This year, our marketing team set out to Amsterdam for two days of learning and networking at the DMWF Digital Marketing Conference Europe 2021. Not only was this their very first teambuilding, it was also a great way to confirm that they’re on the right track with their digital marketing efforts. All that while also getting new insights and ideas. To say it was a successful trip is the least!
The key take-away: be human
Many speakers talked about the importance of being human. That is: humanising your brand so that it’s easier for people to make a connection. In a world where third data will have to make place for first data, it’s imperative to gain people’s trust. Easier said than done? Not really. By adding real people in your marketing mix (and your sales), you get to gather trust a lot quicker than you might anticipate.
That means you’ll have to invest in employer branding. Show your people on your channels, show their knowledge. Let them feel valued by telling prospects and customers how your brand is of value to them. It’s content marketing, but a step further than what you might be used to. Humanisation also goes hand in hand with personalisation. Humans helping other humans, reaching out on a personal level. You can take that quite literally! Imagine sending out a video to a prospect in which you talk about them and how you can work together, rather than a boring and standardised written proposal. What will people respond best to, you think? That’s right. The personal (and human) approach.
The rise of storytelling (again)
Storytelling never really went away. But it did disappear to the background for a while. Simply because a new buzzword was making well, a lot of buzz. Content marketing! While actually, these are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have storytelling without content marketing, and vice versa. A strong marketing plan always embodies powerful storytelling. Why? Because storytelling is what engages people. To be tied to your brand, to be an ambassador even. What’s important here, is that you always think from a customer’s perspective. Sure, your product and brand are amazing. But no, that’s not what really interests the people. It’s why it is amazing for them and how it helps their lives. Which means you always start from a problem in which people can recognise themselves, and you just so happen to have an amazing solution. You sell a story to which people feel connected to, transcending your product.
Know your target group
A vastly underwhelming advice, you say? Actually, no. It’s often perceived as an obvious matter, yet it’s as common to be rather out of touch with your target group. Marketing then starts from what you think matters to your potential customers, rather than actually knowing what they need and want. That’s why it is so important to actually get to know the people you want to reach, in order for you to give them the right message. By understanding the audience’s behaviours, initiatives and challenges, you can plan a dialogue that responds to their changing information needs over time. This of course requires time and effort, but it pays off. The moment you get to answer your target group’s actual needs, the more you’ll be selling. And don’t ever slack off! Keep investing in research and keep listening to them so that even when they change, you can still reach them.
First party data
As mentioned above, first party data will replace third party data in the future. That doesn’t mean this is just a problem of the future. IT means we have to anticipate on this major change and start thinking on how we can still gather valuable data that serves both your company and your customers. Key here is that you don’t gather data just for the sake of it. Sure, you can try and get as many as possible. But always make sure that what you gather, has value and a purpose. Your customers and prospects grant you their data because they trust you and want to enjoy your services or products. They value it when you use their data for personalised offers. What they don’t value? You just gathering data and not do anything with it that. benefits them.
The way we get our data differs strongly from how we collected data before. As in: we now actually will have to do an effort, as compared to what we’re used to. Collecting first party data doesn’t have to be hard, however. Think of forms to get a discount (in which you can leave basic, crucial information), or surveys. And don’t ever forget the value of a preference center! This leaves people with the choice to easily decide what they want to give you, and enjoy the benefits that come with it. Also to never forget is the consent history. We’re all forgetful sometimes. So it’s better to be safe than sorry – consent history is your failsafe when someone incorrectly claims that you collected their data against their will.
There were of course plenty more interesting talks and meetings, but these were our main take-aways from the conference. We’re eager to further implement these in our own marketing efforts. We’re also very eager for our next conference together! Interested in how we can apply these learnings for you? Let’s talk!