According to Forrester research, U.S. digital marketing spend will reach $119 billion by the year 2021. In this latest Roundtable, we sat down with a few of R2i's subject-matter experts to discuss a common, significant issue that both enterprise and mid-level businesses must prepare themselves for:

As the digital landscape becomes more congested, how can brands ensure that they’re delivering content experiences that not only capture customer attention right now, but spur lasting, profitable relationships for the future?

Kara Alcamo Headshot

Kara Alcamo

VP, Digital Activation

Focus on the human - put yourself in their shoes versus thinking brand first. By shifting thinking from "how can I get someone to do what I want" to "how can I provide value to my customer", you'll naturally produce more engaging, lasting experiences.

Williams Scotsman does this really well. As a leader in the modular construction industry, they surpass many of their B2B competitors by focusing their content strategy on building digital experiences that speaks to their audiences' business challenges and positions their brand as someone who can help. That's what builds long-term trust and repeat business.

Eric Mackenzie Headshot

Eric Mackenzie

VP, Technology

Capturing audience attention is no easy task. With technology and UX patterns always changing, gaining a competitive edge means companies must take their own industry knowledge and combine it with the expertise from a cutting-edge digital marketing agency to utilize marketing cloud platforms to their full potential.

By using analytics and data tracking tools to integrate data from multiple channels, brands can build advanced digital customer profiles based off visitors’ known and implicit behaviors to deliver timely, relevant content. Combining these data-driven customer profiles with a dynamic, personalized, and intuitive user experience is the key to not only keeping customers engaged in the near-term, but building relationships that keep them coming back.

Steve Hill Headshot

Steve Hill

Senior Director, Brand Strategy

Successfully capturing attention in crowded digital landscapes in a way that turns attention to loyalty, starts with the brand. Content experiences must be an extension of an overarching idea at the heart of the company or product/service—one that not only represents distinct value to customers but meets four vital criteria: unique, relevant, defensible, and easy to understand.

If the core premise driving the content (the “book” the content is the “chapters” in) doesn’t effectively position the brand against these fundamental metrics, it may capture a high number of clicks in the short-term but add nothing to the relationship or bottom-line.

Lindsay McGettigan Headshot

Lindsay McGettigan

VP, Digital Strategy

Content experiences need to be grounded in a solid understanding of the target audience’s decision making journey. Each stage of that journey brings unique informational needs, pain points, and motivational triggers. Brands not only need to understand content that will drive awareness and conversion, but content that will spur loyalty and advocacy. Investing in this persona and journey mapping research is essential in developing an effective content strategy that will keep customers engaged.

Frans Keylard Headshot

Frans Keylard

VP, Insights & Optimization Strategy

It’s harder to acquire good customers than it is to maintain them. Brands that do a stellar job at personalizing their customers’ experience throughout the entire lifecycle stand to achieve the greatest customer lifetime value (CLV). Defining and executing campaigns against clear KPIs is the best way optimize customer engagement. Success metrics should evolve as more data is gathered about which touch points have the highest propensity to drive long-term repeat customers, and brand loyalty.

Tim Howell Headshot

Tim Howell

Digital Marketing Strategist

The simple answer here is to continue putting consumer needs first. Content creators need to be less concerned with pushing their own messaging, and take the time to research what it is that their preferred customers are actually looking for.

Once you have an understanding of the content experience your consumers need, you can start creating it. That’s where personalization and targeting tools become very important. Brands need to be able to identify and deliver personalized experiences directly to the consumers that are most likely to respond to them. This goes beyond name-inserts in email blasts. This is about creating a simple interactive landing page that quickly walks potential clients through the purchasing process and highlights the value adds that solve their specific challenges. To do that, you need to know what those challenges are, how your competitors are solving them, and what makes your brand unique.

The most memorable experiences aren’t the ones that are flashy, they’re the ones that speak to us as human beings.

About the Author: Eric Loy

As Content Marketing Manager, Eric helps develop R2i's content strategy with a focus on brand awareness and lead generation. He's passionate about storytelling and considers Dr. Seuss and Kanye to be geniuses in their own right. A good friend once told him, "success is making the people who believed in you look brilliant," a motto he hopes to one day soon embody. His life goal is to eliminate mumbling and buzzwords so people can get back to understanding one another.

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