Email-Expo 2014 will be focusing on all aspects of marketing automation and data-driven marketing. At the integrated congress, international marketing experts will be offering insights into the latest developments in the fields of mobile, lead generation and address acquisition. One of them is Dr. Dave Chaffey, CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights, from UK. In the interview, he answers our questions about the most important trends in email marketing 2014.
1) What is, in your point of view, the most important trend this year?
Content marketing is the biggest trend in 2014 – and it was in 2013 too. Content marketing should be at the heart of digital marketing for all brands, because content fuels all the main digital marketing channels we use to communicate with our audiences. Search, social media, conversion rate optimisation AND email marketing all require content which helps a brand increase its visibility, engage its audience and drives leads and sales.
Yet, in a recent survey Smart Insights completed with Hubspot shown in our infographic Competing with Content Marketing more than half of businesses don’t have a content marketing strategy. This is because the concept and management process for it is relatively new.
2) What do you think about the following topics? Is it an important trend and why?
I think US businesses have bought into the idea of Marketing Automation before many European businesses. In a sense Marketing Automation is nothing new since Email service providers have provided event-triggered or behavioural email marketing options for many years. What has changed is better integration of these approaches across channel integrating web site interactions or social media interactions to enable brands to sense and respond across channels and so provide more relevant and contextual emails.
This is a trend around process and management rather than technology, so it’s not new, but it is an important way of thinking. It goes hand-in hand with Marketing Automation, but applies more broadly across digital marketing – it’s a way of optimising everything – making your customer journeys and experiences on mobile and desktop more effective.
At Smart Insights we see Data-driven marketing as part of what should be an “Always-On Marketing Approach” In a recent survey we asked how many brand followed this approach – only around one third were continuously improving performance this way.
Absolutely! Mobile email marketing is crucial as the Litmus report shows – far more emails are opened on mobile now compared with desktop. So it’s crucial that emails work in the mobile inbox, both rendering accurately and in the right context of use. This will be perhaps THE topic that every speaker at the conference, including me, talks about.