It’s 2018. As the calendar page turns, is your digital marketing strategy where it should be? If you’re focusing on implementing a few new smart systems and taking advantage of the myriad technological tools on the market today, you’re on the right track.

Yet, in all your purchasing and planning that’s centered on sleek, automated innovation, don’t discount the importance of the human element. Yes, we can now install bots that allow web users to solve their customer service issues on their own time without speaking to a human agent, but is that always the best route? For many companies, the answer is a resounding “yes!” However, it’s important to consider your industry and audience type before blindly installing a new feature just because it sounds cool or simplifies a pain point.

At the crux of marketing is the desire to appeal to your core customer base. Whether you pursue this initiative through social media, email blasts, SMS messaging, or good old-fashioned flyers, the aim is still the same – to stop them in your tracks and encourage them to convert.

That said, consider how your target customer is likely to interact with your brand. Are you targeting tech-savvy web users, or Millennials who have a noted aversion to making an actual phone call? If so, you may find that web features like virtual assistants and chatbots fit in nicely with your marketing approach, and will be frequently used.

On the other hand, if your audience is more interested in forging a personal connection with your brand than how quickly your website loads, you’ll need to rethink your outreach approach. This audience may favor tailored text messages, in-store promotions, or meet-and-greet events over a snazzy graphic design or an automated robot that requires more guesswork to operate than is time-efficient.

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Of course, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing, and what works for one company can prove unsuccessful for another. The key is striking a balance between new-age and old-school and analyzing results to see what worked, what didn’t and what needs a little tweaking along the way.

One of the best ways to stay abreast on what your customers are saying and how you can improve? Invest in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that allows you to see real-time updates on sales and service data. For instance, this digital marketing company fuses personal customer connections with fast-paced forecasting and review data to keep executives aware of what’s in the pipeline, who needs support, and where their focus should be turned to next.

This way, your response times rarely lag, and you’re able to communicate with your customers in the moments they need you the most. At the end of the day, nothing proves you’re a client-focused company more than an immediate response to an urgent requirement. All the impressive HTML in the world can’t match that type of customer value.

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As the New Year comes into full swing, consider if you’re making the most of your digital marketing investments. Getting there might not mean taking the tech-centric road you’re eyeing. Rather, the answer might lie in fusing your tech elements with tools that allow you a hands-on, human approach to customer outreach.

Use the smart tools to reach your customers where they are, and rely on the hands and feet of your company to seal the deal and encourage them to come back for more.