Keep these digital marketing trends top-of-mind in 2015

digital marketing trendsEarlier this month, Marketing Land published The State of Digital Marketing in 2015, an article describing the trends that will set the course for digital marketing next year and beyond. The author’s main point: big data will rule.

Also paving the way for digital marketing in 2015, according to columnist James Green, will be automation and personalized advertising – both things that go hand-in-hand with big data.

We have to agree. The most successful marketing plans in 2015 will come from those who have access to comprehensive customer data and apply it effectively to their marketing strategies, incorporating personalization to capture customers’ attention.

Big data has been around for years, but it’s only becoming stronger and more useful as technology makes it easier to obtain and share. Data already drives countless marketing initiatives, from coupon mailers to personalized rewards programs.

As information becomes easier to collect, marketers are increasingly able to use geographic location, income level, gender, family status and buying history to create buyer personas. Specific and accurate customer profiles provide communicators with the information needed to tailor messages for individuals, rather than using the outdated “spray and pray” method. Combined with analytics from business websites, data can help reveal to marketers the most effective ways to get prospects in the door (both figuratively and literally) and convert them into customers.

Beyond customized messages, data and automation mean the possibility of real-time marketing. Location-based messaging or targeted mobile apps are giving marketers the means to provide customers with offers that are most relevant to them, at an ideal buying time.

So how can you apply these trends toward your own marketing plans for 2015 and beyond?

First, think about what you need to know about your customers to more effectively connect with them. Who are they? What are they looking for from your business or industry? What do they already know and believe, and how does that affect their buying decisions?

Second, consider how you can meet customers where they are. Do they seek information about your business online? Are they using smartphones or tablets to find your website and/or physical location? What steps will they take once they find you?

Finally, get creative with your digital marketing strategies. What can you do to cut through the cluttered advertising space? How can you make customers feel as if you’re speaking directly to each one of them?

As you brainstorm, make sure that every communication piece is reflective of your established brand image. Before you adopt the next big thing, consider whether it is a fit for the role you’ve taken in the marketplace, as well as your customers’ wants and needs.

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