in Durban ; focus their efforts solely on experiential marketing; and others not do anything but direct marketing. Integrated marketing agencies, nevertheless, are a completely different kettle of fish.
Integrated advertisng companies are a little bit like Toys R South Africa. Ok, they’re not “magical places” with “toys in their millions all under one roofing system.” However, if you change the word “toys” with “marketing services”, you’ve pretty much strike the nail on the head.
Essentially, incorporated marketing agencies are business that can satisfy all of their clients’ marketing requires under one roofing system.
Integrated strategic marketing firms have the capability, resources and knowledge to carry out a range of various marketing methods in one cohesive effort. These companies boast big teams of experts with different locations of knowledge across a large range of marketing and interactions disciplines.
These various teams then work together to make sure their customers’ projects are as effective, meaningful, constant, harmonious and, for that reason, as efficient as possible.
Digital Marketing Agility — B2B vs B2C
A lot of integrated companies provide a combination of all, or a few of, the following services: digital marketing, direct marketing, experiential marketing, PR, advertising, guerilla marketing, social media, sales promotion, B2B communications, mobile marketing, buyer marketing, sponsorship, CRM, graphic style, copy-writing and brand name strategy.
Our company is not just another advertising agency. Our method permits us to produce special projects that run across the board. We do not outsource a single element of our work. Every campaign is produced, handled and carried out in-house. A strong project requires a strong marketing strategy. What works best for them won’t work best for you. That’s why we strategise. Our proficiency extends beyond basic advertising. From social networks, print, outside and web, we develop everything needed to build extraordinary results. Having managed a few of the largest brand names in the South Africa and established campaigns throughout the country, we know what works best for you. Whatever we do is customised for your business. Always. You get the best results for your needs, and it’s always constructed for you.
The world of marketing is moving more towards digital. From marketing to inbound marketing, digital is an economical and adaptable medium to market your business in.
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Are you having a hard time to accomplish your marketing objectives? Call our consultants into take a look over your approach and recommend on more reliable ways to market your company. We offer hourly consulting services to review your advertising, branding and marketing techniques.
No marketing works without a detailed strategy. Our specialists are experienced at creating methods and plans for a broad range of markets, focusing on the best marketing aspects and messages that accomplish the company’s short and long term goals.
Brands enjoy us because we are an unique tactical marketing agency. We combine the technique and imaginative branding skills of a standard advertising agency with the production abilities of the world’s top-ranked event marketing firm. All our customer relationships are tactically handled – we’ve established our procedures and tools to join method and innovative so that even the smallest detail is vital.
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McKinsey Quarterly published an excellent article last week, “Measuring B2Bs Digital Gap” by Liz Harrison, Candace Lun Plotkin and Jennifer Stanlin. The article was based on an analysis of the McKinsey Digital Quotient (DQ) database that the firm has been building over the last three years. Harrison, Plotkin and Stanlin mined the database and found that business-to-business (B2B) companies are behind their business-to-consumer (B2C) counterparts in how they use digital tools.
For me, this comes as no surprise. I recently co-wrote a study with Barbara Angius Saxby of Accelent Consulting, “CMO Insights on the Journey toward Digital Agility”, looking specifically at digital marketing agility. Just like Harrison, Plotkin and Stanlin, we found that B2B companies are lagging B2C. In the core areas of skills, maturity, flexibility and alignment, B2C come out ahead every time, and in most instances they are at least twice as advanced.
- B2C CMO’s feel that 24% of their teams are “digitally fluent” compared with 12% at B2B organisations. More importantly, 18% of B2B marketing professionals are “lacking” in digital skills compared with just 8% in B2C organisations.
- B2C enterprises are more than twice as likely to have “mature” and “flexible” digital marketing programmes (68% vs 39% for maturity and 79% vs 38% for flexibility). In terms of flexibility, almost a third of B2C companies are in the top quartile, compared with just a fifth for B2B companies.
- For digital/traditional marketing alignment, 66% of B2C enterprises claim marketing activities are either “well-aligned” or “completely-aligned” compared with 32% for B2B.
The more advanced nature of digital marketing in B2C enterprises has a cumulative ripple effect throughout the entire marketing mix. Advertising, direct marketing, events, media relations, market insight, etc. are all impacted positively by effective use of digital technology. This means that B2C enterprises are:
- more responsive — reacting quickly to changing market dynamics,
- more innovative — continually adopting new marketing approaches, and
- more engaged — constantly building their understanding of the customer.
The last attribute on the list above, customer engagement, seems to be emerging as a key catalyst for digital marketing. In B2B environments, individual customers can have a significant overall impact on business performance, often much greater than in B2C environments. But, just 29% of B2B enterprises feel that digital technology has provided them with a “much enhanced” or “full 360” view of the customer (compared with 66% for B2C).
B2B marketers seem to have recognised this, and “getting closer to the customer” is the number one driver of digital marketing. Other drivers such as “increased sales” and “enhanced competitive position” are still important, but considerably lower on the priority list.
So, it’s very likely that ‘customer experience’ will be the impetus that drives B2B enterprises to strive for greater digital marketing agility. It’ll be interesting to see if this proves to be the case. I’m looking forward to updating the digital marketing agility study in a few months’ time and seeing if B2B has started to catch up with B2C.
In the meantime, what does all this mean for marketing professionals?
If you’re operating in a B2C environment, it means that you’re going to have to work hard to maintain market position. You’re in a massively competitive environment where everybody has recognised the importance (and value) of digital marketing. You need to continue embracing digital marketing tools and techniques; rapidly integrating those that deliver strong RoI and equally rapidly abandoning those that do not. Fail fast (and succeed even quicker) has never been more important.
If you’re operating in a B2B environment, it’s good news/bad news. The good news is that there is headroom to rise above your competition but the bad news is there’s a good chance that you’re lacking the core skills to do it. You need to be rapidly building organisational digital proficiency and driving integration across the entire enterprise, not just within marketing.
Whether your focus is B2B, B2C or both, and no matter where you are on the journey towards digital marketing agility, there are three key areas for any marketing organisation to focus on:
1. Vision and Planning
Digital technology is fluid and continually evolving. The most successful organisations are those that are good at implementing plan-B. But, it’s difficult to implement plan-B if there was no plan-A. So, clearly define digital strategies and then frequently assess and update. Rather than being part of top-down annual planning cycles, make digital strategy a dynamic process with key individuals from across the entire enterprise actively engaged as participants.
2. Execution and Implementation
Many (perhaps most) marketing functions have a good idea of what digital technologies they should be embracing. But there is a chasm between knowing what needs to be done and actually doing it. So, build an environment that actively encourages bringing ideas from concept to reality. Continually reinforce awareness of the fact that value is only derived when plans are implemented.
3. Measurement, Monitoring and Adjustment
It’s impossible to know how successful an activity is (or even when a goal has been achieved) unless it is measured. So, establish clear goals and associated metrics for every digital initiative. As the initiative progresses, make appropriate adjustments and refinements — widely deploying successful projects and adjusting, suspending or abandoning those that are unsuccessful.
You can learn more about digital marketing agility in “CMO Insights on the Journey toward Digital Agility” which can be downloaded.
Innovation continues, life goes on. Old jobs are made obsolete, new jobs are created. When the greatest minds of the world decide to create something new, their engineers set out to find a way to do it. Concepts are created, wireframes are built, prototypes are designed, algorithms are written. In essence: these ideas start to take shape. These ideas become the innovations of the marketplace. They become disruptions to the status quo. These innovations are technological inventions: steam power, electricity, the light bulb. They are social developments: The Magna Carta, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights.
These earthshaking innovations take all forms, and they are adopted into society and business as “the new normal.” Then new innovations shake those old ones off the pedestal. The cycle continues. New things are created, become normal, and get replaced.
Back in time somewhere between the invention of the light bulb, and Back to the Future 2’s version of 2015, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning started taking a forefront in the minds of the world’s technology leaders. Google is investing more heavily than ever in those technologies. Apple has apparently been using it for their Siri program for years (though they didn’t tell anyone until recently). Qualcomm is building much of the hardware this new era will need. Just to mention a few. Though there are many others who are doing the same. There are even some companies whose entire business is based on using AI in places where manual time-consuming work was required since their inception. I can think of a couple places where my own perspective has shifted.
When I was first learning web design, there was a lot of painstaking work, a lot of manual HTML and CSS work, and a lot of picture cropping and resizing to make it all fit just right.
When I first started working with paid advertising I had no clue what A/B testing was, much less multi-variable testing. When I did finally figure out what it was, it was also a time-consuming task. Mostly because I lacked the tools to do it efficiently.
When I was working with content for our company blog, I could never come up with the right things to say. I couldn’t think of the right way to word things.
Don’t even get me started on my first analytics experience… *shudders* I don’t want to relive that.
All of these experiences had something in common. Besides the fact that I was thrown to the wolves and not given any information/education on them before starting. They are all time-intensive tasks that require a certain level of creativity and have a degree of monotony. Oh, and all of these now have some sort of tool or platform that allows you to utilize AI to make better use of your time and resources, while getting better results.
Have you ever thought about how AI could affect your company’s digital marketing strategy? Maybe through AI analytics that progressively learn more and more about you and your customers to provide better insights? How about through AI content creation that consistently outperforms man-made content? What about intuitive web development? You might already be using an AI platform without even knowing it, because it’s become the norm.
This is a topic that interests me immensely. So I’ve done some research and compiled a small collection of companies, what they’re doing, and how they are breaking the mold of digital marketing.
Let me give you a little background on what prompted this…
I was interviewing for a digital marketing position, when the interviewer posed the question: Where do you think the future of Digital Marketing is going? I’ll give you the same answer I gave him. Machine Learning and Automation through AI. And I’m pretty sure Skynet agrees with me on that.
I see AI most notably taking place in 4 different aspects of Digital Marketing. Content creation, A/B testing, Analytics, and Web Design. We’re going to cover all 4 here.
If you feel there are more categories, technologies, or companies that should be mentioned, please let me know!
Side note: sometimes I like to think in a British accent, especially on emphasis words like “onward!”
Side-side note: I’m from California, not the UK.
Persado. Maybe I’m behind the curve, but I just learned about this company a few months ago. They use AI and machine learning to create better, more engagingcontent. Here’s a quote directly from their website…Persado’s cognitive content platform is a smart system that combines natural language processing and machine learning technologies to machine generate the precise words, phrases and images that can inspire any given audience to act, every time.Persado’s cognitive content outperforms man-made messages 100%* of the time.
…When I first heard about the company, I was like “uuhhh… this can’t be real.”
Then I visited the website. I read that quote.
This is me: “Mind=Blown”source
If there is at least one company out there who’s creating a platform like this, there are probably others who are developing another take on it. I have no idea how much Persado charges for their platform. But I’m gonna guess that if you’re using an intuitive content creation platform, you’re gonna pay for it.
Some of their clients include: Intel, Esurance, LivingSocial, American Express, Citi… to name a few.
Another section on their website, talks about their platform’s marketing solutions. Their software tests millions of words, phrases, and images. It collects data, and it understands consumer reactions to targeted language in calls to action.
Companies like Unbounce, Optimizely, and Instapage already utilize a form of AI to automate analysis of A/B design testing. Multiply this by several million tests a year… These platforms now have millions of users’ worth of page analyses that will power their strategies moving forward. This type of machine learning is extremely helpful for people who use their platforms for optimizing their digital marketing.
Ignoring the conspiracy theorists for a few minutes… Machine learning and AI are actually a good thing for the marketing profession. This will allow talented digital marketers to thrive in their roles. The data-intensive heavy-lifting has just been done for us. These platforms make it possible to make even better informed, data-driven decisions.source
Along the same lines of A/B testing, we’ll take a look at two of the most popular analytics tools. Google Analytics and KISSmetrics.
Both of these analytics tools provide a robust platform with incredible capabilities. Google Analytics is the most used, most well-known, and most complicated Analytics tools. It has a steep learning curve. But when harnessed by a knowledgeable user, it’s one of the most powerful tools your company can utilize.
KISSmetrics, in my opinion, is not trying to replace Google Analytics, but complement it. Personally, I like that while still providing a ton of useful data, it makes actionable insights more accessible. That’s why so many successful digital agencies use it! Bonus: you don’t have to go through a 4-year program and get certified to use it.source
What both of these platforms have in common — besides being amazing analytics tools — is that they use machine learning and automation. Utilizing machine learning and AI, they are able to analyze the way their customers and the users of their customers interact with websites and apps. They then take this data and continue to build their own platform upon that.source
Ready to have your mind blown again? The Grid has a treat for you. They use AI to build websites. They’re currently in beta. The Grid really opened my eyes to the world of AI and where technology really is headed.
Side note: it was also the first time I ever saw the “.io” domain used. I thought it was kinda weird. Then it started showing up everywhere. Not so weird anymore. They describe themselves better than my own ramblings ever could…The Grid harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to take everything you throw at it — videos, images, text, urls and more — and automatically shape them into a custom website unique to you. As your needs grow, it evolves with you, effortlessly adapting to your needs. Want to add e-commerce? Social feeds? A different layout? The Grid just takes care of it. This is not a website builder. This is your personal AI web developer.
…Their tagline is “AI websites that design themselves”
Wow. Just wow.source
I’ve built my fair share of websites. My current favorite platform is Wordpress. I understand that some people like to use SquareSpace, Wix, or some other platform. And some other people actually have some money, so they might use an enterprise-level platform, or even a custom solution.
I have yet to use The Grid’s AI web development platform, but if they live up to even 72.6% of the hype I’m giving them, they’ll be doing a great job in my book. If nothing else, it’s an innovative technology. Not only that, but it’s an innovative use of an innovate technology. I’m not trying to say they’re the only ones who have thought to use it. But I am saying that they’re the only ones I’ve seen.
Bonus: a really cool tool to learn what technologies a website is using: WAPPALYZER. It’s available as a Chrome extension. If nothing else, it can help feed and fuel your curiosity.
The human element
Yes, facets of the future of Digital Marketing belong to the machines. But it still requires the human element. Who creates the AI? Who tells it what to take in, keep, and analyze — and what to throw out?source
Unfortunately for the machines, just like humans — they lack the fundamental ability to become their own God.
Innovation will keep coming in every space. Business Intelligence, Marketing, Sales. Sometimes that innovation will be in the form of AI. But there’s one other important thing to remember about AI — it is simply another innovative man-made tool. To be used by man in creating something even greater than before.
Innovation: embrace or be forgotten
We’re already seeing some of these platforms used in Enterprise applications. Some digital marketing agencies are grabbing these opportunities by the horns to optimize client results.
How do you think people first reacted to the discovery of steam power? Electricity? The invention of the light bulb? Those who embraced it were empowered by it and profited. Those who rejected it are now forgotten.
Innovation will continue empowering those who embrace it.
AI is today’s innovation. Embrace it.
If you enjoyed reading, please let me know by tapping that little heart!
If you feel there are more categories, technologies, or companies that should be mentioned here, or if you disagree with my opinions, please comment below!
I read every single comment.
Digital Marketing Agility — B2B vs B2Cimage credits pixabay.com
Few organizations are utilizing social media marketing to its full level. Many believe they’ve done their own job by making a Facebook Fan Page and also posting news on it daily, collecting a modest following, publishing a video, placing “Like” links on their site etc. That’s nice, but you’re not promoting and networking your organization.
Facebook is drawing near, 1 BILLION users. What goes on whenever you promote to 1,000 people who “Like” your fan page… Response — each user has roughly 100 friends — your promotion gets to 100,000 people, which many might help network your brand, get your service or product, and vitally get the word out or pass on an essential source for info. That is exactly where we are available in. We are experts in Social Media Marketing, SEO and diligently work the actual social media accounts with our clients. The returns are completely outstanding. What the majority of CEOs doesn’t realize is the fact that Facebook has become a Search Engine / Social website / Online community and marketing powerhouse! We expect that over the following 10 years Facebook will challenge Google in queries so that as the one stop communication and knowledge source. This is the time to begin your marketing initiatives around the world’s largest marketing system. Let’s have a closer look…
Have you got a custom Blog which is syndicated as well as fed to magazines, social media, web resources, along with a client base? Is the service or product up-to-date frequently around the social networks along with promotions, fun pages which feed traffic as well as revenue for your web site and also company? That’s only the tip of the iceberg, because the reason for Social Networking in the industrialized world is “Networking” and “Marketing” your business to current and prospective customers and applicants. You have to optimize your own social network accounts, produce interaction, incentives, as well as market that in a variety of ways. To become truly efficient, you need to cross network and advertise your Social Media accounts together with your web presence. Each Social Network venue offers its own group of special tools, capabilities, and advantages that actually work hand in hand with one another in addition to external online marketing chances as well as your company website. Whenever used and employed correctly, they’re a tremendously effective marketing moderate that brands your organization and attracts new company greater than any media source you can utilize. We’ve got some clients that really rely mostly on Social Media Marketing and referrals for brand new business since it is truly that efficient!
Social Media Marketing is also based on internal marketing strategies, the engine which pushes the Social Networking vehicle forward. Digital marketing communications via video as well as interactive calls to action, digital updates, email messages and live feeds along with interactivity to talk with your organization regularly are just some of the actual support mechanisms utilized to market your brand and offerings and make your market interested as well as in touch.
An excellent digital marketing company works and makes your marketing strategy on a daily basis and generates brand new income for his or her clients and keep updating the actual functionality and using the broad spectrum of applications which become available in each venue. For example, The FBML application will quickly be eliminated in support of new applications based on Facebook like IFrames. In each case, the outcomes will be a steady rise in quality clients, restored interest from current and previous customers and make your brand and base. Your company’s website may also realize increasing visits monthly and all this results in consistent revenue raises and larger market share with time with increasing income that exceeds Investment — ROI will be the fundamental purpose of successful marketing… as well as Social Media SEO marketed properly and with dedication is exactly what a lot of Companies are lacking in today’s aggressive environment.
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