CRO part 2

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Part
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Digital Marketing - General Trends

Industry trends specific to the digital marketing industry in general and QuanticMind's competitors such as Marin Software, Kenshoo, Adobe and Google, have been provided. Trends provided revolve around hot topics, new innovations and market drivers. Major general digital marketing trends in 2018 include: augmented reality integrated through social media, machine-mediated customer conversations, a personalized customer journey, video marketing and more targeted ads with specific purpose.

OVERVIEW

1. Augmented Reality Integrated Through Social Media

With the development of mobile devices and the increasing power they hold, brands will look into integrating social apps with augmented reality in order to be more successful in engaging with customers. Currently, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder and Pokemon GO all other AR experiences.

2. Conversational User Interfaces

Conversational interactions, or conversational user interfaces, namely Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana as well as chat bots and other offerings, will grow in use and "find their place in consumers' daily routines and lives".

3. Voice Marketing

Google shared that as of now, 20% of its mobile searches are performed as mobile searches. This number is only expected to increase with customers having a wider range of devices that offer voice searches, such as Google, Alexa, Siri, but also smart devices such as cars, fridges etc.

4. Predictive Algorithms

Application programming interfaces are used more often and are the building stone to using more of "machine-learning algorithms, natural language processing and artificial intelligence". Machine learning is considered to be one of the greatest interest to digital marketers in 2018. It is already improving online translation services such as DeepL, but it also has a great potential to grow efficiency for digital marketers as it enables automation of repetitive tasks. NVIDIA is considered one of the leaders in using machine learning for its marketing department. They leverage machine learning to find social media posts that refer to the brand.

5. DIGITAL MARKETING PREDICTIONS

There are two major digital marketing predictions that are expected to become the emerging trends in 2018:
Data: Projections currently in place say that data production by companies will "increase 4300% by 2020 and that mismanaged data will cost businesses $3.3 trillion by 2020".

Importance of full-funnel insights: 67% of chief marketing officers have a plan to invest more in digital advertising, and 63% plan to cut investments in old media channels. Full-funnel visibility is needed to showcase which "parts of their funnel are returning value, and more importantly, which ones aren’t."

6. TRENDS AS REPORTED BY KENSHOO

The company published their review of the main trends they encountered in 2017, and they are as follows:

Positioning of mobile ads led to the increase in social media spending of 40% on a year-over-year basis and search ad spending increase of 10%. Additionally, mobile ads spending overall was up 51% for social media and 45% for search ads while product ads spending experienced a growth rate of 63% on social media and 33% for search ads.

Video ad spending tied to social media also experience a growth and now makes up 30% of the total social media spending. If placed properly, the expanded text ads can reach high engagement and as much as 60% of search keyword ad impressions.

The leading provider of ad space quoted in Kenshoo's report is Google because it "continues to strength in its Shopping campaigns while other platforms ramp up their product-based ad units to compete".

7. TRENDS AS REPORTED BY MARINE SOFTWARE

In 2016, Google and Facebook were responsible for 99% of revenue growth when it comes to digital advertising in the U.S. That leads to digital marketing companies to swarm these channels. For 2018, marketers are turning to "technologies that allow them to mine the search and social gold".

8. TRENDS concerning GOOGLE (MARKET LEADER)

According to a report conducted by eMarketer, Google was the owner of 75.8% of the search market in 2016. This percentage is expected to grow and reach 80% in 2018.
In 2018, Google is planning to embrace machine learning as part of their strategy to switch from "advertising based on keywords to advertising based on user intent".
Additionally, Google introduced the "in-Marketing audiences based on machine learning" which enables companies to "determine prospects who are moving closer to the end of the buying cycle and shows them relevant search ads results to enable them take action quickly".

9. TRENDS AS REPORTED BY ADOBE (internally)

Adobe produced a digital marketing trends report in partnership with Econsultancy in order to see which trends defined the market.

Compelling customer experience was Adobe's top priority. 22% of client responses said that optimizing the customer experience was "the single most exciting opportunity in 2017".

Adobe's highest priorities for 2017 were:
"Content marketing (29 percent)
Social media engagement (28 percent)
Targeting and personalization (25 percent)".

10. HOT MARKET TRENDS AS REPORTED BY ADOBE

Adobe claims that the "emergence of technologies like AR, VR and machine learning will shape marketing in 2017 and beyond". They are counting on machine learning and data science to offer a wide range of productivity opportunities for digital marketing, which would allow the marketers to focus their time on building general strategies and leave the day-to-day analytics to the machines.

Adobe is also counting on video to make a large difference in marketing campaigns: "Adobe’s acquisition of TubeMogul shows our focus on video in marketing campaigns. It will create the first end-to-end independent advertising and data management solution that spans TV and digital formats, simplifying what has been a complex and fragmented process for brands."

CONCLUSION

The four big general trends in the digital marketing space are: augmented reality integrated through social media, conversational user interfaces, voice marketing and predictive algorithms. The industry leaders also reported trends they noticed for 2018, with the most interesting trends including Google and Facebook now being the two companies responsible for 99% of revenue growth when it comes to digital advertising in the U.S., and Google owning 80% of the search market by 2018. Adobe claims that the emergence of technologies like AR, VR and machine learning will shape marketing in 2017 and beyond, and expects video marketing to greatly impact 2018.
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Part
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Digital Marketing - Hiring Trends

2018 will have a high demand for digital marketing talent, and companies will be willing to pay more for said talent, as the demand is greater than available talent in the United States. What follows is a look back at 2017 digital marketing trends that are going to carry over in to 2018, as well as the skills and positions that companies value most when looking for potential candidates.

2017 TRENDS SPILLING INTO 2018

In 2017, companies focused on “designing multi-disciplinary and cross-functional marketing teams” in order to “leverage the full spectrum of digital marketing”. Marketers who utilize a multichannel approach for reaching their target audience, and can be “creative with their messaging” were the most sought-after candidates.

A demand for digital marketing candidates with numerous skills (“technology, data, strategy, and creativity”) was high in 2017, and is expected to translate to 2018, while professionals in digital advertising, content strategy, and content creation and curation will be the highest in demand. Skills in “marketing automation, lead generation, and social media” were the mid-range skills most in demand in 2017, while “project management, direct response, and partner marketing” were the low-range skills in demand.
Further, a study in 2017 showed that “more than half of marketing hires [would] be digital in 2017”, and “digital advertising and content rank highest among digital marketing needs”.

44% of companies in 2017 hired digital marketing professionals for growth, “while 49% hired to fill vacant positions”. Another 56% were searching for professionals with skills in “SEO/SEM, lead generation, mobile, social, and content creation and curation”. Because digital marketing demand is “twice over the available supply”, many companies “employed advanced sourcing and recruiting strategies” in 2017 to find necessary talent, and can be expected to do so in 2018.

2018 SKILLSETS IN DEMAND

In 2018, the digital skills most in demand are predicted to be digital business analytics, mobile development, content creation and management (CMS), consumer and behavioral analytics, and digital project management. Because “audiences have become savvier about knowing when they’re being ‘marketed to’, content teams are investing in multiple roles to ensure they’re producing quality pieces that B2B and B2C consumers value”. Additionally, it’s important for a company to determine if its more beneficial to outsource some of their digital marketing skills, my “evaluating what work [they] feel comfortable shifting out of house, as leveraging external partners can give you scalability to meet evolving business demands”.

As was a trend in 2017, the 2018 market industry is “rapidly changing globally…and consumers are consuming information digitally”, meaning that companies are continuing to value candidates who can work across multiple advertising channels. Further, many companies are beginning to look to non-industry experts as well, in order to “get a fresh thinking and skill set that can prove to be game changers in a changing environment”.
Again as with 2017, companies in 2018 will be looking for skill sets that encompass SEM and SEO, as well as product content across social media platforms. Due to a high demand for digital marketing positions, those who carry digital market skills have the opportunity to earn over $7,000 than other marketing roles, as “digital marketing jobs take 16% longer to fill”.

Roles in demand in 2018

The likely most important roles that will be in high-demand in 2018 + subsequent years are as follows:
1: Chief Experience Officer. “Fun Fact: By 2020, 40% of chief digital offers will report to CXOs”.
2: VR Editor: “Fun Facts: 1,400 jobs listed on LinkedIn”.
3: Bot Developer: “Fun Fact: Bots or virtual assistants will command 20% of user interactions with smartphones by 2019”.
4: IoT Marketing Strategist: “Fun Fact: More than 8,000 openings listed on job sites.”
5: Mixed-Reality Designer: “Fun Fact: Estimated $3 billion market by 2024”.
6: Data Scientist: “Fun Fact: $203 billion industry by 2020”.
7: Machine-Learning Engineer: “Fun Fact: 13,500 jobs listed online”.
8: Omnichannel Retail Strategist: “Fun Fact: Ecommerce sales will surpass $500 billion by 2020”.
9: Voice Skills Developer: “Fun Fact: There are 15,000 Amazon Alexa skills”.
10: Hologram Retail Display Designer: “Fun Fact: Augmented reality will be a $100 billion industry by 2020”.

Further, “specialized roles in digital marketing such as social media managers, digital content producers, and digital analytics and insight together with hybrid roles would be created and pumped into the economy” in 2018, as predicted by a digital marketing recruiter company. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) “software and email marketing campaigns will be critical in the targeting of potential consumers”.

Three core roles on your digital marketing team are recommended for 2018, which include a Modern Social Media Marketer, a Website Developer, and a Video Marketing Specialist. A Social Media Marketer will be worth higher pay if they have skills such as “artificial intelligence knowledge, augmented reality, live streaming, influencer marketing” and the ability to target Generation Z. A Website Developer should be vastly skilled in SEO and cross-channel performance, while a Video Marketing Specialist is crucial for creating visual content that your audience can engage in.

SUMMARY

Looking at 2018, we can expect digital marketing roles to be in high demand, specifically roles that focus on skills such as social media, SEO/SEM, content creation, cross-channel targeting abilities, and project management. Further, some companies may look to outsource certain digital marketing skill sets to get exactly what they need at a top-level of competence, while others are willing to look for non-industry experts in order to gain a fresh outlook on digital marketing.
Part
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Part
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Digital Marketing - KPI Trends

The main categories of the most relevant KPIs when it comes to trends in the digital marketing space are cost per lead, returning visitors, sessions & traffic by device type and mobile analytics. For each category, several KPIs or different ways of measurement are listed. Additionally, for each category, trends are assigned alongside statistics. On top of that, for each category, companies that are leaders in digital marketing when it comes to this metric are identified and explained.

1. CONVERSION RATE

While conversion rate is one of the older metrics when it comes to digital marketing, it guarantees success and is the one to watch in the following year. What every business should focus on when it comes to conversion rate are:

• contact forms
• sign ups
• downloads
• purchases.

The average conversion rate a company should strive for is 2%.

Particular trends tied to the conversion rate KPI:
• Personalized content has a 42% better performance than non-personalized content.
Marketers who are able to provide personalized experiences in their online stores are able to get double-digit returns (conversion rate).
Video ads are able to retain 37% viewers.

Mailchimp, a company that focuses on making their unique value proposition clear, and Dropbox, who offers a very short sign-up for, are some the leading companies at conversion rate optimization.

Additionally, companies that are thriving from hosting ads on their platforms are Twitter and Facebook. Facebook’s advertising revenue in Q2 2017 is estimated to have reached $9.16 billion, which is a 47% growth compared to 2016. Twitter’s ad revenue declined in 2017 by 8% to $548 million as advertisers started to pull back from Twitter.
Another big player is LinkedIn which earned almost $1 billion in sponsored ad revenue in just the first quarter of 2017.

2. COST PER LEAD

The cost per lead KPI enables companies to see the effectiveness of their digital marketing campaign. It serves as an indicator of ROI and shows how well the placed ads are performing.
According to current trends, to properly monitor cost per lead, companies should use the following channels:

• AdWords search campaigns
• banner ads
• social ads
• sum-of-all ads.

It is easy to estimate how efficient your leads are. If you spent $1,000 and had 1000 leads, you spent $1 per lead.

Trends tied to cost per lead:
92% of people who watch mobile videos are usually sharing them with their friends. Overall, a video has the potential to be shared 1,200% more than both links and text together.
69% of digital media time is currently spent on mobile, according to comScore’s 2017 report.
• Globally, $143 billion was spent on mobile ads in 2017 according to Moinstall.

The leader when it comes to cost per lead is AdWords which "drives, on average, 16% of all leads, 14% of all opportunities, and 11% of all revenue".

3. RETURNING VISITORS/Customer retention

Tracking users in order to see who are your returning visitors is how companies build and retain their audience. This information is tracked on devices that allow cookies.

The KPIs to help with this are:
• average pages per visit
• tracking time spent on site
• observing how yhey’re navigating & flowing from page to page.

Another KPI that might become the prerequisite for returning customers is cost per experiment: "Smart digital marketers will continue to get closer to a true ROI on their work by identifying all the old metrics rolled up into a cost per experiment — those old metrics like CPM (impressions), CPC (clicks), CPL (leads) and even CPP (pixels) the advanced marketers were tracking. With too many channels and even more tools to consider, marketers must run experiments and measure outcomes."

Statistics show that customers are less loyal to individual brands that they've ever been, however attracting new customers can be from 5 to 25 times more expensive than trying to retain the existing ones.
Customer retention increase of 5% leads to profits bigger by anywhere between 25 and 95%, according to the advisory firm Bain & Co.
57% of marketers had in their plans to increase spending when it comes to customer loyalty programs in 2017.

Top 2017 brands ranked by customer loyalty are Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix, Samsung, Facebook and YouTube.

4. Sessions & Traffic By Device Type

It is important to analyze KPIs by device, such as desktop vs. smartphone vs. tables. The leading trend for using KPIs to your advantage is shifting the focus to mobile advertising.

Trends tied to traffic by device type:
Facebook continues to be the dominant social media app when it comes to usage.
Social marketing is currently in the process of shifting "toward emotionally engaging content and storytelling because strong emotions increase content’s spreadability," according to Oregon Web Solutions.
Major platforms are now enabling users to make their own video content and share it in real time based on their location.
Location-targeted spending on mobile ads is projected to grow from $12.4 billion in 2016 to $32.4 billion in 2021, according to BIA/Kelsey.

5. MOBILE ANALYTICS

The main KPIs when it comes to mobile analytics measure retention and interaction and are as follows:
• time spent on an app
• repeat users
• frequency of use
• pages with high exit rates.

Trends tied to the mobile analytics KPIs:
Mobile usage is now the leading Internet usage method with 51% of the time spent on mobile, 42% on desktop/laptop and 7% using other devices.
• Around 80% of users aged 18-54 use multiple platforms for Internet usage.
• The conversion rate for shoppers on a smartphone was 1.55% in Q4 2016 as opposed to 4.14% while using a laptop/desktop and 3.56% using a tablet.

David Kley from Web Design and Company insists that ads will become more targeted and have a very specific purpose: "I think ads will become more singularly purposed in nature, with a very specific goal and goal conversion place in mind, whether it be a mobile or desktop experience. I also think that the mobile ad platforms will show major growth in 2018, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc."

Leaders when it comes to mobile analytics are Google Analytics, Amazon Pinpoint, Pendo, Adobe Analytics, Heap, Flurry Analytics etc.

CONCLUSION

The main categories of the most relevant KPIs when it comes to trends in the digital marketing space are cost per lead, returning visitors, sessions & traffic by device type and mobile analytics. The main trends tied to conversion rate KPIs are increased in video ads and personalized experiences, and $143 billion was spent on mobile ads in 2017 when it comes to cost per lead KPIs. The main statistic related to customer retention KPIs is that customers are less loyal to individual brands that they've ever been. KPIs also reflect key trends linked to mobile, such as Facebook remaining the dominant social media app when it comes to usage and mobile usage being the leading Internet usage method with 51% of the time spent on mobile.
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Part
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Digital Marketing - Operating Cadence Trends

Digital marketing trends that correlate with the operating cadence of the business are expected to change heavily in the coming years. While many companies have followed a set procedure for marketing online, there are many changes expected for 2018 in relation to machine learning, augmented/virtual reality, and more. Below you will find a breakdown of trends that are becoming more popular in the space of digital marketing in relation to business flow, as well as statistics about results for companies like Google that have taken these methods on as their own.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

In the realm of digital marketing, VR and AR technology is becoming a key factor into building an audience. VR/AR marketing campaigns are persuasive, considering that only a handful of businesses are creating such experiences. These campaigns immerse customers in an experience that they are not likely to forget, and allows them to get a clear feel and understanding for products and services. This sort of technology will likely begin to be implemented across social media sites, by triggering AR content for a brand, dependent on time and location.

Video Marketing

Video marketing is likely the most widely used digital marketing method in the business to-date. As of June 2017, "51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI." Videos are meant to increase search engine rankings and engagement on websites. Live videos on platforms like Facebook are a prime example of in-real-time engagement with people and information. 43% of individuals who view such videos state that they want to see more video content from marketers. By personalizing these videos, retention rate through a video grows by 35%.

Machine-Learning technology

Machine-learning technology is used by QuanticMind and is beginning to be more popular among all businesses today. This technology involves program interfaces that use natural language processing and artificial intelligence. These processes not only reduce the time for decision-making among consumers, but also can deliver long-term strategic value to businesses for market growth. By 2020, it is expected that, "AI technologies will be present in almost every new software product." Machine-learning technology also has the capability of working together with cloud computing in order to optimize marketing budgets for businesses.

Measuring Cost per Experiment

The concept of measuring the cost per experiment allows companies to determine whether the money that they are investing into marketing is pulling in enough revenue or not. This process is growing among businesses, and helps to identify successful practices. By measuring the following factors, a business can determine how much they are investing into specific digital marketing trends, and how much they are getting out of them:


"Millisecond Marketing"

This concept is a method that allows business to reach potential customers within seconds through AI technology. By comparing customer history across multiple platforms with potential ads, it is possible to make the most of marketing opportunities immediately. Both Facebook and Google began this effective process through ad-purchasing, and it is now in use by Adobe by use of AI technology to process these actions.

Contextual Targeting Strategies

Targeting strategies relevant to each individual customer work to personalize the digital market. Through the use of target ads with specific purposes and native advertising, digital marketing methods grow to meet the person. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has made it difficult for online sites to track user behavior online with cookies. In spite of this, digital marketers work to understand the individual by meeting their words and thought processes from viral sharing and search engines. Targeted ads are specific in relation to location — whether mobile, desktop, etc. — as well in terms of ad type. Since video advertising is becoming the most popular form of digital marketing, these are the most commonly used type of targeted ads. This method is currently in use by Kenshoo, a major competitor of QuanticMind. Their regular use of native advertising has the company expecting to grow their U.S. retail sales by 17% by 2022.

Voice Marketing

The term voice marketing focuses on searches that are completed by voice recognition. This includes technology such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana, and more. These technologies are expected to become more normalized for researching information, and present a method by which consumers can interact with the information they are searching. Google is personally taking huge advantage of this type of marketing, by creating content that will be captured specifically by voice. "Google says that 20% of its mobile queries are voice searches, and that number is only going to increase as consumers get used to asking Alexa, Siri and their smart fridge for insight on what to buy."

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Similar to measuring cost-per-experiment, digital marketing experts are taking to measuring KPI through multiple methods in order to gauge the success of certain marketing strategies. For example, by measuring consumer characteristics like retention and turnover rates, complaints, etc., a company can determine their brand loyalty and make decisions from there. Another method is considering influence response. Accounting for content downloaded and purchased, as well as recommendations and comments from buyers can help to see if customers like what they are buying into or not. This process can be done for any number of factors in a business, and marketing strategies can be altered based on such information.

Conclusion

The above digital marketing trends all correlate with current and future methods that are relevant to operating cadence. Machine learning has a large capability of not only predicting individual perceptions on products and services, but also can help to target individuals for specific videos and ads. Many of these methods are currently in use by large competitors of QuanticMind, such as Kenshoo, Google, and Adobe, and use of such technology is only expected to grow in the coming use.
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Part
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Digital Marketing - Sales Process Trends

There is a wide array of trends currently happening in the sales process of the digital marketing space. Some of these trends include: virtual reality, predictive intelligence, personalizing messages, websites as lead sources, misguided marketing metrics, investing in conversation optimization. Top competitors in the digital marketing space include Kenshoo, Marine Software, and QuanticMind. These companies are involved in the usage of several of the sales process trends listed above.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality, otherwise as R&D, has been incorporated into everything from the initial branding of a product all the way to the sales process of said product. There has been more talk of incorporating virtual reality into even more aspects of digital market and sales market trends. Executing the technology correctly will take this venture from just a topic of conversation and turn it into a more well-developed concept and more prevalent trend within the sales process of the digital marketing space.

Predictive intelligence

"In addition to observed behavior, Predictive Intelligence equips you to gather explicit data provided directly by customers or their actions. Whether it's provided digitally through a preference center—or gathered from POS data—it provides insights into their interests, preferences and needs". This trend has resulted in significant improvement of sales conversion rates. In rare cases, Predictive Intelligence has even resulted in a 450x increase in conversions from marketing-qualified leads to sales-qualified lead.

Personalizing Messaging

Every point of engagement for customers is crucial in the sales process. It is important that there is a solid strategy in place to resonate this. Providing a high quality customer experience will increase the effectiveness of marketing efforts and keep customers engaged with your brand at various levels of intent. A superb way to create this kind of engagement is to personalize the messages the customers receive. When customers feel as though they are experiencing human contact and personal communication, they are more likely to stay engaged in whatever they are doing.

Websites as lead sources

Websites continue to remain the top source of leads to generate sales within the digital marketing space. "24% of respondents said their website was the biggest generator of leads, with email marketing and paid search at 17% each, and social media at 15%". Paid search campaigns and social media tactics are key components in having success in using a company's main website as its top sales source.

Misguided marketing metrics

Marketing metrics are truly only successful in generating sales within the digital marketing space when there is advanced technology available and qualified personell to run the programs. This trend, although not positive, is surfacing. Smaller businesses are attempting to use marketing metrics to generate sales and assist in the sales process of their products, but are falling short when it comes to the necessary components of making marketing metrics a successful technique.

Investing in conversation optimization

It is becoming very clear to companies that not only is it important to generate sales to begin with, it is important to learn to convert the sales traffic. "From a conversion perspective, once you find a conversation method that works for your generated sales traffic, you can expand the tactics you used to fill the top of the funnel, and your results will grow exponentially." It is recommended to first focus on creating a fool-proof conversation tactic, then focus on marketing strategies.

Quality vs. quantity

Generating quality leads and sales within the digital marketing space is far more important than generating a large quantity of leads. 54% of the respondents a survey relating to sales process trends in digital marketing said that lead quality is their top priority, versus the 46% of respondents who said that lead quantity was their goal.

Sales trends by key competitors

mobile travel sales - kenshoo

Kenshoo, a company specializing in travel sales, stated that the amount of travel sales on mobile devices is on the rise and special attention should be paid to this aspect of sales generation. Kenshoo's mobile travel sales account for 36% of their total digital travel sales, at $65.01 billion.

Marine software

"Marine Software offers a cross-channel performance advertising platform that allows marketers to run their advertising channels separately or in concert." The software provides social, search, and display marketing tools to assist their clients in targeting their audience and keeping them engaged. They also offer small business-focused apps.

quanticmind

QuanticMind, the "Platform for Smarter Advertising", uses Predictive Intelligence or predictive advertising management to generate their sales. "Since receiving $10.3 million of capital at the midway point of last year, QuanticMind has tripled its revenue, doubled its customer base, and doubled its headcount."

Conclusion

Virtual reality, predictive intelligence, personalizing messages, websites as lead sources, misguided marketing metrics, and investing in conversation optimization are all current trends within the sales process of the digital marketing space. Kenshoo, Marine Software, and QuanticMind are top companies in the industry and have put many of these trends to the test. Kenshoo successfully uses mobile devices to generate sales, Marine Software successfully uses cross-channel performance advertising to generate sales, and QuanticMind successfully uses Predicitve Intelligence to generate sales.

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Digital Marketing - Pitch & Messaging Trends

Current trends in digital marketing related specifically to pitch and messaging from brands include insights from artificial intelligence and behavioral marketing; engagement in social channels; increased personalization; integrating marketing activities into the customer lifecycle; native advertising; and content marketing. Moreover, QuanticMind and its competitor Marin Software have both issued their own predictions for digital marketing in 2018. You'll find a deep dive of my research below.

industry trends



It's become the norm among marketing platforms to collect and store consumer data and craft custom messages based on that data. Adobe has predicted that, in 2018, artificial intelligence will begin making strategic marketing decisions. "In such a situation, the software will analyze data to build segments start and stop campaigns across various channels, and create custom copy that will target perceived personalities." These advances could be quite effective, as research suggests customer loyalty and engagement both improve when marketing is targeted based on consumer behavior.


Social will continue to dominate digital marketing in 2018, with 28% of marketers saying they want to boost engagement in social channels. It's expected that Twitter is on a downhill trajectory unless the platform does something dramatic, while LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat are still rising. Instagram has become a staple in digital marketing due to its excellent advertising controls and overall effectiveness; the platform shows better engagement than any other social platform for many B2C brands. Social is the ideal platform for a brand to reach a large audience with its messaging.

According to this study, 25% of marketers plan to make their marketing more personalized and targeted. Big data and analytics are enabling the industry shift toward personalization in messaging and in the customer experience. As mentioned above, the increased use of artificial intelligence will also drive this trend, and "one-to-one marketing will slowly become more prevalent as brands weigh opportunity and cost and find ways of introducing it into their messaging." This source also argues that calls to action will be used in tandem with personalization, as they are 10 times more effective when used together.

4.Integrating Marketing Activities Into the Customer Lifecycle

Brands will continue to incorporate their marketing messages into all different stages of the customer lifecycle. Marketers will use tactics such as persuasive personalized messaging and re-targeting to reach customers and prospects through various communication channels, combined with personalization and full-path analytics to optimize effectiveness.


There is a double benefit to native advertising: it helps marketers avoid ad blockers and other structural barriers to consumer engagement, and secondly, it's appealing to consumers because it is not disruptive. According to this source, "a successful advertising is about how well we place ourselves among the audience." These ads blend in seamlessly and reach the consumer directly. The decline of ads using traditional digital marketing channels continues to lead to an increased demand for native advertising.


Content marketing is increasing in popularity for some of the same reasons as native advertising and personalization - consumers prefer it. In 2018, 29% of marketers plan to prioritize content marketing. Marketers are using data and analytics, artificial intelligence, and other tools to create personalized and effective content, and treating this content as a strategic resource. They're developing messaging and strategy around it.

competitor-specific insights


According to this press release, "QuanticMind is at the forefront of applying next-generation technology to solve the complex challenges of digital marketing... This investment will enable the company to continue leading the trend towards a predictive, machine learning-based future." The company is using machine learning technology to optimize digital marketing. QuanticMind has published its own set of predictions for digital marketing trends in 2018:

2. Full-funnel insights will grow in importance.
3. The online-to-offline trend will continue to grow.
4. Relevance will be the most important factor in marketing.

QuanticMind competitor Marin Software also has its own set of predictions for what 2018 holds for digital marketing:

3. Dynamic ads will become the norm for targeted digital marketing.

conclusion

To wrap up, the top trends in digital marketing related to pitch and messaging include: content marketing, native advertising, integrating marketing into the entire customer lifecycle, personalization, engagement in social channels, and the integration of AI and behavioral marketing.
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Digital Marketing - Demand Generation Trends

With the advancements being made in science and technology, especially in the artificial intelligence (AI) space, digital marketing has seen great evolution in trends over the past few years. Various industry experts have predicted that the trends around demand generation in the digital marketing space will be driven mainly by machine learning systems this year (2018). The major trends identified in the digital marketing space include, and are not limited to, the use of image recognition on social media, customer conversations that are machine-mediated, use of predictive advertising platforms that will reconstruct re-targeting strategies, the use of AI (artificial intelligence) to produce journey sequencing messages to customers, and generation of intelligent content.
After an extensive search through press releases, industry reports, and other trusted media sites, the determination of major trends around demand generation in the digital marketing space was based on the market segments that QuanticMind and its competitors operate in. The trends have been categorized below under predictive advertising, AI and machine learning, and data analytics.

Overview: Quanticmind Market Space

QuanticMind has developed an advertising management platform of a predictive nature that uses artificial intelligence to analyze enormous data sets and optimize social campaigns and search results. The company has made tremendous progress in combining machine learning systems with big data, along with the technology of in-memory processing and distributed cloud computing, to maximize their success in various aspects of digital marketing.
According to an article by the BusinessWire, QuanticMind is working on increasing developments in predictive advertising, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science capabilities to overcome the many challenges faced by marketers in sectors like search, cross-channel customer journeys, shopping and social media.

Predictive Advertising Trends

1. The trend of predictive targeting is said to be the “next wave of evolution”. The utilization of predictive advertising platforms is forecast to reconstruct and improve re-targeting strategies. Based on the personalized preferences of customers, companies will be able to target their primary audience to drive interest and awareness.
2. By following the standards set by the IAB’s Lean Ads and the Coalition for Better Ads, companies can significantly improve their customers’ re-targeting experiences.
3. Marketers will use predictive targeting to issue journey sequencing of messages to consumers, that have been chosen by the system, with a specific offer that matches their personal preferences.

AI and Machine Learning Trends

1. According to Econsultancy, companies will continue to utilize artificial intelligence solutions in digital marketing campaigns that will help in optimizing data through complex machine learning systems and leading to the discovery of their primary audience.

2. There will be an increase in the use of in-home digital assistants and voice commerce such as Google Home, that will continually change the way brands connect with consumers.
3. Artificial intelligence is set to evolve the topography of data collection and management through Programmatic Marketing Platforms (PMP) and Customer Data Management (CDM). By crafting the right utilization parameters, brands will be able to produce engaging campaigns that will successfully drive a customer into acquiring a long-term relationship with the brand.

4. Image recognition on social media: Companies are working to use image recognition to automate their search process, identify specific images, characteristics and objects, and compare photos to large image libraries. This will enable brands to learn more about customer behavior. For example, a company would be able to identify the most common location where their products are used — office, home, gym, etc., or how consumers are reacting to a certain brand marketing strategy.

5. Customer conversation to be machine-mediated: Brands are considering the possibilities of using multi-sensory communication that will include sound, sight, and movement (gestures).

6. Robot content: The potential of content being created artificially is great. With AI-based tools like predictive analytics and generation analytics, machines would be able to create large content. However, the ability of machines to generate quality content is a matter of concern. Content marketing using AI has numerous advantages that include research help, micro-targeting, and outcome tracking. Experts claim that Business to Consumer (B2C) companies will have an advantage over the others with intelligent content. Associated Press is currently using AI to edit and generate news content. Yahoo Finance is also using AI to convert information on bonds and stocks into coherent articles that humans can read.

7. Personalizing customer journey: Artificial intelligence is being used to offer personalized content to customers at every step of their journey. For example, Blueshift has introduced their sophisticated AI platform that uses a “predictive point system” which identifies when a customer starts a certain journey. The system then provides the customer with personalized content at every stage of the journey. According to Martech Today, personalization and recommendation are predicted to be the greatest profit opportunity.

Data Analytics Trends

1. Predictive analytics (which goes hand in hand with data analytics) platforms will see much growth in the current year, as these systems will be driven by complex machine learning algorithms which will provide great insight into the behavioral patterns of consumers. With the process of providing personalized content to customers for engagement, most companies will be able to create meaningful, enriching, and long-term brand-customer relationship (BCR) with their audience.

2. Predictive analytics will enable brands to understand consumer behavior by providing an analysis on the “why behind the what”. Data analytic systems will be able to generate accurate data on various aspects that highlight common consumer patterns.

3. This year (2018) will see more visualization and prescriptive analytics of large data with the increasing need for data-driven insights and decision-making. It is also important to note that certain aspects have been strongly established and will remain the same such as, the importance of a comprehensive analytics strategy that provides insights which are transferable across the many levels of a business.

Other Trends

Some other trends in the digital marketing space are listed below:
1. Display retargeting and native advertising are quickly gaining popularity in demand generation.

2. Content marketing is spreading its wings to include influencer marketing, paid marketing (or paid ads), and sponsored research for demand generation.

3. Account-based marketing brings together sales and marketing, thereby creating a more customer-centered approach towards business.

4. Short video is fast gaining popularity with the increase in the use of mobile devices.

5. Personalization according to customer experiences is the thing of the future and it is quickly becoming the way to go for many advertising agencies.

Conclusion

To wrap up, the major trends around demand generation in the digital marketing space, based on the market segments QuanticMind competes in, include the use of image recognition on social media, the use of AI to produce journey sequencing messages to customers, customer conversations that are machine-mediated, use of predictive advertising platforms that will reconstruct re-targeting strategies, and generation of intelligent content.
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Part
08

Digital Marketing - Training & Onboarding Trends

The digital marketing industry is booming and spending on digital advertising is expected to reach $113 billion as we approach 2020. As a result, there will be a high demand for building new talent through training and development programs. Although companies in the digital marketing space are actively working to get the right talent trained for their needs by shaping training programs and campaigns, sources show that there is still a talent gap. The roles in digital marketing space which are in high demand include social media managers, digital content producers, digital analytics, SEO/SEM experts, and lead generation individuals. Digital Marketing companies will be utilizing online training programs to create a culture of continuous education and professional development.
FINDINGS
U.S. spending on digital advertising is expected to reach $113 billion by 2020. This reflects the fast growing pace of the industry and the resulting demand for fresh talent and new products. Below we have identified trends that are expected to impact training and onboarding in the digital marketing space.
TRAINING & ON-BOARDING TRENDS
1. ONLINE CERTIFICATION & TRAINING PROGRAMS
Online certification and training applies not only the most widely used best practices but also keeps pace with evolutionary changes and leverages the latest tools to ensure you’re getting the most useful instruction. Online training programs will help companies create a culture of continuous education and professional development.

2. AUGMENTED REALITY AND E-LEARNING TOOLS
E-Learning has been the best way to deliver digital marketing training, as content can keep pace with the latest industry developments. Augmented reality is rapidly gaining popularity. While the marketing industry is undertaking this development, studies predict a rapid spill over into the e-learning market.

3. SELF-LEARNING CIRCLES
Marketers will create self-learning loops that can enhance their efforts through projecting analysis, using AI and machine learning.

4. ONBOARDING CROSS-FUNCTIONAL MARKETING TEAMS
In 2018, digital marketing companies will focus on building multi-disciplinary and cross-functional marketing teams and experts to leverage the full spectrum of digital marketing. The study shows that 56% of businesses this year will be employing individuals who work in SEO/SEM, lead generation, mobile, social, and content creation. 35% of digital marketers employed this year will be creative services.

5. HIGH DEMAND FOR MARKETING ROLES
A report by Hayes suggests that employee acquisition in digital marketing space will remain in demand for the first two quarters of 2018. The specialized roles in digital marketing such as social media managers, digital content producers, and digital analytic experts together with hybrid roles would be created and impelled into the economy.

6. FILLING UP THE TALENT GAP
There is a talent gap in digital marketing space which will turn more companies to find the right balance between employing generalists and specialists and more significantly, expect companies to increase training in digital marketing for both types. To attract and retain talent, HR managers may have to design lucrative compensation plans for personnel who constantly deliver high ROI in a digital world.
7. BIGGER BUDGETS AND MORE CAREER CHOICES
Digital marketing professionals are in demand and brands are focusing on hiring these experts. Digital marketing professionals will be boarded with bigger budgets, increased pay and more career choices. Fresh management trainees with a learning attitude and non-industry experts will be in focus.

In addition to the above trends, we also considered the activities of QuanticMind in this arena, as well as some of their competitors.
8. QUANTICMIND’S FUNDING FOR APPOINTING NEW TALENT
QuanticMind showed in a report published in October 2017 that they have secured $20 million in funding and they will use the funding for strategic growth investments to strengthen their hiring processes and product development.

9. MARIN SOFTWARE TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Marin Software is expected to continue to enhance the expertise and service provided to clients through exclusive access to training, marketing, and technology development.
10. GOOGLE’S PRACTICAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT SUITE
In the past, Google offered Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC) to enhance digital skills training. Google will no longer be hosting the annual Google Online Marketing Challenge, though they are committed with providing students the opportunities for practical skill development and will continue to support student development through free digital skills training and certification programs including Digital Workshop which is a Google’s free digital skills program, Primer which is a free mobile app that delivers bite-size marketing lessons, and Academy for Ads that offers on-the-go free education.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, digital marketing is a key area of expertise when it comes to appointing and training marketing staff. There seems to be high demand for employing new talent in the digital marketing industry in 2018 and forthcoming years. Due to high demand and low supply, companies are shaping up various training programs to welcome top talent aboard. Companies like QuanticMind, Marin Software, and Google have designed multiple training programs for newbies to fill the talent gap and train that talent precisely.

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Digital Marketing - Tools Trends

QuanticMind is a data platform for intelligent marketing. The company is focusing on artificial intelligence, predictive advertising, data science and machine learning, and therefore trends in digital marketing following these four key tools are identified. The ten digital marketing trends connected with AI, data science and machine learning are as follows: further growth of artificial intelligence, machine learning application in order to understand how email open rates work, machine learning and ticket-tagging and rerouting, machine learning and demand forecasting, machine learning to reach a "real-time" phase, machine learning used for predictive analysis, data science used in digital advertising, data science applied in micro-targeting and micro-segmentation, data science helping to increase speed and performance, and digital advertising making a switch to mobile.

OVERVIEW

QuanticMind is a data platform for intelligent marketing. In October 2017, the company published a press release saying they raised $20M Series B funding led by Foundation Capital, Safeguard Scientifics and Cervin Ventures. QuanticMind will use this funding for strategic growth investments when it comes to hiring and product development. To be more precise, QuanticMind looks to "accelerate the artificial intelligence, predictive advertising, data science and machine learning capabilities of its data platform to conquer the increasingly complex challenges marketers face across digital’s constantly evolving channels — including Search, Shopping, Social and cross-channel customer journeys". Based on these plans for future development, we researched the trends in artificial intelligence, data science and machine learning.

1. Artificial intelligence growth

Artificial Intelligence has a great future ahead: many experts are excited about its future impact on social media and lead nurturing. In a few years time Artificial Intelligence is considered to be an increasingly powerful tool used in social media marketing. Artificial Intelligence is a great way to understand human behavior in a way where not only is analysis performed on big data sets, but the same data is also segmented and filtered, which leads to marketers being able to derive meaning from data. Typical digital marketing questions that can be solved using AI are:
"1. Which customers hate receiving your emails and delete them as they hit your inbox?
2. How can I make sense of all this data I have on our campaigns?
3. Which customer would like a particular product?
4. How can I personalize the user experience and make it ‘sticky’?"

2. MACHINE LEARNING and email

In 2018, marketers will use machine learning even more, particularly to get a better understanding into how open rates work when it comes to email.
This can be achieved by pairing the multi-armed bandit algorithm with machine learning: "Automated drip campaign optimization that saves time and helps marketers have higher open, click and goal conversion rates. This type of testing can’t be performed using traditional split testing. Because humans simply can’t conduct multi-armed bandit tests as it requires countless repetitive phases of learning and exploiting". The drip campaign optimization using machine learning is done by "continuously testing and optimizing your drip campaigns to achieve a higher conversion rate based on the goal you previously picked."

3. MACHINE LEARNING AND TICKET TAGGING AND RE-ROUTING

The second big machine learning trend is ticket tagging and re-routing. When it comes to small and emerging online businesses, this can be a very expensive process, and this can be saved by using machine learning.
If a company is doing business online, they usually deal with an increase of customer tickets by hiring additional personnel to handle the issue. However, this job can be assigned to machine learning for a fraction of a cost that a company would usually have if they hired additional workers.

4. MACHINE LEARNING AND DEMAND FORECASTING

Machine learning is expected to help "marketers achieve the holy grail of demand forecasting since AI applications will allow for the overwhelming possibility to give customers what they want before they know they want it".
The newest big data marketing tools are expected to "go a step further. They’ll be prescriptive: not just telling the marketer what’s up, but advising what to do next".
Demand forecasting can be helped by machine learning in complex scenarios, which allows planners to improve in their job of forecasting difficult situations: "It leverages the knowledge, experience, and skills of planners and other experts in a highly efficient and effective way across a broad range of data". The following four areas connected to digital marketing are expected to improve the most from machine learning and demand forecasting:
1. Trade promotions and media events
2. New product introduction (NPI)
3. Social listening (social media)
4. Extreme or complex seasonality

5. MACHINE LEARNING To reach A "REAL-TIME" PHASE

Machine learning has the potential to achieve the full “real-time” phase in the following years. This means that machine learning will be able to offer companies the understanding of nuances of the consumer decision-making and purchase intent as they happen in real time. This will lead to the companies having the opportunity to learn about the surfacing of new trends and audience affinities as they are created in real time.
Additionally, real-time experimentation by employing analytics to further understand customer's perception of products and services and their specific attributes is now considered a core competency by many digital marketing firms. The large development brought by machine learning is that now scenarios and experiments are tested in real-time instead of after a scenario already happens, or worse yet on an intermittent basis. This leads to companies being able to more actively and timely engage with customers.

6. MACHINE LEARNING AND PREDICTIVE ANALYIS

Many experts claim that predictive analysis has a central role when it comes to machine learning as it can be used for audience insights and data mining. One of the key methods where machine learning is applied is the idea of creation lookalike and affinity audiences: "Campaigns for particular brands will typically allow for the collection of first-party audiences, a user-list comprised of cookie IDs that have shown interest with a product or service. Algorithms are used in creating pools of new audiences that correspond to the attributes of the original list by drawing comparisons in online activity". The main advantage of this process is that the digital advertiser now has access to a larger audience which has a bigger affinity to engage with the products, all based on predictive analytics.

7. DATA SCIENCE TREND: DIGITAL ADVERTISING

An increase in use of digital advertising can be transformative for small companies and companies on the rise. Data science is able to provide the companies the chance to run data-driven, digital advertising and cut costs by completely stopping with investments in e.g. television advertising and turning to cost-effective digital marketing outlets in the digital world.

8. DATA SCIENCE TREND: Micro-targeting and micro-segmentation

Micro-targeting and micro-segmentation when it comes to digital customers allows the companies to make the data sets as small as possible and gives them the ability to achieve micro-targeting strategies. This means that digital marketers are able to offer more effective highly specific offers to smaller customer groups.

9. DATA SCIENCE TREND: INCREASING SPEED AND PERFORMANCE

One of the big advantages of investing in data science is the increasing speed and performance it brings to the company. This applies to all stages of the marketing campaign, from planning to creating a promotion, and finally the execution. More specifically, "analytics-led marketing can increase speed and improve execution of campaigns. To validate success, analytics methods can be applied to vast data sets to measure the effectiveness of marketing programs and help marketers understand what programs are working best".

10. GOING MOBILE

An increasing number of customers is focusing on shopping using only their phones which means that digital marketing needs to refocus and start putting an emphasis on the mobile shopping platform. The first step is ensuring that all aspects of the website, from the landing page to the checkout screen, are completely optimized for mobile use. Additionally, mobile marketing is also a great way to achieve an omnichannel customer experience. By offering "links to online content via in-store displays, or providing geolocation ads on social apps, can help build these cross-channel experiences, the need for which will only increase".

CONCLUSION

The ten digital marketing trends connected with AI, data science and machine learning that were identified in the research are: further growth of artificial intelligence, machine learning application in order to understand how email open rates work, machine learning and ticket-tagging and rerouting, machine learning and demand forecasting, machine learning to reach a "real-time" phase, machine learning used for predictive analysis, data science used in digital advertising, data science applied in micro-targeting and micro-segmentation, data science helping to increase speed and performance, and digital advertising making a switch to mobile.
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Digital Marketing - Corporate Culture Trends

The culture of an organization or business is often referred to as corporate culture (CC) and it has grown increasingly important in recent years, especially in regard to employees and management. The culture at each business is different and affects the beliefs and behaviors that determine how the management and employees interact with one another. Because of this, it is an important consideration when working at a company.

Corporate culture is considered important to marketing due to how it may affect the effectiveness of the marketing, or advise on what techniques are to be used. This is especially true of small to medium businesses that target a niche or specific geographical area. It is also important for ensuring marketing success through specifying goals and values, narrowing focus, and embodying values in the company.

Trends in Corporate Culture

Overall, the trend is for corporate culture to be much more valued in a company by all levels of management and employees. The actions and beliefs of a company are now much more important than simply what they say, and they are being judged on what they actively do.

From the executive level, corporate culture is more valued than ever. Of a survey of top executives, 60% say that knowing what the company stands for is the biggest factor in choosing partners and jobs. This far exceeds those who believe innovation is most important (21%) or if the company is the dominant one in a particular market (20%). Similarly, 81% of executives specify that companies that successfully build long-term relationships are directly correlated with the corporate culture.

Many tech companies, including Adobe and Marin Software (QuanticMind’s competitors), have focused on corporate culture in new ways. In both of these cases, it involves giving more freedom and power to employees. Marin Software applies the principles of empowerment and transparency while Adobe encourages employees to strive for excellence in their work and products. Both of these are moving away from excessive management or micromanagement.

The effects of technology on corporate culture are many and varied. The culture of a company affects how easily and quickly it can undergo a digital transformation, something that is increasingly necessary to remain viable. In a technology company, this may reflect attitudes towards recent technologies, software, or methods and could make them more difficult to adopt. In 2017, 62% or respondents to a survey reported that corporate culture was hindering the company’s digital transformation.

Conversely, the role technology plays in corporate culture must be considered, especially as it will soon have more of an impact. Artificial intelligence (AI) is and will increasingly be used to screen and choose resumes from applicants, source new candidates and engage with them as well. This in turn will allow the company to focus on higher level tasks, but the AI must first be programmed and will be reflective of the culture in place.

Conclusion

The culture in place in a company is becoming more relevant and important to the employees there, as well as on business. More employees consider the culture to be a deciding factor in employment. More companies are also giving greater power and transparency to their employees, lessening management and encouraging excellence. The culture affects how new technology can be integrated but will also be affected by new advancements, such as AI.
Sources
Sources