Earlier this week Econsultancy and Silverpop hosted a roundtable event in the Philippines where senior digital marketers gathered to discuss the latest trends and challenges in behavioural marketing.

It was the first in a series of events to be hosted across Asia-Pacific, with conversations focusing on email marketing, marketing automation and behavioural marketing.

There are still places available at the date in Bangkok on June 11, so don’t delay in applying for an invite.

Here’s an overview of some of the key trends that emerged from the conversations in the Philippines...

Relevance is key

Delegates repeatedly brought the conversation back to the topic of relevance.

As well as the challenge of delivering marketing messages to the right person at the right time, this also includes delivering relevant and enjoyable customer experiences.

This tallies with a Digital Trends Briefing we published at the beginning of this year, which found that targeting and personalisation were top marketing priorities in 2015.

Which three digital-related areas are the top priorities for your organisation in 2015?

As we said in a blog post last year:

Relevance is key, and that means serving your customers and prospective customers with meaningful content that services a current need for them, and content which is served via a medium (or channel) that suits their behaviours. 

Knowing all the about 'who' on its own is no longer enough, it needs to be complimented by the 'when' and the combination of both is where real-time relevance can be provided.

Data management

Tying into the issue of relevance is data management.

Delegates said they were still working towards implementing systems that would ensure email messages were optimised using all available data.

There was agreement that it’s not important that you send emails to as many people as possible, it’s about getting messages to the right people.

Content is critical

Content marketing is now a firmly established marketing discipline, and some delegates felt that brands are being forced to become more creative in order to grab people’s attention.

This doesn’t necessarily mean going for shock tactics, but instead requires marketers to be creative while also staying relevant and focused on the customer experience.

You can find out more about content planning and delivery in our new Digital Content Strategy Best Practice Guide.

Language barriers can be an issue

In the Philippines marketers have to be wary of language barriers and ensure they use simple, straightforward messages.

Delegates discussed the importance of removing jargon and technical language so that communications were easy to understand and achieved the maximum impact. 

Ongoing optimisation

Email campaigns should be optimised on an ongoing basis according to the Filipino delegates.

Open rates, conversion rates and subject line performance should be tracked and analysed on an ongoing basis, otherwise email marketing performance will likely decline.

Customer journeys

To properly implement marketing automation brands have to use data to map out their customer journeys.

This is the only way that marketers can move away from making decisions that are based on assumptions and hunches.

Silos

A discussion on marketing automation wouldn’t be complete without a few mentions of data silos.

Though marketing automation requires an integrated strategy, most of the Filipino delegates are still treating lead generation, sales and retention as separate initiatives.

The challenge remains for marketers to combine all their different datasets into one marketing automation system. 

Focus on digital skills

Though there are a huge number of marketing automation tools available, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that we still require people to operate the software.

Marketing teams need to recruit and retain staff that have digital and analytical skills if they are to make the most of the opportunities presented by marketing automation.

Always test

And finally, delegates agreed that everything needs to be tested and optimised to maximise impact and ROI.

Expert advice should only be taken as a starting point from which to begin testing, as what works for one business will not necessarily work for your business.

David Moth

Published 4 June, 2015 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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