This year we’ve seen an increase in the number of job openings for Digital Marketing roles in Mauritius.

We’ve seen several digital marketing agencies launching their activities this year. These agencies provide services ranging from website design, social media management, content marketing, SEO, video and email marketing.

This is a good sign that Mauritian companies are increasingly confident to invest in their digital marketing strategy. However, we need to shift from push marketing to inbound marketing. It’s the type of marketing that bring customers to your business. We need to provide value to customers. We need a complete re-engineering of how we do marketing.

We need to think in terms of buyer personas. According to Hubspot Academy, buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.

Regarding digital marketing, marketers should be obsessed about how they can provide value to their potential customers (by defining their buyer personas) at each stage of the buyer’s journey…knowing that there is a lot of competitors out there looking to close the same deals. By now, I think we can agree that mass marketing isn’t working anymore. It can be even risky for your company to indulge in mass marketing (e.g mass mailing campaigns) as consumers have shown a propensity to flag content that provides no value as spam. Customers are looking for new experiences that are tailored to their needs and they want these experiences to be highly personal and relevant. They expect their favorite brands to know what they want. It’s highly noticeable with the millennials and generation z customers who can be categorized as digital natives.

Marketers need to adjust; it’s not about what you know; it’s about what the customers want today and tomorrow. It’s about having an open mind by challenging our own preconceptions about what it takes to delight our customers. Ask them. Observe them in specific situations. Carry out specific campaigns and monitor the performance. Adjust accordingly.

Management executives need to put customer experiences as a top priority for 2018 where they blend traditional marketing (offline) with digital marketing to delight customers across all the company’s customer touch points. Create remarkable marketing campaigns that will lead to positive.

 What about Marketing and Sales?

Marketing teams need to work together with the Sales teams. A study carried out by the Aberdeen Group showed that companies with a strong marketing and sales alignment get 20% annual revenue growth.

Marketing and Sales teams need to share the same language and the same goals. If they have the same vision and understand that they form part of the same team whereby marketing provides the leads and sales nurture the relationships to put the customers in the right mindset to buy.

« People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction. » ― Brian Halligan

Leveraging data

That’s where companies need to leverage the power of social media analytics, business intelligence, sentiment analysis and regularly undertaking market research analysis. There is a need for companies to have a dashboard with several key performance indicators that are updated in real time…we are already in the Automation era with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

“Make the customer the hero of your story.” – Ann Handley, Marketing Profs

How many companies are empowering their customers and putting them forward on a regular basis? As we enter the end of year festivities, this is a great opportunity for companies to implement customer centric actions to increase brand equity. The shortcut is to try to close more sales with promotions and coupons deals…the real value lies in creating more value than capturing by using branding and building game changing experiences. If companies understand the psychology of their customers and the nuances based on demographics, there are a lot of powerful marketing campaigns that can be done.

Customer Experiences in Retail

Retail is an industry where customer experiences are not optimal and where it could add tremendous value to the customers and boost sales for retail operators.

For example, “magasins” tend to sell to women because they know that this is an interesting segment. However, they are missing real opportunities to exceed the expectations of the men who accompany these women when they are doing shopping. As a man I find that going shopping with a woman to be a really painful experience (I need to be honest J), so if a “magasin” had the idea of crafting a special experience for me when I’m walking in the outlet, maybe this could make this painful experience into an enjoyable one. For example if a “magasin” decided to design a room where men could sit and watch some football games while waiting for their female friend/partner, that would be AMAZING J!

This shouldn’t be viewed as a cost but as an investment that will help generate more business in the short, medium and long run. It’s a great way to differentiate your brand from another brand. It’s a great way to make sure that men that accompany women aren’t telling them to leave the “magasin” because they are tired of waiting. Women who have the time to decide are more likely to leave your outlet with some clothes and accessories.

This type of thinking can be replicated to any other industry. Marketers and business executives should take some time to objectively analyze their processes and the customer experience that they’re delivering to their customers. The most important thing when innovating is to have an open mind to discover new ways to delight the customers.

Bring on 2018!

With all the interesting things happening in the field of digital marketing, Mauritian companies need to take a look at the following trends for 2018:

  1. Chatbots customer service automated 24/7.
  2. Content marketing will grow with a strong focus on Video content.
  3. More local influencers will promote brands.
  4. FB will charge more for their Ads.
  5. FB Messenger Ads will grow in prominence.
  6. Instagram will continue to grow its user base amongst Mauritian youngsters.
  7. WhatsApp along with FB Messenger will form part of the global messaging strategy for businesses.

I hope that more companies invest in customer experiences and become relentlessly obsessed about delighting their customers by providing value. I also believe that companies will quickly feel that they need to embrace the inbound marketing philosophy; by creating content that bring leads to them rather than spamming potential customers with irrelevant offers.