Data pulled and analyzed across key marketing channels—such as direct mail, website, social, email, search, paid, and mobile—will be a powerful tool for building an effective marketing strategy in 2015.
There are more businesses vying for consumer attention on every marketing platform possible—especially mobile devices. The companies getting smart about these channels are collecting data on consumer behavior—such as product and service research, purchase habits, and social media interaction—and using that data to prepare a dynamic marketing strategy that connects with consumers and provides them with the right information to make educated, confident purchase decisions.
Here are 10 insights on the most important marketing channels for 2015, to help you shape a strategy that will keep your brand top-of-mind.
1. 71% of consumers receiving a quick brand response on social media say they would likely recommend that brand to others. (Tweet This!)
Social media is for so much more than pushing products and services—it establishes your brand voice and provides a very personalized touch to customer service. When a customer raves about you online after receiving fantastic customer service, they are also indirectly marketing your business to their friends, family and all their other social media connections.
2. The leading objective of paid search in 2013 was direct sales, followed closely by lead generation. The reverse was true in 2012. (Tweet This!)
No surprise here—companies are still pushing (and paying) to get that top spot on search engines. And they’re no longer just looking for leads—they’re strategizing around the direct sale. If a business can convert a visitor to a customer through an ad, there’s a lot less leg work for the sales staff, marketing gains incredibly valuable insight into what types of messaging attracts and wins new business, and the consumer can retain an entirely independent sales experience.
3. Average U.S. click-to-open rates for email were 13.1% in 2013. (Tweet This!)
Email is still one of the most effective online marketing channels. The trick is making it worth their while. Create an email-based campaign that keeps in touch with your prospects or current customers, and use it to notify them of sales deals and educate them on relevant topics.
4. 86% of marketers routinely test email subject lines to optimize performance. (Tweet This!)
With consumer inboxes overloaded with newsletter subscriptions, deals, and everything else under the sun, marketers need to rely on creativity to stand out and entice people to open. Smartphones and tablets make it much easier to reach people through their inbox outside of the office or regular work day, but an email needs to be even more engaging to encourage attention after hours. Getting crafty with email subject lines and testing them with groups of customers can be a great start to see what works, as well as the time of day you are sending the emails to your mailing list.
5. U.S. retail mobile sales were predicted to reach $56.72 billion in 2014. (Tweet This!)
Mobile phones are the new go-to way for consumers to research products, check prices and sales, locate stores, read reviews, and get in touch with customer service representatives. In short, mobile devices are the main way people connect with brands before making a purchase decision. This makes mobile one of the most important marketing channels for 2015, as it touches every aspect of the customer journey from start to finish. Mobile is only expected to expand in 2015, so be sure your business’s websites, landing pages, and content are responsive.
6. Brands see as much as a 20% increase in conversions when adding location data to an ad. (Tweet This!)
Local marketing, baby—you can’t beat it. Knowing where to get something is almost as important as the crafty ad content itself. Consumers are more likely to click on an ad if they know it will provide essential product or service data and a way to get the item as soon as possible. Location also drives lots of search queries, so make sure your business’s address and information are current on search engines and sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and Google Places. Launching a local-based marketing campaign can help snag customers new to the area, or people who desire to shop local as a priority.
7. More than 90% of B2B marketers consider webinars/webcasts, eBooks, whitepapers, and published articles to be either “very” or “somewhat” effective in achieving SEO and marketing objectives. Yet less than half utilize webcasts and only 20% create eBooks. (Tweet This!)
There are lots of ways to use content marketing to fuel your marketing channels. Re-purpose a whitepaper into a SlideShare presentation, then send it out through social media. Or, expand the discussion around a published article on a live webcast, then share the recording on YouTube. When you get creative with the content you’ve already put together, you can increase the value of your initial investment and get more out of your marketing budget.
8. A quarter of all B2B Fortune 500 companies use marketing automation, along with 76% of the world’s largest SaaS companies. (Tweet This!)
Marketing automation is one of the most effective ways to scale marketing communications and track the behavior of prospects and customers, which increases efficiencies and provides invaluable information on how your buyers interact with your brand and content. That’s why a growing percentage of top companies are leveraging marketing automation platforms, and why those who don’t are missing out on key insights and opportunities to increase ROI on their marketing efforts.
9. 2.9 billion direct mail coupons were redeemed by customers in 2013. (Tweet This!)
Wow—that’s a huge customer response just from offering people a chance to try your product or service at a discount. Surprisingly, direct mail is far from a dead marketing channel, and is proving popular among adults 24 and younger. With so many tight budgets to manage, consumers not only appreciate a deal but are more likely to purchase from a business offering a discount.
10. Companies spent over $20 billion on search advertising and $17.6 billion on display ads in 2013. (Tweet This!)
Marketers are still shaping online marketing best practices, but the pressure is on to get results by offering online deals, personalized search, and display ads relevant to consumer tastes. Also, customers now expect companies to meet their needs on demand and respond quickly to customer service issues or competing deals from other businesses. Getting into the minds and hearts of customers is critical when deciding where to spend money on search advertising, but it’s well-worth the investment, especially when you gather and use behavioral data to fine-tune your strategy.
Cross-channel marketing is here to stay, folks, and quality content lies at the heart. By strategically creating and distributing content across these marketing channels, you’ll be able to deliver a consistent, relevant message to consumers—everywhere they go for information.