Updated: Jun 21

CONTEMPORARY DIGITAL MARKETING: A SNAPSHOT

A recent study conducted for Altimeter by leading analyst Omar Akhtar examines the key practices (strategies, channels & practices) being used to achieve digital marketing excellence. Altimeter is a research and consulting firm who published the report with the intention of helping the industry make progress, guided by the principle of Open Research.


The V5 Digital team is constantly on the lookout for ways to leverage disruptive technologies. It’s this desire to consistently make strides forward which aligns the Windhoek-based Digital Thought Leaders with San Francisco’s Altimeter Group. Now in its fifth year, Altimeter’s “The State of Digital Marketing” is a highly regarded paper, based on a survey of over 500 senior digital marketers in North America, Europe and China.

The most valued indicator of the success of digital marketing efforts is customer loyalty or customer lifetime value (CLV), followed by direct revenue. This suggests that one of the primary ways digital marketers can move beyond brand awareness is by understanding how to use technologies and practices – like e-commerce - that have a more palpable impact on the bottom line.

Despite it’s geographic focus, the paper holds many insights that are applicable to marketers in Africa. It is these key insights that will be pulled out for the purpose of this article.


DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

While many companies can transform digitally in some way – typically shifting certain functions or channels to digital - most battle with achieving transformation throughout the rest of the organisation. The underlying reasons for this are the challenges around finding talent with the necessary digital skills and being able to successfully scale innovation across all aspects of the business.

The biggest gaps in talent appear to be in data analysis and tech expertise – especially around marketing automation software expertise. These areas are desirable and valuable because they allow for more data-driven targeting and personalisation, customer segmentation and analysis, campaign performance tracking, and they drive the testing and learning processes. User Experience (UX) design and coding are also near the top of the list.

However, the study showed that traditional marketing skills such as video editing and content writing and editing, are still in healthy demand. SEO and paid media expertise have moved to the bottom of the list, probably because in the markets where this study was conducted many of the tasks related to those processes have been automated.



MEASURING DIGITAL MARKETING SUCCESS

The most valued indicator of the success of digital marketing efforts is customer loyalty or customer lifetime value (CLV), followed by direct revenue. This suggests that one of the primary ways digital marketers can move beyond brand awareness is by understanding how to use technologies and practices – like ecommerce - that have a more palpable impact on the bottom line.



SEGMENTATION

Traditional marketing segments customer groups predominantly by demographics and psychographics, whereas digital marketers focus more on behavioural segmentation. This allows digital marketers to focus on personalising content for different audiences.

The study found that marketers who emphasise traditional goals like brand awareness are also more likely to focus on traditional data (demographic), which may inhibit them from tackling other vital success metrics, like customer loyalty.


DIGITAL CUSTOMER JOURNEYS

A whopping 90% of respondents said they have or were busy implementing customer journey mapping. Sophisticated digital marketers increasingly map multi-channel digital customer journeys. Due to the variety of consumers marketing typically needs to address, we have seen the rise of content customisation frameworks that indicate what content will be delivered at different touchpoints to each different audience segment.



TESTING

Testing is a major indication of the sophistication of one’s digital marketing efforts. The majority of participants in the Altimeter survey stated that they conduct three to five tests a month, while the next largest group expressed that they do multivariate testing more than ten times a month.

Testing leads to learning, which is then used to optimise content or experiences at different points of the customer journey so that marketers can optimise formats, offers and messaging. This has become a key function of the strategic planning required of digital marketers.


TOP PERFORMING CHANNELS

It’s no surprise that respondents expressed that websites are close to being their top performing channel, since consumers who visits websites already have high intent by the time they click through to a website. What is surprising is that social media beats websites. On the other end of the spectrum, email marketing is bottom of the list, probably because the influx of emails the average person receives dilutes their impact.

Interestingly, where companies expressed that Customer Lifetime Value was their primary concern, email featured far more highly. This suggests that email should be used for post-purchase communications, rather than brand awareness.


PERSONALISATION

80% of respondents said their company engages in real-time personalisation on their digital channels. This means that if you book a skiing holiday, for instance, a travel company might change the background on their website to images of skiing while you browse. Much more widespread is the use of web and social analytics platforms to deliver personalised content and experiences. However, the shift toward personalisation is evident in the fact that marketers specified that it is their top priority for future initiatives.


DIGITAL MARKETING PLATFORM VENDORS

The four major enterprise marketing platforms are Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle and IBM, which together hold 86% market share. Salesforce beats out the competition as the preferred solution. This is likely because Salesforce scores highly across the board, for achieving brand awareness, CLV and customer experience.

The biggest challenge facing digital marketers when it comes to using marketing platforms is pulling data from across the varied systems they use to facilitate consistent, pertinent customer experiences.



THE NEXT BIG THING

What’s the next big thing in digital marketing? The Altimeter study shows that the most-used tech innovations are:

1. Blended digital and physical experiences that enable and personalise in-store experiences and data capture

2. Voice or smart assistant technologies

3. Machine learning

The study also reveals the next next big thing, since participants divulged which new technologies they are planning to use in the next eighteen months. Topping that list is augmented and virtual reality, followed by the Internet of Things.


THE STATE OF YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING

If you’re a digital marketer or you have a company that is looking to up its digital game, hopefully you have found inspiration in this snapshot of the global landscape. In particular, understanding the multiple business goals that digital marketers can work toward – beyond brand awareness – means that attention can shift toward investing in practices and technologies that further those goals, such as e-commerce and CLV.


V5 digital, one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Windhoek, Namibia, can assist you on your digital journey by understanding your unique digital business needs. Whether that involves helping you to use digital to sell your products or services online, or connecting with your customers on social media, V5 Digital specialises in crafting fine-tuned, clear, agile digital strategies to help your business succeed.


Don’t hesitate to contact V5 Digital for a free assessment or to help you decide whether investing in a digital is the right next step.

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Updated: May 26, 2020

Every year, the world’s most innovative minds come to Dreamforce to inspire, excite and motivate.



We will bring you the latest in innovation from the worlds largest Technology conference out of San Francisco.



Join us as the future takes center stage. These four days that will change the way you think about business. Dreamforce has grown into so much more than a conference — it’s an experience like no other. From inspiring keynotes and sessions to visionary thinking to discovering the future of technology to actually changing the world, it’s a truly empowering four days and an event you won’t want to miss.




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Updated: May 26, 2020

Phew! V5 Digital has turned 1, and we are taking the digital world by storm. We have made use of every opportunity to showcase what we’re all about, including our engaging birthday competition. First things first, before we explain how the competition was conducted, we’d like to congratulate our birthday competition winners:



Congratulations to the following winners:

Amazon Echo Dot Speaker - Kristine Haidula

Do Digital Social Media Course - Shekutaamba Nepembe

V5 Digital AF Cap - Andre Le Roux

V5 Digital AF Cap - Lezander Davids

V5 Digital AF Cap - Christella Horn

V5 Digital AF Cap - Masumi Govindan

V5 Digital AF Cap - Paul Nakashololo

V5 Digital AF Cap - Kredula Amadhila

V5 Digital AF Cap - Elizabeth Ndiyanapo Iipinge

V5 Digital AF Cap - Damian Sheende

V5 Digital AF Cap - Josaphat Ekondo n Aipinge

V5 Digital AF Cap - Orasia Penehafo Shimuningeni

V5 Digital AF Hoodie - Jackie Kaela

V5 Digital AF Hoodie - Frieda Ipinge

V5 Digital AF Hoodie - Lossert Shatumbu

V5 Digital AF Hoodie - Gerhard Kuutondonkwa

V5 Digital AF Hoodie - Silke Kuhn


What did you have to do in order to win?


Well, we ran an omni-channel competition, and we were more than impressed by the number of people who participated in the competition – especially because we are still a young company.


You’re probably wondering why we decided to do an omni-channel, and the reason for this is simple: V5 Digital is not only here to be the best in the digital world, but to also teach you to be the best digital version you can be.



V5 Digital Birthday Facebook Bot
V5 Digital Birthday Facebook Bot




We ran our campaign across four social media platforms (Facebook using our AI-powered survey bot) as well as via personalized email marketing, and through our Rocketseed dynamic email signatures. By making use of these various channels, participants were provided with a completely seamless and integrated experience from their first touch-point to the last.


How did marketing automation play a role in making our birthday campaign a success?

SharpSpring, a marketing automation tool, enabled us to automate and facilitate follow up emails and responses with each and every individual who participated in our competition (whom had slightly different consumer journeys, depending on whether they were an existing member of our CRM database). SharpSpring made it possible for us to personalize each email by using dynamic content (the content changes were based on user signals that include in-session behavior, user data, and user-characteristics) – this is a great tool for any company to make use of. By gathering this data marketers can pinpoint their target market as well as re-target these clients on a more personal and effective manner.


If you would like to know more feel free to contact us.


If you weren’t one of the lucky winners this time, keep an eye out for our Christmas Competition. After all, 'tis the season to be giving.


Yours Digitally

V5 Digital

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