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3 Essential Steps to Stellar Digital Marketing in 2014

2013 was a big year for digital marketers. Marketers that fail to adapt will risk irrelevance in 2014. Check your strategy with three predictions for digital marketing this year:

1. Top marketers will perfect close-loop reporting on digital.

The rapid proliferation of new digital marketing channels in the past few years has left marketers sprinting to keep up. The prevalence of digital has forever changed the traditional sales cycle, leaving marketers with a pretty hefty task: Develop a new digital ROI reporting method – fast. 2013 delivered some major industry surprises, like Secure Search, which further compounded the challenge.

The good news is that while digital channels are becoming more complex, marketers are making strides in ROI reporting and accountability. According to IBM’s 2013 Global CMO Study, nearly two-thirds of CMO’s expect ROI to be the primary measure of their performance by 2015. As it stands today, 1 in 4 marketers don’t know which digital channel delivers the best marketing ROI.

The accuracy of a modern ROI evaluation depends on a multi-touch attribution model that accounts for each digital channel’s influence on a closed deal. Currently, 3 out of 5 marketers have some type of attribution model in place.

2. This is the year of mobile. (For real, this time.)

We know you’ve heard this before, but this time it’s serious. Savvy mobile marketers will dominate digital in 2014. Here’s why:

First, the majority of your customers are already searching for you on mobile. 65% of searches begin on a mobile device, yet only 16% of marketers have developed mobile strategy. If you don’t already have a mobile-friendly site, now is the time to develop one.

Second, mobile ad investment will spike due to improved return on ad spend. You may have tried mobile ads in the past to no avail, but trust us, it’s worth a second look. With added cross-device conversion insights from Google’s Estimated Total Conversions release last quarter, marketers can expect to see greater ROI on mobile ad buys this year.

Ultimately, responsive design will become the expectation rather than the exception. Cross-device fluency will be absolutely essential in capturing the modern, “always on” customer.

3. Agile marketing is the new content marketing.

“Agile” is already gaining in over-used buzzword status, but agile marketing is nonetheless an essential concept in planning your marketing mix.  Agile or real-time marketing places an emphasis on using analytics with a defined, lean process to create flexible, in the moment messaging.

Effective agile marketing is the ultimate compliment to smart content creation as it gives brands the power to deliver tailored messages to prospects in real-time. Take the example of Oreo’s tweet in response to the 2013 Super Bowl power outage:

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Despite being a big name consumer brand, the Oreo marketing team demonstrated the flexibility to produce a brilliant creative at a moment’s notice. To compete with the competition, brands will need to employ similar lean processes to ensure marketing agility this year.

Bottom line: The agile marketer will win digital in 2014.

Want more actionable tips for digital success in 2014? Join us Tuesday, January 14th at 10AM PT to discover our full list of must-have digital marketing tactics of 2014.  Register to save your spot!