12 thoughts on the future of digital marketing in the professions

Posted on: May 11, 2011

With my new training course for the PM Forum (Inbound marketing and social media – 15th June) looming on the horizon I thought I’d better see about the latest thinking at the other end of the spectrum on digital marketing and was delighted when Mark Power, CEO of Concep (www.concepglobal.com), invited me along to join his recent Unmissable Marketing session.

I was pleased to see that in addition to the expected law and accountancy practices, there was a healthy contingent from the property world and from one of the professional membership organisations. And two delegates had made the trip down from Edinburgh – that’s dedication!

Promising to provide some insights into the importance of integrating digital marketing into overall marketing efforts in the medium term he started by explaining the goal of digital marketing (“Deliver/provide access to specific content to the right people when they want at the frequency they desire and through the channel they prefer”) and exploring the challenges.

Challenges

  1. Attract/grow the right digital skill set
  2. Make sense of all the marketing intelligence data (whether from CRM, analytics, email analysis etc)
  3. Generate compelling and relevant content (through collaboration with the various specialists and departments)
  4. Revert back to and integrate with traditional channels (Mark referred here to the CIM courses on Integrated Marketing Communications which, ironically, have since been replaced – just when we need it most!)
  5. Make CRM work top to bottom – the integration point again
  6. Overcome screen time overload – how to connect with busy people
  7. Calculate ROI – particularly challenging when the sales cycle is long and the fee-earners have to close the loop
  8. Follow up campaigns – again, particularly difficult when much of this is undertaken by the fee-earners
  9. Manage the on-line reputation of the firm
  10. Manage multiple digital marketing platforms
  11. Build and maintain dynamic web sites
  12. Reach those who are not interacting

He mentioned that a few years ago the open rates for emails were at the 55-60% level but are now at about 30% and still declining.

Trends

  1. Reinvestment in web 1.0 – getting the basics right
  2. Demise of generic social media – rise of closed networks and specific communities
  3. From push to pull communications
  4. Email will survive in B2B – despite Gartner predictions
  5. Data overload – skills to deal with all the data
  6. Visualisation – presenting complex data and content in new ways
  7. Mobile apps – particularly for events and premium content
  8. Growth and acceptance of the cloud
  9. Generic search declining in effectiveness – possible move to search in social media and within specific communities
  10. Peer-to-peer referral power growth
  11. User customisation and preference management
  12. Usability an imperative

Foundations

He summarised by indicating the foundations for all good digital marketing strategies:

  1. Marketing strategy and digital strategy must be fully integrated
  2. Web site must be a priority
  3. Measurement must be “baked in”, not an afterthought
  4. Don’t devalue traditional channels
  5. Know your target audience
  6. Produce engaging content and thought leadership

 

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