From the Influencers

Embracing New Digital Marketing Trends Resides in Data Management

March 18, 2016

Digital marketing is not a concept that stands still. What was a brilliant content strategy in 2015 may be laughably ho-hum by now. Digital marketers can never rest on their laurels: they need to be ready to embrace change quickly – preferably faster than any of the competitors – and when they arrive, they need to have their eye on the next new opportunities. Of course, identifying new opportunities quickly is the key to success, and these opportunities may not be initially obvious. More often than not, finding the opportunities is about your ability to manage your data.

A recent study by IBM found that fewer than half (47 percent) of chief marketing officers (CMOs) expressed confidence in managing their data.

“Successful content marketers dig into as much data as possible to analyze what’s working (and what isn’t) and better understand their target audience, according to Ryan Young writing for KO Marketing. “If your company or team has recently invested in new technology, take it upon yourself to get comfortable with it. Doing so will enhance the quality of your work and show upper management that you’re ready to be a ‘torchbearing’ content marketer.”

There is no shortage of data, of course, and it’s both an art and a science to be able to determine what’s relevant and what’s probably just distracting noise. The content you put into action to attract visitors can come from a variety of places, and marketers don’t have a crystal ball to determine what will attract readers the most this week. Haphazard casting around for content will waste a lot of time and result in a lot of dud content that is barely glanced at. It’s important that content marketers have a rock-solid strategy for gathering data to identify trends before they begin crafting material. Building this process will likely require cooperation from IT and other technical resources.

“Nearly all successful content strategies are built from a solid foundation,” wrote Young. “Without a well-defined short and long-term content strategy in place, it’s possible to become overwhelmed by today’s digital heap. If you belong to an organization that isolates content within marketing, IT, or any other department, make a case for it to span the enterprise. Involving representatives from multiple departments will ensure the right message is being created and the right audience is being targeted.”

There is evidence that the “right message” is based on trust. A study conducted by LinkedIn found that more than half – 52 percent – of business-to-business buyers count trust as the most critical element of a thriving relationship with a vendor. For this reason, content marketers need to ensure they avoid publishing content that is misleading, deceptive, or “clickbait.” It’s easy to forget who your audience is and what your task is. Remember that everyone who reads your content is someone you hope to build a personal relationship with.

“In order to achieve significant sales gains, content marketers need to put the customer at the core of everything they do,” wrote Young. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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