The marketing communication landscape of the twenty first century continues to remain influx as new platforms of engagement and web optimization tools continue to flood the Semantic Web. Specialists offering expertise in one form of content marketing, like SEO, for example, should already be thinking about how their efforts align against a customer’s overall impression of a brand. Working in a silo dictating and trying to control the journey of a customer is no longer an option. To remain relevant in the digital age, marketers need to understand the thought process that a customer takes down the conversion funnel.
Consumers have evolved from wide-eyed brick and mortar shoppers to all knowing multi-device savvy shoppers. Today, consumers are not afraid to search online, read reviews, watch videos, or ask their network for answers to plaguing questions. If they cannot find what they need, consumers turn to their social networks to place demands upon brands that do not fulfill their brand promise.
Google refers to the online decision making moment when a consumer becomes a purchaser as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). According to Jim Lecinski, author of ZMOT, “Return on investment no longer means, I got X clicks and sold Y dollars worth of products right then. It now means lifetime value, and how you can get each customer to become a permanent part of your family” (Lecinski, 2012)
As Web 2.0 continues to evolve, many interdependencies exist between web analytics, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing (SMM). Within those overlapping interdependencies, marketers should look for initiatives that capitalize on both brand building and return on investment opportunities. A good rule of thumb is that each initiative should not be performed within a vacuum. Instead, Web Analytics, SEO, and SMM should be three interconnected parts of an integrated marketing plan that is supported by a framework of agreed upon core business objectives and goals, which are later measured against key performance indicators and outcomes.
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