As I watched Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield’s address to the National Press Club of Australia on the ABC this week, I thought about how the ‘remorseless change’ he described in the business of news media extends to the rest of the business world.
Social media is now identified by audiences as their main source of reliable news, with an increase in active engagement on social media (over 50% of users). The ‘digital disruption’ that we are hearing about has already impacted all businesses here in Australia.
Last week’s HubSpot webinar on 2016 marketing predictions, hosted by Tony Eades, highlighted this tidal wave of change. HubSpot (leading inbound marketing platform) founding member Dan Tyre said, ‘Sales in no longer a bunch of pushy guys’ – it’s all about consulting and helping solve problems. He believes there are tremendous opportunities to go after the right types of customers online.
Head of Marketing at Whispir in Melbourne Darren Adams commented that mobile technology as a marketing tool is ‘still taking businesses by surprise’, despite its importance in today’s digital landscape. He noted that ‘consumers are moving much faster than organisations’ and that businesses should be considering the relevant channels for their customer. Businesses should ask: How are my customers using technology and how can we use that technology to increase engagement?
Chinese audience marketing expert Melissa Ran, commenting on patterns in technology use coming from China, confirmed that the mobile phone should come first as a marketing consideration. Marketers should consider the behaviour of the customer as they use this technology: how can you get your message across to someone holding their phone as they walk down the street? Melissa explained that content is still king – yes, there’s an explosion of content happening, but the fundamental rules of useful, specific and entertaining information is still in demand. Most interestingly, she notes that when it comes to your content, ‘you have to feel excited about it’, otherwise you needn’t bother putting it out there.
Head of Consumer Marketing & PR at Yahoo7 Jocelin Abbey highlighted current trends in hyper-personalisation of content and creating immersive experiences for target audiences. She noted a sharp increase in video views on Facebook, most viewing happening on mobile phones.
Overall the message to businesses was: put together a strategy that is customer-centric, focused, and up-to-date with today’s trends, so that you can keep up with your customer.