This week, we at Nimbus Hosting, spoke to Al Tepper who runs marketing agency TepFu. A little unconventional; Al commits to practicing disruptive marketing leadership & strategy as a way of running effective and efficient campaigns. Always looking to the future, we felt Al was a natural choice for this blog to really help us understand how the future of digital marketing will look and feel. And he certainly didn’t let us down, after just half an hour listening to his quick paced talk; he probably crammed more words in a minute than most people. So here for your reading pleasure is the future of digital marketing.
Harnessing your data is going to be more important than ever, specifically in a post-GDPR world, which according to Al is “going to kill a lot of crap marketing.” Whereas previously businesses could purchase mailing lists and work on the assumption that they would gain a 0.01% pickup; now they will have to use data far more effectively, in a more considered way and obviously legally.
Instead, businesses will have to use and position data to get to know their consumer far better, with those who are unable to adapt finding they will lose business quickly. In the future, there will be even more of a currency around knowing your consumer and giving them far more control and insight; leading to stronger and more robust relationships. Which is good for marketing.
In building relationships with customers, it is vital that you reach them through the appropriate channels. And this means adapting to the expectations of a modern day consumer. So whilst you may well have a call centre that is open from 9am – 5pm; that is no longer appropriate to the modern consumer. Take ASOS, an example of a company who have done fantastically well through capitalising on the demands of the modern consumer. Offering affordable fashion online that can be filtered, seen on models and delivered the very next day. And, arguably, a huge amount of their success is down to exceptional customer service. However, if you look at their site finding an actual contact number is a little akin to finding Wally. However, that isn’t a problem because their Twitter account is exceptionally active and if you do have a problem all you need to do tweet @ASOS and someone will get back to you. ASOS use this channel to fantastic effect; demonstrating a respect and confidence in their consumer.
Take this post for example where they admitted to a mistake earlier this year, a powerful piece of marketing that actually engenders the user to ASOS.
In fact, ASOS have a clear user journey from the moment a user places an order to the delivery which includes emails and texts; detailing dispatch and delivery as well as any issues. Compare this to a recent experience Al had where he ordered a wine hamper as a present and wasn’t informed of any delivery problems, found his tweets unanswered and received absolutely no apology when they failed to get it out for delivery it on three occasions. Immediately, that company have lost a consumer – because they weren’t available on the right channels.
This is, of course, just one example amongst many, but the point remains that with the ascent of Social Media it is, now more than ever, essential that companies engage with their customers in the right places at all times. There really is little doubt that omni-channel and omnipresent marketing is the future of digital marketing.
There is a quote from Frank Zappa which goes a little like this, “an algorithm can tell a story, but it can’t tell you the whole story because it doesn’t have the eyebrows.” Now….whilst this may sound like a slightly obvious and even odder thing to say, what Zappa means is that using data is all well and good, and frankly, incredibly important, but it will not lead to a successful marketing campaign on its own. If you only interact with your consumers like a machine, you will find yourself losing business quickly and furiously to more human competitors. Instead, you need to make sure your business embraces its humanity and personality because, ultimately, people buy from people, and this will become more important than ever in an increasingly global economy. And so it is essential that you rehumanise your business and make sure you are interacting with your consumers as people – which includes investing in forms of marketing that really display your personality like images, video and blogs.
So, essentially the future of digital marketing will depend on brands using the right channels to reach their customers, harnessing data to get to know them better and making sure they maintain and grow their humanity. The three keys to success.