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Have marketing channels become irrelevant?

Marketing ChannelsHow do customers connect with your brand? Do they use online channels, off-line channels or a combination of the two? Among the online channels, which ones are the most popular . . . and how are they accessed – by mobile, tablet or desktop? How does the in-store experience relate to online?

While it’s essential for you to know the answers to those questions – and more importantly, where your messaging performs well and who interacts with it – I challenge you to take that baseline knowledge and consider it in a new light.

I’d like you to think about how your marketing strategy might change if you thought less about channels and more about the overall customer experience you’re delivering.

Are you fluent in the language your customers speak?

SDL_bn_Truth4_300x250The world is shrinking fast — not in terms of actual geography, of course, but in our capacity to communicate with one another in multiple ways, in real time, 24×7. Now that we can send messages across miles of land and sea in a mere heartbeat, the global marketplace is open to virtually every business, and everything can happen right now.

As marketers increasingly do business across borders, and across an ever-expanding range of channels, delivering a consistent, compelling customer experience is no small feat. What makes sense for one region or culture may not suit the next . . . and no, you can’t simply rely on Google Translate to make it all turn out alright.

Why not?

Content: focus on your customers, not volume

Find your customersFeed the beast. Tame the monster. Stop the roar. Why do marketers insist on characterizing their content consumers as unruly, insatiable animals?

I suppose it’s because that’s exactly the way many have learned to think of it. For years now, marketing organizations have been trying to create messaging that can fill what may seem like an infinite void. Just keep churning out the content, and somehow, someday, some way, it will all pay off in the end . . . right?

There is a better approach, and now that 90% of B2C marketers and marketers say they’ve thrown their hats in the content marketing ring, you need to start using a strategy that’s more efficient – and more effective. If you don’t, much of your effort will be wasted, because your customers are becoming increasingly distracted by the marketing messages – the content – bombarding them at virtually every turn.

‘Your Data Trumps Big Data’ – An infographic for optimizing marketing for Millennials

The Millennial generation is an opportunity and a challenge for businesses. In this second wave of research conducted by SDL we can see how the currency of data is treated with great value and respect by the Millennial generation but in equal measure, they are also willing to give up certain elements of data and personal information if there is something in it for them.

The notion of the fair exchange is nothing new in customer experience but the data presented below certainly highlights the need for authenticity and respect in building that all important bridge of trust between the consumer and businesses, as surveyed in Millennials.‘Your Data Trumps Big Data’ represents the need for a new approach by Marketers to obtaining and utilizing data for optimized customer experiences.

data_infographic1

When it comes to data, big is not always better

The key component of big dataDespite all the papers, presentations and personal conversations that have been devoted to it, most marketers I talk to still haven’t warmed up to “big data.”

That’s understandable.

According to IDG Enterprise, about one-third (31%) of companies will be managing more than one petabyte of data by the end of this year. (Note for non-Computer Science majors: One petabyte is equal to one million gigabytes.)

How can you possibly get your arms around a number that is so, well … “big?” And even if you do, won’t it be a hollow victory, since we all know even larger volumes – the exabyte, zettabyte, yottabyte, et al. – are just around the corner?

It’s no wonder marketers feel overwhelmed with big data . . . and it’s precisely why I propose a completely different approach.

Is that a Dodo bird…or a marketing campaign?

Dodo birdRemember how business professionals used to be completely devoted to the BlackBerry – so much so that “Crackberry” was named Word-of-the-Year in 2006? Back then, we didn’t realize that most of the technology we were holding near-and-dear would quickly become passé.

But now, we’re getting more accustomed to the rapid evolution of technology and processes. Looking around, I know that much of what’s familiar in the workplace today is probably on its way to becoming obsolete, replaced with alternatives that are more user-friendly, more intuitive and always connected.

And I know that’s exactly what’s happening with conventional marketing campaigns, too.

As I see it, one-way, mass-market marketing campaigns are going the way of dinosaurs and dodo birds. In the not-too-distant future, they’ll be extinct – not because there’s anything inherently “bad” about conventional marketing campaigns, but because they’re becoming less and less effective.

A Millennial by any other name would still smell as sweet to a brand

Millennials MatterBorn between the early 1980s and 2000? Remember Italia ‘90 or USA ‘94 as your first soccer World Cup? Born in a time when mobile phones replaced landlines as the phone of choice? Let alone could access the internet, or fit in the pocket of your jeans; and when Jurassic Park was about as advanced as cinema got? Well then you, dear reader, are a Millennial. But maybe you don’t identify with such a label? Perhaps you are familiar with ‘Generation Y’, the obvious follow-up to ‘Generation X.’ Or maybe in your country you are familiar with another bucket term.