The role of digital marketing continues to gain traction in the wake of the retail rebirth following the pandemic.
As a result, retailers need to pay close attention to the benefits of using a variety of digital marketing tactics to differentiate themselves from competitors and improve their shopping experience.
Digital marketers have a primary role in managing retail marketing campaigns that promote a brand and its products. They play a significant role in increasing brand awareness, driving traffic, and acquiring leads and customers.
Retailers can improve customers’ knowledge and perception of their brand through digital marketing, which makes it essential for marketers to invest in brand awareness, brand reputation, and brand image.
Examples of digital marketing include social media marketing, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, email marketing, marketing automation, digital advertising, and content marketing.
By leveraging these various channels, brands can maintain connections with existing customers and win new ones. In-store retailers further benefit from enhanced customer rapport.
Successful omnichannel marketing tactics will lead to better conversion rates, more income, and business growth. Additionally, giving retailers ways to interact with prospective customers and better understand their desired products or services.
Top Digital Marketing Innovations
These digital marketing trends are poised to grow even more as 2023 arrives:
- Influencer marketing uses the image and goodwill of an authority figure or celebrity to endorse and advertise a brand’s product or services. Influencers with a large audience of fans or followers have proven to be successful in promoting brand identity.
- Omnichannel marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach the target audience. Its approach uses diverse digital mediums to promote, engage, and serve customers.
- Social media shopping is one of the better ways for brands to interact with an audience and provide a channel to sell their goods and services. Integrating social media with e-commerce creates an online marketplace for customers to buy products and services that match their expectations.
- Video marketing takes social media’s approach one step further. It is particularly popular with businesses trying to increase their customer base. Video is arguably more effective than any other form of content as a platform to present content-rich and entertaining promotions for products or services.
- Progressive web pages are one of the latest digital marketing trends addressing the need for websites that offer a versatile user interface to customers with different devices. PWP sites perform mobile functions but deliver the same website view on various devices, making the digital channel platform agnostic to send push notifications and be accessible offline.
Digging Deeper Into Digital Marketing
We asked Geoff Crain, senior director of sales and marketing at Kingstar Media, a performance marketing agency based in Toronto, to discuss digital marketing concepts even further.
E-Commerce Times: How can marketers get a successful mix of data scientists and creative marketers?
Geoff Crain: They definitely need a dedicated data analytics team able to analyze key performance indicators (KPIs), report on them, and run the job attribution.
Today’s media, especially on digital, is very fragmented. Consumers and customers use multiple points of media at one time. They watch TV while on their mobile phones. They stream on Netflix and then switch to Amazon Prime.
How does that user profile differ from previous behavior?
Crain: I think the original days of digital marketing were more streamlined. There were only a few forms that people regularly used. But now, if you did a conversion on Google Search, Google should not be able to take all the credit because we do not know where that first touch point was.
How does this change in behavior impact the role of data scientists?
Crain: You really need data scientists that are able to deal with that kind of multi-platform touchpoint and then be able to have attribution across channels. Data scientists must be able to measure attribution throughout the funnel. Then marketers need to understand that multi-touch, multi-funnel approach and be able to create, design, and implement strategies for each part of the funnel for each medium.
How can good forecasts help to achieve retention and revenue?
Crain: I think forecasts are important, especially for brands looking to scale. A lot of brands in an IPO or Series A funding stage really need forecasts to hit revenue and KPI targets, and marketers are concerned about retention and revenue.
So, it is very important to forecast on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. It will help them if they fail to reach their goals or are consistently underachieving. They know they need to look at certain parts of the marketing funnel or advertising.
How can statistical machine learning help marketers to predict long-term and hard-to-measure outcomes?
Crain: That really depends on how detailed and accurate the machine learning is. At this point, there is really no AI or ML tool for small-to-mid-size businesses to capitalize on that allows them to predict long-term hard-to-measure outcomes for those fortune 500 companies. It will be interesting to see how those machine-learning tools develop and whether they will become affordable enough for those limited-sized companies.
What are the big pain points for marketers, given what is happening with high tech today?
Crain: One main friction point is customer service. Traditional customer service is fraught with long wait times, and AI has really advanced customer service. Chatbots really automate the customer service experience. Users or consumers now go on to a brand’s website and log on to a chatbot to have all their questions answered.
How does the bias factor impact the use of AI for assisting marketing and facilitating sales?
Crain: There is a bias regarding the use of AI. People assume that AI is the future, and you must capitalize on it by using it now. I do not think AI is a fit for every company or brand. It is really on a case-by-case basis. Brands and advertisers need to understand that and decide if it is the right fit for them.
If brands are looking to jumpstart their digital marketing campaign, where should they rely on marketing influencers?
Crain: TikTok is growing very quickly, especially from a paid social media perspective. It is the fastest-growing social network in North America. That platform has really developed trends in terms of content and advertising. It puts an emphasis on short-form content with five-to-10-second videos and is a very agile and quick-moving platform. It is a trend for the future and 2023 and beyond.
Does TikTok’s younger user base pose advertising limitations for certain businesses?
Crain: Adults are definitely growing into it. Maybe three to four years ago, the average viewer’s age was around 16 to 18. But now, there is a very fast-growing segment of young adults, young parents, and young families active on TikTok. The platform definitely expanded in terms of audience reach. I think the average age now is kind of into the late 20s. Many people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s actively use TikTok.
What digital marketing tactics do you see as the most effectively used today?
Crain: Usually, the best marketing tactics are those that are performance focused. So any strategy tied to a KPI cost per acquisition or cost per lead that you are able to measure lets you optimize around it. That will drive the most effectiveness generated ROI for every dollar spent to justify increasing your budget.
The must-dos that are really absolute for somebody trying to make a sale depend on the target demographic. If it is more intent-based, Google search would be the best platform for a competitive landscape like life insurance or auto insurance. That is where we see Google Search performing very well.
There is also a lot of growth in the connected TV, online video, and programmatic space. So there is really not a one-size-fits-all strategy.
What do you see on the horizon for digital marketing?
Crain: I see improvement in reporting and attribution. With consumers using multiple touch points on a daily basis, no effective reporting or analytics tool yet exists that connects all the competing platform’s touch points for the same user. None of these platforms speak to each other.
What I think we will see in the next three-to-five years is consolidation on the analytics and attribution effort to really see what platform is the main driver and what drives the sale.