Digital advances have a real impact on marketing, which is now almost unrecognisable from the days before social media, email, Google et al. Before we tweeted, posted, liked (or not) and shared as day-to-day activities, marketing was planned and delivered very differently.

The relentless pace at which digital and tech advances are impacting marketing was brought home to me when reading a recent article on the suggested demise of Twitter. Yes, I know, surprised me too. I’m sorry to admit that, even as a marketer, I’ve only recently fully embraced Twitter and to then read it might be on the wane was a blow as Twitter is by far my favourite social media channel for its spontaneity, opinion and conversation.

For businesses where marketing is perhaps something that is only embraced occasionally, or even those companies where there is yet to be a case for investing in more digital activity, there is just so much to choose from today, let alone next month or next year! How on earth do you keep up or choose what to invest in if budgets or resource are limited and those goal posts keep moving?

The key is to know your market and your audience – as whatever marketing you do it is all about engaging with them. Gone are the days when generic email campaigns and advertising to the masses hit the spot (if they ever did!). The marketing of today, and the future, is all about the customer. Know what they like, don’t like, their preferred social media as well, as the basics of location, age, gender, profession etc and any marketing you invest in will hit the spot.

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve advised businesses that a database is only as good as the data you put in it. And now, more than ever, this is true. Without good customer data, your marketing cannot successfully allow your business to compete. B2B customer expectations are so much higher now – they expect companies to engage with them the way B2C organisations do. They expect emails, social media engagement and the rest of the digital touchpoints to be relevant, timely and above all personal.

Customer insight can be a powerful tool – and it doesn’t have to be an expensive activity but the rewards are many. It allows you to segment your customers, creates opportunity for specific marketing to address issues or highlight the successes of your business (think customer testimonials here!) and gives you access to market information and trends which can drive your future customer communications. Done well, and regularly, it will ensure your business is positioned to embrace the digital marketing activities that will deliver you the best ROI. So you can focus on those, keep up with any evolving technology aligned to them and have some regular customer marketing in place too.

If you want to find out how digital marketing in all its guises can positively impact your customer experience, please feel free to give me a call or email me, connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, or just take a nosey at my website.

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