The Bottom Line is Still the Bottom Line
CMOs are being pressed more than ever to deliver metrics that demonstrate ROI from marketing investments. After all, positively impacting the bottom line is the ultimate goal. IBM has predicted that ROI will be the leading metric for CMOs to measure success by 2015.
This perspective forces strategic planning and accountability that many marketers have escaped amidst the adoption of multiple digital platforms in the marketing mix in recent years.
ROI doesn't tell the whole story, however. The measurement of this metric must extend beyond promotion to the other 4 Ps of marketing (product, price, and place) to fully leverage investments and insights that can impact the bottom line.
As the lines blur between website user experience, publishing content, sharing on social media, and optimization for search and visibility across devices, marketers are being forced to go back to their roots. They must create, manage and own the complex multi-channel, integrated strategy.
Sales: Feed the Funnel
In today's digital, social landscape, the path from sales prospect to customers is far from linear.
Social selling isn't a new concept. However, social selling in the digital landscape has not come naturally to the sales professional, as reported by SalesForce.com.
One fact has become clear: It's imperative that marketing and sales work in concert in order to gain the full advantage of how today's landscape impacts the relationship with prospects and customers. Every aspect of the marketing mix and sales process must be cohesively orchestrated to connect with prospective customers and provide everything they need to make that purchase decision
Search and Social Media
SEO (search engine optimization) is of no value if what is being optimized doesn't serve the customer in their quest for answers, solutions, and deals.
Because search engines care more about delivering the best result to those searching, brands shift their focus toward providing quality and relevant answers. Marketers must shift their thinking from keywords to context when developing pages, posts, updates, and conversations that put the brand in the path of customers.
Social media has become the ultimate delivery mechanism for quality content and direct engagement with customers of brands in all industries.
"When trying to create deeper emotional connections with consumers, social media is an essential channel for brands," said Kristin Brewe of IAB. "This isn't surprising since social media is the only channel where it's possible for brands and consumers to have meaningful two-way conversations, making the strength of connections that much stronger."
Collaboration Across the Organization
Gone are the days that marketing can build their strategy strictly with a promotion mindset. In the digital space, their customers are seeking more than deals. The brand must be prepared to meet the needs and exceed expectations in any one of the three phases of the buying process. This requires an expansion beyond promotion to provide answers to basic questions to those in the research phase of their purchase journey, accompanied by Collaboration across the organization will be key to achieving short-term wins, as well as long-term sustainability of the brand.
Localization and Personalization
As the connection with individual customers becomes a priority for most businesses and brands, localization and personalization become paramount to yielding optimum results from investments in search, social media, email, etc.
The collection and analysis of customer data is paramount to supporting the quest to connect with customers on a more personal level.
Blurred Lines: Website, SEO, Content, Email, Social Media & Mobile
For years now, some like myself who approached the many facets of audience development and engagement in social media, search, email, direct marketing, mobile, and media as extensions of guiding marketing strategy have been in the minority.
It is quite common for each area of the marketing mix as a separate practice area. SEO is left to the search engine optimization experts, website design, content, conversion left to the web experts, email owned by the marketing team, social media left to the marketers, and analytics for each all-too-often viewed independently. .
All Roads Lead Home
Content plays a vital role in driving social media sharing, conversation, email marketing and social-selling, all of which influence authority in search and drive traffic to the website as the ultimate destination for all activity.