The year-over-year evolution of digital marketing has never been as dramatic as in the past 12 months. Companies reimagined their marketing plans in the blink of an eye and digital strategies were recreated overnight. These waves of changes paved the way for rising customer expectations, increased digital engagement, and the need for better data insights.
Adobe Summit 2021 promised to share what the future of digital marketing will hold and how to exceed customer expectations. If you missed Summit, here’s the most important to-dos for digital marketers.
Optimize with AI
Artificial intelligence is arming marketers with instant data insights they’ve never had before. New insights offer companies a greater understanding of what they’re doing well and where they’re falling short. It can also identify pain points your customers may be experiencing in finding content, completing a purchase or researching your company.
To set your company up for success, optimize your digital marketing strategy based on AI insights. Engage in a constant feedback loop to improve a little more with each change. Plus, your team can operate much more efficiently when time consuming analysis can be completed in seconds through a well-programmed artificial intelligence program.
Personalize to Accelerate Conversion
We’ve seen the personalization trend growing for years now. In our 2020 B2C report, 36% of consumers said they expected sophisticated forms of personalization in their online shopping experience, an increase from 28% in 2019. But small forms of personalization, such as tailored discounts, don’t “wow” customers anymore. Now marketers must increase efforts to offer features such as custom recommendations to consumers.
Personalization isn’t just for B2C businesses. B2B buyers are looking for personalized experiences too, and brands that can deliver are set to reap the rewards. Just ask Jones Lang Lasalle: after personalizing content across their global sites they saw 100% increase in lead generation and 55% decrease in bounce rate.
To edge out the competition, focus on delivering real-time personalization at scale. That means offering sophisticated, custom journeys that give the customer exactly what they want. Your website should be able to offer language translations, product recommendations, predictive text, and seamless branding at every touchpoint if you want to offer the best customer experience possible.
Migrate to First Party Data
Last year, Google announced it would be phasing out third party cookies, which had many marketers fearing how it would impact their targeted marketing efforts. While marketing plans will have to pivot in response to the lack of third party data, marketers will still be able to target audiences through the use of first party data.
First party data will offer marketers new opportunities to improve their digital strategies. First party data differs from third party data by getting rid of individual attribution. Instead, visitors are grouped into audiences that share the same characteristics. The user’s identity and information remains unknown, but the visitor is grouped with others sharing the same behaviors and characteristics.
If you want to start out on the right foot, include first party data usage in your marketing plans now. Giving yourself more than six months of lead time will help you work out any pain points so you’re fully optimized before the third party cookies crumble. Companies who fail to plan properly will struggle to gain their footing in early 2022.
Newly built audiences pave the way for better personalization. These audiences will allow marketers to form deeper understandings about the market segment and then widely apply personalized features, which wasn’t easily scalable previously. It also allows for real-time personalization which was more difficult to achieve before.
Above all, the removal of third party data helps to rebuild brand trust and respect for user privacy.
Initiate Agile Content Marketing
Content is still king, but marketers need to know how to repurpose and distribute that content across channels. Content agility starts with a structured internal process and the governance to maintain those processes. Adobe Summit discussed the importance of the “Zeroth Law of Content,” which highlights the importance of setting a clear and well-defined internal structure for creation and distribution. Don’t assume that it exists beforehand just because it should and always start with the fundamental process to make content velocity possible, for most this means streamlined organization.
Wherever your digital marketing strategy takes you in 2021, always remember to evaluate your company’s performance and listen to what the data tells you about your customers. As John Copeland, Vice President and GM Digital Strategy Group at Adobe put it during one Summit session, “You can’t manage what you do not measure.”
If you want a partner to help guide your marketing efforts, our experts want to help you have the best year yet. Learn more about our integrated marketing services here.