Keeping Up in a Complex Marketing World

Direct Marketing News (Haymarket Media) recently posted some research results around direct mail and content marketing:

"As our coverage of the National Postal Forum shows, marketers may obsess over all things digital, but print still delivers its share of value. The optimal approach, experts say, is to use cohesive, integrated marketing campaigns that reach out to customers in their preferred channels. Other interest insights from this past week:

Not surprisingly, 100% of marketing leaders polled believe that digital content is
1. valuable for meeting business objectives; 92% say they're producing more volume
2. today than two years ago and 90% expect that volume to increase within two years (Accenture Interactive)
3. But you may be surprised to learn the percentages of millennials who pay attention to advertising in direct mail (77%), retail inserts (73%), catalogs (54%), magazines, (51%), and email (51%), on the Internet (50%), and via mobile text (48%) (Quad/Graphics)
4. There are some big holes in B2B databases; marketers polled say 87% of records are missing crucial business revenue data, 77% are missing basic industry information, and 45% are missing business contact title (Dun & Bradstreet)
5. 45% of consumers polled say they'd pay a higher price for goods and services if it ensures they'll receive a better level of customer service; 44% admit to venting about poor customer experiences on social channels (Accenture)"

Great marketing has always been like 'plate spinning' and it always seems like there are too many plates to spin at once, but that is exactly why an integrated communications strategy is a 'must have' - not a 'nice to have' in today's marketplace.

Every marketer must know which tools they are using when they are HUNTING for customers, as well as which tools they are using when they are BEING HUNTED by customers. These are 2 completely different mindsets for the consumer. If a brand uses HUNTING tactics to BE HUNTED, they will lose every time.

At the same time a marketer must consider "Is this a new customer aquisition campaign or am I looking to retain customers?" Again the mindset and therefore actions are different. If you invite people to BUY MY PRODUCT before they have ever heard of you, it is usually premature. While you can get away with that behaviour as a mass marketer, you cannot as a digital marketer.
It's all so hard to keep up with. Just when you think you have a handle on a new marketing tool, it loses it's relevance. Like SEO. 10 years ago SEO was the 'absolute must' for marketers. "Improve your search engine rankings and new business leads will literally fall in your lap". And at the time, they were not far off. Those marketers who were able to secure #1 organic ranking for important keywords within their industry could get at least 33% of all the clicks for that keyword. Depending on the popularity of the keyword, that could be a lot of clicks. The chart for any given keyword looks somehting like this:
1. 33%
2. 18%
3. 12%
4. 8%
5. 6%
6. 4%
7. 3%
8. 3%
9. 2%
10. 2%

So the top 3 positions = between 60-70% of the clicks for any given keyword. If you put a great deal of time and effort in you could 'earn' 33% of the clicks for all of your meaningful keywords. If you fell short you could still qualify for 18% or even 12% - nothing to sneeze at.

In short, the SEO game was worth playing. Until Goolgle made off with the top 3 spots for most keywords - which is completely within their right to do. Now, in 2016, you must use Pay Per Click advertising in order to 'earn' (OK, buy) those same clicks. In this market all that time and effort that went into earning the #1 organic ranking places you 4th (at best - some pages have significant Geo-locate services that drive the #1 organic position down 'below the fold' on a page - the equivalent of 6th or 7th position) giving you access to only 8% of the possible clicks.

So doing a lot of SEO work without a strong PPC campaign to compliment it, while not being a total waste of time, is far less valauable than 10 years ago.

So how does a marketer keep up?

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