Mobile engagement is up, content marketing is becoming more strategic, and AI is revolutionizing shopping – all that (and more!) in our latest marketing news round-up.
Long live content marketing
“Content marketing continues to be a go-to marketing strategy and, as more brands are enthusiastically embracing the idea of storytelling and content creation, the competitive landscape is quickly changing,” writes Janice Chou at Forbes, in a piece that anticipates five content-marketing trends.
Chou foresees better integration of content into email marketing strategies, growth of content-marketing departments, increased optimization of content for voice search, an evolution from editorial calendars toward a more strategic approach, and growing use of live video.
Mobile engagement tops 2018 email-marketing developments
“The power of email marketing has endured over the years with few major changes,” writes Carolyn Nye at Practical eCommerce. “But 2018 produced important email developments that affect online retailers.”
At the top of Nye’s list is the growing rate of mobile engagement with email. “While open rates on mobile devices have plateaued over the last two years, mobile click-through rates increased in 2018,” she writes. “Recipients are more comfortable performing complex web interactions entirely on their phones. Moreover, marketers are getting better at designing emails and web experiences that are actionable on mobile from start to finish.”
Nye’s piece also looks at the impact of recent Gmail changes on email marketing, how brands used holiday-themed emails to drive engagement, and ways email marketers can avoid increasingly rigorous spam filters.
Holiday shoppers were receptive to AI-driven product suggestions
Vala Afshar reports at ZD Net that 35 percent of 2018 holiday-shopping revenues were driven by shoppers who responded to an AI-based product recommendation – a 25 percent increase over last season.
“The kicker is that this 35 percent of revenue stems from only six percent of holiday shoppers,” he writes. “In other words, shoppers served with smart recommendations are making a significant share of purchases. The AI revolution will drastically change how we shop – from hyper-personalization to voice-powered digital assistants – and it’ll be here sooner than you think.”
Agile marketing critical to leveraging personalization
At ClickZ, Boris Toma takes a deep dive into agile marketing, which he sees as a must-have skill for marketers who want to use personalization on a large scale.
“We’ve all heard how digital technology allows marketers to engage in innovative new ways to meet customers’ needs more effectively, especially through personalized content, messages, and offers,” he writes. “But taking advantage of the new possibilities enabled by digital requires marketing organizations to become agile.”
Toma writes that, in the context of personalization, agile “means using data and analytics to continuously source promising opportunities triggered by customer activities, deploying tests quickly, evaluating the results, and rapidly iterating.” He adds that “a high-functioning agile marketing organization can run hundreds of campaigns simultaneously and multiple new ideas every week.”
Be relevant, personalized, and precise
“2019 is upon us and with it will come a new set of challenges and opportunities for marketers,” writes Melodye Mueller at MarTech Series. “Those who maintain their own relevancy — and who create campaigns that are personalized and precise — will gain an edge over the competition.”
Mueller links relevancy to the ability to “use tools strategically, understand data analytics to improve campaigns, and create imaginative content.” She writes that personalization is fundamentally the ability to “speak to customers like you are speaking to a friend,” and that precision is required to reach “fewer customers with the right message at the right time, rather than hitting mass audiences with the wrong messages.”
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