Global digital service provider Globital has implored its clients to never forget their best weapon as they prepare for another year of digital change – a quality database.
As the new year is in full swing, Globital managing director and digital marketing expert Damian Papworth has reflected on the year that was 2018 and what lies ahead for 2019.
And in an industry that’s forever evolving, he’s adamant one thing will remain the same.
Mr Papworth said: “We all know the digital landscape changes rapidly and that can be quite intimidating for some businesses.
“The tactics around SEO and social media change quite frequently and the one question I get asked most often is ‘how do you guarantee your marketing into the future’ and the answer is simple – build a database.
“All digital marketing should be designed to build a database but unfortunately it’s often focused on technical outcomes like achieving a competitive listing in Google.
“That’s what an SEO company will strive for – good keywords that drive traffic to the website – but after that’s done effectively, there may be no one advising the client how to nurture those leads for months or years for future sales.
“The industry is often driven by technicians who are trying to do one thing only”.
Mr Papworth said the good news was the past year had heralded a change of thinking among agencies.
He said: “One thing that has changed for digital marketers during 2018 is a growing maturity about achieving genuine marketing outcomes.
“While marketers have always understood the power of databases, many digital marketers haven’t but the gap is rapidly closing.
“The industry is maturing and agencies are looking for positive sales outcomes for clients rather than merely technical results like competitive SEO.
“Digital marketing was traditionally about generating immediate sales rather than leading into a database that, with some marketing, may generate a sale in 18 months.
“This year there has been a growing shift towards building a database and then making a sale through nurturing.
“That’s the maturing of the digital marketing space”.
Mr Papworth said the rise of Facebook Groups was an example of how businesses were adapting to the changing digital landscape.
He commented: “Facebook’s algorithms are continually evolving to minimise reach for business pages but I’ve seen some really great strategies that still generate leads.
“In 2018 we witnessed a massive and positive move towards clients nurturing Facebook Groups because every member receives all the posts shared within that group. They may not be huge groups of people but you’re able to generate leads and sales because they are engaged.
“This year clever businesses and their marketers should be developing Facebook Group communities to nurture their prospects and build opportunities to generate leads”.
Mr Papworth, whose company runs training courses and events to assist agencies with understanding new trends, said businesses also needed to remain focused on “delighting” customers.
He said: “Things will change – that’s guaranteed – but business fundamentals will always cross over into digital marketing.
“Having a good service, a quality product and delighting your customers – all those things we think about when we’re interacting on a personal level should be reflected in our digital transactions.
“If someone visits your website, what can you do to delight, add value and lead them to the next step of your buying process?
That’s just as crucial as having a competitive SEO and I’m pleased to say that agencies are getting better at it”.