It’s safe to say that marketing is becoming a more powerful and resource-rich function of business. And as a result of the digital world we’re living in, marketing has become the function responsible for creating and sustaining a long-lasting relationship with the most important asset of any business…the customer.

Firms wishing to stay relevant and competitive in the fast-paced and exciting industry of digital marketing not only need to stay relevant and competitive but also, rather than being reactive, they need to anticipate what’s about to come next. No longer is it an industry that's just about creativeness but rather a movement dominated by the combination of science and art.

As a result of us spending more and more time on our mobiles, tablets and laptops, it’s difficult to deny that a transformation of the marketing industry is underway. Brands are faced with the challenge of continuing to connect with customers through all these devices in real time whilst creating campaigns that work across social media, display advertising as well as e-commerce. To survive this transformation, the modern-day marketing department needs to combine the creative side of the discipline, using powerful narratives to tap into people’s wishes and aspirations, with the technical side of data, digital engineering and analytics. The two areas do not always sit easily together and getting creative marketers to work alongside technical staff can be a huge challenge.

Big data, the big buzzword

That big data equals big bucks is something well known by now. However, with so much information and analysis available from everywhere, knowing where to start in order to transform this data into actions that will benefit your business, and assist decision-making, could be easier said that done.

Areas of marketing that have been transformed by the birth of the digital era are the speed, relevance and reach of campaigns. Digital means that everything is very fast, campaigns can be properly tailored and targeted as well as being very relevant. Also, with customers accessing media through multiple channels such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, via mobile, tablets etc, the reach of campaigns has increased immensely that even the smallest idea can expand and get amazing coverage and reach.

Change of dress

As the media landscape is changing so is the role of the marketers as all of a sudden they are required to keep up with these fast-moving, highly targeted digital campaigns, alongside of developing the skills to enable them to work hand in hand with technologists while retaining their creativity, flair and intuition.

Today’s marketing team will consist of data scientists, engineers, developers and user experience experts, who’ll work together to roll-out compelling campaigns that will result in growth – a radical change from the way traditional marketing departments work.

Understanding customer engagement and loyalty, engaging with customers and retaining loyalty is essential to maintaining a healthy business, built to stand the test of time.

Data or data?

With so much data flying around out there, to avoid losing focus of what you actually want to achieve, it’s important to separate between data and right-time data. Right-time data is when a marketer is actioning data at the same time as it’s relevant to the customer. By nailing this process means that you avoid using data just for the sake of using it, and instead, you’re pushing it out at the right moment, when you know the customers are most likely to bite.

It’s obvious that the role of the digital marketer and the value of data driven decisions is something we cannot avoid anymore. Marketers can no longer survive by simply relying upon traditional marketing. Instead, savvy analytical skills and understanding of attribution modeling have been added to the survival kit and although developing such skills can be a steep learning curve, it’ll offer huge opportunities to grow a business and maximise profits.


By Glen Westlake, cofounder and CEO of Kairos Analytics

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