In our last blog, we discussed what digital marketers were doing in 2016, according to Adobe. Based on the Adobe’s survey feedback, they created the “Four Essential Elements for Digital Maturity.” The four elements were:

  1. Data-Driven Marketing
  2. Customer Experience
  3. Mobile
  4. Cross-Channel Marketing

Each element is crucial for advanced digital maturity. An expansion of each element and its best practices follows.

Data-Driven Marketing: The Many Layers of Customer Behavior

Data-driven marketing is the foundation for everything. It helps you to better understand who your customer is, what they do, and why they do it. Through better analytics, your company can dodge the risks of guessing and create more effective marketing programs.

And marketers recognize these advantages. 63% of digital marketers in North America are already using web analytics, and 70% plan to. 27% have taken the additional step of using predictive analytics, rather than just looking retrospectively; 56% plan to.

How should you best tackle the importance of analytics?

Best Practices:

  1. Use data to understand the customer’s individual journey and deliver relevant experiences.
  2. Use analytics to predict your customers’ next moves.
  3. Centralize data so that it is easily accessible across channels and throughout your organization.
  4. Integrate outside data to augment segmentation, personalization, and audience management efforts.

Customer Experience: Ignite Brand Loyalty

Good customer experiences can ignite passion and create momentum for your brand, as your customers begin advocating on behalf of your brand. Negative experiences do the opposite – extinguishing future engagement.

With all the ways brands communicate with customers these days, it’s more important than ever to contact the right customer, at the right time, and on the right device. Marketers also acknowledge the importance of this element – 94% believe that the customer view is either somewhat or very important.

A good way to create a positive experience is through personalization, but it can be difficult to create a personalized solution for every imaginable scenario, so some automation is necessary. It can be hard work to set up personalized strategies, but the pay off can be major. 70% of digital marketers automating personalized content found that it improved KPIs.

What other ways can marketers improve the customer experience?

Best Practices

  1. Remember that every touchpoint is a chance for customers to connect with your brand.
  2. Develop content with customers’ needs in mind.
  3. Develop rich customer profiles; use these profiles to deliver highly personalized and relevant content (on the right device).
  4. 4. Automate personalized content.

Mobile: Mobile-First is Your New Mantra

Mobile experiences should now be prioritized over desktop. This is because content everywhere we go is no longer optional; it’s expected. If you can’t provide the experience on mobile, someone else can and will. The numbers prove it – 70% of organizations say it’s either very or somewhat important to improve mobile capabilities during the next 3 years.

It seems that retail commerce is most affected by this trend, with 64% increasing mobile budgets, compared to 51% of organizations overall.

How can you best improve the mobile experience?

Best Practices

  1. Make mobile a priority; invest in mobile channels and apps.
  2. Create mobile sites and apps that feel like they were born for mobile, rather than retrofitted.
  3. Determine if your mobile channels are serving specific purposes for customers.
  4. 4. Understand how your customers are interacting with your mobile content; invest in a continuous experience.

Cross-Channel Marketing: Great Marketing Experiences are Fluid

The customer experience needs to be fluid and move continuously from device to device. Wherever your customer goes, your content needs to be available. And both the customer’s journey and company’s campaigns require continuity; customers should be able to pick up where they left off on their mobile device, from their desktop.

How to achieve this cross-channel continuity?

Best Practices

  1. Invest in tech, processes, and tools that deliver relevant experiences at any point in the customer journey.
  2. Find the strengths of each channel, adapt the message for each one, and weave the messages into one, cohesive story.
  3. Ensure all your systems and channels are working together, sharing data, content, and assets.
  4. 4. Invest in tools to understand the customer journey and manage their experience.

Don’t Forget the Four Elements

Data-Driven Marketing, Customer Experience, Mobile, Cross-Channel Marketing: the four elements of digital marketing. Each one works with the others to create the best possible brand experience. Data-driven marketing offers the most fundamental of benefits by providing a better customer portrait. Creating positive customer experiences build greater customer relationships and brand loyalty. Mobile and cross-channel marketing make your content available across the board, with your customers’ device needs in mind. Each element is adopted by or the goal of a majority of digital marketing organizations, and ignoring these trends puts you at a disadvantage.