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Weekly roundup: 5 digital marketing tips, trends and tactics

Our roundup of noteworthy digital marketing insights, tips and trends from last week’s news:

1. Digital trends for 2014: What matters most? 

What big trends matter most for digital marketers in 2014? Econsultancy’s Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Trends and Predictions for 2014 takes a swipe at that question. Here are three big takeaways:

  • Get Physical: E-receipts sent at point-of-sale; Wi-Fi offered in retail stores; advancements in retail delivery (such as Amazon Locker and eBay’s acquisition of Shutl) all are nascent examples of the ever-expanding digital marketing extending into the physical one.
  • Go Native: Research shows that ad budgets are growing this year. While initial data on native ad success is positive, marketers are still in experimentation stages and have yet to find meaningful measurements for native as “their very nature means they are all different across each platform.”
  • Upgrade Your Video : New formats for video are emerging as advertisers are changing the way they engage with viewers to sell products. Marketers are using geo-targeting based on service provider data to display personalized content to viewers with relevant pricing and product info within the video.

Read more at Econsultancy

2. How to smarten up your marketing teams

Old-school training courses for marketers don't fit the needs of today's digital marketing pro.  How can you keep your team steeped in the latest trends, strategies, and technologies? Lucy Fisher, contributor at The Guardian ticks off some smart options to consider:

  • Get your team to mingle: Dominic Burch, head of social media at grocery retailer, Asda, found that attending digital marketing conferences and events was a vital way for his team to exchange information with other marketers and stay abreast of what others found to be successful. 
  • Switch up roles: Fiona Lomas, brand controller at Fox’s Biscuits, advises taking employees out of their comfort zones. For example, Lomas found that transferring to sales gave her a better understanding of the company.
  • Make sure its ongoing: Claire Macland, vice president of international marketing at Avaya, explains that training and education shouldn't be about one-off sessions. "We relate projects back to capability development," she explains.

Read more at The Guardian

3. How to stay ahead of ever-smarter smartphone shoppers

While its no surprise that 70 percent of smartphone shoppers check prices as they shop, according to IDC, what some marketers may not realize is that is that 20 percent of those folks wind up buying from your competitor while they're in your store, according to IDC.  Ouch. Slashing prices isn't the solution, obviously. How can savvier retailers  avoid this painful scenario? One way, according to Ryan Hofmann, director of digital marketing strategy at Responsys, is to create more personalized customer experiences like mobilizing sales associates who can engage with customers in-person. 

Read more at Mobile Marketing Watch

4. Think QR codes are tired? Check out what Macy's is doing

While 2013 had many declaring the death of QR codes (according to eMarketer, just 19 percent of Americans had even activated one), this year Macy’s CMO Martine Reardon makes a bold prediction: “You’ll see QR come back in spring along with image recognition technology," she tells Mobile Marketer.

Why? As part of a bigger mobile strategy that aims to better personalize the shopping experience, Macy's is using QR codes and image recognition to engage customers both in-store and out. “The great thing about the technology that we have in stores is that it brings the entire inventory of Macy’s to you in one place,” Reardon explains. “We’ve got 800 stores — they’re not all exactly alike. So what we’re really trying to do is bring the inventory of Herald Square to every single store across the country, and these screens within the stores allow for that to happen.” 

Read more at Mobile Marketer

5. Going native? Think before you leap

The Fox comedy sitcom The Mindy Project made a splash this month when they created fake dating profiles for their two main characters on the popular dating app, Tinder, which boasts 2 million active users. Tinder, which has been compared to Hot or Not, called this part of a “strategic partnership” with Fox. It is a model to follow for other marketers? Not yet. As The Wire noted, “Users were perturbed by the native advertising. Seeing Mindy-bot in your familiar dating-app dive bar was too much like that awesome Twilight Zone episode.”

Read more at The Wire

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