Keeping up to speed in digital: Insights from Marketing Show North 2019

Blue Mantis

Never stop learning.

That’s a key value we hold at the heart of everything we do here at Blue Mantis.

The digital world is an ever changing landscape - from new character limits to the constant algorithm updates which dictate who or what occupies the top space in Google - it’s important to keep up to speed if you really want to make an impact online.

So, staying true to our values, the Blue Mantis team took a trip to Manchester recently for the annual Marketing Show North, to give us a first hand look at the latest marketing technology and to find out what’s new in digital (which we then get to share with you, our lovely clients!).

Manchester Show

7 Digital Marketing Insights from Marketing Show North

1. Trust is difficult to earn and worryingly easy to lose.

With the rapid pace of change in the digital landscape, it would be too easy to discount how knowledgeable an awful lot of users are, and with that familiarity comes a pretty serious level of distrust. Whilst consumers will happily hand over payment details and store them, they are more precious than ever over their more valuable data such as behavioural patterns. In order to build and retain trust with our customers, whatever channel we engage through, we need to demonstrate competence, benevolence, predictability and integrity. As a business, if you can build these elements into the core of your values and how you deliver your service, you will automatically increase the likelihood of engaging and retaining customers. As a user of a service, more than ever, expectation is fundamental to our reactions and breaking any one of these pillars of trust is a sure fire way of losing trust.

2. The contest for attention is getting harder - so think multichannel.

With 60 billion messages sent on WhatsApp and Facebook messenger every day and the average person owning at least 5 social media accounts, it seems it’s getting much harder to attract and keep a person's interest (especially when they’re faced with a growing barrage of notifications!).

So how do you fight through the noise? Take a multichannel approach. To stand a chance of being heard, your company should be utilising as many channels as possible (whilst ensuring these channels are relevant to your brand and target audience). It’s not enough anymore to solely send out your monthly email, post on Facebook daily or only focus on paid search ads on Google - utilise as many channels as your target customers are using in order to better gain their attention.

3. Food marketing works (when action is involved)!

Giving your customers a positive ‘consumption experience’ is enjoyable (and more importantly memorable), but to do it right you need to get your clients to take an action which goes beyond them demolishing your branded cupcake in 0-60 seconds. Send out branded food (i.e cakes/cupcakes) to VIP customers or target customers, but ask them to take an online action first. As we heard, the ‘tweet before you eat’ policy is a useful rule in gaining some online traction from your marketing efforts. Ask customers to tweet or post their gifts online across social media channels with a specific hashtag and your brand account tagged in - helping to get your company seen to their audience and beyond.

4. Think of your customers as a moving target.

It’s useful to note that who your customers were a year ago may not be who they are now. If you’ve created customer personas in the past then it’s important to revisit these to account for any changes in your audience’s behaviour. For example, have they migrated from Snapchat to Instagram? Are there any new Facebook groups they could have joined? Could they be frequenting any new forums? Think about when and where you can find your customers online, right now.

5. Automation has become expected.

If your customer signs up for a newsletter or to hear about when your product will be back in stock, they’re expecting some sort of instant follow up email confirming this. If they want to enquire about your product at 3am, they might even expect to find chatbot on your website - ready to answer any questions they may have. Automation is starting to be expected so we need to start thinking of it as a helping hand (and one that can help you focus on the important stuff!).

6. Automation is not the answer to everything (yet).

In order to get the best reactions from our target audiences, we need to become much better at segmentation, analysis and delivery of contextually relevant messages. There is little or no place for generic outreach and this will become more important as automation increases. How we tailor the message to be just right is a challenge but relevance and timing are fundamental to the sales process. In the push to remove manual intervention and deliver measurable and repeatable activities, we need to be able to recognise that there will be more human intervention required up front to make this happen. Automation in itself cannot make the transactional process better and we need to recognise it as a tool to be handled with precision rather than a blunt instrument.

7. We switch off when we’re being sold to (but stories keep us engaged).

When thinking about how to angle your online marketing - always go with storytelling. Human interactions and connections are how we make sense of life - advertising that plays on this keeps the target customer stimulated and so has a greater impact.

Thanks for reading! Our experienced online marketing team are always ready to answer your digital questions and help solve any problems you may have! Our door is always open - so give us a call or drop in to talk digital!