We’re just four months in and 2015 has already brought us some important trends and technology that could affect industrial digital marketing.
With every significant change or technological advance come new projections and predictions about what the “hottest” and “niftiest” digital marketing trends will be. But with niche markets, such as industrial B2B (business-to-business) marketing, it’s not that easy to know which trends are going to be relevant and which ones can be ignored.
Luckily for you, I am a dyed-in-the-wool industrial marketer who just happens to keep my finger on the pulse of those issues so you don’t have to. Below you’ll find information on some of the most interesting marketing technology and trends that you, as an industrial B2B marketer, need to know about for 2015!
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update
People consume information on their mobile devices. There is a good chance (roughly 18%, according to our analytics) that you are reading this article on your phone or tablet right now. Things have been moving that way for a while, so it’s no surprise that Google has updated its search algorithms to favor sites designed to generate good experiences on mobile devices.
This is actually a very big deal. According to Zineb Ait Bahajji, a member of the Google Webmaster Trends team, this algorithm update could affect more websites than either the Panda or Penguin updates which, until this update, were the heftiest Google updates in recent memory.
In case you are curious about what exactly is changing, check out the explanation on Google’s blog or read our write-up specific to industrials. If you prefer, though, here are the highlights that most industrial companies should be aware of:
- This change will only affect mobile search rankings. In other words, desktop search results won’t change. The bad news, though, is that your site’s mobile readiness could begin to affect how well your site ranks overall as mobile search continues to grow.
- There is a tool to test your site to see if it’s compliant. Google has created a simple online evaluation tool, which you can use to test your site to see if changes need to be made.
- Search queries matter more in mobile search. This is an important point to remember. Due to Google’s increased desire to have faster and better mobile search results, they are favoring sites that are both mobile friendly and on topic. (Think of how Google’s search now tries to predict what you’re searching for before you finish typing and, on mobile, is already trying to show results based on those predictions.)
There are a lot of moving pieces to this algorithm change, but the main thing to keep in mind is Google’s primary motivation for the update: to create better experiences for search engine users on all devices. This, ideally, should be your goal for your customers as well. It’s just a matter of aligning the technology with the desire.
If you’re not sure where to start, please reach out to Industrial Strength Marketing. We’ve worked with many industrial clients to make mobile-ready websites in anticipation of this inevitable Google update and ongoing trend in search.
Last “Roundup,” we talked about wearable technology, so this may feel like a repeat, but with the recent release of the highly anticipated Apple Watch, I feel compelled to talk about this piece of technology that seems poised to change the way many people operate on a day-to-day basis.
If you haven’t heard by now, the Apple Watch was released on April 24, 2015 to mixed, but overall positive, reviews. With a powerhouse like Apple entering the market, wearable technology just got a huge push into the public spotlight and you can expect to see new apps, accessories, and processes being built to work with this hardware.
Ensuring that industrial digital marketing programs are designed to intercept professionals on the move is going to become even more important as wearable technology becomes more pervasive. It’s never too early to starting asking which customer experiences you can improve with a technological development like this.
Marketing convergence: It’s what we talk about when we talk about the integration of online and offline marketing tools and tactics.
Way back in the distant past of 2012, Forbes called convergence “the future of marketing.” The idea that everything is coming together isn’t a new one, but it seems to be taking hold in 2015 in what may very well be the “future” Forbes was talking about back in 2012. This idea is so important that Microsoft has an entire conference dedicated to innovations and insights around this topic.
Think of the progression of mobile phones over the past decade. They have gone from pure communication tools to being those plus computers, scanners, HD televisions, gaming consoles, shopping portals, credit card readers, and more.
Paralleling the convergence of techno toys, we’re seeing a convergence of marketing schools of thought. Where in the past, marketing, advertising, public relations, and sales had clear lines separating them from one another, those lines are “getting blurred,” according to Forbes.
You’ll hear marketing convergence called by many names, but whether someone talks about “integrated strategy,” “holistic marketing,” or another variation, the basic idea is the same: It’s time to stop thinking of the individual parts of your industrial marketing and sales programs in silos and start planning how their systems, tactics, and strategies can talk to, and work with, one another.
It may seem like email is an unlikely trend in digital marketing in 2015, but with the move towards marketing convergence online, it is important to remember that email is still a vibrant and effective marketing channel, especially for those in the industrial sector.
The first big trend to acknowledge in email marketing is responsive design. By now, I’m sure you’re up to your ears in talk about how websites need to be responsive. The same thought process behind that change — creating quality experiences for your customers on any digital device — should carry over into your thinking around sending emails. Emails created using responsive frameworks lend themselves to smooth experiences for customers on all devices, giving you an extra edge with buyers who may already be 50–60% of the way through the buying cycle by the time you contact them.
In a previous installment of the Roundup we talked about real-time marketing. And a lot has been said lately on Industrial Marketer about marketing automation. So it should be no surprise to see these topics come up again in this discussion of email marketing. In a nutshell, marketing automation software can trigger email campaigns and workflows based on specific website visitor activities, bringing your email into the realm of real-time marketing. By signing up with a marketing automation software service provider, you can easily take your email game to the next level.
Tell Us What’s Next
There are lots of new and exciting industrial 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 directions.
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 email@example.com with the subject “Industrial Digital Marketing Roundup.” Or, contact us directly.