Therefore, instead of trying to predict the future by looking into the famed and non-existing glass ball, below are three of my hopes for digital marketing in the new year.
I hope we focus on doing fewer things better, that we are more open and authentic, and that we don’t forget one of the most basic aspects of digital marketing; the auction.
Fewer things done better
When working for LinkedIn, one of the mantras of my director was “fewer things done better”. With this she basically meant to increase focus on your key tasks. Focus on fewer things, means that you have more time to perform the task better. At Precis, we try to focus on the things we do best. We have also learned that starting up a business means you have a lot of opportunities and potentially exciting new platforms around every corner. Although counter-intuitive, all those shiny new platforms and potential detours actually constitute an existential threat to a startup like ours. This is one of the reasons why a clear and defined vision is so important for a company, and it is important to remember that the opportunity cost of focusing on new things is less focus on your existing activities.
I hope 2016 will be the year when advertisers ask themselves the question; am I getting everything I can get from my existing marketing mix. Your marketing mix is more than the sum of your presence across platforms; it is also about how you perform on a particular platform. For Precis, this often means search and Google AdWords. We know that advertisers can gain a lot from reviewing their performance on channels that traditionally operate lower in the purchasing funnel, such as search, so as to harvest all existing demand before generating new demand through awareness-campaigns on e.g. Instagram or YouTube. This review also sets the advertiser up for additional success when new marketing campaigns on other platforms are launched.
Be open and authentic!
The internet can be a cruel and unforgiving platform to operate on. If you are a publisher, you will have noted that many users have started using Adblock-software that directly challenge your business model. Many publishers complain about this and threaten to block users of Adblock from their sites, all the while flooding their sites with click bait and payment walls. If you are a marketer, trolls stand ready to attack you and your social media presence at the sign of the slightest misstep. If they were ever around, the days have surely passed when you can put a claim in an ad or article that can’t be supported by real experiences. Nor can you be immune against attacks by keeping a good relationship with a few stakeholders such as journalists and media-houses.
I hope 2016 will be the year where more digital communicators, be it publishers or advertisers, realize that the key to good digital communication is to be open and authentic both by engaging in conversations with their audience as well as having an open and authentic approach to presenting content.
Don’t forget the auction!
It still amazes me how many digital advertisers are stuck in the old paradigm of buying media on reserve. For example, when buying AdWords or Facebook ads, many advertisers approach me with talk more about a budget than about how to optimize presence in the platform auction. In fact, most digital media – be it Facebook, display, video, or AdWords search ads – are bought through an auction-mechanism. Understanding and optimizing your behaviour in this action can yield huge efficiency gains that free resources that can be used elsewhere.
In 2016, I hope more advertisers take a second look at their media purchasing and assess whether any improvements can be made in their auction presence.
Happy New Year!