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Inflation as a consequence of the pandemic has affected most if not all industries, and digital marketing is no exception. As businesses try to overcome the challenges caused by the current economic state, it is necessary for companies to evaluate their digital marketing strategy to ensure they are reaching the right audience online.What is inflation and how does it affect businesses?
As a marketing professional rather than an economist, it is probably best to give you a more official and informed definition of inflation! According to the IMF, inflation is a broad term used to describe the increased cost of living or an overall rise in prices. It is often mentioned in relation to a specific country.Inflation: the global picture
With consumers spending less on non-essentials and focusing more on the necessities during times of inflation, we believe businesses will need a strong digital marketing strategy now more than ever, to ensure their product or service still entices new and existing consumers. As prices increase, so does the importance of having clear and consistent digital marketing.
Many countries are reporting the effect of increased cost of living on their economy, so adapting your digital marketing strategy to ensure you are correctly targeting consumers is the recommended approach.Headlines from across the world
Is the economy in a recession?
Recession imminent in UK
Why a US recession could cause trouble for India
How can businesses adapt to meet the needs of consumers facing inflation?
One way to ensure that your business meets the needs of consumers is by remaining up-to-date with economic news. By doing this, you make sure that your business is sympathetic towards consumers’ needs in the current climate and can adapt to meet such needs.
As a female, UK-based consumer, whether it’s the weekly food shop, beauty products or any other purchases, I actively try to buy from brands that are ethically aware and do their part to help their community. Yes, I would say the cost of items is a factor in my decision-making – and it may become more important with the rise of inflation – but I honestly do pay a lot of attention to branding. Is the brand and its tone of voice consistent? Does the business have a user-friendly website and/or a well-designed shop? What is it doing to help its users and the environment?
The more a business, whether local or otherwise, has a strong overall brand, the more likely it is to gain my attention and make me think about purchasing the product or service.
A key point to remember is that as inflation rises, so does the need to have a strong digital marketing strategy to stand out from your competitors. This is because, as a business owner, the need to adapt to better target your consumers increases during challenging times.
“Production is the only answer to inflation”
But what does this really mean?
While there is more than one way to interpret this quote, I would say Chester is stating that the one solution to combat inflation is to continue innovating. By providing a product or service that uses new technology and is frequently updated to offer better solutions, you will help your business to remain relevant during such challenging times.
If you put yourself in the shoes of a consumer (and prospective customer of your business), then you can carefully think about, and truly appreciate, their need for innovative products and services. This is where customer personas are also really useful, as creating and refining personas helps you visualize your customers and critically assess their goals. The better your understanding of the target consumers’ aims and business needs, the more you can tailor your product or service and position it as a crucial resource for helping them reach their goals.How does a digital marketing strategy fit into the process of adapting your business?
Well, to be frank, for many industries there is little point in adapting your product offering or service if you don’t ensure that your target audience is aware of the improvements you have made and how it can benefit them.
By adapting your digital marketing strategy, you can ensure that both existing and prospective customers are informed of changes and reminded of how you can help them. From email marketing to using social media to share business updates, digital marketing channels are broad and will enable you to spread the word about your business effectively and in the way you want.How to adapt your digital marketing
So, how do you adapt your digital marketing strategy to grow your business? Be sure to consider the following points:Maintain a consistent tone of voice across digital marketing channels
While LinkedIn will require a more formal tone than say Instagram, you still want your brand messaging to be consistent. You can achieve consistent brand messaging by ensuring you use an authentic writing style across all platforms.
Don’t use language that feels ‘forced’ or isn’t in-keeping with your brand: consumers can see right through this! Just because you’re adapting your business, doesn’t mean you should completely change the language you use to communicate with your followers.
Don’t forget, many of your existing followers on social media will already be familiar with your brand and some are likely to be existing customers of your business. So, a sudden or drastic difference in brand messaging or tone of voice could be picked up by them and may seem unauthentic and off putting.Always keep your customer personas in mind
Whether you’re sharing a new blog via social media or you’re promoting a new product you’re offering, always consider customer personas when you adapt your digital marketing strategy. Think about their pain points and how your product or service enables them to overcome or minimize these.
Perhaps you’ve launched a new IT solution to reduce computer viruses, or you’ve updated your accounting software to make payroll more efficient – either way, you need to establish how this helps your target audience and communicate that to them.
Once you’ve identified the benefit of your product or service, make this clear via digital marketing and prospective customers will recognize the value your business could bring them.Stay up-to-date with the latest news – both economic and general
Remaining informed about world events is very helpful, as you can then adapt your digital marketing to meet the needs of your target audience.
If you’re a local business, make sure you’re staying aware of local and national news, so your digital marketing remains topical.
For larger businesses, global news will help you maintain an awareness of what’s affecting your different markets. Again, your digital marketing will be relevant to your customers and will demonstrate compassion and understanding.
Understanding the importance of current affairs in how you position your business and your brand can help ensure you stand out from your competitors and may even help you gain engagement on social media too.
To find out more ways to adapt your digital marketing strategy and help grow your business during inflation, download our free 10 growth insights resource.RACE Ahead Of Inflation
Download our 10 growth insights to create a RACE digital marketing strategy during inflation
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If you think this blog is helpful, but you don’t have a comprehensive marketing plan yet, don’t worry. Our free RACE resource will explain how to create this plan, so you can transform your digital marketing.
Do you now feel more aware of how to adapt your digital marketing strategy? If not, what other information would help you optimize your digital marketing? Comment below and let us know.
Perhaps you’re already adapting your marketing strategy to meet the needs of consumers during inflation. If so, we’d love to know how this is benefiting your business.
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What is digital marketing?
Marketing is tied in with connecting the audience. Digital marketing alludes to online marketing or web-marketing endeavors to make your business perceived on the web. Offer the promotion on different digital channels with the assistance of a digital marketing office is additionally important for web marketing that assists with improving your brand awareness.
How digital marketing function?
Also read: Best 12 Vocabulary Building Apps for Adults 2023?Advantages of Digital Marketing:
Digital marketing encourages you to drive more organic traffic to your website from various online stages.
It permits you to connect with the targeted audience.
It encourages you to build conversion rates.
It assists with contacting the individuals who utilize versatile gadgets, for example, tablets, smartphones, and so on to search for anything.Strategies that work with digital marketing Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Web optimization is the strategy to make your website simple to crawled, indexed, and to be found on the search engine result page when individuals search for significant inquiries.
Web optimization contains a lot of tools and innovations that assist your website with positioning high in search engine results. It implies more traffic to your website that eventually supports your deals.There are principally three elements of the SEO that incorporates: On-Page SEO
A most renowned kind of SEO chips away at your webpage, and it contains content, pictures, videos, or code.Off-Page SEO
It’s difficult to rank your website without the off-page SEO that incorporates guest posting, blogging, quality link building (internal linking, and backlinks).Technical SEO It streamlines your website for crawling and indexing via search engines. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing one of the most proficient approaches to build your brand awareness in the online commercial center. It is the way toward accepting more traffic to your websites through paid promotions that show up in the search results or paid search posting.Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social Media Marketing is one of the pivotal variables of Internet Marketing. Publicize your business by sharing posts on social media or by sharing your posts on the numerous foundations of social media, for example, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and some more. It assists with expanding client commitment and put your business on the map in the online commercial center.Content Marketing Email Marketing Video Marketing
Video Marketing is the freshest addition, and it is one of the most versatile and profitable digital marketing strategies to drive more audience to your website. Visualization influences more than the content, so it assists with drawing in new individuals and builds client commitment that helps deals.
Also read: Top 10 Job Search Websites of 2023Conclusion
Building an effective startup resembles competition in the present digital world. You can remain ahead in the competition by picking the offshore digital marketing organization that gives successful digital marketing strategies. Search engine optimization, SEM, SMM, Email marketing, content marketing, video marketing are demonstrated as profitable strategies to drive more traffic to your website that at last expands deals and lift your primary concern.Daniel Abbott
Daniel Abbott is editor in chief & research analyst at The Next Tech. He is deeply interested in the moral ramifications of new technologies and believes in leveraging the data scientist, research and content enhancement to help build a better world for everyone.
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There is only ever one pot of money for investments in marketing, so it can seem it is spread more thinly each year as you need to engage customers across more digital touchpoints. Worse still, the size of the pot may shrink as budgets are cut.
So, it’s a challenging decision as to where to invest wisely. In our Managing Digital Marketing 2024 we did ask about investments in different types of media and developing digital experiences, but we also thought we would turn the question on its head by asking where the frustrations were with investment in time or budget. We asked respondents where they felt there was insufficient investment which highlighted some common frustrations.
You can see that respondents naturally felt there were a number of areas of underinvestment. That’s to be expected given the fixed or shrinking size of the pot. But what was interesting to me, was that there was that the top two rated areas of underinvestment weren’t related to media or capital expenditure, rather they were around management time.
In our report, we asked a panel of experts to suggest reasons why this is the case.
Jim Sterne, Founder, eMetrics Summit & Digital Analytics Association believes that increasing focus on the customer can help give more focus on measurement and optimisation. He says:
“The only way to deliver relevance is to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers’ behavior and opinion. Track what they do and ask them how they feel… all the time. Bringing these two data streams together is your only hope for delivering the right messages to the right people at the right time, segment by segment”.
But he acknowledges that managing these two data streams in tandem is a significant challenge. Focusing too much on one or the other, in terms of budget, tools or report weighting, can blur the results and tarnish your decision-making. He suggests that in larger organisation you need two teams – a quantitative group and the qualitative group, and the wisdom to merge the fruits of their intellectual labors.
Joe Edwards, Consultant and Director, Digital and Social Strategy for MOI recommends moving to a new way of integrating testing rather than ‘finding more budget. He explains:
“The term lean / agile marketing seem to be appearing more and more, with ’Measurement, testing and optimisation’ underpinning these. I would argue that perhaps it’s not actually about more investment at all, it’s about re-aligning existing budgets and re-setting objectives.
In lean world it’s about minimum viable product, if we start thinking like that in marketing we’d not need more budget for testing, it would just be built-in, we’d reap the rewards of our marketing efforts, enough to build the next program, where more investment would be a natural by-product of the previous activity, perhaps a holy grail … but if it’s more budget we need then, it’s business case we need to provide, what are your expected outcomes from further investment, can you project or build KPIs around what additional conversions you would hope to achieve.”
Perhaps for many organisations, it’s simply too early to develop their testing and optimisation capabilities. Daniel Rowles, Digital Marketing Trainer and Consultant at Target Internet believes that for many organisations there are more pressing options before testing is but in place. First a capability review digital plan and investment priorities need to be put in place. His experience is that:
It’s surprising how many organisations are still dealing with the basics, but I think this reflects back to need for digital capability auditing and the need for organisational transformation. Without the fundamental building blocks in place that will give the right environment for digital, no progress can be made.Free Research Report Download for members
This research from Smart Insights in association with the TFM&A 2024 event explores approaches businesses use to plan and manage their investments in digital marketing. Findings and recommendations are grouped into 6 areas to improve the commercial contribution of their digital marketing.
Recommended Guide: Managing Digital Marketing 2024 report
Download our Managing Digital Marketing 2024 report.
The only thing that sells is what is visible to customers. Marketing is a very essential part of the business because today’s consumers are spoiled with choices. All the markets have turned into the red ocean, and hence the company has to aggressively market its product to ensure sales. Marketing can be broadly divided into two types −
Digital Marketing − Here the company uses digital media to ensure sales. The various forms of digital marketing could be content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, website marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, and others.
Which is a better form of marketing totally depending upon the consumer segment and the product type.
In today’s article, we will be diving deep into the concepts of both digital marketing and personal selling to determine which is the better mode of communication and in which cases.The Concept of Personal Selling
It is a crucial part of traditional marketing channels. It is a form of marketing in which the company appoints salespeople so that they can reach out to the consumer and convince them into buying the product or the company’s product. The salesperson is going to provide the consumers with information on why they should purchase this product and also do the competitor’s analysis for the consumers to prove that their product is better than the competitor’s product. It is also known as the “aggressive selling method.” The most beneficial part of this marketing is that it can be extremely personalized and changed according to the mood of the room, and the salesperson can hit the right nerve while interacting. This form of marketing was extensively used when the market came up with water purifiers. Consumers were not ready to believe in the utility of the machine, and the company started door-to-door selling.The Concept of Digital Marketing Personal Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
It is hard to pick a favorite as both of these methods of marketing are effective. In some cases, we will find digital marketing more effective, while in other cases, personalized marketing will win out. We’ll go over some scenarios to clear the air, and then you can decide which marketing technique to use based on your company’s needs and structure.
When the product is low-priced or a fast-moving consumer good − fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are that category of goods whose selling price is less and is consumed frequently. Examples of FMCG goods could be hair oil, biscuits, juices, and others. Here, the company’s target is to reach as many consumers as possible. The target of FMCG producers is to reach volume sales because the net profit on each product is almost negligible. Hence, we find digital marketing to be the more suitable form of communication for the company. With personal selling, no matter how hard the salesperson tries, they cannot reach more than 20 consumers. More importantly, most consumers will not be interested in detailed information about the product and would find a salesperson to be a hassle.
When the product is technical in nature − When the product that is being sold is highly technical and will save the consumer a lot of time by automating processes, the consumer would prefer personal selling as a mode of communication by the company. These high-end technical products are also going to cost a lot, so the consumers need some human interaction and convincing before signing up. Digital marketing can attract consumers, but they would need personal selling to close the deal. This is applicable in both B2B and B2C segments.
When the company is into B2B selling − B2B sales are typically enormous in terms of cost. In B2C, the consumer would purchase a laptop for their personal use, and when it becomes B2B, the company purchases 1500 laptops for its employees. Companies cannot rely on digital marketing as a source of communication. Again, the cost involved is huge, and more importantly, both parties have to sign agreements to close the deal, which is generally a repetitive thing. The company has to ensure that they maintain good client relationships, so personal selling is a better option for them. The company will not be able to reach thousands of people but will be content if it can close even 50 deals.
When the company is into unsought product sales − unsought products are those that the consumer would not want to purchase willingly. These products generally make the consumer realize their limited time on this earth, and we have a habit of thinking of ourselves as immortal. Some examples of unsought products could be insurance policies, funeral plots, and others. Here, the company cannot rely on digital marketing as a form of marketing because the consumer will turn a blind eye. The company has to resort to personal selling. In personally selling, the salesperson can change their speed according to the mood of the conversation and strike the right nerves. There are important terms and conditions to take care of in the case of insurance policies, so the consumer would seek as much information as possible. Hence, we can conclude that personal selling is a better mode of communication in the case of unsought products.
When the company wants to reach a wider audience − digital marketing is the form of communication that the company should use. In the case of personal selling, the number of customers an employee can reach is very limited, and it is also an expensive mode of communication when compared to digital marketing. With digital marketing, companies can select their target audience and cross all regional boundaries in seconds.
Should you just live “in-the-moment” or should you plan ahead using different planning horizons?
At Smart Insights we believe that businesses with a more strategic planning approach to their marketing and digital marketing are more likely to succeed in the long-term, despite the fact that many businesses don’t have a long-term digital or marketing plan. We’re not saying that those with a more ad hoc approach aren’t capable of doing great marketing that can get results, they certainly are. Rather, we’re saying that we’ve seen that they may miss out on core “always-on” digital marketing techniques that need to be prioritised and resourced over ongoing campaign activities which become all consuming and still often get the lion’s share of attention.
In our research into how businesses manage online marketing, we were interested to see how marketers plan. We saw that short-term non-strategic planning was most common among businesses who answered.
The standout figure is that over 50% don’t plan beyond quarterly or campaign plans or even less.Planning horizons for strategic marketing planning
Traditionally, strategic marketing planning in many larger businesses has been longer-term, meaning annual or longer. In an ideal world strategic digital plans should align with these. For example, this case study on the strategic planning used by multichannel retailer Dunelm shows long-term alignment for of digital marketing plans with strategic plans. Sajjad Bhojani, Head of Multi Channel Marketing and Development explained:
“The business has an ongoing three year plan, which is revised every 18 months or so. For introducing new features to the site and improving our digital marketing we have an 18 month roadmap for development of new features and are currently adopting a new agile model for faster delivery”.The benefits of longer-term planning for digital marketing
Longer-term planning enables consistent strategies and resource allocation to be followed in line with company product launches and campaigns and anticipated changes in the marketplace. In digital marketing we recommend a similar strategic approach. Although digital media change rapidly, the long-term transformation needed for effective digital marketing means that you won’t be able to transform the organisation in 3, 6 or even 12 months as shown by the Dunelm 18 month roadmap example.
We think that to summarise and manage digital effectively, a cascading hierarchy of plans works best as Dan explains in his post:
So how may you be missing out? You’re likely directionless if you don’t have a long-term roadmap, so we recommend using a range of plans and checklists that suit your business. You may also miss out on strategic initiatives which require separate investment from campaigns and require their own business case. These may include these types of initiatives from across the RACE planning customer lifecycle:
Reach: An increase in budget for “always-on” through SEO or Google AdWords visibility
Act: A strategic approach to content marketing developing high quality shareable content assets you plan through the year.
Convert: An investment in a Conversion Rate optimisation project addressing different parts of the user experiences
Engage: A Marketing Automation or CRM project to send more relevant event-triggered emails across different points in the customer lifecycle.Advice on creating more strategic digital plans
Since we hope to help marketers plan better by going beyond day-to-day digital marketing issues, we have created a lot of posts and hub pages like this one on marketing planning which collect our free planning articles together, so that anyone accessing the site can use them to review different approaches to planning.
For Expert members, we also have our Strategic toolkit which bundles a range of blank and example planning templates in Excel, Word and Powerpoint in one place. You can use these for different planning horizons such as annual, 90 day, longer-term roadmaps or editorial calendars.
How digital innovation is engaging audiences and improving customer experience in the airline / aviation sector
As you read, think about what ideas you might take forward into your own sector?Air travel is a growing sector
There continues to be an explosion in air travel, which makes it a very lucrative industry to be in. Air travel numbers themselves are mind-boggling. Published forecasts predict the total number of people flying on U.S. airlines will increase by 0.8 percent from 2013 levels to 745.5 million in 2014 and grow to 1.15 billion in 2034.
But it’s not just the U.S. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its first 20-year passenger growth forecast, projecting passenger numbers to rise to 7.3 billion by 2034 – a 4.1% average annual growth in demand for air connectivity that will result in more than a doubling of the 3.3 billion passengers that travelled in 2014.
And China will overtake the U.S as the world’s largest passenger market. By 2034 flights to, from and within China will account for some 1.3 billion passengers, 856 million more than 2014 with an average annual growth rate of 5.5%.What does the passenger experience look like?
This infographic illustrates how technology sits at the heart of the sector and enables the incredible growth in Digital Marketing in the Airline industry we’re seeing.
The customer pathway in air travel can be segmented into the following areas:
Pre-travel – online reservation and online check-in
Check-in, validation, baggage & security
Airport services and ‘passenger way-finding’
Lounges, gates and boarding
In the air
Immigration and arrivals
Let’s look at some of the more prevalent areas in chronological order.Online reservation
Every airline, and airport, has a responsive, ecommerce platform (and increasingly an app) that integrates the latest UX thinking to get customers quickly to the point of search, select and purchase.
The data and permissions at this point are critical to employing technology further along the process.
Often, there is also the opportunity to bundle, and as we’ve seen with some providers, giving a mobile number at the point of booking and reconfirming at check-in can allow for targeted offers and information alerts throughout the journey that follows using some of the technologies that follow.Wayfinding - iBeacons
When a new technology arrives on the scene, it often takes a number of years to gain the traction it needs to realise its full potential. Take Near Field Communication (NFC) as an example. This technology has been touted as the “next big thing” for a number of years without yet gaining the widespread uptake it initially seemed destined to achieve.
However, iBeacons have come to the fore, and unlike NFC, the technology has quickly emerged as a popular tool among travel industry stakeholders. The key to its rise seems to be the fact that a variety of uses have already been highlighted. American Airlines is using iBeacons to improve wayfinding at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
EasyJet is using them to send location-specific messages to passengers’ smartphones, Japan Airlines is tracking members of staff in the gate area, and Virgin Atlantic is using iBeacons to improve the airport experience for its premium passengers.
With so many use cases already apparent, and even more likely to emerge in the coming months, iBeacons appear to be far more than just a short-term fad.Airport services - digital display
The rise of airport and airline apps, and the widespread preference among passengers to search for and consume information via their mobile devices, had some people questioning whether digital displays in airports would soon become a thing of the past.
Instead, quite the opposite is happening, as airports and suppliers have identified that smartphones and digital displays can actually complement one another.
A great example is Qantas, which has launched Qview, a digital experience for premium passengers that is enabled by synchronising electronic devices with the digital displays in lounges. If a passenger is reading a news story on their tablet, for example, it can also be displayed on the digital screen in the lounge, alongside real-time gate and boarding information, meaning all the information they need can be found in one place.
Also in Australia, there are trials involving Google, in which passengers could use NFC or QR codes to interact with dozens of digital billboards to access the Google Play store and download content via the airport Wi-Fi.
LAX is offering a digital, multi-sensory experience in the Bradley West Terminal, which allows passengers to interact with the infrastructure using smart phones and tablets.
The digital traveller is clearly the future, so expect to see airports finding innovative ways to allow them to interact with their surroundings going forward.Predictive modeling for traffic flow
Tracking passengers throughout the airport has a number of benefits, ranging from knowing how many people are in a specific retail area, to proactively managing bottlenecks as queues start to build up at certain checkpoints.
At Copenhagen Airport, for instance, sensor-based predictive modeling is used to measure the passenger flow and waiting times, allowing the airport to allocate staff and optimise every inch of the terminal based on the number of people in one area at any given time.
Elsewhere, Finavia has also announced that it will be the first airport to track passengers via their smartphones throughout the entire airport journey, from the car park to the departure gate, both to manage queues and to create new commercial opportunities through the ability to interact with passengers based on their location.
These digital innovations may not be seen directly by passengers, but they can certainly help to contribute to a less stressful, more personalised experience for them in the terminal.Retail – apps integrating NFC
Tapping into today’s ‘coffee culture’ Air New Zealand has been featuring barista’s who make freshly brewed coffee to passenger’s preferences in its ‘Koru’ lounges for some time.
Lounge guests can order their favourite coffee by ticking a few boxes on a piece of paper, add their name and hand it over.
In a clever move, flyers now can order Barista-made coffee via ANZ’s tablet or smartphone app the minute they walk into one of the airline’s Koru Clubs around New Zealand, including its international lounge at Auckland Airport.Boarding – wearables
A list of the new technologies that will play an important role in defining the airport experience of the future wouldn’t be complete without a mention of wearable technology. Virgin Atlantic led the way with the first trial of its kind in London Heathrow’s Upper Class Wing, and has since announced that it will productionize Google Glass.
The likes of Vueling, Iberia and AirBerlin already offer smartwatch boarding passes, Copenhagen Airport has undertaken a passenger-facing trial of Google Glass, and Japan Airlines has equipped select members of staff with smartwatches as part of an ongoing trial.Summary
The customer pathway in air travel starts on a screen on a phone or computer and ends returning home with their luggage intact, incredible memories and new contacts.
These digital innovations bring positive impacts on everyone in the industry – the airlines, the airports, the infrastructure companies, third parties feeding off the growth in travel and, of course, customers.
Download Expert Business Member resource – Travel Trends Guide
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