In the last few months we’ve had the chance to ask this question to a number of marketing executives, brand managers and CEOs in the MENA region.
We were also able to raise this question amongst a number of industry players such as conference organizers and other fellow agency stakeholders.
What should our focus be after social media marketing?
Here are the takeaways from our mini exercise:
1-Social Media Marketing is still on the radar
Surprisingly, one key insight we learned from the several discussions we had is that not everyone has figured it out and applied the best practices of social media marketing yet – it is still on their priority list.
The fact that we are considering what the future looks like doesn’t mean that everyone is ready to take that step.
We believe the reason for this is that brands are in different phases of the social media marketing journey. A lot of brands have established the foundations, figured out the best practices of community management, creative content, engagement, moment marketing and a lot have even built internal capacity to do so.
These are definitely the brands that are considering how to optimize their social media marketing and have the time to think of what’s next.
We cannot assume though that all brands are there yet. Some are still in earlier phases of the journey.
2-New priorities are surfacing
As expected we came across some of the buzz words circulating in the industry such as
Big Data, predictive analytics, personalized consumer journey and AI marketing. These were the areas that stood out the most and in our future blog posts we will zoom in on them further.
3-Customer Centricity is key
When raising the question of what comes next after social media, it was refreshing to see that most of the discussions we had revolved around what the customer wants and expects. Awareness revolving around the importance of customer centricity and proximity was always the key central priority.
If there is one strong realization amongst marketers is that one size doesn’t fit all and this applies regardless of what channel we are using to engage with our audiences.
Customers expect personalization and they expect to be communicated with at the right time and with the relevant message based on their needs and interests.
This means that we better get closer to our customers and get to know them much more, otherwise we cannot expect any loyalty or brand affinity from them.
4-Enhanced Efficiency using AI marketing
Another insight we were able to learn from the meetings we had was that businesses are now open and keen on integrating innovative AI based solutions to their marketing funnel as a way to increase efficiencies and lower costs.
There are many AI based tools out there that are proving to demonstrate good value in lowering costs.
Whether it is AI tools related to defining the right segment to consider or tools that can predict the right pricing point and even AI based tools for lead generation or content creation that can significantly reduce costs and offer long term value.
5-Knowing what we don’t know
I can confidently say that very few in our region know or have what it takes to build a more personalized relationship with the customer. I say this with confidence because it is not an easy task, if it were we would be experiencing this already.
Here are some questions to ask ourselves?
- Do we know what our different customer segments and personas are?
- Do we know which channels are being used by our different personas?
- Do we know what data we have and what data we need to further acquire moving forward?
- Do we know if the data we have is organized well and can be used to generate insights?
- Do we know how to use the data we have and convert it into actionable insights that impact the different customer profiles we have?
- Do we know what tools to use?
- Do we know what capacities are required to build a more personalized consumer journey for our customers?
- Do we know how to build a seamless experience for the client that is personalized across all touch points?
- Can we predict what our customer want to buy in the near future? Or which product to market next? Or what segment we should focus our next marketing campaign on?
- Do we know what resources are available to help us answer some of these questions?
Summary of our learnings from asking our partners, clients, industry stakeholders the question of what comes next after social media:
- Social media is still a priority for some organizations and brands where there is room to apply best practices.
- The new areas worth focusing on revolve around AI marketing, data and predictive analytics, personalized consumer journeys.
- Understanding customer behavior and what the customer expects will help us define what comes next after social media and what to focus on moving forward.
- It is worth investing in what AI based tools are out there that can help us enhance efficiencies and solve certain business problems.
- Investing in knowledge is key to better understand how the industry is shaping up and how this will impact our marketing efforts.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to join the discussion