When it comes to marketing, the Super Bowl is… well, the Super Bowl of advertising. The event where the commercials rival the big game itself. What will be talked about more: San Francisco’s impenetrable defense, Kansas City’s fast-paced playmaking, or the death of Mr. Peanut?
In early 2019, we posted this blog, predicting how our marketing world would change and evolve. There was a lot that happened last year in both digital and traditional media, social media, streaming media, sponsorships, content strategies, and on and on. But, did we foresee any of it? Let’s review what was predicted and how that compares to what happened.
1. SEO Growth
We will see an increased priority placed on SEO (search engine optimization) for a variety of reasons. First, paid search costs are going to increase. Only about 50% of US companies have paid search campaigns at last measure. That’s a low number and will surely grow. That means the demand for key search terms will increase and subsequently elevate prices of those terms. So, marketers will need to rely more on organic ranking to avoid drastic increases in their paid search budgets.
Let me ask you a question. Maybe a series of questions. That’s how insight discovery starts – by asking the right questions. But it’s not just the type of questions you ask, it’s also how and when you ask them.
For everyone following along at home, you know that we finished the previous insight blog entry looking at the difference between quantitative, qualitative and market intelligence data as they applied to a hypothetical situation. Using all of this data, we came to understand ‘why’ males ages 40-50 were frequenting a certain convenience store on Friday evenings to buy certain snacks. We came to a greater understanding of what motivated their behavior by recognizing a dilemma that led to an insight. Voila! We’re done, right? Addressing a dilemma with data, observation and market intelligence to build something meaningful and actionable = insight, right? Not so fast. We are still lacking one very important element: imagination.
We live in a world where we elevate the small things to big things. Where the irrelevant sometimes rises to be critically important. Call it a byproduct of sculpted social media profiles, 24-hour news channels, the belief that our opinion should never be questioned, the advent of the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ generation.
Digital advertising is an essential part of the marketing mix and according to eMarketer, will surpass traditional media spending this year. This really isn’t news to anyone. Digital dollars can be tracked and attributed to specific conversions and are much easier to figure ROI for brands. It’s the dream of any planner to point to a medium and say “X” tactic brought in sales, conversions, enrollments, whatever the objective may be.
The word strategy can mean a plethora of different things when used in the context of marketing. In turn, the job description of a Strategist can also be wide reaching. No matter the specific definition someone opts for, it's essentially an ability to uncover, present and successfully leverage a human insight.
We’ve all been there. It’s the moment you’re sitting at your desk at work and all you can think about is that beach in a country far, far away. It’s the moment your imagination goes wild and your mind begins to play out your dream vacation – it’s the moment you begin the trip planning process.
According to Google research, 37% of people think about their next trip weekly to several times a month. When someone is beginning their trip planning process, what kinds of things are influencing the decisions they are making? How can we as marketers influence the process, touch points and decisions that each potential customer is making along their journey of trip planning?
First, we must know the customer journey taken by a potential traveler planning a new vacation. Unlike other purchases, a trip is something that most people plan far in advance with many touch points along the way. Data from Luth Research’s opt-in panel shows an example of how many travel micro-moments a participant experienced over a 5-month period:
In a travel customer journey, there are typically four key moments that matter most in influencing the destination of choice for the customer ( Think With Google):
1. Dreaming Moments
Dreaming begins the moment someone starts thinking about their next travel adventure. People instantly turn to their mobile device to search the, “Where is…?” and "What to do in…?” questions. Travelers are also utilizing platforms such as YouTube to watch travel-related videos. In fact, according to Travel Trends, 64% of travelers watched these videos while in the process of thinking about a trip.
As we ponder the opportunities to become better marketers in 2019, it is easy to feel that we are on the cusp of another marketing revolution. Voice marketing, privacy laws, and OTT (over-the-top television) are all influencing consumer behaviors, and therefore affecting how marketers interact with them. As new tools and channels gain traction in 2019, marketing strategies are likely to evolve rapidly throughout the year–– or at least among early adopters.
A customer journey model, like a marketing funnel, is helpful when tracking customer progress toward a desired action (conversion). As with any decision path, the coordination of sound strategy and timing of tactics is key to success.
The goal of any sales journey is to be in the right place at the right time.
Have you ever tried to hit a firefly with a pebble? In today’s morass of messaging, marketing must work harder and smarter, looking beyond the finite universe of tactics to satisfy strategies that coincide and bring the customer positive brand experiences in a timely manner. If we understand the circular (and at times organic) nature of the customer journey and look beyond our tactics to products and properties that enhance and capture brand advocacy, we increase our chances by launching not just the same pebble our competitors have access to, but multiple pebbles from different directions, at the right moment. With this type of approach in-mind, your chances for building a strong, sustainable brand increase exponentially.