Episode 70: Let's get digital
- 08 December 2022
This podcast will:
- Explore how digital trends changed in 2022
- Demonstrate how to keep up with rapidly changing technology
- Forecast the coming trends for 2023
Sophie Peterson 00:03
Welcome to the CIM Marketing Podcast. The contents and views expressed by individuals in the CIM Marketing Podcast are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the companies they work for. We hope you enjoy the episode.
Ben Walker 00:17
Hello, everybody and welcome to the final CIM marketing podcast of the calendar year. Before we take our annual festive break to close out the year, I'm delighted to say that we have with us two debutants on the CIM Marketing Podcast from the digital marketing team at CIM headquarters in Berkshire and they are Becca Ing, who is CIM's digital marketing manager. And Charlotte Harris, who's a digital marketing executive at CIM. Ladies, how are you today?
Becca Ing 00:50
Hi, Ben good thanks.
Charlotte Harris 00:51
Hi, I'm good thank you.
Ben Walker 00:53
Great to have you on the show. Looking forward to it.
Becca Ing 00:55
Ben Walker 00:57
Today, as you may have guessed from the positions of our guests, we are looking at trends in the digital marketing space, how they've changed over the past year or so and what they expect to see in the near future. We'll begin with you, Charlotte, you have more of a focus on social media marketing, what do you think were the big changes in social media marketing that have happened since this time last year since Christmas? 2021?
Charlotte Harris 01:25
Yes, so I have more of a focus on social media marketing, and particularly on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok. There's been continued growth for short form video. Instagram, in particular has been prioritising video a lot more in terms of reels. TikTok has also been continually growing after it really took off during the pandemic. And then there's been some growth in the use of social ecommerce and shoppable content, as well as social media customer service and last year's iOS updates also created a big impact for digital marketers in terms of tracking.
Ben Walker 02:04
What about you Becca, were there any changes or advancements in digital that you didn't expect, or that you expected to arrive this year.
Becca Ing 02:12
The continued rise in short form video content such as tick tock Instagram reels YouTube shorts could have been expected. For marketers who jumped on this early, I think they're likely to have seen really impressive growth and engagement, maybe a less expected one is the Metaverse and virtual and augmented reality. Although, you know, mass adoption of these concepts like the metaverse seem far away now, if you put it into the perspective of who is your customer in 2030, or 2040, they could be much younger right now and they could be using these technologies every day. So I think it'd be really wise to start thinking about your future customer, maybe not just your current customer, actually.
Ben Walker 02:50
It's a great point, isn't it? Because I do detect, I must admit a little bit of scepticism from people who are as long in the tooth as me about this idea of augmented reality or extended reality as we talk about it now, that actually, it's a bit of a gimmick. I infer you think there's a little bit of ignorance on the part of the older generation, shall I say?
Becca Ing 03:12
Definitely, I think, as I said, it, these concepts can feel far away now. But they'll definitely be really important in the future.
Ben Walker 03:21
What is it about them? Do you think that will make them so important in the future?
Becca Ing 03:26
It's just a new way for technology. I think technology is moving so quickly, and marketers are struggling to keep up. And it's just a different place for companies to be on.
Ben Walker 03:39
They certainly are struggling to keep up. I mean, that is written. We recorded an episode around about this time last year, we spoke to a guy called Daniel Rowles at Target Internet, and he had identified through his research and report a pretty huge skills gap in digital marketing, which relates not just to the real cutting edge technologies, the external reality and so on and so forth. But throughout the digital marketing space. What in your experience, do you think were the reasons for that gap? And how do we go about solving it?
Becca Ing 04:15
I think the pandemic has a huge part to play in this. We relied so much more heavily on technology during the lockdowns, which really heightened consumers expectations for the digital customer experience and customer service. Digital technology is moving so quickly so I think that's why digital skills are struggling to keep up, and that's why it's so important to be upkilling yourself and your team.
Ben Walker 04:37
Do you think there has been much progress in this year of non pandemic restrictions?
Becca Ing 04:42
Yeah, I think to be honest, it's moving faster than ever. As I said, we've relied so heavily on technology and it's just gonna keep going. I read somewhere that in the last decade, digital technology has advanced more than in the past 100 years, which is just crazy.
Ben Walker 04:55
Crazy perhaps Charlotte but we have to do it. We have to update ourselves no matter how quickly, technology is moving along and advancing as marketers, we have to make sure that we keep up with it, even if it seems blindingly fast at times. So thinking back to what you yourselves have done at Moor Hall as a team in 2022, what changes have you had to make? Or have you noticed around your team that you've had to make to make sure that you are keeping up with trends?
Charlotte Harris 05:23
A big change within our team at Moor Hall is that our digital team has created more specialised roles within email, social and campaign management.
Becca Ing 05:35
Yeah, this is so the team can really take ownership of their own channel and focus on optimising performance. Yeah, it feels like the right time to be doing that for us.
Ben Walker 05:43
Has it moved as quickly as you would like, as a manager, Becca?
Becca Ing 05:47
It was quite a recent change, actually. But we've had the team all in training, and I think it really gives them a chance to really own their own channel and yeah, optimise performance. So yeah, it's going well, so far.
Ben Walker 05:58
Okay, I'm gonna ask you both to future gaze a little bit here. We've, we've we've seen what's happened in the last year, what's going to happen in the year to come or the 18 months to come? What do you expect Becca to be the biggest changes we'll be facing in 2023 and beyond?
Becca Ing 06:16
I think a big change is going to be the move to Google Analytics 4, and the end of third party cookies. All of my team have been in training for this, and it is a lot to get your head around. It's a lot of new metrics, a lot of new reports, I would definitely say to any marketers to haven't started the setup yet, start, get set up, start testing it, start getting the reports ready, because it is a big change and it needs to be a priority.
Ben Walker 06:38
For people not familiar with these changes. Can you explain a little bit more? What they're all about Becca?
Becca Ing 06:44
Sure so a lot of browsers are now ending the use of third party data, which is any data collected by a business without a direct link to your business. So we've now got Google Analytics 4, which is the next generation of analytics, with more privacy controls, and using a lot more machine learning. It's got a lot of great features, but it's very different. It's all come from consumers demanding more privacy.
Ben Walker 07:06
Interesting, and what do you expect with the hurdles to getting to grips with these technologies in 2023 and beyond?
Becca Ing 07:13
I'd say, definitely just the skills gap as we've touched on in previous benchmark reports, but you really need to be upskilling your team and you need to be keeping up to date with all the changes, even you know, I love in the morning listening to a podcast on the way to work on my commute and things, or webinars and things like that. It doesn't necessarily have to be formal training, although that will be really beneficial.
Ben Walker 07:32
It's interesting, isn't it that this pops up from time to time is that people see the need to learn or the pressure to learn as a chore. But actually, there are so many great resources out there at the moment that you can combine them into your day, you can factor them into your day. And you can enjoy doing that learning through podcasts when you're driving to work or what have you, or sitting on the train or tube to work in the morning. That is actually going to give you a great grounding in what the changes are and what you need to do to get to grips with them.
Becca Ing 08:04
Definitely, and I think that's the exciting thing about digital marketing, although it can feel overwhelming for a lot of us sometimes, it's exciting, and it keeps it interesting and you have to be constantly adapting.
Ben Walker 08:13
Do you ever feel the pressure to learn Charlotte? Or do you find it sort of excites you that every day almost is a new day?
Charlotte Harris 08:20
I think it's really exciting and you don't even have to learn all the time through formal courses, you can learn through things you're doing in your day to day roles, whether you maybe even shadow someone at work, there's so many different ways to learn. And if you record your CPD, then you can see how you're advancing over time as well.
Ben Walker 08:45
What's worked most powerfully for you in terms of rapid learning?
Charlotte Harris 08:48
So I find it can be really beneficial to follow influential people online, because you can get information without necessarily going out of your way to find it. And something I've been passionate about for a long time as well is earning whilst learning. So I started my marketing career as an apprentice and that taught me that you don't necessarily have to know everything about marketing to be in a marketing role. And you can really learn as you go along in a way that suits you.
Ben Walker 09:15
Earn while you learn Becca that that is a great piece of advice, is it not?
Becca Ing 09:21
Yes, really great love that.
Ben Walker 09:23
Yeah if we can earn while we learn. We take a lot of the pressure off ourselves as marketers, you know, it can seem like a great pressure to keep up with these trends which are moving so rapidly. But if we can find employers and jobs which allow us to develop our skills, develop our knowledge and our experience of new trends while we're earning, then we're in a great place. The other thing to say is, as Becca was alluding to earlier, a lot of learning can be fairly fun and factored into your day. So we can take podcasts in our morning on our morning commute to work, we can learn through shadowing people in the office or at our workplace to try and develop those skills as they come online. And as Charlotte says, following influential people on social media themselves to see what other people in the industry are doing and how they're keeping up. One of the biggest changes, of course, in the last year or two has been the new dominance of TikTok, which we talk a lot about. On the CIM Marketing Podcast, which was originally seen as the stereotype now is well known as something for children. Nobody took it seriously. It was seen as a gimmick, and then suddenly, it is absolutely massive, it has become almost the dominant social media platform in the last year or so. Is it going to stay dominant Becca Ing, or is something else going to eclipse it?
Becca Ing 10:47
I would never say never definitely another channel could easily come in. I mean, we saw it with TikTok, the growth has been really impressive, but I think if your target audiences on TikTok, it's a really valuable channel to be on, we've seen really impressive growth from it. And there's a lot of opportunities there. It's interesting as well to see the rise of popularity of apps like Be Real, which is indicating the move away from polished, perfect content and more towards real authentic content.
Ben Walker 11:11
What is it about the sort of sort of scratchiness, the promotion of authenticity if you like over beauty that appeals do you think social media audiences?
Becca Ing 11:21
People just don't see it as genuine anymore. And they really, especially maybe Gen Z, want to see that authentic content, they don't want to be kind of seeing fake content that isn't real. And I mean, it's easier for marketers, I think personally, because the polished perfect content that brands put out is really time consuming and quite difficult to make. Whereas the real authentic content, like reels, for example, we've been doing a lot this year, is a lot quicker to make and turnaround.
Ben Walker 11:48
That's interesting, isn't it, because we sort of grow up and become, you know, start our careers and development actually is one thing that we've traditionally been told, We got to get the maximum quality and everything polish, polish, polish, polish polish, and Charlotte Harris that has now changed, quick, authentic, a little bit rough around the edges, can and often does work very well.
Charlotte Harris 12:10
The most engaging content is often when people are in the videos. And it seems that people like to view people on social media. So that's one of the key findings that I found from social media.
Ben Walker 12:23
Do you think social media generally will still be as prevalent as it is in digital marketing? Or do you think we'll find some other way of promoting content and promoting our ideas beyond the sort of classic social media space?
Charlotte Harris 12:37
Yeah, definitely. I think social media has grown to be such a key part of many companies' marketing strategies. It could change even just looking at what's happened with Twitter since Elon Musk acquired it and Instagram focusing more on video this year, and other algorithm changes. But there's still many opportunities for social and influencer marketing as well.
Ben Walker 12:59
What about you Becca, do you see something else coming to eclipse? Or do you think it's still going to be our chief platform as marketers in the digital space?
Becca Ing 13:07
If your target audiences on there, it can be a really good platform for you. But I don't necessarily think you should put all of your eggs in one basket. I think, you know, you should be looking at all the channels and building communities and authenticity, as we've been talking about, definitely.
Ben Walker 13:22
What are you most excited about in terms of next year in terms of trends that might change or, or develop in 2023?
Becca Ing 13:29
I think developments in AI technology and the metaverse are really exciting. Definitely excited to see what happens in those spaces. I think we'll also see a big shift towards more personalised Marketing Communications, which is definitely needed for today's consumer really.
Charlotte Harris 13:45
I think it will be interesting to see how the use of video evolves. There's so many ways that video can be used for marketing, whether that short form video which we've seen a huge growth in, you may use slightly longer video for platforms such as YouTube. There's live video animations, user generated content, or even interactive video. There's so many options, and it will be interesting to see how different businesses use video to their advantage in the future.
Ben Walker 14:12
It's easy to get wrong though isn't it, Becca? Video, too long, too boring, not on point. Getting it right, short and sweet is not an easy task for marketers, isn't it?
Becca Ing 14:26
Yeah, you have to be testing it. That's what we do all the time. We have to test the different types of content and we feed that back in every month to our creative teams and our other teams to always be learning and trying to get the best content out there.
Ben Walker 14:39
Are you often surprised by what sorts of videos get the most engagement?
Becca Ing 14:43
Definitely all the time Charlotte will agree like sometimes one really takes off and we're like, what was it about this one, but that's as I've said, it's the fun of digital marketing is trying to work that out and yeah, see why.
Ben Walker 14:55
When you are surprised like that, how do you get to the bottom of what has created that engagement?
Becca Ing 15:00
I think it's looking at all aspects really, whether as you said, it's maybe someone being in it, if it's a certain topic, if it's a certain lighting or a certain shot, it's it can be so many different things.
Ben Walker 15:12
Interesting isn't it, the things that engage is always obvious what is going to engage our audience. So we're going to look now at three pieces of advice, what to do and what not to do. And when whats to do the positive side, I'm going to come to you, Charlotte about three tips. You can give digital marketers which they should do, and Becca, you're gonna get the negative side of what not to do, while you're as a digital marketer, as we look towards a new year and a new bunch of trends and technologies that we have to handle. So Charlotte, if you can offer three pieces of golden advice on what to do as digital marketers, what would they be?
Charlotte Harris 15:56
So the first piece of advice I'd give is to keep up to date with the latest trends by doing your research, whether that's looking at marketing news seeing what digital marketing activities perform well for others, or looking at your own statistics and seeing what's most effective. The second piece of advice is to make sure you're communicating with others, working day to day in a marketing role, it can be so easy to just keep your head down and focus on your own to do list but if you're in an office environment, bounce ideas off other people hear different opinions and get inspired by the people around you. And if you don't have the opportunity to do that in person, join online communities, online events, and listen to other people's thoughts, because you may find it positively impacts your work.
Ben Walker 16:43
And can you really replace in person collaboration where you've described with online collaboration.
Charlotte Harris 16:52
I don't think necessarily replacing it is the right word, I think it's useful to use a mix of both, if you have the opportunity to do that. Obviously, during the pandemic, that was a bit difficult. But now it's calmed down a bit, if you can do in person and online, I think it's a really good opportunity. And then the third piece of advice I'd give is don't be afraid to try something new. If it fits in with your brand and your objectives. And you think it could work, give it a go, you might find that thinking outside the box and coming up with a new innovative idea really helps your business grow.
Ben Walker 17:28
So that's interesting, isn't it? Because they're sometimes you can get locked in a box and you think, well, we try this, we've never done it before it might fail. And then we're going to be in trouble. You say you've got to get out of that mindset. In some ways, you're implying you're going to pre prepared to fail in order to gain.
Charlotte Harris 17:47
Yeah, you've just got to see what's working best and take action based on that.
Ben Walker 17:54
That's interesting. So be brave, is Charlotte Harris' tip, Rebecca, you are charged with giving us three things that you should not do as digital marketers, and be interested to hear what they are.
Becca Ing 18:08
So first one I'd say is don't leave setting up and moving two to GA4 to the last minute start testing, start building the reports. And yeah, just get on there. Next one would be don't only think about your current target audience, start thinking about your future target audience and what they're doing now. And then last one would be just don't be complacent. We need to keep upskilling and digital marketing. It's so important. And you may have to challenge processes a lot of the time. Yeah.
Ben Walker 18:36
The second one is interesting, isn't it? Because you try to think of an audience that uses your current audience you're trying to envisage and envision an audience is the future, how do you go about profiling that audience when they don't currently exist?
Becca Ing 18:50
I think you just really have to start thinking about future rather than the current. So I know internally, we're talking a lot about 2030. We're not just thinking now we're thinking 2030. So it's really looking ahead for that. And there's a lot of helpful tools like customer profiling and things that you could use as well. Yeah. And I heard someone say on a TED Talk, talk to your kids, like don't talk to just like your colleagues, talk to your kids, what are they doing and things like that? Quite an interesting thing.
Ben Walker 19:14
Well the kids were right about TikTok as we've mentioned before that they it was very popular for children then it suddenly became something that adults were engaged with, they suddenly became massive after that. So actually trying to talk to the next generation and presumably that also applies if you're an older marketer, Gen X marketer, you may be a head of a marketing department or at the top of a marketing agency. You've got to proactively talk to younger people in your business to get the insights of what the future audience is going to look like.
Becca Ing 19:47
Definitely, I think that could be quite valuable,
Ben Walker 19:48
Interesting, well ladies, thanks very much for those fantastic tips and insights on digital marketing trends. If you're looking ahead to next year, and you're thinking about what could surprise is all derail is is there anything that you think we should be wary of as we approach the New Year and 2023?
Becca Ing 20:07
A lot more consumers will be demanding more and more from privacy and things like that. Yeah, and just the rate of technological change is crazy. And yeah, just keeping on top of it, as we've been saying.
Ben Walker 20:20
Don't expect it to slow down, in fact, probably better to expect to speed up and get to grips with Google Analytics 4, before your competitors get to grips with it before you.
Becca Ing 20:31
Ben Walker 20:33
Charlote Harris, Becca Ing, thank you very much for your time and insights today. It's been great to meet you and I hope we will see you again on the CIM and Marketing Podcast very soon.
Becca Ing 20:42
Charlotte Harris 20:43
Sophie Peterson 20:46
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