For four days every June the e-commerce world meets in Chicago to exchange ideas and get some much-needed face time. The AP team was there and founder and managing director Robert Glazer even spoke.
Here’s a roundup of some of the top digital marketing trends we picked up on while at the conference. With the most innovative people in the industry talking about these issues now, they’re sure to be essential for all marketers over the next year.
Personalization Is the Next Great Digital Challenge
Everyone is talking about personalization. Many e-commerce businesses have been doing it for years. Personalized e-mails have become common and sites like Amazon offer their repeat customers a completely customized shopping experience with personalized recommendations based on the products they’ve previously bought or viewed. According to Econsultancy 62 percent of companies undertake some form of personalization in their marketing activities. But all of the technology and data now available to marketers makes it possible to personalize even more of the shopping experience for each individual customer. But how exactly to do this – and how to make the experience consistent across multiple devices and channels – is the new challenge facing marketers.
For more information about personalizing your marketing, read Robert Glazer’s thoughts on how to tackle omnichannel marketing in the age of personalization.
Social Is So Much More Than Facebook
The days when posting on your Facebook page meant that you were engaging in social media are long gone. Social media is a lot more complex these days, with new platforms popping up all the time. Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Periscope: no one was talking about these platforms a few years ago. Now the biggest brands in the world are trying to figure out how to engage customers on them.
One of the biggest challenges isn’t just figuring out how to engage, but which platforms to invest in and which to ignore. The key to success now may be figuring out where your customers are, and limiting yourself to a strategy that only involves those channels.
Video Is the Content of the Future
Everyone knows content is king, but the type of content that’s king is quickly changing. Ever since Google launched its Panda update the digital marketing world has been focused on creating written content, and supplementing it with video when possible. This was an ideal, since it was much easier to hire someone to write for your blog than produce professional and entertaining video.
But as the internet has become faster and mobile devices more equipped for video, consumers are showing a strong preference for video content. With 64 percent of consumer internet traffic now coming from video, marketers can’t ignore it. Marketers need to create a video strategy that includes creating and optimizing video content for their own site as well as utilizing video-driven sites like YouTube and Facebook.
Next-Generation Affiliate Programs
Conference organizers are always surprised to learn how much pent-up demand there is among marketing executives to learn about affiliate programs. For many brands affiliate is a huge customer acquisition channel – or a huge cost center, depending on how sophisticated their program is.
One topic of particular interest at IRCE was how to upgrade costly and inefficient Gen 1 programs into more sophisticated Gen 2 programs that deliver profitable results in a brand-supportive way. The smartest marketing executives now consider it essential that they know what all of their affiliates are doing and that the affiliate program is integrated into a broader marketing strategy. Learn more about upgrading your affiliate program to a more sophisticated Gen 2 program with our e-book.
It was great to see and talk to so many great marketers at IRCE! If you didn’t have the opportunity to find us, or couldn’t attend, get in contact with us and learn more about how we can work together toward making your marketing as good as possible.