In Catalyst’s “Performance Marketing Perspective” blog series we’re interviewing thought-leaders and experts from across our team to weigh in on changes, opportunities, and challenges in performance marketing. You’ll hear from paid search directors, SEO managers, programmatic leaders, and more as we share how brands can maximize the success of their performance marketing campaigns.
Today’s post features Catalyst’s Director of Business Development, Chris Cloney. Chris is responsible for Catalyst’s client development efforts. He plays an active role in helping marketing teams implement new customer acquisition and lead generation strategies that significantly scale revenue growth and hit target ROI, CPA, and CAC goals. For the past 15 years, he has been helping brands drive performance across Facebook, Instagram, Google, Amazon, and other search and paid social channels. His clients have included some of the fastest growing DTC brands, higher education institutions, retailers, and financial services firms.
What do you see as the biggest change to digital marketing on the horizon and why?
Well, the shifting tides of privacy have really had a ripple effect over every channel. Consumers have more say in terms of consent and more control over what they’re willing to share. This level of transparency is, in fact, I think a good thing. It’s going to push marketers to create more meaningful experiences.
What opportunities should advertisers be considering today? What advice would you give them?
Historically with paid media it’s been so easy to hit a wide swath of people pretty efficiently through certain digital channels. What I would encourage marketers to do is to take a step back and really think about SEO.
I consider SEO to be absolutely critical, organic search is a key investment for every marketer. I fear that until recently a lot of marketers have spent the majority of their budgets on paid, and I understand why. You can get a fast return. But, as we shift to this new world, it’s even more critical that consumers have a good experience when they engage with your brand. That’s where a strong organic strategy comes into play.
Also, Facebook is still a leader in terms of social investment, but when I think of new opportunities in the social area, I think of places like Reddit, the emergence of podcasts and communities where groups of members are talking about your category. It’s an interesting opportunity, but there is a lot of research involved to figure out how to find those audiences and then how to use that information.
How important have omni-channel approaches become?
Extremely important. Brands that take an omni-channel approach will ultimately be able to deliver customer journeys that resonate. We’re past siloed channels – you have to connect with potential new customers as they move from one screen to the next. You need to look at the omni-channel buying experience and use insights from one channel and then apply those insights to your other channel strategies.
If you could wave your magic wand and you can improve one single thing about digital marketing, what would it be?
Tough question, but since I’m in a position to wave my magic wand, I think brands need to adopt longer term view. Campaigns should be more focused on lifetime value. That means that you have to track customer engagement over a period of time.
I also believe that lifetime value will reveal those audiences, those people, those customers who are around for the long haul, who are repeat buyers, who are willing to evangelize or willing to invest in your products and your brand.
Are there any other trends that you see as move through 2020 and into 2021?
As the world shifts, you’re seeing tremendous communities come together online. If you can identify those communities, contribute to those communities, and engage in those communities to introduce your brand that way, there’s a huge opportunity to reach long-term customers who care about your brand.
I do think there’s a shifting away from mass produced advertising campaigns into really targeted, well-curated campaigns. It’s an exciting time, but this stuff is hard. You have to test. You have to learn. But, if we as marketers and agencies evolve and adapt, it’s a huge opportunity for us to build new connections. It’s a cool time to be in this industry, that’s for sure.
More Thought-Leadership from Chris Cloney