I gave a talk the other day for a global investment firm who had flown in the chief strategists from SOMO, Rapp, Quibit, Forward and Whispr.

What we all had in common, besides being different types of digital agencies (mobile, digital advertising, conversion, search and social/etail), we were all emphasising the extreme importance of data-driven marketing.

Being the youngest chief strategist by ten years or so, listening to my senior industry colleagues from around the world strengthened me in my belief that all communications programs should be about “Digital First”.

Leveraging digital strategy first (instead of traditional branding, marketing and PR) simply makes sense.

  1. Low opportunity cost.
  2. Valuable data to be harvested.
  3. Real user-based behaviours.
  4. Customer online research impacts sales.
  5. A possibility to “own” platforms and community.
  6. Automation gains.
  7. Peer-to-peer is cost-efficient.
  8. Loyalty/CRM synergies.
  9. More accurate predictive analysis.

Here’s some of my key takeaways from our talks:

  • “Digital First”; center operations around today’s most impactful media.
  • Leverage the psychology of online conversion through psychographic target personas.
  • The body of knowledge in e-commerce—get into it before it’s too late.
  • Automate cleaning of data sets to avoid the “trash in, trash out” effect.
  • Beware of statistical averages—get key online ambassador behaviours!
  • Marketing efforts should be focused primarily on the existing community.
  • The most powerful WOM effects starts after the actual purchase.
  • Digital isn’t about doing everything right, it’s about outperforming competitors.

From all of this, I can see two clear trends emerging—and they’re heading straight for each other.

As they collide, we’ll be sure to see some spectacular effects of this emerging Money Web.

Trend A: Everyday people are spending more and more money via online transactions.

Trend B: The technology for online transactions is rapidly innovated and enhanced.

For an indication, I think L2 is doing a great job with real and substantial insights into the digital macro statistics, data that will impact industry bottom lines as well as shareholder value. And the impact is here for us to see now.

I’ve argued before here on the blog about how well positioned Amazon are — and I think this video furthers that point.

L2′s third annual Digital IQ Index®: Specialty Retail report benchmarks the digital competence of 76 global retail brands, looking at over 675 data points across four dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Mobile.