3 Ways To Maximize Your Marketing ROI

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Welcome to a world where customers rule.

The days of telling buyers what to think about products and services are long gone. As my EY colleague Woody Driggs says, marketing is about more than selling. It’s about telling a story and building trust, which leads to better relationships with the consumer.

In his recent blog, Woody explained that Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) need to collaborate with executives across functions. Forging those connections can help CMOs craft stronger messages that resonate with consumers.

Let’s go a little farther and talk about finding a new venue to tell that story: the digital space.

Making the most of social and mobile is of critical importance. We partnered with Forbes Insights to survey more than 300 US senior executives from various industries about the evolving role of marketing in this new environment.

As expected, social topped the list across the board as a major area of investment. To succeed, leading companies realize it’s in their best interest to strategize across the digital trifecta: the internet, social networks and mobile .

How do today’s best digital marketers compete?

Go where the customers are. More consumers are flocking to digital channels, rather than visiting brick and mortar locations. As a result, 60% of survey respondents said they were or planning to invest more in digital. Those channels are the gateways for e-commerce, and 40% of executives said they are funneling resources toward those efforts.

Get social. Customers spend a lot of their time on social networks. The leading platforms reach more than 1 billion users, and 56% of marketing executives said they plan to invest heavily in social networks. I will caution that direct access to customers can be a blessing and a curse, since social sites can be full of disgruntled patrons, which presents an opportunity if handled well. Marketers can take control of negative postings and resolve issues more quickly. In turn, customers may be willing to promote the business, despite their bad experience.

Keep the dialogue going. Our handheld devices are an extension of our computers, making them a key touchpoint for consumers. Fifty-one percent of executives said they plan to invest in mobile, indicating that’s where the future of marketing is heading.

This is an exciting and crucial time for marketers. We have more ways than ever to build — or compromise — trust with customers.

As CMOs decide what presence their brands will have across the various digital mediums, I imagine that the priority will remain the same: differentiate the customer experience. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

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