Digital marketing trends for businesses 2017: Blog Post from Dorset Growth Hub

What’s hot in digital marketing right now?

In September, the Dorset Growth Hub digital team went to London to find out, by attending the Technology for Marketing show at Olympia. Here’s a quick summary of just some of what they learned.

Rich Burn, Digital Team LeaderRichard Burn Digital Manager Dorset Growth Hub

Marketing automation is a massive opportunity. According to a survey by Act-On (350 recipients), 85% of those using it report that marketing automation gets results.

What is marketing automation? It’s using digital technology to make marketing tasks easier. This could be an automatic welcome email to people who sign up to your newsletter, or a ‘people who bought this also like this’ prompt on a retail website.

If you want to engage with today’s digital consumers, make your online presence count! Technology and the digital world is changing our habits. We engage with content in a more superficial way and we need to be engaged and excited by what we see. Four out of five of us start the buying process with a simple web search and half of us turn to social media.

Email marketing offers far better value for money in the long run. Building and nurturing an engaged email database takes time but is proving more effective than spending money on traditional adverts.

Lastly – invest in teddy bears as marketing collateral! Research suggests that a cute and cuddly toy has a great chance of staying on your client’s desk, or in their office. No one can bear (pun intended) to throw them away!

So, mix up your marketing, use traditional and digital, and tailor your approach to your audience.

 

David Allsion: Digital Specialist Dorset Growth HubDavid Allison, Digital Specialist

Digital is invading traditional marketing, but not replacing it. Many firms are still using traditional approaches which they enhance with digital.

Case studies are really important because they demonstrate how specific strategies and actions have delivered results. Many businesses wanting to build confidence with customers can benefit from some well-constructed case studies.

Don’t overlook the value of product pages on your website, particularly for SEO. Product detail is really important to people looking to make a buying decision, and having plenty of information available can have a positive impact on how your site ranks on search engines.

 

Andrew Knowles, Digital SpecialistAndrew Knowles Digital SpecialistDorset Growth Hub

Businesses should consider engaging with micro-influencers to endorse their products. Using household name celebrities to promote products still works, but there are now thousands of micro-influencers out there, typically bloggers or vloggers, with an engaged audience of around 200,000 people. Working with micro-influencers whose audience contains many of those in your target market can be very cost effective.

Email marketing continues to be hugely effective, particularly when there’s a robust strategy in place. One national retailer makes a point of sending new signups five different offers over a period of a few weeks because they’ve found it builds customer loyalty.

The chatbots are coming! These automate online chat between businesses and their customers. Right now, most aren’t very sophisticated, working little better than ‘for this option press 1 and for this option press 2’. However, the most advanced (and expensive) use artificial intelligence to understand and answer written or spoken questions. Watch out for the costs to come down, making them more accessible to smaller firms.