(1) Evolution of Digital Marketing
The influence of social media technologies dominates marketing functions.
Transforming for digital requires organizations to:
- Leverage analytics at both the predictive and reactive stages to understand their customers’ behavioral buying patterns
- Go mobile in the smart phone-dominated marketplace
- Engage with their customers through social media
- Leverage the use of connected devices
The digital paradigm comprises of areas like digital marketing, digital customer management, and business process management. However, digital media is so pervasive that customers want to have access to information on the go. Customers have brand preferences and like to receive personalized communication about shopping events and offers tailored to their needs. This is precisely why organizations need to understand how their customers behave on social media: it explains why digital marketing should be favored in the industry today over other digitization initiatives that organizations adopt.
Digital Marketing is the practice of promoting products and services using digital platforms and distribution channels. In order to assure organizations that the objectives behind the IT implementation of digital marketing have been met, it is imperative that we “test” the software behind the business strategy well.
(2) Challenges of Implementing Digital Marketing
The challenges of implementing digital marketing include:
- A varied and rapidly changing technological base demanding more agility in application deployments
- The need for scalable technology that can handle heavy traffic and computing requirements
- Retaining consumer attention by ensuring that front-end channels are well designed for ease of use
- Ensuring information security due to digital marketing’s vulnerabilities
(3) The Need for Focus in Digital Marketing Initiatives
The use of search engines on mobile devices has complicated interface and integration validation. Companies must still ensure quality checks on the content and messages that compose the backbone for marketing while broadcasting across multiple regions, leveraging in turn both social media and partner portal capabilities. In addition to complying with performance and availability SLA, conforming to organizational, regional, and partner policies has also taken on a certain importance. Marketers (CMOs) now must ensure that comprehensive quality assurance policies are in place to ensure holistic, quality focus on digital marketing.
The demands of competitive leadership and shrinking timelines have raised the expectations of having quality, customer-centric content and messages. Comprehensive quality checks on marketing artifacts have garnered renewed focus with providers building QA solutions specific to digital marketing.
(4) QA of Digital Marketing Applications: Key Validations
Quality assurance of digital marketing applications should include the validation of content quality, message quality, and social media.
Content Quality Validation involves the testing of the content displayed to prospective consumers for characteristics such as usability, high availability, compliance to standards, and compelling graphics. The content needs to be tested to verify that the links or hyperlinks direct the user to the appropriate web pages. Countries such as the USA and Europe have mandated such accessibility according to WCAG guidelines.
Message Quality Validation ensures that the messages displayed on the website are tested for uniformity, multi-browser and mutli-channel compatibility, and visual and voice compatibility.
Social Media Integration and Interface Validation describes the testing of content for integration and interface with various social media channels (e.g., a company’s homepage or sales promotion webpage being used by Facebook), security, user experience, and compliance to standards like PCI-DSS.
Data and Report Quality Validation – In today’s world, most decisions are based on data, so not having an accurate data quality plan or the right analytics algorithm can result in chaos. This complicates how marketers create and broadcast customer-centric content. This could put the entire exercise of the digital marketing program in jeopardy to the extent of it being called off.
A comprehensive end-to-end quality assurance and improvement plan around performance, user experience, security, functionality, and interoperability leads to more control in the business outcome and faster time to deployment (Automated Validations). Its implementation is the only answer to mitigate the risks of digital marketing campaigns.
Technology and speed power this innovative digital era. At the same time, end clients must be addressed with a “Right the First Time” attitude. Ensuring high quality technology through structured testing is not enough. Clients expect more and want the Testing and Quality Assurance discipline to significantly contribute to their business goals, secure and improve the corporate image, and improve sales through digital marketing campaigns. The Testing and Quality Assurance profession now has the opportunity to tackle the challenge and adopt the role of business value assurance provider.
Main Author: Renu Rajani, Vice president, Capgemini India; firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributing Author: Vaishali Jayade, Senior Manager; Capgemini India; email@example.com