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Digital marketing: What’s in and what’s out

Rapid fire changes in digital behaviour have made the skill of keeping pace with marketing trends quaint. Nimble marketers have to predict the next big trend to stay on top as successful tricks of the trade from the Year of the Horse fall by the wayside in the Year of the Monkey.

To determine where the industry is headed, LinkedIn conducted the In & Out digital campaign, a survey of more than 900 marketers across APAC on the trends that will dominate the region in the coming year.

In: Personalisation; Out: Mass messaging

Mass messaging is a waste of time and resources, in addition to being an irksome addition to your prospect’s lives. Better analytics and use of big data allows us to get to know your prospects better. In the future, you’ll need to continue leveraging these insights to strengthen the personalised messages you put in front of prospects.

In: Customer-centric marketing; Out: Product-centric marketing

Prospective buyers care about how your product or service will make their lives easier, not how amazing it is. Your target audience and prospects leave digital signals telling you what they really need. Your prospect has almost certainly already done their own research – they have an idea of what they want and need. Your job as a marketer in 2016 is to find the signals within the noise of customer data and then tailor compelling messages that convey why your product is the one your target audience needs.

In: Storytelling; Out: Clickbait

If you’re tired of clickbait, so is your target audience. And no wonder: clickbait is a tease, providing a brief spurt of mildly interesting information that may or may not have anything to do with the headline. Real people connect and engage with well crafted, personalised stories. In 2016, consider the narrative your target audience is interested in hearing more of before creating content.

In: Targeted nurturing; Out: Shotgun marketing

Shotgun marketing isn’t as effective as it used to be. The audience available to marketers is so broad and so vast that a shotgun approach is unlikely to provide any meaningful return on investment. Targeted nurturing, on the other hand, builds trust and credibility with prospects and shortens the path to sales. Targeted nurturing went beyond emails in 2015; in 2016, smart marketers will use a multi-channel approach, and refine their strategy to be more customer-experience centric to better engage their target audience.

In: Automated campaign optimisation; Out: Manual campaign optimisation

Relevance at scale is key for marketers. Your net is wider than ever thanks to digitalisation and in response, industry goals have grown. Marketers will need to rely on more sophisticated tools to deliver meaningful messages to target audiences that number in the thousands. Relevancy of tools matters, too, so investing in the right tool for your organisation will be key.

In: Real-time analytics; Out: Manual reporting

Knowing what works and what doesn’t, and being able to make adjustments in the midst of a marketing push, vastly increases your effectiveness. The scale of campaigns and the speed of conversation online means that even the fastest manual reporters are too slow. Real-time analytics coupled with a quick, sharp team could add up to big success in 2016.

The ‘in’ and ‘out’ trends discovered by LinkedIn’s In & Out digital campaign for APAC are valuable insights, but they shouldn’t be a surprise to savvy marketers. They’re trends that have been building throughout the last year. More than anything, these trends are the signals that stand out against all the noise, revealed by changing digital consumer behaviour.

Your target audiences have told you what they want more than anything: relevancy. Consumers want to know what you’re doing to improve their everyday lives. With the new year’s ‘in’ trends geared towards relevancy, this may be the year that prospects are, more often than not, pleasantly surprised by truly meaningful personalisation.

The write is Nellie Chan, director of marketing solutions, South East Asia & North Asia at LinkedIn

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