We spoke with Teresa Sperti, national CRM and digital marketing manager at Officeworks. She gave us insight into native advertising, how companies are shifting into digital marketing and SEO best practice.
About Teresa Sperti
With over 16 years’ experience, Teresa has had a long career in the digital marketing space, previously leading the digital and loyalty marketing team at Coles Liquor and managing the product and marketing function at realestateVIEW.com.au. Her experience is broad and extends across the digital and CRM space.
Q. How important is aligning marketing strategy with sales objectives, and how can businesses get buy-in from the C-suite?
A. In this day and age, to be taken seriously as a marketing department and/or marketing leader, alignment of marketing strategy to sales objectives is crucial. The ability to measure return from digital has heightened the need for marketers to demonstrate the value derived from marketing spend overall. While measures of brand recall and preference are important, marketers are needing to demonstrate how spend and investment are contributing to the bottom line. To gain buy-in from the C-suite, marketers must be prepared to be transparent and consistent in reporting outcomes to the business.
Q. What are your opinions on brands utilising native advertising as part of a marketing strategy, and how can companies get started?
A. Native advertising is on a significant growth trajectory at the moment. In social channels alone, native is expected to grow from $3.1 billion in 2014 to $5 billion in 2017 in the US. As the display media space becomes saturated, and consumers continue to switch off to disruption-based media, native provides brands with a way to be part of the conversation rather than distract from it.
Over recent years, brands have invested in developing content assets, but too often these assets have failed to achieve reach and engagement due to a lack of distribution. For marketers thinking of exploring native advertising, the first step is to give consideration to what they want to achieve. It is not uncommon for marketers to be eager to trial the latest and greatest, however marketers must consider the role native advertising plays to achieve content and broader marketing KPIs.
Q. Content has always been produced by large companies, but now we see content marketing being embraced across the marketplace. How can companies make sure their content is relevant and engaging for their audience to stand out from the crowd?
A. At the heart of good content strategy has to be an in-depth knowledge and understanding of your audience. Too often we see brands diving into the creation of content without understanding the type of content that will potentially resonate with their audience.
When it comes to delivery, content strategy like other digital channel strategies should not be ‘set and forget’. With a plethora of data available to ascertain what is and isn’t working, content marketers need to focus on what the data is telling them to guide the development of more engaging and relevant content over time.
Q. What are the biggest challenges facing digital marketers in the current market, and what advice can you give young marketers starting out in the digital game?
I often talk about the digital divide that exists between brand uptake of digital versus consumer digital consumption. Australians have a love of technology and the internet, they are highly connected and always on, and brands are still falling short when it comes to delivering highly relevant, engaging and personalised digital experiences that consumers now expect.
Digital marketers starting out, and even those who are more experienced, need to understand that delivering a highly sophisticated digital strategy is a journey, and they need to be patient but also persistent. Look for ways in which to demonstrate the value derived from leveraging digital and celebrate the wins.
Q. How do you think the SEO world is evolving in the face of recent algorithm changes, and what role is quality content playing in this evolution?
A. It is really interesting to look at the evolution of search over time. Ten years ago, content played a significant role in determining rankings in SERPs. As this was easy to manipulate, Google then shifted weight towards the value of backlinks, and then over the past few years greater weighting has once again been placed on content. The difference now is that it is all about quality content. As a result, we have seen many SEO agencies evolve their capability and mindset by beefing up their content marketing expertise to remain relevant.
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