Editor’s note: Marketer Spotlight series covers opinions and advice from marketing leaders and influencers on the industry challenges, trends, and best practices. We caught up with Shane Barker, digital marketing strategist, speaker, brand and influencer consultant to learn about the top 7 priorities for brands and marketers in 2019.
About Shane Barker
Shane Barker is a digital marketing strategist, and a brand & influencer consultant. He specializes in content marketing, influencer marketing, SEO, and has helped countless businesses increase their revenue to $5 million+. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, influencers, and numerous A-list celebrities, and spoken extensively about influencer marketing at various conferences globally. He also contributes to top publications such as Inc.com, HuffPost, Forbes, CoSchedule, and Social Media Examiner. He was featured on the 2018 list of 100 Most Influential People in Influencer Marketing alongside Kim Kardashian and Gary Vaynerchuk.
MoEngage: How has digital marketing evolved over the years?
Shane Barker: The digital world has witnessed a massive rise in the popularity of Google searches, various social media channels, and smartphones. More consumers turn to search results and social media to look for information, products, and services. This has helped the digital marketing landscape grow faster than ever. Emerging technologies such as big data, automation tools, VR/AR, and AI have also contributed to the increased effectiveness of digital marketing.
Another important evolution in the digital marketing space is the demand for personalization. Successful brands and marketers are leaving no stone unturned to deliver personalized customer experiences based on their preferences, styles, and buying behaviors. The fast-paced digital marketing industry is evolving constantly to drive better results.
Watch Shane describe how marketing will evolve in 2019 and learn about the trendsetters for this year in this video.
What are the key challenges that marketers face?
Every marketer faces different challenges. While some find it difficult to generate quality traffic and leads, others struggle to source the right talent. However, measuring the ROI of various marketing activities remains to be a top challenge for all marketers. It isn’t always easy to establish links between every single marketing activity and sales results. This makes it difficult for marketers to measure the true effectiveness of their campaigns. Though there are a plethora of tools that can help you track the performance of your campaigns, calculating ROI results seems daunting. A few other notable challenges that marketers face include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating quality traffic and leads
- Hiring top talent
- Identifying the right technologies, tools, and platforms to use
- Securing enough budget
- Scaling their marketing campaigns
- Finding and collaborating with the right influencers
What according to you should be the top priorities for eCommerce marketing in 2019?
I strongly recommend that marketers invest in personalized marketing. Many studies and consumer behavior show that consumers today want to be treated as individuals and value brand messages that are customized for them. 59% of shoppers say that personalization noticeably influences their purchase decisions.
In fact, a majority of consumers are likely to walk away from brands if they don’t personalize their communications. However, consumers demand personalization that adds real value rather than just addressing them by their names. So 2019 is time for marketers to take personalization to the next level. Marketers should also invest their time and resources into:
- Content marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Conversion rate optimization
- Virtual reality and augmented reality
- Voice search optimization
- Artificial intelligence
- Omni-channel marketing
Shane along with 100 thought leaders have shared their forecasts and trends for 2019 in the MoEngage Book of Marketing Predictions 2019. Get your copy now to learn the top priorities for marketing leaders in 2019.
Any roadblocks that you foresee for marketers in 2019?
Many brands and marketers fail to set proper goals and KPIs for their marketing campaigns. The absence of S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) goals can become a major roadblock to the success of their marketing campaigns.
Another major challenge for marketers is to identify the right strategies and tactics to drive the best results from their marketing campaigns. There is a lot of misinformation around the web and many marketers fall for it. This causes their marketing efforts to go in vain and barely helps them drive any significant results.
What according to you, are effective ways to grow user engagement across digital channels in 2019?
There are over 2.62 billion social media users worldwide and a majority of consumers trust recommendations from their social peers. That’s why I recommend that marketers leverage influencer collaborations to reach, attract, and engage their audiences.
But for your marketing efforts to be successful, you need to identify and partner with the right influencers who:
- Have highly engaged audiences
- Are relevant to your niche and brand
- Can resonate with the aesthetics of your brand
- Are great content creators
- Love and truly believe in your brand
Partnering with relevant influencers to work on a well-planned strategy can help you grow your brand significantly. However, you should constantly track your influencers’ activities to ensure that your campaign is on the right path. This will help you optimize your campaigns for the best results.
You forecast for marketing in 2019 is….
Today, buying power lands predominantly in the hands of millennials who value experiences over products. That’s why brands and marketers will need to get more creative with their marketing approach in 2019. With smarter technology, I believe that personalization, virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence will pave the way for the future of digital marketing.
Thank you for your insights, Shane. For more tips and advice or to connect with Shane, visit his website.
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