Gone are the days when billboards and newspaper ads were the best way to reach potential customers. Even the idea of televised advertising is becoming a lower-tier form of getting attention to your products. Digital marketing is the way of the future and it is here to stay!
Making sure that your company’s digital marketing strategies are up to snuff in 2021 is of the utmost importance. In today’s markets, if you aren’t online you aren’t being seen. But more than that, if you aren’t online and you aren’t interacting with potential customers in a way that grabs their attention, you’re likely to get passed over for a competitor’s product.
Digital trends in marketing are always changing and evolving rapidly, so it can be difficult to keep up with what is what — especially what is attracting potential customers and keeping them engaged. Moving into 2021, some of the biggest things to watch out for and incorporate into your professional marketing strategy include: creating a real digital connection with customers, adding new and improved technologies, and staying trained on current and upcoming tools.
Getting the Training
Perhaps the most significant hurdle for many marketing professionals today isn’t a lack of desire to go digital but a real difficulty keeping up with all of the new tools and tricks that are making potential customers go wild. There is a lot to learn and the game is changing almost daily. For example, social media outlets where targeted marketing has been making a killing for the last few years are changing policies faster than ever.
For these reasons, it is almost imperative that business leaders make sure their marketing staff is getting the training they need to keep up and stay in the game. Offering opportunities for employees to take digital marketing classes as part of their workday can pay off by helping them to learn new tools in a supportive workplace environment. Most courses exist in an online environment and can work around just about any schedule.
Beyond training, there is some benefit to recognizing when a digital skill is simply outside what your team is going to be able to reasonably tackle. Outsourcing certain aspects of the job can greatly boost your company’s digital marketing strategy and help you identify things that may have been overlooked in the past. One example of a good thing to outsource is search engine optimization (SEO) work. Certain aspects of SEO can greatly improve digital marketing strategy but are difficult to take on without a team of professionals.
Making a Connection
In 2021, it is all about making a connection. By far the biggest trend that is taking the marketing world by storm is the personalization of marketing to individual customers. This means a lot of things, but mostly, it means building an emotional connection that helps the customer develop a lasting bond with your company and your product. It has to be a real connection too — customers are incredible at discerning when marketers are trying to “buddy up to them” for a quick sale.
This connection involves a lot of things such as listening to the input and feedback that customers provide and responding to it. A crew of marketers that is also trained in customer service and that works hard to understand and respond to the needs of customers will earn a lifetime of brand loyalty. This can be as simple as accepting returns when customers reach out with problems, kicking off an online shopping site to meet the needs of customers that can no longer visit in person (perhaps due to a pandemic), and sending them personalized text messages and coupons based on the products that they purchase.
Another big way to make a connection with potential customers is through the use of influencers. Research indicates that word of mouth and recommendations from “real” people are two of the most powerful means of reaching out to customers and getting them to purchase products. Today, many companies are using young, tech-savvy social media influencers to market their products by producing videos on how they work and critically assessing the positives and negatives of a product for their viewers.
Incorporating New Tech
Personalization is one of the biggest factors in marketing success in today’s world. But the other major aspect of digital marketing is technologies, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing. AI has the power to completely transform the marketing environment all over again, and in some ways it already has.
One of the biggest ways large companies are using it is actually to help them with their marketing personalization strategies. AI software can help identify patterns in shopping trends of certain demographics of customers and suggest targeted marketing schemes that are likely to be the most effective at reaching them, a process called segmentation. Afterward, the technology can assess its success and suggest additional tools that will continue to build brand loyalty.
Likewise, AI can start to identify potential new demographics that your products might do well with. Over time, this type of marketing strategy can greatly help to expand your customer base and bring new target audiences on board that you may have never even considered. Overall, it can be a profound tool that will completely change the face of marketing.
To Sum Up
The world of marketing is changing at a faster rate than ever before, especially within the realm of digital marketing. This makes keeping up with training and major advancements more important than ever. In 2021, two of the big trends to keep up with are big strides towards marketing personalization and AI technologies that are making this happen faster than ever before.
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