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Our 6 marketing resolutions for 2020 will set you up with solutions for the issues you face every day.
1. Don’t Miss Out on Personalization
Modern day consumers are savvy and they expect more from brands than generic messaging and content. Personalization has been flagged by some of the world’s leading marketers as a top priority for 2020. Yet it isn’t as easy as changing the name at the top of an email, it’s about using the data we have to provide individuals or groups with the right content at the right time.
Say for example you have just purchased flights for a vacation. Based on the data you have given, the airline may begin serving you promotions for insurance, hotels and tours. If you’re flying first class to Hawaii and fit within an older demographic, these may be for five star hotels and private tours in that area. If you fit within the gen Z audience and snapped up a budget deal to Bali, other offers would reflect that as well as the mindset of the consumer. The best personalization campaigns drill down to the needs and desires of consumers at a very granular level without appearing invasive.
Achieving this level of marketing sophistication is not just about having the data at your fingertips ready to use. There are several things you must do to get your house in order to begin. The first is ensuring you have a digital asset management system (DAM) to store and distribute your content according to different channels and segments, achieved through tagging and metadata. Only by tagging content and being able to seamlessly distribute it via dynamic links across channels, can you fully realize the potential of personalization.
2. Love Your Brand By Making Guidelines Easier To Access
Just like dragging yourself to the gym on January 1, every year marketers vow to be better at branding - but like many gym-goers they fail. They haven’t set themselves up for success by enforcing brand consistency using new technologies such as an online brand portal to ensure brand governance.
Businesses are becoming increasingly geographically dispersed and with more touchpoints and more users, marketers who are yet to adapt are losing control of their brand. On the back of this, modern branding involves much more than logos, colors and fonts. Emotional elements such as tone of voice, ethical aspects and social involvement are only going to become more important this year. There are many things marketers can do to communicate their brand in this changing environment.
Take your brand guidelines online. If you currently manage your brand off a 150 page pdf document hardly anyone ever reads, 2020 is the year to bring your brand to life and create an online brand portal. An online brand portal provides a space where you can clearly communicate your brand, give access to the most up to date and approved brand assets and provide a space for users to engage with the marketing team such as request creative approvals and showcase a best practice gallery. It’s customizable, easy to update and ensures that the correct version of each asset is used every time, which not only strengthens your brand, but saves production costs by ensuring creatives get it right early in the process.
3. Prioritize Marketing Compliance
A key trend flagged for 2020 by our CEO, Tessa Court is marketing compliance. Legislation protecting consumers is hot on the heels of marketing. As Tessa relates, “marketing is now living under the shadow of compliance, and marketing teams need better systems and processes to ensure creative is not only on brand, but also is legally compliant.” Last year alone, we saw brands being fined millions of dollars for misleading customers with pricing, brand promises and claims. The University of Phoenix in the USA recently settled on a legal battle over false advertising for $191 million.
In many large organizations marketing, legal and compliance teams work in silos with limited means for communication and collaboration aside from email, and the volume of creative work ‘going out the door’ is exploding, making it increasingly difficult for legal teams to see everything. And, although a compliance breach can result in hefty fines and damaging PR, regulatory requirements are often overlooked by marketers. So how can we ensure that legal requirements are met and that we are meeting the standards of the people we are marketing to?
Marketers should aim for at least some basic process automation in 2020. This is key in enforcing consistent brand compliance and can also assist in breaking down silos and speeding up processes. Ideally you should build software compliance requirements into your day to day marketing processes so that they are considered from the beginning of the creative process, reducing back and forward later on.
According to Tessa, “we see a lot of larger companies, especially those in regulated industries, introducing self assessment tools on which disclaimers need to be used on different product ads across different channels to increase efficiencies.” This not only helps educating the marketing team, it also highlights any potential issues before artwork is sent to your legal department. Workflows can also be used to automate this approval process, not only to score content based on risk profile, but to also provide a clear audit trail for regulators.
4. Refine Your Content Strategy
As we know, ‘content is king’ and now is a great time to review your 2020 content strategy so that you can maximize the impact of this. Having an understanding of the distribution channels available to you, the mediums we use and how to develop quality content will not just benefit your SEO efforts but will also make sure you are capitalizing on emerging trends.
Take a leaf out of the book of content expert Hubspot. Consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to make educated decisions for themselves. Therefore it’s important that you assess what you are actually putting out into the world. Does your content fulfil your needs of your target audiences and provide them with information relevant to their stage in the sales journey? Consider where the gaps may lie and tackle these first. Is it engaging? Break down what has worked well in the past and what has not.
From here you can review which channels are most relevant to your audience. With our growing desire for visual content you may want to increase the presence of video content in your strategy. Distribution channels are constantly evolving and reviewing which ones work best for you ensures that you aren’t spending money in the wrong place or missing out on opportunities.
5. Skill Up
Successful businesses are built on the back of the people who work in them, driven by effective hiring and the up-skilling of current employees.
When hiring new employees it’s important not just to hire for current skills and cultural fit but assess which skills you may require in the future to propel your business forward. While traditional marketing skills are still necessary and highly valued, digital knowledge and experience working with emerging technologies is extremely valuable. When hiring staff in 2020 stand out skills that marketers should be looking for include knowledge of digital asset management systems, experience with martech products and a general understanding of process automation.
And don’t forget about your current employees. Are you setting them up with the skills they need as your marketing becomes more advanced and you begin using different technology? User adoption will be a lot more successful if you train your staff early and make them part of the process where feasible.
6. Budget Wisely
While some marketing budgets are bigger than others, the majority of us each year have the same problem - we wish we had more money to spend on exciting marketing ideas. There are a few things that you can do to squeeze a few more pennies out of your current budget and reduce what you spend going forward.
Reviewing and consolidating your MarTech stack is the obvious one. As of 2019 there were 7,040 marketing software providers in operation and you’re no doubt paying for more of these than you need. Look at how often you are using each of these technologies and if there is a better, more suitable option. In some cases you may be able to consolidate multiple technologies into one system. For example digital asset management, online brand portal and marketing project management features can be integrated within a single marketing operations platform. At IntelligenceBank, we call this ‘the power of one’.
By tracking marketing spend vs. actuals in an MRM software system instead of a spreadsheet you can instantly see which campaigns and channels are working hardest to convert new customers, retain existing customers and build your brand. Without this visibility, you are running blind and you cannot effectively maximize your budgets.
For marketers, 2020 will be about simplifying and automating processes, personalization, content that has an impact, ethical practices and social responsibility, and in general, finding ways to be better at what we do. Simple tasks such as cleaning out your marketing projects, tasks and archive old items will help you de-clutter your life and start the new year with a fresh mindset.
Contact us to find out how we can help you transform your marketing operations with Digital Asset Management, BrandHub (Brand Management Software) and Marketing Operations Software (project management, workflows, creative approvals and more).
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