The rise of digital has allowed brands to expand beyond the capabilities of traditional marketing and reach consumers in virtually any place, at any time.

Yet while the new era opens up a world of possibilities, the ever-increasing complexity of online marketing means marketers need to constantly refine strategies and utilise the most effective channels, devices, and tactics to reach the right audiences at scale.

Following reports of well-established high street retailers closing, the need for innovative and effective digital transformation is paramount to gain and maintain competitive advantage. What’s more, the recently introduced GDPR regulation has imposed stricter requirements on the safe handling of data, creating an additional need for businesses to adapt their marketing efforts.     

So, what steps can marketers take to embrace new ways of working in today’s diverse digital landscape?

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The rise of digital has turned marketing into an increasingly technology-driven function. In fact, the average brand marketer now uses more than 12 unique tools on a regular basis and some use over 31 per campaign. While these technologies provide critical capabilities for any marketing department, they also create silos that make it difficult to track, measure, and optimise all audience interactions with a brand.

Marketing effectively in today’s digital age requires more holistic measurement solutions that integrate data from disparate systems to establish a single source of truth about marketing and media performance. By consolidating and normalising data, these solutions not only enable marketers to better understand consumer behaviour, but they also align entire teams around a uniform set of business goals and marketing KPIs. Armed with this data, marketing teams can work together to efficiently test, prove, and allocate budget to the most effective channels and tactics.

Implement a people-based marketing strategy

Continuous growth in the digital space has dramatically changed the way consumers interact with brands. With access to more information and more choices, empowered consumers now place elevated expectations on every interaction they have with brands.

In fact, a recent report found that 76 percent of customers report that it’s easier than ever to switch from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations. As experience increasingly becomes a key differentiator, marketers must embrace a people-based approach that puts the consumer at the centre of their marketing strategy.

The tremendous power of people-based marketing is the ability to target real people versus generic buyer personas. It’s made possible using a privacy compliant persistent identifier that links a person to his or her browsers and devices.

People-based marketing allows brands to understand the path to purchase across digital and mobile channels, as well as addressable offline channels like direct mail where individual, user-level data is available. By understanding who their customers and prospects are and how they behave, marketers can improve the relevancy of their marketing and advertising at every stage of the consumer journey – ultimately improving the experience and building greater affinity for the brand overall.

Go further with multi-touch attribution

A people-based approach that tracks the end-to-end customer journey is vital to a complete understanding of how consumers interact with a brand. However, people-based marketing relies on a new kind of measurement that is also people-based.

Just because a marketer knows who a user is and what devices they use doesn’t mean they know which marketing and advertising tactics will drive conversions, retention, customer lifetime value, and other key business metrics. In a multi-channel, multi-device landscape, a multi-touch attribution measurement approach is essential for accurately understanding which marketing touchpoints along the consumer journey influenced a desired business outcome.

By unifying people-based insights with multi-touch attribution, marketers can see which creative messages, content, and other tactics drive the best results for each audience segment across all channels and devices. They can then apply this insight to optimise consumer experiences and make smarter investment decisions within and across channels.

Optimise opportunities using real-time insight

Digital has created the need for different levels of insight at different speeds. While CMOs may only need to understand how to best allocate their budgets at the channel level on an annual or quarterly basis, individual channel owners need to know how to optimise at tactical levels and on a daily basis within the channel itself.

For example, online display managers must pinpoint which publishers, placements, creatives and frequencies are driving success while campaigns are still in-flight, so they can replicate what’s working and improve what’s not.

Multi-touch attribution provides marketers with granular, near real-time insight to optimise opportunities and drive results. By helping marketers make quicker decisions that influence consumer behaviour, these near real-time insights and optimisations can have significant impact on marketing efficiency and ROI.

In these challenging times, brands must embrace the latest digital marketing techniques to stay ahead of the game. By keeping abreast of new developments, implementing a people-based approach, employing multi-touch attribution, and optimising campaigns based on near real-time insight, brands can make the most of the new digital era to reach consumers with meaningful marketing that really drives results.   

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