• Digital Marketing
    • 14 SEP 17

    Future-Proof Your Digital Marketing Strategy

    Vicky MyersWe are delighted to introduce to you a new guest blogger, Vicky Myers.

    Vicky Myers is a Marketing Executive in our Safeline Metal Detection business unit, and she has over 12 years’ experience in a broad marketing and communications role, delivering clear messages across both online and offline marketing channels. Vicky has worked for METTLER TOLEDO for 6 months, and develops valuable marketing content for our 39 in-country offices. Prior to working for METTLER TOLEDO, Vicky worked for an engineering company, managing their end to end marketing function, including developing their digital marketing strategy which included social media management, website development and digital advertising.

    In today’s guest blog, Vicky speaks to us about some of the hot topics in digital marketing today, and what the digital challenges are for the packaging and manufacturing industry.

    There are currently over 3 billion Internet users in the world and for those people, the Internet plays an important part of their everyday lives, particularly at work.

    You may remember reading about the explosion of data and the Internet within industry in a post from our guest blogger Robert Rogers last month. In that post Robert explains that “…the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is transforming manufacturing by enabling the acquisition and accessibility of far greater amounts of data, at far greater speeds, and far more efficiently than before through the larger concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT).”

    What does this mean for our industry? The increasing digitalization of factory environments is allowing plant managers to gain far greater visibility of their industrial assets. We mentioned in our blog post in June that advances in metal detection are connecting the factories of the future. You can read more about these advancements in that blog post but ultimately, the improved data-sharing capabilities of metal detection equipment is helping to underpin the emergence of smarter, more connected factories, enabling the ‘top-floor to shop-floor’ monitoring of assets.

    Industrial companies are harnessing the potential of digital data to improve their manufacturing processes, and their businesses overall through the adoption of Industry 4.0 principles. So if a business’s manufacturing processes are ‘going digital’, shouldn’t this stretch to their overall business processes? Including their marketing activities? In a world where everything is now digital including paying bills, grocery shopping and tracking your exercise, I would say the answer is most definitely yes!

    What is Digital Marketing?

    Digital marketing is a term used to describe the marketing of products or services using digital technologies such as the Internet, mobile devices, social media and any other digital medium. It can be a very powerful tool for businesses.

    In a recent survey to members carried out by the PPMA, 54% of respondents said that they prefer digital marketing methods but 48% do still value traditional marketing such as printed magazines and events. The average age of respondents was between 45 and 49.

    What does this mean for the packaging and manufacturing industry? Although it is still fairly balanced between those who prefer digital marketing and those who prefer traditional marketing, as more and more content and technologies move towards the digital world, we know this will be the future for how we promote our businesses. Customers are used to accessing information at any time and any place they want it. Businesses need to keep up with these consumer habits in order to remain relevant.

    I recently attended a Digital Marketing Event run by the PPMA to understand some of the challenges in digital marketing in our industry and what the digital future looks like – here are some of the ‘hot topics’ currently in the digital world.

    1. IoT

    ‘Using the Internet’ isn’t just about web browsing anymore, it’s far greater than that – everyday objects now connect to the Internet – your mobile phone, your car, your Fitbit, your TV, the list goes on. This is what has become known as the Internet of Things, or IoT.

    The IoT collects large amounts of data through networked devices, which is sent to a central cloud-based service where it’s aggregated with other data. This allows companies to collect permission-based real-time data about consumers’ habits and about how a product is purchased. This product data allows them to deliver a highly personalized message to their customers, facilitating in a longer-lasting consumer-product relationship.

    2. The General Data Protection Regulation

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new UK government regulation which will come into force from 25th May 2018 and will harmonize data privacy rules with the rest of the EU. This will happen regardless of the UK’s decision to leave the EU in 2019. What happens beyond 2019 is still to be confirmed, but if the UK wishes to continue trading with the EU, then it will still need appropriately ‘adequate’ data protection laws broadly similar to the GDPR.

    What does this mean for businesses?

    According to BlueVenn’s ‘GDPR: A practical guide for businesses‘: “…whether your organization is based in or outside the EU, if your business handles the customer data of any EU citizen then your current practices for collecting, using and sharing data will need to be assessed. In order to comply with GDPR, marketers will need to maintain cleaner and more accurate databases, provide more transparency with how data is handled and put in more security measures to prevent data breaches.”

    We recommend that businesses read the full guidelines and how they must comply, but from a digital marketing perspective, companies need to be aware of the following:

    • Marketing emails and e-newsletters will require explicit permission from recipients before being sent
    • Relying on third party data lists will become difficult as the majority will no longer comply with GDPR
    • Mailing lists will need to be reviewed and recipients to be asked if they wish to continue receiving emails
    • Recipients will need to ‘double opt-in’ when being added to a mailing list.

    For many companies, email newsletters are the second biggest digital marketing channel after their website so it’s important they understand the impact GDPR will have on their marketing programs.

    3. Machine Learning

    Have you noticed whilst on a particular website, an advert will show something that you may have just looked at hours ago? Or Netflix will recommend the perfect TV show once you’ve watched an episode of your favorite series? This is Machine Learning; it’s closely linked with Artificial Intelligence and gives your device the ability to learn your online habits without being specifically programmed to do so. Companies can use this intelligence to precisely target consumers with products they know they are interested in.

    4. More Videos

    Video content is here to stay. In this fast-paced world where we’re used to obtaining information at the click of a button or the tap of our phones, we don’t have time to read long pieces of text; video allows us to communicate a clear message in a visual way. And we’re using it more and more in our marketing practices through live streaming, animations, vlogs, interviews, case studies, reviews, webinars – the list goes on.

    Perhaps we should have made this article into a video…

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