Blog Trends

Three Trends with Staying Power from the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference

I was lucky enough to attend the first-ever Gartner Digital Marketing Conference last week in San Diego with my GLG colleague Eric Parkinson. It was full of good content on the impact of technology on marketing. The influence is so vast that the point was raised that perhaps it should simply be called marketing, rather than digital marketing, since nearly all marketing today involves digital.

But a distinction was made about why the digital moniker remains relevant. Fully embracing digital marketing, be it brand or agency, requires not only a digital mind-set but also the skill set and the tool set. A lot of companies and a lot of agencies are still getting there. Add to that that it’s a moving target. Rapid change is fueling digital marketing, but which trends will stick?

One of Gartner’s iconic research models is the “hype cycle.” The hype cycle helps digital marketers identify which trends will have staying power and which ones to be wary of. The ones with staying power will reach the “plateau of productivity,” where the trend becomes ingrained into our day-to-day life as marketers. Here are some trends we at GLG think are vital and Gartner believes will reach this plateau:

Content Marketing

We have been proponents of content marketing for a while now. In a nutshell, content marketing involves the creation of content that is informative, educational, and/or entertaining for your target audiences and distributed continually over time—not just during time-boxed campaigns. This requires evolving your marketing machinery from a campaign orientation to a newsroom approach.

Digital Marketing Hubs

In order to manage both traditional campaigns and continuous content marketing programs, marketers need to evaluate software platforms. This has spurred the emergence of “digital marketing hubs” that distribute, orchestrate, measure, and optimize content on one unified platform. Though these hubs are increasingly essential, we should not undervalue the strategic planning foundation necessary to extract the best ROI from them.

Multichannel Attribution

One of the clearest impacts associated with the rise of digital is that target audiences have more control over when and where they consume content about your brand, products, and services. Given the need for sustained content marketing along with the proliferation of digital marketing hubs, the need for sophisticated analytics and ROI is stronger than ever. In particular, we need to focus efforts on a larger set of marketing tactics that will lead to a conversion over time rather than concentrating on the last touch point. The ability to track all these interactions and attribute proper return on marketing investment is one of the more complex challenges in modern analytics.