Winning businesses have to constantly add value, be innovative and leverage the right type of marketing campaigns.
In this hyper digitally engaged world, competitive marketing strategies and effective social media tactics are necessary for growth. Great marketers are always looking for new ways to create excellent customer experiences and effective campaigns.
To be a competitive business or brand you need to focus on deeper insights, innovation and influence. I have created a guidebook that will take you through:
•strategic marketing plans
•social media tactics
•key brand examples
•creating value and authenticity
•customer experience strategies
My hope is that you will stay inspired and implement high impact marketing tactics for growth.
Please get your copy of my book on Amazon or take a look inside my book today!
MAKE AN IMPACT WITH KEY DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES: Ultimate Competitive Marketing Guide For Driving Growth by Shairoz Az
In this hyper digitally connected space, where everyone is inundated with messages from emails, social chats, advertising and more, businesses are facing challenges when it comes to getting attention from their target market. Research shows that people are reaching ‘fatigue’ from communication overload and constant engagement on digital platforms.
There are varying viewpoints on digital consumption and its consequences on health. What we do know is that humans are social beings who need to interact with one another. Relationships and positive social communities are generally key factors for overall happiness. Statistics show an increasing number of people are engaging with one another on social platforms.
How can businesses lead in a hyper engaged market?
Digital marketing has always been about relevance, adding value and increasing customer engagement to drive growth. I have written a few key blogs covering the basics of marketing strategies such as brand authenticity, clear communication, unique business value proposition, social responsibility, exceptional customer experience and interactive marketing strategies.
The change we are seeing on a macro-level is that consumers are hyper engaged on various digital platforms. Before we look at trends, let us examine the market from a business standpoint.
Communications is not slowing down but increasing from social media conversations, messaging apps, live video streaming and so much more. For businesses, this means your consumers are hyper interacting with one another on digital platforms.
Most businesses are facing some challenges in incorporating emerging digital technologies. Artificial Intelligence (AI), smart machine learning and a hyper digitally connected future is here.
Moving into 2019, business competitiveness will be based on strategic business modelling, integrating new digital tools and hyper focused marketing strategies. Key components for growth should be structured around increasing operational business performance, long term growth planning, customer value creation, personalized customer experience strategies and more.
Strategic marketing in a 'hyper everything' world
A key factor for driving business growth is the concept of hyper experiential customer interaction. What businesses need to focus on is to lead with deeper insights, innovation and influence.
Driving substantial and meaningful customer connections will give businesses competitive edge in this hyper connected digital space. Statista research reports that there are 3.4 billion social media users globally, as of October 2018. On average people spend an estimated six hours per day on their digital devices, according to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report, 2018.
Here are key marketing strategies for hyper interaction
Drive deeper connections
Markets change, new tools emerge, new information is discovered and so on. As a result, there are endless buzzwords and trends of the day. What remains constant, is the need for businesses to create and deliver superior customer experiences.
Competitive businesses cannot afford to fall behind by providing poor customer experiences that will inevitably result in decreased brand value. Basically, at the end of the day, a business has to deliver and go beyond what it promised to its customers.
Great customer experience aims to create a fluid and seamless journey from when your customer lands on your website, downloads your app, engages with you on social channels, receives your email, orders your product, chats with customer service or sales, uses your products and more. Each one of your customer touch points has to deliver a consistent, easy and integrated experience.
Mobile apps are enhancing customer experience
According to statistics, there are almost six million apps available worldwide through the Google Play and Apple App stores. Apps can be effective for creating valuable customer experiences based on innovation and usefulness.
Almost every business can extend their services on apps, from restaurants, travel, online commerce, social media, mobile gaming, sports, music, real estate, fitness, health, audio books, mobile TV and much more.
Statista research estimates that mobile apps are expected to generate $188.9 billion global revenue by 2020. Businesses are creating user-friendly mobile apps to enhance customer experiences via mobile devices, increase conversions and sales.
The success of mobile apps depends on key factors such as creativity, ease of use, personalization, on-demand communication, value add and more.
Podcasts are in demand
Podcasts function as ‘internet radio’ based on digital audio files that can be downloaded on the internet from computers and mobile devices. Podcasts sometimes also include video formats and like radio, serial new episodes are created consistently. Most podcasts can be accessed on websites, where show episodes can either be listened to in real time or downloaded for consumption at a later date.
Podcasts are effective in reaching niche target audiences who subscribe to specific podcasts. Most people listen to and follow podcasts based on topics they are interested in. Specialized content means you can get your message across to a ‘narrower’ but highly interested audience.
Chatbots are providing excellent customer experience
Many companies have integrated chatbots into their customer service and digital channels. Chatbots are a valuable communication asset that helps drive marketing strategy and improve customer support. It is estimated that 85 percent of interactions will be with Chatbots in 2020, according to Gartner, the leading research and advisory firm.
Chatbots are driven by predefined workflows, this helps drive customer engagement and facilitate faster conversions by answering questions or offering suggestions. Use of chat apps has actually surpassed the use of social media apps. Digitally engaged customers expect businesses to be available via chat and messenger apps.
Hyper local geo-targeting
Advertisers find tools such as geo-targeting very useful for reaching specific target markets with highly targeted ads based on locale. Geo-targeting identifies where a target market is located from region down to neighborhoods. With data points from digital devices, it is fairly easy to pinpoint locations, especially from smart devices.
This is very exciting for businesses, brands and services that want to interact with their target market based on location. Innovative brands are finding new ways to create interactive customer experiences by providing hyper relevant promotions and offers.
Many industries from retail, food restaurants, food stores, beauty shops, car dealers and more, can integrate geo-targeting into their marketing. Most consumers report that they don’t mind sharing their information in order to receive relevant promotions.
Voice search is mainstream
Google data reports that one in five searches are voice-driven. In 2020, fifty percent of online searches will be conducted via voice. Home assistants and voice apps such as Siri, Google Voice, Amazon Echo, Amazon Alexa and more, are an integral part of many people’s lives. We are increasingly relying on tools such as voice search to help us efficiently manage daily tasks.
Voice search is changing how people get information and where they look for information. Google data shows that people are searching for information based on something being ‘near’ them. Target your product or service information around the ‘near me’ concept. Create relevant voice search by including specific tags, descriptions, addresses, proper links, contact information, business listings on google and much more.
Deliver unique brand value
Brand value is created when you deliver exceptional customer experience. If you don’t meet customer expectations, the value of your brand will decrease and so will your market share. Your brand promise not only has to be meaningful but you also need to ensure you meet commitments at every customer interaction.
Competitive brands are hyper focused on creating experiences that matter to their audiences. In my blog, how to be authentic and build trust, I explained that consumers are looking for genuine experiences and interactions. Consumers don’t want to simply buy products and services, they want to relate to their favorite brands.
The type of causes that you decide to champion should be unique according to your business vision and aspirations. Starbucks, the leading coffee brand and chain, focuses on creating a community experience where ‘it’s not unusual to see people coming to Starbucks to chat, meet up or even work. We’re a neighborhood gathering place, a part of the daily routine – and we couldn’t be happier about it.’ Starbucks
For the 12th year in a row, Starbucks has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute (2018). To stay true to their community and global ethical standards, Starbucks constantly creates initiatives such as 'making coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural product by doing their part to improve the lives of 1 million people in coffee communities around the world, building and operating the world’s largest green retail business, minimizing environmental footprint and inspiring others to do the same, strengthening communities by welcoming all and creating impact on issues that matter and many more intiatives.
Hyper purpose driven partnerships
Strategic marketing is more about making an impact where it matters most rather than aiming for mass level ‘hype’ marketing.
In order to be effective, work with the right partners from niche agencies, influencers, consultants, digital experts, social cause groups, industry thought leaders and more.
There are no set rules such as ‘big is best’ or ‘mass attention’ leads to increased profitability. Be selective and focus on how to drive value with hyper targeted strategies. Marketing like everyone else, on every platform with generic messages, will most likely deliver poor results.
Collaborate with partners who are specialized and can offer you specific services to help you reach your objectives. In a hyper and evolving digital space, businesses have to hyper target their marketing and create innovative customer experience strategies. Your partners should align with your mission and add authentic ideas to increase your business competitiveness.
What can you do now?
Create more personalized and experiential marketing initiatives across all channels, such as websites, social media, mobile experience, instore experience and digital marketing.
The aim is deeper and meaningful connections with your target market in order to build loyal relationships. This means you need to be hyper connected to your target market where they are spending their time.
Gather smarter insights that will help you drive deeper customer interaction. AI, data science, machine learning and predictive analytics are tools that marketers are leveraging to create hyper targeted marketing. AI based insights means marketers can dig deeper into their customer’s buying cycle, analyze behavior patterns, predict expectations and so much more.
In 2019, we can expect evolving trends in technology, Artificial Intelligence and digital platforms. Leading businesses will not only have to keep up with changing trends but they also need to be hyper innovative and deliver exceptional experiential marketing.
“Competitive advantage is a company’s ability to perform in one or more ways that competitors cannot or will not match.” Professor Philip Kotler
Get in touch with me if you are interested in deeper marketing insights and driving growth in a hyper engaged market.
Digital is changing consumer behaviours and expectations.
The key question is how do businesses leverage marketing effectively for creating growth and loyal customers?
Brands that dominate in their markets share a few things in common - they are innovative, they have a unique brand presence, they are relevant and authentic.
In this digital disruption era, consumers are looking for genuine experiences and interactions. Consumers don’t want to simply buy products and services, they want to relate to their favourite brands.
What does it mean to be Authentic?
Simply put, authenticity is about integrity, accountability and standing by your values.
How to create Authenticity
Align your Vision
Your brand vision and goals must be clearly communicated internally and aligned with what you deliver externally. Your brand promise should be reflected across every customer touch point.
Create Customer Value
If you want to dominate in your market, you not only have to deliver on your brand promise but you have to go beyond customer expectations and create excellent customer experiences.
According to Winston Churchill, "the price of greatness is responsibility."
To be a leading brand you need to be accountable when things don’t go as planned. Have strategies in place to resolve customer service complaints or product issues.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” Jeff Bezos, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Amazon.
Amazon, the retail giant, has more than 310 million global users. Most people claim to shop on Amazon because it is easy to find products and speed from click to delivery. Amazon also provides after sales customer support online and resolutions for customer issues.
Your brand persona and communications should be consistent across all customer channels. Your brand “look” should be easily identifiable. You can be slightly flexible and tweak your messages according to the type of platform you are engaging in.
What you want to avoid is creating the wrong type of brand attention and end up sparking a social backlash. This happens when your brand is not in alignment with your vision and customer expectations.
Pepsi and 'Lady Doritos'
In the Freakonomics podcast, Pepsi CEO, Indra Nooyi explained PepsiCo was considering releasing "Lady Doritos" and brainstorming women-specific snacks. She explained in the interview, "as you watch a lot of the young guys eat chips... they lick their fingers with great glee...Women I think would love to do the same, but they don’t. They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public..."
This conversation ended up sparking ridicule and jokes across social media. PepsiCo issued a statement to confirm they were not creating gender specific Doritos - "We already have Doritos for women – they're called Doritos."
Make an impact with Strategic Collaborations
Be open to collaborating with Business Partners, Social Media Influencers, Consultants, Digital Experts and Agencies to gain momentum where it matters most.
Evaluate what specific goals you want to achieve and work with the right talent or partnerships to help you achieve your objective.
Influencer marketing will continue to be effective in 2019.
Influencers have trust and attention from their audiences. They strive to maintain a credible relationship with their follower base. A good practise from both sides is to be upfront about paid sponsorships.
You don’t have to engage Hollywood stars, musicians or top athletes to create an effective Influencer marketing campaign. Niche Influencers who have the attention of your target market can be very effective in getting your message out there.
Collaboration for Social Causes
Investing in social causes is an effective way for businesses and brands to make a genuine impact within their communities and globally.
According to the 2018 Edelman Earned Brand study, almost two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers globally will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue.
Adidas, one of the leading sports brands, launched a campaign to raise awareness and promote the prevention of plastics from entering into oceans.
Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create “Parley A.I.R. Strategy - Avoid plastic wherever possible, Intercept plastic waste, and Redesign your life."
Adidas plans to have its UltraBoost running shoes made out of Parley Ocean Plastic.
Consumers expect brands to be relevant and engaging. This is especially true on social channels that are already saturated with information. Top brands create engagement by creating valuable experiences.
NYX Cosmetics is a leading beauty brand that has an impressive online following, including more than 13 million Instagram followers. The NYX Cosmetics brand is visually appealing with a vast library of real images that gives its audience a “feel” for what their products look like on different users.
Post Relevant Content
Your content should be personalised according to the channel where you are engaging your audience. For example, your posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, should have tailored content strategies.
Your blog posts, articles, website content and video content, should be interesting with the latest information related to your brand and also market trends.
To build long-term brand value, create customer experiences that are valuable. Brands that make life more enjoyable and easier seem more genuine.
Consumers are already busy and lead hectic lives. Make it is easy for them to research your product, get answers to questions, leave comments, share information with friends and engage with your brand.
Building trust means you have to be open and responsive. If a customer shares a negative experience, take steps to address the issue immediately.
Consumers are getting busier and more digitally engaged. This is increasing the desire for experiences and interactions with brands that are authentic. The right marketing strategies are key for creating brand value and customer loyalty.
Get in touch with me to learn more on how you can make an impact in 2019.