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Until recently, it seemed it seemed many companies viewed digital marketing as separate from or incremental to an existing foundation in traditional marketing channels and tactics. Lately, though, the conversation seems to have shifted. companies are referring less and less to traditional marketing and digital marketing, and more and more to “marketing” as a holistic function that combines the best aspects of both disciplines to deliver a consistent, compelling and relevant brand experience for consumers across channels.

Marketers are now considering strategies and tactics in both realms as part of a larger portfolio of investment options that they can adjust up or down based on different variables, like media consumption by consumer segments, to create new opportunities for reach and engagement. For example, recent findings highlighted in the Kleiner Perkins caufield Byers Internet trends 2014 report showed that while consumers today spend 5% of their time consuming print media and 20% of their time consuming digital media via mobile devices, 19% of media spend is on print, while only 4% of spend is on mobile content. These were just two of several examples all pointing to clear opportunities for marketers to drive better investments and targeting across all channels – traditional and digital.

There are several key considerations for marketers to monitor when it comes to consumer engagement. First, digital and social are no longer low cost alternatives to traditional marketing investments, but instead need to be considered part of a comprehensive and integrated cross-channel marketing strategy.

Next, consumers value the journey as much as, if not more than, they value the destination. How companies engage consumers along the path to purchase is as critical a consideration for developing direct to consumer relationships as is the influence that can be exerted at the consumer’s point of decision.

And, along that journey, experience trumps access. Consumers are in control of where and how they move along the path to purchase. Compelling experiences, delivered consistently across channels and tailored to a consumer’s needs, are perceived as far more valuable than simple access to information, offers, and commerce.

Finally, agility is increasingly becoming more important than scale. Engaging consumers at the right place, at the right time and in the right way requires companies to transform marketing execution. Teams must develop the capacity to test, iterate and adapt on smaller scales, in faster cycles and to more targeted segments to optimize marketing performance and spend effectiveness.

This blog originally published on 2014 Tech Trends from Consumer Goods Technology (CGT).

(Photo credit: Blendle)