Standing out in today's digital marketplace is a minefield for any and all brands. According to Radicati, by the end of 2018, the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day will reach 269 billion. This is expected to grow at an average rate of 4.4% over the next four years. And it's just one of many, many statistics that highlight just how important it is to stand out of the crowd.
At Innovation Enterprise's Digital Marketing Innovation Summit in London on October 3–4, 2018, we gained many insights on how companies are approaching their digital marketing in 2018. Here are three of the lessons we learnt over the two days.
Transparency is key for building trust in your brand today
On the morning of Day One, Tristan Thomas, head of marketing and community at London-based, mobile startup bank Monzo, took to the stage to discuss marketing one of the most difficult products there is: a bank in a post-2008 financial crisis world.
"Probably our biggest barrier as a new bank is trust," he began, "and one of the ways we go about (building trust) is through what we call "radical transparency", which means sharing everything with the public."
Thomas noted a few things Monzo do to ensure this transparency with the public, including featuring a counter displaying how many customers the bank currently has, opening Trello boards showing customer feedback in action and putting up its annual review online for all customers to read.
"But if you don't [practice transparency] internally, then that's just marketing and it's very easy for consumers to see when it is just marketing. So, you have to practice transparency internally as well," explained Thomas.
He outlined how Monzo's commitment to "defaulting to transparency" was practiced inside the company, with emails shared with all employees and meetings open to everyone.
"By sharing all of this at every area of the company, we are helping everybody to see how we go about building Monzo, the failures we're experiencing and the successes too," Thomas concluded.
Read more about how Monzo used radical transparency to build a bank for the people.
You should be adopting a blockchain strategy
Also speaking at the event was Wayne Lloyd, the UK ambassador for EOS nation, speaking about blockchain's applications in marketing. "Blockchain is set to have the same impact on digital marketing that the internet had in the 90s," he stated. "If you don't start adopting blockchain soon, you'll be left behind. There are already so many companies disrupting the disruptors."
So, why does Lloyd think we should all be adopting blockchain into our marketing strategies? Mostly, it's because the data marketers are relying on is so ineffective.
"In 2018 advertisers will waste $51m on advertising fraud every single day. That is $19bn being spent every year on people that don't actually exist," said Lloyd. He added that while you cannot quantify influencer fraud, around 15% of Twitter accounts are fake and 60 million Facebook accounts are actually automated bots.
Using blockchain's immutable ledger will ensure that the audience you are reaching are authentic, impacting marketing strategies in a number of positive ways. First and foremost, marketers will instead have access to established data sets that are more structured and transparent, meaning much more accuracy in customer targeting. Middle men in marketing will likely be replaced with much more effective middle men services.
The number of influencers will also diminish, Lloyd noted, but the quality of those still active will be much higher.
On the downside, marketeers will likely have to work even harder to win customer loyalty, as access to people's data becomes more limited, something which will be even more noticeable in the EU when coupled with GDPR regulations. However, the data sets that are established will have much more potential and contain much more opportunity for personalization, meaning marketeers are able to provide experiences on a level never seen before.
Overall, adopting blockchain in marketing will put an end to the "scattergun" method that yields lower results and will instead introduce brands to a more thorough, effective audience who actually want to engage with their brand.
Social media strategy should be about people, not platform
This important phrase was the motto of Liz Le Braton, head of brand and social at John Lewis, as she outlined her best tips for utilizing social media in your digital marketing strategy.
"Social's not new anymore and actually social isn't even about innovation. It's really about best practice – there's loads of information online and you can talk to your peers about how to put a standard social media strategy in place," she opened. "But there's this prevailing myth today that social is all about paid advertising, and it's just not true. The biggest takeaway I can give you is that you need a social media strategy that is built around an understanding of people."
Le Braton advised sitting down and thinking carefully about a few things before establishing your social strategy. Why do people care about what you're selling? What do you have to say? Where are the places your audience go to find out information and what is your authentic place within that space or platform? "If you can start there and have an owned, shared strategy then paid is simply there to top up everything else you're doing that's right," she added.
We now have all this data that lets us know who our audience are and what they want, so we need to be using it and if you're not, as Le Braton compelled, "keep making that your number one challenge".
Thomas, Lloyd and Le Braton were speaking at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit in London on October 3–4, 2018. Check out Innovation Enterprise's Content Marketing Summit in New York on December 6–7, 2018 and Digital Marketing Innovation Summit in New York on February 4–5, 2019.