What are the marketing trends you should be focused on? The media is sure to cover the latest cool artificial intelligence device or data from wearable devices but what marketing trends should business owners pay attention to? After reviewing several expert articles (see the sources below), the following themes seem most relevant to entrepreneurs looking to get more customers without enormous marketing teams or budgets:
- Digital marketing is just plain marketing. With most people on the globe having a digital device in the palms of their hands, access to customers is, at least in part, through the Internet. Your business web presence (via a website, rating sites and social media) matters a lot so your marketing needs to focus on how customers will find you online and offline.
- Mobile marketing is just plain marketing. Following on the paragraph above, if you do not look good on mobile you are losing an ever-growing number of customers. And by the way, this is a real opportunity for local businesses who can speak directly to customers close by.
- No more market segments. Your customer now expects you to speak specifically to her. The buzz word is “personalization” and which means serving customers relevant individual content wherever they are physically (such as mobile content and offers based on physical location), who they are (demographic understanding), and where they are in their user journey (awareness, information gathering, social and in-store shopping).
- Customers can and will block out marketing gobbledygook. According to a recent study, 84% of Millennials don’t like traditional advertising nor do they trust it. In general consumers are more savvy to overt product pushing than ever before and they are very vocal about brands that push self-serving content on them. In order to build a real relationship with your customers online, you need to be offering them content with real value. The lesson is here is not more, but better, emails and social media posts.
- Good content depends on good storytelling. If you look at what got attention in terms of videos such as this UPS campaign, and this customer experience minisite from Apple, compelling stories draw in the viewer or reader. And you can share the work by taking advantage of customer-generated content in your marketing.
- A picture tells a thousand words. Visual marketing via such sites as YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Vine will play a greater role in content marketing, as well as individual pieces of content like infographics and data visualizations.
- Design and User Experience matter. Consumers are now used to online experiences that are effortless, transparent, and not requiring too much thought or too many decisions. Fortunately there are many more tools to create clean websites (like SquareSpace and a plethora of WordPress themes) and landing pages (Unbounce and LeadPages).
If you would like to delve deeper, here are my source trend articles: