Immersive, Measurable, and Mobile—The Guiding Principles for Digital Marketing in 2011

30 November 2010

It’s no secret that the paradigm shift toward digital marketing is accelerating. Depending on which research you read, offline marketing spend is down in double digits, while online marketing is up about 10% and mobile marketing is up nearly 20%. But the open question for marketers in 2011—and especially B2B companies—is what kind of digital marketing experiences to create, and what bets to make. Recently at the CMO Club Summit in San Francisco, Adobe CMO Ann Lewne shared some views around the principles that drive digital marketing decisions and the illustrative marketing priorities at Adobe, whose self-described mission is “to change the world through digital experiences.”

A few clear themes emerged from the group discussion. First, the most viral and valuable digital marketing experiences are those that feel the most immersive to the customer. Lewne observed that digital marketing provides unique opportunities for creating experiences that draw in customers, hold their fascination, and drive engagement all the way through funnel. Second, digital marketing allows you to measure not just engagement, but conversion  both on and off your web site (even through sales channels), which is essential for proving the ROI of your campaign. And third, the single most important bet for marketers to make in 2011 is on mobile marketing.

“Next year is the crossover year for mobile,” Lewne observed. “Everybody now has to reformat their content and create experiences that are mobile-oriented rather than taking what you have and slap it onto a mobile device.” And after a robust group discussion around the multi-screen revolution now underway among consumers, Lewne encouraged the audience to get ahead of the digital curve, now. “Get ahead of it and mandate it at your company. Because that’s where people want to get their information, purchase products, read magazines, watch movies. That’s where the world is headed.”

What was most interesting about the discussion was the discussion around which metrics matter most when it comes to digital marketing. Many attendees seemed to be thirsting for a hard ROI argument to take to their CFO, and while digital does offer a variety of metrics miracles, which one you turn to depends on your business objective—and your culture.

“Making it beautiful isn’t enough,” Lewne told the crowd, citing various metrics such as customer loyalty, sales conversion, brand position and consumer engagement. Even reputational standing can be enhanced through philanthropic endeavors such as Adobe’s Museum of Digital Media. “We’re not selling on this thing,” she noted. “This is just about connecting to our customers.”

And that, perhaps more than any other statement, captures where the smart bets in digital marketing appear to be right now—making meaningful, beautiful and authentic connections with your customers.

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