Digital Marketing: Media and Entertainment Out Front and Not Slowing Down
In 2017, the media and entertainment (M&E) industry was ahead of most other industries in several areas of digital marketing, such as measurement and optimization. To continue to lead in 2018, M&E companies need to continue their transformation into experience businesses.
Two in-depth reports provide insights into the digital marketing trends that separate digital marketing leaders from followers:
1) Running on Experience: 2017 Digital Marketing Study — This report states, “Companies that successfully transform into an experience business will grow and thrive. Those that don’t will struggle to catch up.” It provides survey data on topics including digital maturity, ways to augment data-driven marketing, milestones to transformation, top strategic capabilities, and industry-specific insights.
2) Econsultancy Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends — This report discusses customer experience as the primary way for organisations to differentiate themselves, design as a strategic weapon, the importance of an experience-focused company culture, and personalization as a driving force behind marketing success.
Here are several key takeaways from these two reports, which can assist M&E marketers in setting their priorities for 2018 and beyond.
Content personalization takes top honors
Both reports highlight the increasing importance of content personalization. Running on Experience reports that content personalization is the most popular strategic capability among digital marketers surveyed. Also, the Econsultancy report says that over half (51 percent) of respondents plan to increase spend on personalisation. Clearly, content personalization is one thing to get right when transforming into an experience business.
Spotify, which is a digital music service, provides an excellent example of how to use content personalization to improve the user experience. Its service pairs human curation with machine learning to personalize content for millions of active users. It does this using first-party streaming data to create personalized playlists for its customers depending on their mood, movements, and activity. Brian Benedik, VP global head of sales at Spotify, shares more of the content personalization details in this video interview with Adobe Think Tank. He confirms that personalization can be a differentiator. “It’s something that very much differentiates us from competitors,” he says.
Content-driven experiences rank high
Both reports also highlight marketers’ approval of content-driven experiences. Running on Experience reports that 70 percent of M&E companies rank content marketing and connected experience as “very important” in building their customer experience capabilities. The Econsultancy report states that 29 percent of marketers include content marketing in their top three organizational priorities, and 25 percent include targeting and personalisation. This puts content marketing, targeting, and personalization right up there with social media engagement, which 28 percent of marketers included in their top three.
“This new direction for M&E companies is a move toward micro-consumption and getting a piece of that business. It’s getting content to people that’s timely and relevant to the point where they will pay a premium because it’s not just information overload,” says Jeff Gross, vice president, industry strategy, media and entertainment at Epsilon.
Data capabilities are essential for victory
M&E marketers can stay outfront of the competition by ensuring their data capabilities continue to develop. John Travis, VP EMEA marketing at Adobe, writes in the foreword to the Econsultancy report, “If you want to take design and deliver content-driven experiences, you need a strong foundation of data. But getting the balance of content and data right often takes an increased focus on refining an organization’s culture to adapt to these changing needs. Adopting a collaborative, cross-team approach where everyone is focused on the same goal of delivering experiences is hard, so it’s not surprising to see that many businesses are struggling.”
Jeff recommends a focus on enhancing data. “After identifying customers in some fashion, you can enhance that profile with third-party data, including demographics, financial information, age, and gender. Then you can overlay other consumption data on top of that.”
Ultimately, strong data capabilities will help marketers deliver personalized content to the right people in the right channel at the right time — no matter the screen or location — by factoring in the full range of customer preferences, not just their viewing habits. This, in turn, keeps content relevant to customers so that they will come back for more.
Winning is possible
2018 can be the year that M&E companies complete their transformation into experience businesses and reap the rewards. One way to succeed is to invest in personalized content, content-driven experiences, and the underlying data to make these things possible. This will help M&E companies delight customers and build deep relationships with them that lead to lifelong fandom.