It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.
In a fast-evolving technological landscape, the pressure is on brands to maintain a relevant and timely digital marketing strategy. Speaking at IAB’s Summit in Sydney, LinkedIn’s Asia Pacific senior director of marketing, Olivier Legrand, said the key to leveraging engagement is to harness the ‘relevancy imperative’.
“As a marketer, one thing I really struggled with was how can I engage with my prospective customers in a relevant manner and ten to twelve years ago, that wasn’t easy,” he said. “But I think we’ve made a lot of progress.”
When you look at social media platforms in general like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, they are bringing whole new data sets to the table and are allowing marketers to be more relevant, he told attendees.
“But the bad news is, not enough marketers are leveraging the potential on offer,” he said. “Very few marketers are delivering on relevancy.”
According to Legrand, the reality of today’s websites is that out of a hundred visitors, 95 per cent never convert, which means the customer doesn't even want to write you an email. Out of the five people that do correspond, the reality is once you send that email, only 20 per cent will engage with your conversation.
“So the reality is, your success rate is only about one per cent,” he explained. “If you’re a really good marketer and have a strong automation system in place, you may get to a conversion rate to make that viable in your business.
“But what this means for me, is there is a huge lack of efficiency, because of a huge lack of relevance, and our ability to engage these people in a conversation that they really care about. On top of this, relevancy at scale is hard to achieve on a large, consumer level.”
Mobile technology is revolutionising the way brands can become more relevant to customers. For LinkedIn, over 50 per cent of members are now using mobile technology to log on and interact.
What Legrand finds interesting is that mobile as a device, is very personal. As a result, brands can become more innovative in providing the right information at the right time to their customer on their mobile device.
“The personal nature of a mobile device can either mean brands give customers a really good experience, or a really terrible one,” he said. “I believe that in the next five years, technology and the way we will be doing this is going to get a lot more relevant and we will be able to deliver better experiences.”
According to Legrand, the likes of Amazon and Google are using data sets effectively to really re-set the bar on how to use relevancy to deliver a better customer experience.
“Beyond technology, what has changed very much and it driving technology is the reality is the customer-buyer’s journey has changed dramatically,” he said. “In many ways the journey looks like a walk down the internet. People are searching for something, they go to a website, they go and watch some reviews, they then go onto social media to get feedback from their friends and then they’re moving on. This means you’re going to have to find ways to insert yourself into those conversations.”
3. Marketing automation
Through a successful marketing automation strategy, you can enhance relevancy to your customer’s journey and effectively walk them through the funnel, all the way to acquisition, Legrand said.
“If brands are listening to their customers, they will find ways to meet them in the middle,” he added. “They will be able to bring value to your search and help you find what you are looking for if they have relevant solutions. That I think will make a big difference moving forward.”
4. Predictive technology
With predictive technology getting stronger, there are ways we can think about leveraging relevancy.
“If you can look at your customer data, and really identify the sweet spots of these people, you will be able to better focus on the right people, sell the right solutions and your results will get better,” he said.
5. Fusion between marketing and advertising technology
Legrand predicts the worlds of marketing and advertising technology will collide and allow us to get to a place where we can deliver relevancy as scale.
“For Linkedin, everything starts with our audience and with about 380 million members and 200 countries, people come to us to manage their connections, consume news, stay informed and find jobs,” he said. “But now, more and more, they come to publish and to broadcast themselves. So all our members are now allowed to blog on our platform.”
As a result of this new initiative they have had over one million posts since the beginning of the year, with a current publishing rate of about 10,000 posts every day.
“This creates a great base of data, information that over time, will help deliver the promise of relevancy,” he said. “It will also help me fulfil the mission of my position at LinkedIn which is to build the most effective platform for marketers to engage with professionals.”
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