How are Marketing 4.0 Trends Shaping Your Digital Priorities?

Consider this: 88% of marketing professionals planning to increase their digital marketing budget to some extent in 2019, a study from Ascend finds. There’s no question that digital marketing continues to change the way companies of all shapes and sizes meet the needs of their customers and sales teams—so what impact is it making on your organization?

Here, we’ll take a look at the top Marketing 4.0 trends shaping marketing strategies and explore some things you can do to ensure you’re effectively blending traditional and digital marketing efforts as the landscape evolves.

A Brief Introduction to Marketing 4.0
In Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital, Philip Kotler, known as the “Father of Modern Marketing” and author of 57 books, introduces us to the concept of Marketing 4.0, which is used to describe how disruptive technologies—like digital printing and the mobile internet, for example—are driving massive change for marketers. Marketing 4.0 is also been called the place where “the offline and online words collide,” where multi-channel marketing moves to omnichannel marketing, and where customer engagement combines machines and humans.

Marketing 4.0 is the next generation of marketing, and both consumers and marketers have been experiencing it for a while now. Think of the way brands and customers interact: instead of one-way communications, via traditional forms of advertising, two-way conversations via social media and other digital channels are becoming the norm.

Direct response marketing has always included two-way interaction and measurement. For those of us in direct response the bridge to two-way digital was a relatively easy one to cross. For us Marketing 4.0 is the mixing of traditional and digital media, and its hybrid approach is essential for making meaningful and profitable connections.

The dynamics are changing in other ways, too, as customers’ demand for brand authenticity leads to more transparency. Thanks to the ability to easily provide or engage with ratings and reviews, for instance, customers are greater influence over product development and even marketing itself. Brands are becoming more flexible, bending to customers’ needs and expectations—and with greater speed and agility than ever before.

Read How Direct Response Marketing Can Keep Up With Customers’ Liquid Expectations for more insights.

Future-Forward Digital Strategies Take Shape
So what does this mean for your digital priorities in the decade ahead? Let’s take a look at results from two studies looking at companies’ digital marketing strategies:

According to SmartInsight’s Managing Digital Marketing in 2019 Research Report, here are the rankings for the “single marketing activity” that survey respondents think will make the largest commercial impact in 2019. This list shows the breadth of possibilities—and priorities—when it comes to digital marketing:

  • Content marketing – 15.1%
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) – 15.1%
  • Marketing automation – 14.8%
  • Big data – 14.4%
  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO) and improving website experiences – 7.0%
  • Social media marketing – 6.8%
  • Mobile marketing – 5.9%
  • IoT marketing applications – 3.4%
  • Communities – 3.2%
  • Online PR – 2.8%
  • SEO – 2.7%
  • Paid search marketing – 2.2%
  • Partnerships – 1.8%
  • Other – 1.7%
  • Display – 1.5%
  • Wearables – 1.3%

In terms of what’s driving results, Ascend’s 2019 Digital Marketing Strategies survey report shows that the following online tactics used in a digital marketing strategy are the most effective:

  • Content marketing – 58%
  • SEO – 50%
  • Email marketing – 47%
  • Search and social ads – 34%
  • Data-driven personalization – 31%
  • Marketing technology usage – 31%
  • Social media marketing – 30%

Clearly, marketing professionals have myriad ways to leverage digital marketing—and a practically limitless ways to combine both online and traditional offline efforts.

How Will You Mix Traditional and Digital Marketing?
There’s no easy way to determine what Marketing 4.0 will look like for your organization tomorrow, next year, or in the next decade. It will likely evolve over time, as new technology is introduced, as your customers change, and even as your marketing department matures and becomes more digitally savvy.

While we can’t provide a one-size-fits-all roadmap for prioritizing digital efforts—or traditional ones—we’re certain that continuing to focus on these key big-picture areas of your marketing strategy will help keep your eyes open for opportunities to make the most of Marketing 4.0:

  • Your Customers’ End-to-End User Experience – In How To Travel Through Your Buyer’s Journey, we stress that understanding your customers’ needs and preferences at each stage in their relationship with your brand is central to building loyalty. If you continually keep your finger on your customers’ proverbial pulse, you’ll be able to continually deliver on your promises and keep them happy…offline and online.
  • Marketing Technology – By now, your marketing team is logging into at least a few pieces of software—probably cloud-based and incorporating some artificial intelligence and machine learning—to better connect with customers. From your CRM and marketing automation systems to your CMS, your MarTech stack is helping you get work done, measure success, and reach your goals. Our advice is whenever a marketing process or operations question arises, or when you have a hunch that “there’s got to be a better way to do this,” there’s a tech solution available to help.
  • Tracking, Measuring, and Testing – As direct response marketers know, it’s essential to consistently measure your results, make adjustments based on your findings, and test new approaches. The marketing landscape is changing—it’s more dynamic than ever—and there’s no shortage of tools to help you discover what’s working, what’s not working, and what might work better. And there are so many new ways to experiment, especially within digital marketing channels and technologies. While customer preferences should guide your actions, always stay curious and willing to try something new.

Want to explore new ways to drive response and marketing results? Contact us to learn more.