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THE ISSUE (ON THE RIGHT): More digital focus driving business


THE ISSUE (ON THE RIGHT): More digital focus driving business

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Is enough attention being paid to the benefits of social and digital media?

We’ve looked at the ebb and flow of the local/regional markets over the past year, and as reflected in our 2015 Digital Marketing Manifesto, we were able to pinpoint the core sales and marketing challenges that hampered the progress of many Caribbean brands.

In 2015, there were roadblocks to marketing and sales success.Marketing and sales leaders continued to believe that they could reach their targets without active collaboration and the formulation of a consolidated strategy. A large number of Caribbean businesses failed to invest in solutions that could improve their customer service delivery or the overall brand experience of their customers even though 76 per cent of consumers say they viewed customer service as the true test of how much a company values them.

A 2015 study by Forbes pointed to lead generation as the single biggest factor in improving the overall productivity of sales reps in the high velocity inside sales model. Sales and marketing leaders in the Caribbean struggled to develop lead generation strategies that allowed them to attract large numbers of quality leads. Based on feedback from clients, our own market observations, research and data from our recent Digital Habits and Practices study, there are digital sales and marketing trends that will propel Caribbean businesses to success in 2016.

Since the emergence of Big Data around 2012, most sales and marketing leaders have been stuck in the feel-good phase. In 2016, they will be interested in the numbers. Sales and marketing leaders will be expected to use the data being generated to influence budget allocations and to validate return on investments for campaigns.

The biggest challenge for business to business marketers continues to be around the generation of high quality leads. If sales and marketing managers are to succeed in 2016, they need to shift their focus from outside sales to insides sales strategies. Social media is no longer a trending topic for marketers but a staple of almost every successful sales and marketing campaign for many brands. This year, we predict that more regional brands will begin to understand the role of social media, that this is a tactic that is deployed as part of a wider marketing strategy to support larger campaigns and not a stand alone strategy.

While certainly not new, the shift to mobile will continue to be highly relevant. Our recent Digital Habits Study indicates that over 50 per cent of 18 to 45 year olds owned a mobile phone with access to data. Marketers will be expected to tailor their messaging and experiences to better match what their customers expect – relevance. This year, development processes will shift to an agile way of delivering on projects – delivering a subset of features, over short time spans, getting it in the hands of clients for feedback, giving them an opportunity to have a working product in hand to experience what is being built.

Twenty-sixteen will continue to be a year of integration for sales and marketing and design will extend the marketing support role traditionally played. You can expect a focus on designs that foster user interactions on a micro level as we move toward a model that is engaging and built around enhancing the user experience.

CaribbeanIdeas is a Trinidad and Tobago digital agency.