Today the marketing challenge isn’t on pathway, its many. But with everyone running multi-touch campaigns means we are hitting saturation for great returns. Sure, you can still win big in these places, but it is connecting and tracking individuals across channels that is turning on massive wins and return.
In 2011, The “Zero Moment of Truth” was researched and branded by Google. It follows from the “First Moment of Truth” a concept in traditional marketing, when people got to the shelf in a store, which product they were going to grab. Almost a decade ago, Google found we used over 10 sources of information before making a purchasing decision. So the question is, how do we cut through the noise and ensure that final decision is for our product or service?
Noise is everywhere these days, inescapable. Even when new platforms trend, like in 2019 we saw Tic-Toc hit the mainstream, brands and celebrities scramble to get on it, and the window to grab free or cheap traction is extremely limited.
Connected Platform Audiences (CPA) is now leading the charge of all digital engagement. It is far from split testing, which basically makes platforms more money while you “test” creative. CPA is knowing how to sync technology with cut-through creative. This is traditional mad-men marketing married with network technology. When building campaigns, we ask ourselves two questions – how persuasive is it? and how can we connect this across our platforms?
Most think that building an ‘owned’ audience like EDM, Social following, web traffic, and pushing out a campaign to ‘hit’ them all at once is that connectivity. But it is far more than a singular multi-touch campaign.
Every ad platform has algorithms and bidding aimed to suck out and spend your budget. Even when goals are met as you never know where you sit in the algorithm’s cycle, or when competitors are spending in market. This coupled with smaller windows of opportunity due to too much noise, and more people on mobile (smaller real estate), means those mad-men ideas are important, but not enough.
Split testing, conversion optimisation, CRO, growth hacking and a variety of terms float around to explain how smart digital marketing can be. Digital Marketers have become great at coordinated multi-touch campaigns. But once everyone is on these ideas, they saturate, and the expense to play in these fields can be prohibitive, even with huge budgets. The biggest problem is, there are often ways to make the excessive data look like exceptional work.
Another challenge is the demand for NEW. A campaign can have cut-through but what happens next? Hungry audiences are all pulling the next ideas into market, if not from you the other million or so people trying to market to them. We don’t have time to rest after one good campaign idea. And campaigns are getting shorter and shorter. Once people have seen an ad a few times, they are over it. “Is this ad following me?”. If it didn’t grab the first few times, the age-old adage of 6+ for the same message is dead annoying before 4. So marketing is becoming more like an ongoing narrative. It is exactly why influencers get such great followings, but because it isn’t one pathway anymore, few can really translate it into commercial returns. One of the main reasons we are seeing, is that people need to justify their purchases, not just to themselves, their family, friends, piers etc.
Yes, we can still get great results with silo marketing, eg. direct. But to reduce costs from awareness to conversions, the game has swung back to trusted, organic content. The Zero Moment of Truth couldn’t be more important going into 2020. The best results pushes us into new territory; That cross over between technology and persuasive marketing.
People are always looking for good information to back their choices and pre-validate their decisions. They are actively searching, seeking and today, being introduced to it subtly by marketers. It is the way brands are building huge trust and converting later. It is similar to software platforms building a user base and then turning on the payment gateway later. If there are 10 sources of information going into a decision, then the game to play is build audience trust. This sits in content land, so dial up your SEO and content marketing. But also work out how to get that content to appear on-platforms, for example; Facebook Instant Articles. This is all about helping your customers before selling them.
And, with pixel tracking and audience building, on social, SEO and edm based platforms, the sophistication and sequencing of this opportunity is becoming the new marketing mainstream. It isn’t the likes on your page, it is the interactions your audience is having with your content, and ensuring those interactions are tracked and captured into audience groups.
Audience growth and automation, if not on your radar combines these pathways elegantly. It is the multi-touch marketing or omni-channel marketing but connected through specific digital integrations. The basic ideas overlaid on one of our automation sequences is below;
An example is having this article, highly SEO’ed then shared into social platforms like Facebook ‘on platform’ through an Instant Article. Facebook like every platform likes people staying on their site and this reduces costs. This earlier interaction before a hard sell, allows us to market to individuals who’ve already warmed to our brand.
This is known as ‘warming-them-up’. It makes sense, as no-one is going to buy something they haven’t heard about, or had their friends talk about, ask their wife about, seen some relevant content, or feel connected to that brand. CPA allows businesses to control more aspects of this ecosystem. It is being in the right places with the right content at the right time, then using the engagement to sell down the line.
Today to stay ahead of “digital experts” marketers must build engaged audiences, use the platforms not just to buy ads, but to build value on those platforms, the same as we build value into Google’s SEO search results. Warming people up and converting them when we know they are ready to buy. If you start to tie these elements together with platform integrations, you’ll be able to push out aligned content with organic benefits and skyrocket your direct / digital marketing returns.
If you need help with automating your Audience targeting and Growth marketing contact the best Digital Agency in Melbourne.