Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with what is going on in the world of digital marketing. It gets even more difficult when you try to focus on multiple channels within multiple industries, such as industrial B2B (business-2-business).
Well, luckily for you, I just happen to keep my finger on the pulse of those issues so you don’t have to. Below you’ll find some of the most interesting technology and trends that you need to know about for Q4 of 2014. There was a lot that came about last quarter, so hold on tight!
iOS 8 Update(s) — When it was released earlier last month, Apple called the new iOS 8 update the “biggest update ever.” Whether or not that’s true is still up for debate, but what’s not up for debate is that there are certain features that will affect some of the ways you may be marketing online.
Note: We’ll be skipping over the iOS 8 Siri, Camera, Messages and Notifications updates in this post to focus more on how Safari was updated and what changes you need to be aware of for your web presence.
Depending on which study you look at, roughly 20–25% of Americans own an Apple iPhone. So, if you’ve been holding out on updating your website to make it mobile-friendly, or if you’ve been allowing your desktop website to remain stagnant while only attending to the mobile version, it’s time to rethink your strategy because Safari for iOS 8 lets you set your preference between desktop and mobile sites. Most mobile devices automatically look for a mobile-friendly site while browsing, but Apple now lets users choose which version they’d like to see first on their iPhones with their “Request Desktop Site” button.
So what does this mean for you? Well, it’s no secret that you should have a mobile-friendly website, but with at least 20% of the country now able to choose between desktop and mobile on their iPhone, it’s time to make sure you’re covered no matter how they find (and view) your company website, no matter which device they use.
SSL + SEO — Is your site HTTPS/SSL secure? Have your webmasters added an SSL 2048-bit key certificate to your site? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you may want to ask them ASAP.
Last August, Google announced that sites that have these security settings in place would have a slight advantage over sites that don’t. SearchEngineLand has a fantastic recap on all the steps to take to meet these security standards, but you should also keep in mind that by taking the time to get your SSL certificate in order, you will also take a step towards better search engine rankings.
Mobile Advertising — I would be surprised if you haven’t noticed a shift in the sizes of phones, tablets, and laptops over the last few years. It almost feels like all the devices are slowly merging into one, all-helpful device. With phablets (large smartphones nearly the size of tablets) and laptops with removable keyboards that become tablets, people are becoming more mobile while working, shopping, researching, and living.
Terms like Remarketing, Native Advertising, Mobile Performance Marketing, Geo-Fencing/Ring-Fencing, Conquesting, and Human Cookies are becoming commonplace at ad agencies and companies with progressive digital marketing programs. All of these are strategies for advertising to customers by their geographic regions or mobile devices as a separate initiative. By implementing them, you can easily get a leg up on the competition by targeting your audience wherever they are online (and in the world). So if you aren’t already, it’s time to look at incorporating mobile advertising budgets into your yearly marketing plans.
Real-Time Marketing — According to Jay Baer, Real-Time Marketing is defined as “using data analytics with a process flow to shift marketing messages in real time or near real time.” You may have heard it called different names (e.g., Agile, Purposeful Engagement, Responsive Marketing), but call it what you will, Real-Time Marketing is online marketing that exploits the near-instant response enabled by the Internet, which took what had been a marketing dream for decades and turned it into a reality.
Disclaimer: There are currently a lot of people talking about Real-Time Marketing, and we have seen a lot of “thought-leaders” explain it away as simply capitalizing on current newson social media from a brand’s point of view, but let us assure you, that is not what we are referring to when we discuss Real-Time Marketing. Real-Time Marketing is about having an ongoing process for dealing with issues, questions, applause, and complaints that isn’t based around a specific, time-sensitive campaign.
True Real-Time Marketing involves having an analytics engine set up that can relay in-the-moment insights about your visitors’ behavior on your site, dedicating “on call” staff to monitor and deal with issues no matter what time of day, establishing a process that empowers employees to handle issues quickly for clients, and staying front-of-mind to your entire audience throughout the buying cycle.
There are new and exciting digital marketing technologies, tools, and trends emerging every day. We hope this quarterly column will help you stay on top of them and point you in the right direction. If you have any tech, tools, or trends you would like us to cover in future editions of the Industrial Digital Marketing Roundup, please email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Industrial Digital Marketing Roundup,” or contact us directly.