Recently Adobe gathered some of the best and brightest Nordic creatives and marketers in Stockholm to discuss the future of digital marketing. It was time for the first ever Adobe Round Table in the Nordics.
What is the role of the marketer today? How is the digital transformation molding this role, and what can people in marketing do to keep up to date with the rapidly changing digital landscape? These where some of the topics discussed as the first ever Adobe Nordic Round Table kicked off in Stockholm with 12 attendees.
Data vs. “Gut”
The discussion at the Round Table quickly centered on the topic of the digital transformation of the marketer’s role. A recent study from Adobe shows that many feel lost in the world of digital advertising and find it hard to make the most of their data. Most of the participants in the Round Table recognized this description, but their take on what to do varied. While most agreed that there has been more changes in marketing in the last two years that in half-century preceeding that, some of us felt that this was because hardly anything had changed prior to the digital revolution. In general there was agreement that marketers need to step up, and take responsibility for understanding the change and educating themselves. As one member of the Round Table pointed out: You won’t become a better football player if you don’t practice, and you won’t become a better marketer without practicing new possibilities.
On the question of data versus gut instinct most felt that while data should be the guiding force it only reflects the now and the immediate past. To understand what happens next you need to trust your gut feeling and stay curious.
The Wizard Marketer & Creative
Very often management will tell marketing to create something digital that stands out. But once reality kicks in there is neither in-house support nor a budget to do anything.
The sync between the business and the marketing department is not always as tight as it should be. Great expectations are often tempered by the harsh realities of limited budgets and resources. The Round Table participants agreed that today’s marketers are expected to do more with less – to be quite the wizard. A tricky situation, but some of the ideas brought forward was to not get bogged down with channels, and to always be ready to experiment rather. Sometimes simple changes, like A/B testing, will yield great results.
A digital driver in the age of experience business
A majority of marketers now view themselves as part of a digital and global community where the technology is opening doors of communication and platforms for interaction we could only dream of 15 years ago.
A marketer’s responsibility today is to generate and manage meaningful experiences to very diverse and very demanding audiences. If we do it right we can understand different customer journey and use that to build everything from valuable branded experiences to more efficient touchpoints for our customers. However, the discussion also brought up that if we fail at this we can say good-bye to brand advocacy, repeat business if even a first sale. Delivering a unified and valuable brand experience on all platforms — digital and analogue – is a must today.
We talked about how to determine where the digital customer journey begins, and how to be part of it in a good way. Sloppy retargeting was brought up as an example of where this goes wrong. The ability to follow customers across devices, and find ways to understand and measure activities on both analogue and digital touchpoints was seen as much more interesting. Is there even a classical ’moment of truth’ in this scenario?
People like emails, but not from marketers
Email marketing is still a common, central tool in the digital communications toolbox. Adobe Nordic recently conducted a survey on 3,000 Nordic respondents regarding how consumers actually perceive marketing emails from brands. The results were not very surprising. People do not have warm sentiments towards the bombardment of brand bulletins they receive. The survey indicates that even though brands put a lot of effort into high frequency communications with the existing or future customer, they are more or less wasting most of their juice.
According to the survey, only every other says that there is any likelihood (if any) of them opening a marketing email finding its way into their job inbox. About 75 percent say the same regarding mails aimed at the private inboxes. The survey also pinpoints that the biggest mistakes brands do when it comes to email marketing is that the content is not mobile friendly; too lengthy and poorly written, based on bad data (wrong names, wrong offerings etc.) or that the level of personalization has gone creepy (!).
The Round Table discussed about the thin line between personal and creepy, and marketers have to stay on the safe side to have a chance of attracting the interest of the recipient. You need to have a long-term approach to these things. One false step and your customer is off to the competition.
To wrap up the two hour discussion, it is obvious that with new technology, the possibilities are basically limitless. But for each channel we open up, for each email we distribute, we are opening up new mini “moment of truth” where the customer will experience the brands at each contact. The digital era is just getting started, and we are all in the experience business now.