Navigating the constantly evolving landscape of technology within marketing can often feel like a massive task. With a plethora of new tools constantly emerging, marketers are faced with the challenge of keeping up with the latest advancements. We explore these tools and delve into how best to harness them, empowering marketers to navigate the digital realm with confidence.
#1 Marketing Automation
arketing automation has revolutionised the way marketers operate, making tasks more efficient and streamlined. However, before diving into automating your current processes, it’s crucial to align your goals with this new strategy. Here are some of the dos and don’ts of integrating marketing automation effectively, drawing directly from the best practices recommended by HubSpot.
The first step to getting the most out of automated marketing is to take a moment to reassess your business or client’s goals to ensure it aligns with the businesses needs, interests, and values. When automating inbound marketing, make sure it focuses on delivering valuable content tailored to customers’ needs and ensure it enhances communication by delivering content at the right time.
A sure way to turn your customers off is to blast them with generic messages to your entire contact list as these will either be immediately deleted, or worse flagged as spam. Instead, focus on sending highly targeted and specific content to a narrowed audience. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and provide them with relevant information to maintain their interest.
While many organisations put a lot of energy into generating new business, it’s equally important to take care of existing clients. Afterall, it’s easier to sell to those who have already purchased from you. Implement customer engagement campaigns to nurture relationships and encourage repeat business. This can be achieved by keeping current customers engaged through content marketing that entices them to return for things such as thought-leadership and expertise. Maintaining customer relationships is essential for the growth of any business.
#2 Artificial Intelligence
The rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have opened up new possibilities for marketers to revolutionise their work.
Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Auckland Business School, Drew Franklin, says regardless of whether your view of AI is “more or less sinister, the objective utility of such tools is hard to ignore”.
The emergence of skills such as “prompt engineering” is anticipated to foster greater creativity within organisations, enhance productivity, and boost job satisfaction by delegating mundane tasks to AI tools like GenAI, Drew says.
Experts and researchers have also suggested that GenAI tools have the potential to democratise marketing practice, granting access to marketing insights and instruments to start-ups, small businesses, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and charities that would otherwise be limited to experts. This significantly lowers the barriers to entry for creative endeavours, enabling individuals to bring their ideas to life in domains previously reserved for specialists.
He adds that rather than AI taking over our jobs, GenAI will be used as a collaborator and exist within the workplace as a tool.
“It is estimated that one-third of current full-time occupations will feature such an augmented approach to service delivery in the near future,” he says.
“Many tasks that require speed and accuracy may be appropriate for GenAI tools to perform, whereas other tasks that require empathy, creativity, or judgement (moral or otherwise) may align more appropriately with human workers.”
He recommends that marketing agencies ask themselves three questions to evaluate how they can get the most out of ChatGPT: are your consumers or clients ready for GenAI as a tool or teammate? What type of work is most appropriate for the GenAI tool to perform, and with whom? And when do I interject with more human-centric interventions or activities?
Giving these questions some deep consideration, combined with engaging with groups in new Zealand such as the AI Forum (aiforum.org.nz), the Tech Marketers Group (techmarketers.co.nz) and the NZ Marketing Association (marketing.org.nz) along with other academic institutions such as University of Auckland’s Business School can help marketers look at how best to navigate GenAI into business and marketing practice.
#3 Google Analytics
GA4, the most recent version of Google’s analytics platform, tackles privacy concerns and provides website owners with valuable visitor engagement insights, eliminating the need for hits from every page and striking a balance between safeguarding privacy and providing comprehensive analytics for website owners.
Over its lifetime, the internet has undergone a significant transformation in user behaviour which has changed the way we gauge this behaviour.
GA4, a cutting-edge analytics platform designed to accommodate the evolving behaviour of online users, was introduced in response to this.
Craig Whitaker, Head of Platforms at Google New Zealand, says businesses need to be aware that the Universal Analytic is winding down and standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. “Universal Analytics 360 properties will receive an additional twelve months of new hit processing, ending on July 1, 2024, so the sooner businesses switch to GA4, the better they will be set up for the future and can begin actioning on relevant customer insights.”
To make sure businesses are ready for this change and to get the most out of the platform, he recommends that businesses first start by structuring their GA4 properties and accounts to meet their needs. “Getting familiar with the key concepts of account, property and data streams will help inform the structure that’s right for the business,” he says.
“Next, businesses should engage with the Setup Assistant, through which they can save time setting up GA4 to measure a site or app that already uses Universal Analytics. This includes tools to automate some required steps and help you track progress.”
The next step is to add the Google tag to their sites, which will start collecting data so businesses and advertisers can start seeing this data in GA4 properties.
“It’s important to note that if businesses were using the global site tag, they are now using the Google tag and nothing further needs to be done. Structured data collection is the foundation of a measurement strategy, which enables businesses to understand the effectiveness of their campaigns and marketing efforts.”
Craig notes that insights are only as good as the actions that businesses or advertisers can take from them, so by importing Google ad links from existing Universal Analytics into GA4, they will be able to see Google Ads data in GA4 reports and subsequently use this to guide campaigns.
“To enhance bid optimisation, validate and bid to GA4 conversions in Google Ads. The conversion events a business collects from their website or app can actually improve the performance of their ad campaigns. By linking to Google Ads and importing your conversions, it can provide important feedback to their campaigns, which automatically improves their performance when automated bidding is enabled.”
To get the most from GA4, Craig says marketers and advertisers need to build relevant audiences within GA4 and activate them wherever they are most useful.
“GA4’s Audience Builder is the most powerful audience system we have ever built in Google Analytics, because it lets businesses express almost any criteria they can think of in a simple and intuitive user interface.
“The audiences they define are pre-populated based on the last 30 days of data, and evaluated on an ongoing basis, and they can be used for a variety of purposes including generating reporting insights, online advertising, and sending more meaningful push notifications.”
This article was originally published in the June/July 2023 issue of NZ Marketing. Click here to subscribe.