That’s the question on many of our minds as we forge through the first quarter of a year that’s jam-packed with lofty marketing goals. Although it’s nothing new, viral marketing has become a major game changer for both brands and consumers. Now that we are completely accustomed to digital technologies that were once trendy (email, mobile, social, e-commerce, etc.), “digital” has become the norm for traditional marketing. And given the consumer’s adoption of all things digital, I must say, “traditional” has never looked so good.

 
Viral marketing is a huge win for global brands. Campaigns based on digital technologies provide quantifiable results like none before, and the multi-channel world opens up endless possibilities for executing complex marketing strategies. But how can sophisticated marketers keep pace with the onslaught of viral marketing technology? Where will it take us next? And how can marketing teams use digital channels to edge out competitors?
 
The pace of change in viral marketing can be quite overwhelming. To keep up, digital marketers need to look at their strategies and find ways to mimic this pace. In many cases, that means we need to adopt a more short-term perspective. Digital marketers have inherited planning methods from bygone days of planning for non-digital channels (perhaps direct mail). Plans were drafted a year in advance. Viral marketing success requires a different approach:  agility.
Marketing agility focuses on adaptive plans and development, allows for quick changes or improvements, and encourages these quick changes and a snapshot understanding of results. This model allows marketers to adapt to unpredictable consumer behavior. If an agile strategy gives you the shivers, consider just a portion of your strategy. See if you can actually plan to be more adaptive as your target market needs change. Then, slowly show results that will encourage an agile planning strategy that can be rolled out across the marketing organization for all of your upcoming digital marketing initiatives.
 
The question at hand remains: What will digital marketing success look like this year? And from this question, many more evolve, such as: 
  • Where will the digitization of customer interactions take your brand?
  • How can you anticipate what the ideal customer relationship will look like?
  • How will digitization affect your internal marketing operations?
  • Can we even look a full year ahead, or should we settle on more short-term goals.
  • In one of Teradata’s newest white papers, “Moving to the Forefront of Marketing: The Next Edge for Digital Marketers”,we address what digital marketing success should look like. Of course, there will be obstacles, so we also need to sustain an open, yearlong dialogue that focuses on improvements that will get your digital strategies up to speed. Talent, budgets, and creative best practices must be invigorated in order to achieve more meaningful customer engagements and ultimately, higher revenue for your company, and perhaps bragging rights for the marketing department, too. You can download the whitepaper from our new toolkit for digital marketers.
 
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