In our last Great Marketing Minds post, we asked several experts from across the field of Digital Knowledge Management for their predictions about the future of search. Today they discuss the ever-expanding digital universe, and how brands can successfully manage consumer engagement as the number of potential touchpoints continues to increase.
What advice would you give other brands trying to manage all the possible consumer touchpoints today?
Lily Ray, SEO Director, Path Interactive:
Start small and don't try to recreate the wheel. There are plenty of new technology companies to help your brand begin the process building voice search skills, developing apps, creating video content, or designing chatbots. Develop partnerships with these companies, test out their technologies, and see what works for your brand. Employ strategies that make sense for your brand's unique audience — do the necessary research to see how your company's target audience is using these devices before you take the plunge and build what may be a costly, resource-intensive strategy that might not be the right fit for your company.
Eric Enge, General Manager, Perficient Digital:
Speaking personally, at Stone Temple I already monitor something like a dozen channels, and I've had initial contacts for business come in from nearly all of them. It's already a big load to carry. And it's going to get more complex. You could easily need to have an active presence in 12 to 20 channels, or even more. The danger is that the burden could become huge.
For that reason, I advise being selective. Do the basics to keep your presence alive in all of the channels where your business needs to, but for many of them you may be primarily in listen and respond mode. Then pick the channels that are most important to your target audience and invest heavily in those to develop a more substantial presence there.
In other words, don't do a middling job in every channel. Do listen/monitor/respond in all the ones where you must, but then pick a subset of channels where you develop a major, active, presence.
Christi Olson, Head of Evangelism for Search, Microsoft:
We're moving from "omni-channel" to a "sans-channel" view of marketing. Think less about how you create marketing messaging for a specific channel, and instead focus on the consumer experience — and in engaging with your customers in natural conversational ways that make them feel emotionally engaged with you. According to astudy by CapGemini, 69% of consumers want to feel that emotional connection to brands they engage with — and additionally, that emotional connection can drive up to a 5% increase in revenue due to consumer loyalty. In a recent study by Bing Ads, more than 60% of consumers want to interact with conversational AI (personal digital assistants and chatbots) across all stages of the purchase journey, but less than 25% of customers believe that brands can deliver a seamless experience. Focus on connecting the touchpoints and creating a seamless journey.
Brent Csutoras, CMO, Peak Activity:
Take it seriously. I deal with a large number of small-, medium-, and fortune-sized companies and the majority of them are still looking at digital as a small part of their business and marketing plans.
Don't wait until you are completely left behind to start really putting a digital marketing initiative in place as a true priority at your company.
Hire the right people, take the time to create the best strategy for your company, and be methodical about how you implement your marketing plans for success.
In short, make the internal mental decision that this is the future and you care about it, because once you do that, everything else starts falling in place.
Read more from Great Marketing Minds here.