Digital strategy is the process of identifying, articulating and executing on digital opportunities that will increase your organization’s competitive advantage. At its core, it is a plan for maximizing the business benefits of data assets and technology-focused initiatives. A successful digital strategy requires a cross-functional team with executive leadership, marketing and information technology members. It involves breaking down the barriers between customer facing departments and others within your organization to deliver a consistent customer experience.
While traditional information technology strategies tend to focus on long-term road maps and budget forecasts that can extend far into the future, digital strategies tend to rely on short-term, month-to-month road maps that are tied to actionable items and measurable business objectives. One of the biggest challenges for establishing a digital strategy is to figure out which services should be done in-house, which services should be outsourced to a third-party vendor and which services require further customization in order to be most effective.
Predictive analytics deals with extracting information from data sets and using it to predict trends and behavior patterns. Typically, we are looking to glean information regarding future events, but we can also apply predictive analytics to any unknown - past, present OR future. By leveraging this data, we can create predictive intelligence by uncovering patterns and relationships in structured data including age, gender, and marital status, as well as unstructured data such as social media content and general online sentiment. Once we have this information, we can take things a step further and now influence opinions by manipulating what our targets groups are viewing within their online social spheres.
Influence is created by appealing directly to people’s emotions and bypassing typical cognitive roadblocks. Leveraging big data, we identify specific personalities and then segment them into yet more specific subgroups, using other variables, to create ever-smaller groups susceptible to precisely targeted messages.
Typically, AI bots are employed to amplify content to these groups by creating an artificial flood of interest in a particular story. When done correctly, a small number of online accounts responding in short order can seem like a flood to an individual user. From there, our modified content has the ability to spread organically as these groups of influencers start to share the content and information passing it on to others.
The vision of a well-designed content marketing program is to get new prospects to interact with your organizations marketing efforts. At its most basic form, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without actually selling anything. It is a non-interruption based marketing strategy geared towards positioning your organization as a thought leader in your field.
Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that your buyers are actively interested in. This keeps your organization top of mind and positions it as a resource rather than just a service. When this happens, buyers will instinctively return to the experts when they wish to purchase your specific product or service.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media utilizes many different platforms. Rather than trying to participate in all of them, begin with one or two that make the most sense. It’s far better to start small and provide quality content then to overstretch your resources and do more harm than good. Having an engagement strategy will help to determine how much time employees will devote to social media communications and what will be the focus areas for engagement. Additionally, having a strategy outlined beforehand will help with ongoing measurements crucial to the success of the campaign.
Before you can actively be a part of these conversations, you need to know what people are already talking about so you can join the conversation in the most productive way. Creating tools to monitor these conversations is the easy part. Generally speaking, the difficult part is choosing the keywords that will return the most relevant results. Integrating a holistic approach within a greater optimization effort yields keyword research that can be cross-pollinated across multiple platforms for maximum results.
The focus of social selling is to developing relationships as part of the sales process. Examples of social selling techniques include sharing relevant content, interacting directly with potential buyers and customers, personal branding, and social listening. While social selling is sometimes confused with social media marketing, there are two key differences. First, social selling is focused on sales professionals, rather than marketing professionals. Second, social selling aims to cultivate one-on-one relationships, rather than broadcast one-to-many messages.
According to a recent study by Microsoft, humans now have an attention span that is lower than that of a goldfish. Humans can only muster a meager eight seconds while our fish friends that can hold on for nine. This shouldn’t be come as a surprise for anyone as we prefer our deliveries in 30 minutes (or less), videos to download in under two minutes and even want our news and entertainment in 140 characters or less. So what this now means for forward thinking sales professionals is that they have significantly less time to capture their prospects attention and need to leverage what ever means possible to ensure that they do.