Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Buzinga marketing and brand manager, Katelyn Duckworth, is driving a multi-faceted digital strategy - a task made easier given she has vast experience in digital leadership.
“Using all of the digital tools I could find, we increased sales enquiries at Buzinga by 188 per cent in the first financial year, and we were saving nearly 68 per cent of the cost per lead, so that was pretty exciting to see how we could take a traditional marketing strategy to digital and seeing the results there,” she told CMO.
Buzinga is an engagement-focused app development agency that specialises in designing and executing mobile experiences for customer-focused businesses. Duckworth drives the strategy behind positioning, branding and identity, content, marketing campaigns, public relations, digital asset management, new business development, social media, events and partnerships.
“With the digital footprint at Buzinga, the biggest tool that we have used to drive both sales and marketing and data is using our CRM. We use Hubspot,” she said.
“Driving that strategy last year, I worked with the team to reengineer the whole way we collect data, the way we record data, the way it integrates with Google analytics and integrates back with our project management tools. We can also predict what’s coming through, and predict what behaviours on our website are leading to someone who could potentially become a customer.”
With the Hubspot tool, she said the company can see who’s on the website, what company they are from, and then “take them through an entire customer journey that gives you a hot and ready to go lead”.
Duckworth's digital agenda this year involves integrating digital into the traditional business strategy.
“With digital marketing, people get too caught up in saying, ‘It’s digital marketing so it’s not really marketing.’ But is is marketing - and digital is just a tool to get you there. People have been separating themselves and saying,’I’m not a marketer, I’m a digital marketer,’ which is incorrect. So I am focusing on putting in the right workflow, case studies, all of those little email touches that come through before someone becomes a lead (to make sure that they are qualified).”
On the social media front, the strategy involves utilising the platforms where customers are residing - and knowing where they are converting from.
“We have tested all of the social media platforms [Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Google Plus] and this year we are honing in on what’s delivering us the best results. From a click perspective and from an engagement perspective, Facebook is awesome, but in terms of actually converting that engagement into customers, it is less than one per cent. While it’s great to have those sanity metrics [your likes and clicks and your shares], if it is not something delivering customers, then it is a waste of money. So we are focusing in on using our social media people, posting articles on our leadership team to build up their personal brand, as well as running a few LinkedIn ads,” she said.
And while Buzinga is on an aggressive digital journey, Duckworth is concerned by recent statistics that show only 17 per cent of marketers have full digital fluency (CMO Insights on the Journey to Digital Agility from The CMO Club). Speaking as an industry advocate and mobile and digital marketing professional, she is advising other Australian businesses on how to gain digital fluency.
Part of the grassroots problem starts at university, where she said there’s not enough of a focus on a digital curriculum. “I was really lucky to be exposed to digital at university, but many of my peers are struggling to get jobs because they don’t have that digital mindset.”
In speaking with CMO, Duckworth offered up several tips on what businesses and marketers can do to gain ‘full digital fluency’.She said the concept of ‘digital agility’ will change overtime and CMOs and marketers need to be prepared for those changes today.
“In terms of tools, it is really about staying ahead of the pack," Duckworth said. "When approaching digital business as a mindset it is ‘adapt or die’. Seeing what Uber and Airbnb has done, it is very much about making sure that digital is part of your company culture - that is number one.”
The ‘adapt or die’ approach means focusing on customer experience, she said, explaining how customers are no longer demanding these digital experiences, but are simply expecting it - and if they are not receiving it, they will abandon the brand.
“The best thing that you can do as a marketer is to go back to textbook. What does your customer want and how can you sell them the products? Looking at what customers want, it is all digital. They want digital experiences; they want to be able to find exactly what they want when they hit the internet.You have to put yourself in the shoes of the customer,” she said, adding marketers need to be digitally agile, while also saying strategically focused.
And she expects some big afoot in the industry. Citing a Victorian state government educational policy where students have to learn coding from Prep to Year 12, she said this will shake up the industry for many years.
“For marketers, knowing that the next-generation of marketers coming through are going to know how to be able to code is a bit scary, but a really big advantage to have to understand technology in that way. That is a big change that is going to come through. It will put a lot of pressure on all marketers to be more digital, more tech savvy. The winning formula for a marketer is being able to be business focused, very analytical, data driven and tech-savvy, but also be able to bring adept design, advertising , marketing, that whole creative piece and bringing them together.”
5 tips to digital fluency:
- Upskill and research on a daily basis. A great hack to automate this process is to subscribe to digital marketing publications who deliver the latest Martech news on a daily basis and put 30 mins in your calendar to browse.
- Test and fail. Test new digital tools that are available to see how they impact your marketing performance.
- Attend Marketing Meetup groups and events. Often there are 3-4 events a week that invite the leaders in digital innovation to talk about what’s trending in the industry.
- Focus on strategy. Digital can often lead you down a path that steers away from your marketing strategy. It’s very easy to get someone to click or convert with A/B split testing and the best subject open lines. Making sure that person who clicks or converts is qualified is the trick to success.
- Make sure you use a CRM that supports sales and marketing automation so you have end-to-end data collection to analyse and make informed decisions on.