting consumers to the products and information they seek. To remain in the game, businesses must meet the demands of ever-evolving use of mobile devices.

Below are three must-seize marketing opportunities well served by the ubiquitous use of smartphones today.

Mobile sites: Online storefronts know that users are more than likely shopping from their mobile device. This means a full-blown web site built for large-screen viewing is apt to put off the shopper. This is why most marketing sites today have a mobile-friendly version that auto detects the user’s device and displays accordingly to the shopper.

Smartphone apps: Customer loyalty has been propelled to a new level with the shopping apps they can use right from the palm of their hands. Storefronts like Amazon.com are locked and loaded, influenced by individual trends and ready to display tempting products for purchase. Members can even buy with one click.

Social media: Smart marketers know they must engage consumers via social networks. Facebook makes it easy to create a business page and then, through the viral process of cross-media marketing through platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and others, marketers are reaching relevant — and even international — audiences in real time.

The immediate impact of mobile marketing has left many long-established companies in the dust. No app and no mobile site means less visitors and less sales. They are faced with hiring media consultants to quickly bring them up to speed.

Staying in the know with regard to mobile media is today’s key to smartphone marketing opportunities. Trends come and go faster than ever now, so riding the fickle waves are more daunting. Therefore, digitally-minded marketers focused on marketing to their customers likes will continue to take the smartphone marketing future by storm.

Tying Print With Mobile Devices

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Some observers believe the marriage of print media and mobile devices is a new advertising genre. Many experts have been touting the value of print advertising, now that so many companies better understand the benefits–and the “warts”–surrounding digital advertising campaigns.

According to Mobile Commerce Daily, the Best Buy coordination of mobile marketing with their weekly sale circular, begun in 2010, has capitalized on the interactive benefits of mobile devices with the power of print advertising. Mobile device marketing offers an important advantage over traditional print marketing: Active calls to action.

This marriage of print and digital media offers benefits unavailable with other marketing options. Immediate and personal calls to action are a graphic example. There are other advantages you can enjoy.

  • Perfect your online presence with a great website and relevant social media pages.
  • Publish a regular newsletter with free subscriptions for your customers and prospects.
  • Combining print and mobile marketing helps deliver the “feel” and quality of your products.

Using coordinated digital and print advertising campaigns maximize your audience reach in all demographics and gains Facebook “likes” and more Tweeter followers. This combination typically results in more customers, too. More customers equal more revenue.

Your website, social media and newsletters offer another benefit. You’ll get some interested new leads that you can convert to customers. Melding print advertising with mobile devices creates engaged fans of your products or services.

Just as Best Buy uses this combination to increase sales with interactive calls to action, you can do the same for your company. Combining quality print pieces with mobile marketing campaigns gives you the cutting edge multimedia tools you need to succeed.

Integrating marketing campaigns with combinations of print and digital media can return outstanding results. When integrated with effective email marketing, print and mobile channels can increase ROI (return on investment), revenue and profitability. Using one of the top companies, like LATKA Communications, to coordinate mail or email campaigns makes it easy for you to get the most out of your advertising efforts, while enjoying budget-friendly solutions.

How to Target the Mobile Audience

Many marketers still incorrectly assume that the Internet usage habits of the general population have gone unchanged in recent years. In the late 1990s and the early 2000s, the Internet was traditionally something that was enjoyed in a set space in a home. After a hard day at work or school, a user would come home, grab the laptop computer (or sit in front of the desktop computer), open a Web browser and catch up on the day’s events. With the advent of the smartphone and similar types of mobile devices that can be carried with a person while on the go, however, those habits have changed significantly. People are experiencing Internet content all day long on a mobile device. In order to have the most successful marketing campaign possible, you need to make sure that you’re going after the mobile audience or you could be leaving a huge amount of potential customers behind.

 

One of the most effective ways to target the mobile audience is by adopting responsive web design practices. When designing your website, for example, responsive web design will help make sure that the user sees the best possible version of the page regardless of what type of device they happen to be using. A site designed for a traditional web browser will be difficult to read and hard to navigate on a smartphone. However, a site created with responsive web design will adapt to the user’s device, allowing them to easily read and use the site from that mobile environment.

 

Another way to target the mobile audience is with location-based options. Most smartphones and tablets have built-in GPS capabilities that always keep track of the user’s location. By targeting your marketing efforts towards users in your area with location-based options, you’re immediately going after those potential customers who are the most relevant: those who are using mobile devices in the area that your business is operating in.

QR Codes and Social Media

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Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are massive marketing tools for businesses. However, having a sign, postcard or newspaper advertisement telling readers to “like” your social media profile is not efficient. Enter into the equation QR codes. Also known as a Quick Response code, this is a useful tool for inbound marketing in the hands of potential customers and clients.

How QR Codes Work

A QR code is a square shaped symbol filled with matrix code that functions in the same way as a bar code on a product at the supermarket. Individuals can scan these codes using a digital reader with a camera feature, such as a smartphone or tablet. The information saved within the QR code will lead the user to a social media site, where they are then able to like or comment on your profile. For instance, someone can read about your business in a magazine. If you’ve included a QR code for your social media profile, they’ll be able to scan the code so to connect with your social media page.

Creating QR Codes

Start by utilizing a website that will create a QR code for you. All you need in order to create a QR code is the address to the website in which you want to connect to using the code.

Utilizing a QR Code

Once you have a QR code you can print off a copy of the code and paste it onto various forms of print media. For example, you would want to include the QR code for your social media sites along with your press releases, advertisements, YouTube videos, and business cards. Brick and mortar establishments for businesses often include a QR code linking to their social media page on signs placed strategically throughout the building. By allowing customers to connect to your social media site in a clever and efficient manner, you ensure that more individuals are reaching your marketing platform on the web.

The Solution to Retail Mobile Marketing

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In today’s society we are all practically glued to our smartphones; in fact, I bet the majority of you are reading this blog post from a 4.5” by 2.3” screen. It is no secret that small and large businesses have been trying to crack the mobile marketing secrets for years. From failed text messaging advertisements to recent QR codes, mobile marketing has been a necessity that has yet to deliver the desired results – until now. Apple has once again stepped to the forefront with a mobile marketing tactic that is affordably available to big and small retail players.

Have you ever heard of the iBeacon? The iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to create a transmitting beacon around regions, which alerts your store’s app when a user enters into the beacon’s space. Imagine that you are approaching a Macy’s store. As you enter into the Macy’s iBeacon region your phone will transmit customized coupons and even walking directions to the specific aisle where a discounted item is located. iBeacon can go so far as to prompt customers with special promotions or a personalized recommendation based on past shopping history.

A recent Bloomberg article examined the mobile marketing implications of the iBeacon. According to Bloomberg analyst Bill Carmody, at just $99 for three 50-meter transmitting beacons, “It’s as if you just added Google Analytics to your physical store – the real-life equivalent of being able to analyze page views and click throughs.” iBeacon allows retail store owners and manufactures to analyze retail traffic patterns, specific hover zones, and purchase patterns.

The possibilities for targeted mobile marketing are now endless. As we enter the busy holiday shopping season we will soon discover if iBeacon proves to be the mobile marketing breakthrough that it currently seems to be.

[Source: Business Week – http://ilnk.me/15588]

How Print, Mobile, and Marketing All Tie Together

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Combining different marketing strategies to create a single campaign may seem complicated, but it is growing in popularity. Print marketing, which is a traditional form of reaching a target audience, is starting to combine with mobile strategies to create an alternative method of attracting potential customers.

Using Mobile Technology

Mobile marketing is not limited to just advertisements on mobile devices and applications. It is also possible to combine mobile marketing with print marketing by creating applications that allow smartphone and tablet users to take pictures of barcodes or print advertisements for additional features. By using applications in an interesting way, it is possible to get younger audiences involved in the marketing strategy.

Adding Print Advertising

Print advertising takes many forms, such as fliers in the mail, coupons and billboards. Depending on the specific type of ad, the impact on an individual will vary. For example, a billboard might only be seen by a local audience while a newsletter sent in to a mailbox would reach a wider group of potential customers.

Adding print advertising to the marketing campaign can provide the opportunity to reach a specific demographic while the application on the mobile device helps

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Tying it Together

Tying all of the marketing strategies into a single campaign is a useful way to reach your target audience and incorporate a wide variety of marketing solutions. It is not necessary to use only old-fashioned or modern marketing techniques when you can combine both solutions into a single marketing strategy.

Marketing is a method of getting your name and reputation out to the public. Tying it all together with mobile applications that give special videos or features to those who also receive print ads can develop a greater amount of interest among potential customers.

Why Should Your Content Be Mobilized?

Mobile is the next big thing in marketing, and it is here now. Why should you mobilize your content? Here are five reasons!

  1. QR Codes On Direct Mailers: When you mobilize your content, you should have QR codes for people to scan. Using QR codes on direct mailers has become a popular trend because now you can encourage people to take further steps towards using your products or services. With your direct mailer QR code, you can send people to all types of mobilized content that will give them more incentive to take action. Offer a mobilized coupon, event registration form, survey or a mobilized purchase form. QR codes that send people to mobilized landing pages allows your audience to
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    take these actions quickly and easily from their phone. By using a straightforward, mobilized format for your content, it will spike response rates and impress and your audience.

  2. Interactive Marketing Opportunities: Having mobilized content allows for users to interact directly with your company and submit information right to your database. Offer incentives for customers to supply their email address, or give surveys that can be easily taken right from a phone. You can add these opportunities on any type of printed piece- trade show posters, direct mailers, brochures and more. Use your mobilized content as a tool to compile information and better service for the needs of your consumers.
  3. Smart Phone Prominence: You have seen the statistics by now. Smart phone numbers are through the roof. Mobile marketing isn’t a niche anymore; it is a massive segment of the population.
  4. No More Zooming and Scrolling: Smart phone website viewing can be a hassle. Zooming in to read microscopic text and then scrolling left to right to read just one line is awkward and unpleasant. Having mobile optimized websites, landing pages and content alleviates this problem. A mobile optimized site is designed to be read on a smart phone with minimal scrolling and no zooming necessary. Give your eyes a break!
  5. Get the Word Out!: A mobile website is a great way to get out all the information you want to bring to your potential customers. And a mobile website also allows you to have additional pages, or sites, devoted specifically to particular services or products. Different QR codes can lead customers to different pages. Be creative! The possibilities are endless.

Make the Most out of Your Mobile Website

Taking the leap towards a mobile website is a big step. Maximize your investment by including these three essentials components into your new mobile site.

Keep Your Branding Consistent: Your mobile site is another medium that your company can use to engage with potential customers. Keep the same branding and color scheme that your existing website has. This helps with recall and recognition, two critical components of any advertising or marketing strategy.  Visitors will also know right away that they are on the site they’re looking for- yours!

Calls To Action: Much like your desktop website, you want your mobile site to inspire some action from viewers. A mobile site offers the opportunity for commerce and immediate data collection. Give viewers the ability to sign up for newsletters or other initiatives. One great feature is “click to call”.  Display your phone number on your site, and one click dials the number. Now that is instant gratification.

Navigation Ease: A smartphone screen isn’t excessively large, and a lot of us need glasses to read their phones (ahem).  So don’t defeat the purpose of a mobile-optimized website by squeezing tiny text onto a page and adding small buttons and links. Eliminate the need for scrolling and zooming.  Also, think about the type of content you are adding to your mobile website.  Everything should be simplified.  If your website has 3-5 paragraphs on a page, you may want to cut that down to just a few sentences.