Digital Marketers To Do List for 2014

( The digital marketing industry has evolved quickly over 2013. With mobile and social truly coming of age, Marketers now have more channels to co-ordinate messages across and more data to crunch. So here are six things that should be on every Digital Marketers “To Do” list for 2014.

1. Focus on retention over acquisition
It’s more cost effective to retain existing customers than find new ones, yet so many marketers forget to take advantage of the opportunities an always on retention program present. Austerity measures will see marketing budgets shrink, or marketers made accountable for delivering quantifiable results.

Those that understand the world of social connectivity – that referrals from happy customers leads to acquisition – will use Marketing Automation platforms to deliver ROI.

2. Become 100% Customer Focussed
Social media will continue to shift the balance of power towards your customers. They expect to be listened to, but they also expect companies to act on what they are being told. Surveying your customers is important, but so is ensuring you have internal structures in place to implement change when and where it is needed to improve the customer experience.

3. Personalise, personalise, personalise
Customers are increasingly time-poor and their inboxes and newsfeeds are full of great deals and offers. Getting cut through will depend on whether you can deliver the right message at the right time.
Digital Marketers who use backend systems that can trigger messages based on specific customer interactions will reap rewards. For example: triggering a message to someone who has just abandoned their shopping cart offering help, or an incentive to finish the transaction, can be extremely powerful.

4. Ensure you are optimised for Mobile
Over half of the emails digital marketers send will be read on a smartphone or tablet. As these screens are much smaller than the traditional desktop, digital marketers will need to ensure their email templates are responsive, and that content is optimised.

SMS marketing will also become a key focus – with 95% of SMS messages read within 3 minutes of being received. However digital marketers need to show restraint – using SMS only for time sensitive messages that are of benefit to the customer – or risk a flurry of unsubscribes.

5. Get Email and Social working together
The lines between email and social will continue to blur. Emails will become social with the integration of share buttons that give good content virality. While social media will increasingly be used to drive subscriptions to email databases by digital marketers who are still struggling to quantify ROI from their social channels.

6. Develop a Digital Channel Plans
The proliferation of digital channels makes it essential to plan how your messaging can roll out in the most effective way, and how it will integrate with more traditional channels. Things to consider are:
• Make sure you talk to your most valuable community first – email your existing customers, then tell those who like/follow you on your social channels before taking your message above the line.
• Think about how to tailor your message to each channel and remember there will be people who see your message 2, 3 or even four times. Ensure you build frequency without being repetitious.
• Consider what results you need to track. Are the KPIs for each channel the same? And what do you need to know to determine effectiveness?

Digital marketing will continue to come of age in 2014, but it will also continue to fragment – making it increasingly critical for digital marketers to invest in backend tools to manage multiple channels in real time while also tracking the ROI each channel can deliver.

Media Release 18 January 2014.