What is the destiny of the traditional marketer? I’ve followed the development of marketing techniques closely as the playing field in the digital world has changed to the advantage of the customer. The term Marketing Cloud now dominates the conversation. The initiatives one can create from a Cloud perspective can be mind-boggling. I’ll keep this simple … if I can.
Various colleagues of mine at Adobe have taken the opportunity to write about the changing of the guard in marketing. One blog post, is an excellent synopsis of marketing technology and the new skills that are needed for traditional marketers to master to be effective inthe emerging technology of the Marketing Cloud. The results of our Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night? survey provides an interesting perspectives on the discomfort of the traditional marketer trying to adapt. The volume, velocity and variety of the Internet is setting the pace. In my own previous blog post, I question the speed at which we are reinventing the new marketer. However, one must pay due respect by doing things in the right order. The new marketing technology does not solve the many issues that arise when transitioning from traditional to more a modern way. It is an enabling technology. We first must address the people skills, corporate culture and organizational end of things needed. Bottom line- You’d better be digitally mature before you take the plunge in to your marketing transition.
One thing is crystal clear. Tradition is less important and change must occur. The AIDA marketing funnel model still has relevance simply because not all the businesses in the B2B and B2C world even have a website. However, the bulk of the buyers for your goods and services are on their smartphones looking for you. Are you there?
The Relevant Statistics
Did you know that in 2014 only 53% of small businesses in the United States had a website. This was a modest increase from the 45% of small businesses with websites in 2009. Yet, in the United States, the use of smartphones and tablets officially surpassed the use of desktops to access the Internet in February of 2014? Your customers are on the web whether you are or not.
Let’s pause to consider the implications of these statistics: 47% of small businesses have not yet even established a website for desktops and their customers are already moving on to mobile devices and are “always on” via many different digital channels over the course of a day. Moreover, the term “small business” does not only apply to “mom and pop shops.” Many are reasonably modest enterprises.
The Business Case for Change
That leads to an interesting perspective on how to approach the digital transition of our marketing efforts. This perspective is best understood by looking at a recent blog post by an Adobe customer in which he presented a very strong argument for ditching the marketing funnel and respecting the newfound power of the customer. The customer is forcing new thinking into the mix and has wrested control, at least temporarily, of what it takes to get the customer to convert and buy your brand. The best way to describe the situation is that the digitally connected customer is always well over halfway through the traditional marketing funnel before they ever contact a brand sales rep or marketer. They have become the masters of their own destiny. We need to reclaim that role but within the constraints of making our marketing efforts customer centric, mobile focused and content rich.
If you’re not pursuing a mobile first marketing strategy using responsive design website techniques, then you are not putting your customers first in your mobile engagement strategy.
Mobile Marketing is the Key to the Future
The fundamental shift that needs to occur is for marketers to listen, predict, assemble, and deliver in personalizing our message to the customer on his turf (mobile) and provide the ad content, offers and information at their precise moment of need.
The customer journey and user experience has become an always-connected world across multiple channels, using multiple devices and screens. You’re most flexible marketing technique is to develop your web content on websites constructed using responsive design so that as the customer changes screens and channels, your content adapts to make the customer experience pleasant, relevant, and positive.
Mobile first should be the new rally cry for the marketer’s looking to remain relevant and have presence where the customer is seeking the answers they need in a technical, data-driven, cross channel marketing environment.
Adobe believes that the only way to deliver successful business outcomes is by consistently executing better than your competitors across seven digital marketing dimensions — Channels, Audiences, Context, Content, Assets, Campaigns, and Data. We will examine each dimension individually over the course of of the next several weeks.