New era, paradigm shift, dramatic transformation, or whatever else you’d like to call it, it’s here! The introduction and rapid development of Social Media (SM) and UGC (user-generated content) has changed the marketing landscape and environment forever. Whether you market online or offline, doesn’t matter. If you want to convert and grow, you must be prepared. We are now marketing in (and to) a world that requires a very different approach than the pre-SM world did.
Having surveyed 1,068 marketing professionals from around the globe (62% in North America, 36% in Europe, and 2% in Asia), Alterian has been able to reveal some very interesting data.
Here are just a few of the observations they have arrived at (additional marking and highlighting on the charts – mine):
- During the next 12 months, how much of your marketing budget do you see shifting from traditional direct marketing (direct mail/telemarketing) to digital/interactive, social channels?
- In which new marketing techniques are you currently investing or plan to invest?
- How would you rank the importance of social media (such as social networking sites, user-generated content, blogs, etc) to the overall marketing mix?
- How prepared do you feel you are to take advantage of the new techniques that digital and social media represent as part of your overall marketing/customer engagement strategy?
The mandate for marketers is clear. They need to get ready to engage online — through their own websites and in the communities that their customers and prospects belong to. And they need to get ready to engage with each other, transcending the traditional marketing silos and focusing on delivering a consistent message which provides value for the customer and the company.
Whether you are an affiliate or a merchant, an online business or a brick-n-mortar one, you cannot afford to ignore the new reality where the key determinant of conversion is customer engagement. Are you already embracing this in your marketing strategy?