Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 - Seeing Through the Forest
Digital marketing trends in 2018 will be a big year for digital marketing teams taking on more responsibility for the company business revenue goals and having increased budgets that are being pulled from traditional marketing to support more digital ppc advertising, email marketing, social PR, and social media marketing growth.
#1 Digital Marketing Trend - More Responsibility of Leads through the Sales Funnel
CEOs will be demanding more from their digital marketing teams in 2018 to increase leads, better the quality of the lead, as well as, increase prospect conversions to sales, which will ultimately add to the bottom-line of company revenues. CEOs are under more pressure to build revenues with increased competition coming online every day,which is adding to the pressure on marketing teams to produce more leads. According to Media Post's article on "B2Bs Counting on Digital,"89% of the B2B business decision makers attribute expected business growth to their digital programs’ ability to attract and retain customers, and increase average order value.
Currently, most marketing teams don't think they are responsible for the entire user path of the lead or prospect to sales conversion, but don't get caught off guard, when CEOs expect from marketing teams in 2018 to know where their leads derive from, what was that cost to get that lead, and how much it cost to convert that prospect to a sale.
Marketing teams are becoming more equally responsible for driving in leads, as sales teams in a company, if not more so, since marketing manages trade shows and events, company website messaging, digital marketing channels, social media marketing, and digital advertising campaigns, which all drive in leads. Marketing teams will need to make sure to diversify their digital marketing channels to meet this ever growing need for more and more leads.
Digital Marketing leaders, make sure to invest in software products that allow for full transparency of leads moving through the sales funnel, such as with marketing automation software, analytics reporting, and a CRM, so that marketing spend can be justified without being questioned. It is expensive to invest in these software tools in the short-term, but for long-term marketing growth, it's a necessity.
#2 Digital Marketing Trend - Metrics Transparency
Both B2C and B2B Digital Marketing teams need to pay attention to their metrics and deliver on hitting Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) and Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) business goals. Most Chief Marketing Officers or heads of digital marketing lose their jobs, because they can't show a clear user path through the sales lead funnel, and how to push leads to convert more quickly. More and more CEOs are demanding transparency from their marketing teams to what marketing channels are driving growth, as well as, wasteful spend.
Invest in marketing automation software, such as HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot or Eloqua and a CRM software, such as SalesForce CRM to have full transparency of the lead path from landing into the website, until conversion of sale.
#3 Digital Marketing Trend - Communications with Securing Company Data
Regardless of business market, all companies should protect their data and must make investments to protect their company and customer data, as well as, communicate that to their customers and prospects. According to Identity Force in 2016, data breaches were up 40% from the previous year, and 2017 is looking to continue that trend. Marketing teams need to stay on top of communicating to their customers and prospects about how they secure their data to diminish any anxiety of prospect wanting to do business with that company.
Since data breaches can hurt a company's brand and a customer's trust, as we saw with Equifax, Verizon, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Kmart, to name only a few in breaches for 2017, these brands have been diminished, and are now harder to market, especially digitally to online audiences.
Invest in third-party vendor management software to protect your company's brand and make sure that if you're company is breached, that you immediately notify your customers, before it becomes a PR nightmare.