One thing is clear in 2015—digital no longer represents merely one component of a larger viral marketing strategy. It is now foundational. It’s no longer a question whether or not digital avenues will be considered in collection of data, inbound and outbound communication with customers, and marketing techniques, but a question of how. We’re seeing changes in the digital sphere daily—from the changing screen sizes we’re tapping to the changing software updates and user interfaces to the changing complexity of customer data available to marketers.

In the words of Mark Hodges, Sales Director at Teradata, “Consumers expect you to market to them like you know them. The rise of mobile has dramatically changed everything [in that regard]…they also expect you to respect that they have the ability to throw the privacy flag when they want to.” Mark was referring to consumer backlash against “the creep factor” of marketers mistaking context for relevancy when personalizing communications.

Customers want “personalized marketing,” said Lisa Moffeit, Customer Retention & Acquisition, Rhapsody, back at Teradata’s 2014 Partners Conference. She encouraged marketers to “look at shopping behavior and other brand touch points to determine our customer’s preferences.”

Using Data to Drive Individualized Insights
New trends becoming the norm in viral marketing include using individualized insights, experimenting with toxicity testing, augmented reality, and geolocation. Individualized marketing is now the norm, not the exception—it is either embedded or strategic for 78% of marketers, according to our 2015 Data-Driven Marketing Survey. And it’s on the rise as we move into the future. Many brands are just beginning to understand best practices in viral marketing, however, and much revolves around simple trial and error. For example, with so many customers glued to their phones, push notifications are an up-and-coming viral marketing tactic. However, marketers must ask, “How much communication is too much? Do our customers want to be communicated to every day, every week, or every month?”

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