The Future of Digital Marketing: Interview with Dennis Consorte, CEO, Consorte Marketing
What role will digital marketers play as machine learning algorithms continue to automate more of their work? To find out, we had a lengthy conversation with Dennis Consorte, the CEO of Consorte Marketing. Consorte shares his opinions on the future of digital marketing and what it implies for those who work in the field.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your digital marketing experience.
I finished with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and no marketable skills in 1997. With no career prospects, I bought a book on Microsoft Office and obtained a job as an office temp within two weeks. I did it for several years before being employed full-time by a corporation. One of my responsibilities was to design the company website, and I acquired SEO, web development, and some basic design skills in the process. Soon after, a friend and I started a DVD rental by mail business that ranked first on Google for our target keywords.
Following our company’s acquisition, I began working as a digital marketer, assisting other businesses in increasing their online sales, primarily through SEO, Google Adwords, affiliate marketing, and email. Over time, I improved my conversion-rate optimization (CRO) skills and my ability to apply marketing best practises to a digital framework. I’m now a full-stack digital marketer, but establishing a content strategy that connects all areas of the customer journey has always been a passion of mine. To put it another way, I’m a digital storyteller.
What is Consorte Marketing, and how does it work?
We are a full-service digital marketing agency that prioritises content in every marketing campaign we create. SEO, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, affiliate marketing, and social media marketing are just a few of the strategies we employ to draw individuals into the customer journey. Quality content, on the other hand, is what keeps people interested and coming back for more.
What does a “Customer Journey” entail?
Consider all of the visitors to your website as individuals being poured into the funnel’s top. They arrive after learning about your business through Google, social media, links and adverts on other websites, email, and client referrals. The majority of them become stuck in that funnel like coffee grinds in a filter, with little interest in your goods or services.
As customers progress farther down the sales and marketing funnel, those who are interested in your offerings pass through that filter, followed by a number of other filters. Their curiosity transforms into contemplation, and some of them will finally become consumers. If you give a positive customer experience, some of those individuals will become devoted customers and loud supporters.
The customer journey can be described in a variety of ways, and this sales and marketing funnel is only one of them. The marketing flywheel and various visual depictions of this process are also available. When you start injecting retargeted advertising or try to catch potential clients who are interested in your competition, things get a lot more complicated. The funnel appeals to me since it is simple to comprehend. From the moment a person learns about your company through the point of conversion, there is a clear trend. The cycle then repeats itself.
A lot of the work in creating a digital marketing strategy is done ahead of time, and many of the steps are automated.
Could you explain some of the marketing strategies employed along the client journey?
Sure. Consider Kyle, a Millennial who has been so preoccupied with work that he has neglected his food, exercise, and overall health. He’s put on some weight and had a momentary notion of changing his lifestyle. What exactly does he do?
Kyle’s customer journey could start with a Google search. He types a few health and wellness terms into Google, clicks on an organic search result, and ends up on a lifestyle website like 1AND1 Life. He browses the site but does not make a purchase, but we place a cookie on his device and he begins to see banner advertisements on Facebook and PPC ads on Google. He returns to the website after a few impressions and signs up for our email list.
He’s now receiving emails that direct him to the company’s blog posts and reviews, as well as adverts that are tailored to his preferences. If this website had a paid subscription, we could enrol him in an email drip campaign, where he would receive a succession of emails leading up to conversion. We pique his attention by sending him valuable material via email, and then lure him in with a trial offer for additional useful information.
Affiliates who advertise the website using tracking links earn commissions anytime a transaction is attributed to them, which can further amplify this. Depending on the attribution model employed, that sale may be attributed to some or all of the ways Kyle returned to the website prior to conversion. He may then tell his friends and family about the company’s products, and those purchases may be ascribed to him.
What is an attribution model, precisely?
This is how each touchpoint along the client journey is attributed with a conversion (i.e., a purchase). A few popular models exist.
In a final interaction attribution approach, the last ad clicked before to purchase would earn 100% credit for the sale. In a linear attribution scheme, each click would be given the same percentage of the sale credit. More sophisticated paradigms exist, such as time decay attribution models, in which the most recent clicks receive the most credit and the earliest clicks receive less.
In most cases, if a sale is completed within a certain term, such as 30 days, an affiliate will receive full commissions. Internally, however, the attribution model is utilised to determine the return on ad spend (ROAS) for each technique.
You could even give clicks and impressions varying values. These models are frequently compared and contrasted to help with ad spend and resource allocation decisions.
This can get very convoluted, especially if you’re spending money on items that are difficult to quantify. Machine learning algorithms and automation can aid in this situation. The criteria and test hypotheses are defined by marketers, and the execution is automated. For example, if you have enough traffic, you may use Google Adwords to set a specific cost per conversion. Algorithms will raise or lower your bids based on individual clicks, while only showing advertising to people who are most likely to engage. Rather than relying on the algorithm, we used to obtain better outcomes by manually changing these things. However, because of machine learning, algorithms improve over time, and we’re getting near to the point where you can just set it and forget it.
Is it possible to automate all of these marketing strategies?
Both yes and no. With a lot of data, automation works best. If you’re just getting started, you’ll need to put some money aside to collect data. There’s a lot that can be automated with adequate data. For example, you can highlight popular goods and content on your website, choose which products and articles to include in your emails, prioritise customer groups, and target the majority of your ads to certain audiences. These systems, however, must be built, configured, and optimised by humans. A person must, for example, create and curate fresh content and product offerings. Additionally, they must examine aggregate results in order to reallocate resources while developing new initiatives. It’s preferable if marketing and merchandising professionals make these selections, but automation is rapidly improving.
How long do you have till your job is completely automated?
Small business owners can accomplish a lot of this labour themselves thanks to automation. Larger firms, on the other hand, require individuals and groups to own various portions of the customer journey. Today, automated tools enable these groups to collaborate across departments, effectively eliminating many middle-management positions. Yes, a company’s digital marketing strategy can be automated from start to finish with minimum human input over time. I’ll adjust if it happens.
More automation should be joyfully welcomed. Consider the cotton gin. Though there were predecessors dating back to 500 CE, Eli Whitney is credited with developing the modern cotton gin in 1793. People in the United States used to separate cotton fibre from seeds by hand. Did it result in some job losses? Sure. Did those who could afford them gain a competitive edge by lowering labour costs? Absolutely. However, it freed up people’s time, allowing them to focus on duties other than plucking cotton balls apart.
Furthermore, automation cut labour costs, which resulted in lower fabric pricing. This increased access to higher-quality clothing, bedding, and other commodities for the poor. Because of the cotton gin’s development, people became wealthy and society progressed.
Individuals were also concerned that computers would put them out of employment; technophobia existed. Most of us now carry in our pockets electronics that are many times quicker, cheaper, and more efficient than the computers that placed humans on the moon. Computers did not eliminate occupations; rather, they transformed how humans worked.
Automation is no exception. It will allow us to devote more time to higher-level, more creative work, and savvy marketers will adapt to the shifting terrain.
As a marketer, how have you progressed?
We still manage a variety of techniques for clients, including some small-scale local marketing campaigns. However, we focus the most emphasis on content creation. This entails both writing high-quality content and collaborating cross-functionally with other organisations that create different types of content, such as video.
Our SEO strategy has changed as well. We devote a chunk of our content strategy to voice search in addition to video. This is a more conversational method of searching for information, thus optimising for the long tail of voice search is essential.
Meanwhile, in my vicariously free time, I am working on a variety of personal projects. A few ecommerce websites created on various platforms, a bitcoin news aggregator, a small business networking platform, and other initiatives are among them. I’ll be prepared if my services are eventually automated out of existence. Multiple revenue streams are important to me, and I occasionally test different ideas with my own money before recommending them to customers.
What is the best approach to contact Consorte Marketing and where can we find you?
Use our website’s contact form or send me a message on LinkedIn if you’re interested in our services. Please don’t call. We get so much phone spam that I’m thinking about changing our phone number. I know, it’s not very markety of me. If you enjoy hearing my perspective on these and other issues, then follow me on Twitter.