Digital Marketing – think about the last time you bought a product or service. Perhaps it was on Amazon, Google, or another e-commerce site. Or maybe you purchased a product in person, such as at a department store or specialty retailer. In all likelihood, you probably didn’t buy anything—you most likely rented, leased, subscribed to, licensed, or joined something. There’s probably no chance that you marketed and sold anything.
Surprisingly enough, these are all examples of digital marketing—more specifically, the new age of digital marketing known as “connected user experiences” (CUX). Given how much technology has changed in recent years, it might seem strange to think that there is more than one kind of digital marketing out there. However, with everything from mobile apps to voice assistants seeing increased usage and popularity among consumers, marketers must adapt to reach their target audience in a different way than they have in previous years.
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What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing refers to efforts to promote brands, products, or services through the use of channels and tools that are delivered digitally. Many of these channels and tools have been around for years, but marketers have only recently begun to realize the potential for these tools in terms of scale, reach, and impact. Once considered as just email marketing, digital marketing now encompasses a wide range of activities, from paid search marketing, to social media marketing, content marketing, and more. Digital marketing tends to be channel-agnostic, meaning that marketers can use one channel to distribute content from another. This allows marketers to reach audiences across multiple channels, using a variety of tools, in order for their message to be heard.
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What is connected user experience?
A connected user experience is a digital experience that is seamless across different channels, devices, and touchpoints. In many ways, connected user experiences have always been around. Many brands have long offered cross-channel experiences, like Apple, which provides customers with seamless access to support, products, and services.
However, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and other new technologies are bringing together new ways to create seamless user experiences. Connected user experiences have been highlighted as one of the top marketing trends in 2019 by the Mark Fidel-Wonder Digital Marketing Trends Survey, which found that 77% of marketers are implementing connected user experiences in their marketing strategy or are planning to do so in the near future.
Digital marketing with user experiences
Marketers are only ever one part of the greater user experience. While it is important to understand customer needs, preferences, and pain points when creating content and designing digital experiences, you need to keep in mind that you aren’t the only people involved in the customer journey.
A connected user experience doesn’t just refer to the ways in which customers use technology to interact with brands. It also refers to the types of technology and the way in which businesses implement these tools in their customer experience. In fact, the technology-driven customer experience has been growing steadily among businesses since 2017, when over half of companies had adopted or planned to adopt some sort of automation.
User experience in digital advertising
Advertising is one of the oldest forms of marketing and will likely outlive almost every other marketing channel. It won’t, however, remain static. In fact, it will continue to change and evolve alongside the rest of the connected user experience. Banners and display ads are still some of the most widely used forms of digital advertising.
However, with consumers using ad blocking software more frequently, marketers have had to shift their focus to improving ad experience. This involves implementing tools such as personalized targeting and ad scheduling, as well as optimizing ad content and design to increase click-through rates (CTR) and user engagement.
Digital marketing - B2B and B2C examples
If you’re marketing a B2B product or service, you’ve likely already been taking advantage of connected user experiences for some time. There’s little doubt that email marketing and sales funnels have been essential parts of B2B marketers’ repertoire for years. B2C marketers, however, are just beginning to realize the full potential of connected user experiences.
Automated marketing tools, such as chatbots and AI-generated content, allow B2C brands to more effectively engage with customers across channels and touchpoints, like voice assistants, without dedicating an inordinate amount of time and resources.
E-commerce - B2B and B2C examples
Regardless of whether you’re selling B2B or B2C, e-commerce is one of the most important areas of digital marketing. Consumers can buy virtually anything online, from groceries and toiletries, to automobiles and houses. E-commerce websites need to offer customers the convenience of “click, click, click” shopping. This is especially important as the retail landscape becomes increasingly saturated with “click and pick up in store” options, like Amazon’s expansion into physical stores.
E-commerce user experience can be broken down into several key components: – Product pages – This is the first thing customers see when they visit your website, so they must be appealing and easy to navigate. – Shopping cart and checkout process – This is often where customers drop off and leave your website. Make sure the process is simple and user-friendly. – Customer service – Ensure you have a responsive customer service team available to answer questions, address concerns, and offer support, no matter what channel the customer is using. – The overall user experience – The experience must be seamless, from the first click on your website, to receiving and unpacking an order. – Integration with other channels – Your e-commerce experience should extend beyond your website. Customers want to be able to order and receive their orders quickly, across all channels and devices.
A truly connected user experience will require marketers to think beyond their respective disciplines, and instead collaborate with their counterparts to ensure all elements of the customer journey are seamless. This is especially true as technology becomes more integrated with our daily lives, and customers continue to expect the same connected experience in all aspects of their lives. For marketers who are new to digital marketing, or who are looking to brush up on their skills, the influx of new technologies may seem overwhelming. However, as you can see from this article, you can use these technologies to create better connections between your brand and your customers.