Jeff Bullas is a blogger, author and speaker who works with companies and executives on digital and social media marketing strategies.

UnboundID: Describe the trend of push to pull marketing and why it’s important now?

Bullas: Pull marketing is also known as inbound or content marketing. It’s about attracting attention and engagement with your potential customers. The reason it’s important is because the social web has changed the way we engage with brands and how we buy from them. Sixty percent of the buying journey is done through online research before the customer picks up the phone or even sends an email. That is why educating and engaging with content has become so important. But to be more responsive to customers requires a shift at the top. And this is a generational shift. Unless the CEO gets it, it’s really hard to turn the ship. Beyond leadership, companies must use all the tools at their disposal such as marketing automation, which should help deliver the right message at the right time. Personalized marketing is just now starting to become a reality and companies are grappling with the challenges of adapting to mobile.

UnboundID: How must you think differently with mobile?

Bullas: Primarily, companies have to simplify the experience. Design your assets to make the task easy to perform on mobile. It’s also important to adapt content for the mobile device and for mobile user behaviors. For instance, people might want to consume the content as a podcast or video over text. You really have to rethink the entire content strategy when you are targeting mobile users. The trend of mobile marketing is only going to expand as developing nations come online. These users are bypassing the desktop altogether. Traffic to my blog is now 30-40% from mobile devices. I changed my site design so that it’s easier to read for phone and tablet users. I also added more visual elements and that tends to increase engagement for sharing. Statistics show that adding visual elements can provide a 100 to 400% sharing advantage.

UnboundID: How is capturing customer preference and choice part of this move to mobile and more responsive customer marketing?

Bullas: With marketing automation, a company can filter content preferences and use that for marketing efforts. You may find that part of your audience likes Twitter while the other half prefers Facebook, and then you can target campaigns based on those preferences. Another emerging strategy is to crowdsource content from the web. I am working with a company called Shuttlerock that crowdsources what customers are doing with a brand, such as social media mentions or YouTube videos talking about company’s product. People who love your brand can create authentic content and then a company can reuse it with permission for their own marketing or to get further insight on what motivates their customers.

UnboundID: How do Millennials play into digital marketing strategies today?

Bullas: Certainly, companies need to consider this group but many companies have quite a broad range of customers. For Millennials specifically, it’s important to write the very best content that you can, and you’ll probably need to be on a variety of channels such as Snapchat, Instagram and live streaming through Meerkat. You’ll need to repurpose content for each of those different networks.

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