Let us first understand, what is digital landscape of business all about?

If you were to crunch the entire digital landscape of business into four steps, here is it will look like…

Attract customers: This is the first and foremost step. Your digital strategy should have an attractive and unique proposition that draws crowds. Facebook cracked the market with its unbeatable tagline, “It is free; and always will be”. That is a powerful proposition to attract customers as it leaves no ambiguity.

Nurture customers: We are still talking about potential customers. Once you have attracted with a proposition, the next step is to captivate these people with an unbeatable business value proposition and compelling content. Essentially, it is something that keeps bringing people back to your digital landscape.

Prioritize customers: This is the next key stage where you need to prioritize among the customers you have nurtured. There are some customers who are immediate prospects and some who have the potential to scale up. Your priorities will determine this mix.

Sell to customers: That is the final and, perhaps, the most important step in your digital strategy. You need to use the power of automation to actually sell to customers and close a commercial transaction. Remember there is a cost to customer acquisition and hence your focus should always be to get the maximum ROI from each customer.

So if we were to translate these into marketing automation functions then here is how it will look like…

How marketing automation is changing digital landscape…

The shift is happening in 3 key ways…

· High-end web analytics and social media analytics are instrumental in tracking user behaviour across different platforms. This is used to gather intelligence on the user activity and what trends it can draw about the person’s behaviour, attitudes and preferences.

· Marketing automation is based on the concept of creating a marketing funnel for the marketing team to convert these prospects. Based on the marketer feedback, the customer is scored and then a range of tools are used to reach out to specific customer clusters.

· Multi-tasking platforms are being used to operate on the anonymous digital landscape. Apart from smart campaign management, deep analytics of the web, social media and emails are also extensively used. This makes the entire marketing effort more focused and effective.

Key trends that determine how market automation will change the digital landscape

If you are looking at the digital landscape of the future, you need to build your plan around some key trends…

· Firstly, you are dealing with an online customer base that is increasingly becoming mobile. According to estimates put out by eMarketer, nearly 2.6 billion people in the world, or 1/3rd of the world population will be using Smart Phones by 2018. Your digital offerings and your content have to be mobile compatible and mobile ready. You need to rethink your page from the point of view of a hand-held not from the point of view of a laptop.

· Secondly, Content is finally emerging as king. We are talking about engaging and focused content that is helping customers make decisions. That is what focused content is all about. Plus, the communication should be clear and simple. If you do not get the right message across the first time, then you never will get it across.

· Thirdly, we are seeing an explosion in online videos. Creating videos is almost a cakewalk thanks to whacky cameras, new technologies and cheaper broadband; we have the ecosystem for the explosive growth of video content. Why take the trouble, when an appealing visual can do the job 10 times better.

· Lastly, when you are trying to attract customers then you are competing against two powerful monsters in the form of Facebook and Google. Between them, Google and Facebook corner nearly 64% of the US online advertising market in 2017. These are the two forces you are competing with on the digital landscape.

The digital landscape is changing and marketing automation is actually forcing that change. The combination of smart leads, smart analytics and big data is a fairly lethal combination. How well you create an amalgam for propping up your business is entirely in your hands!