Marketing isn’t rocket science – it’s a constantly moving target. From shifting consumer tastes, evolution of business models, and rapid technology changes, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve.
Marketing is the oxygen of any business; one can’t exist without the other. And in today’s global marketplace, our competition isn’t just down the street – it’s across the ocean. No matter how good your product or service is, you’ve got competitors. And great marketing wins every time.
With 2015 just around the corner, it’s time to shut your laptop, put your tablet under a pillow, and bury your smart phone in a drawer (after you read this article, of course) as you devote some time to get creative. Think about how you’re going to tackle the New Year: what’s going to make you the leader and go-to person (or business) in your industry? (Hint: the answer isn’t boosting posts on Facebook.)
Over the last 12 months I’ve worked with more than 130 businesses to help them seek out, connect with, and create more lifelong customers. Today I want to share with you my thoughts on the future of marketing over the next year, encapsulated in the following 6 Marketing Predictions: Trends for 2015.
1. Target Market Makeover
The saying that “you can’t be all things to all people” certainly rings true when it comes to reaching and engaging potential customers. There’s never a better time than before the New Year to dig deep and really establish your ideal customer avatar. Companies who do this before launching into strategy and execution are the ones that end up dominating their competition—because they know their customer at heart-level.
2. Relevant Content Is King
This year, the cheer squad has been loud (and occasionally aggressive) when it comes to content marketing. My inbox is positively overflowing with free reports, guides, checklists, video trainings, audio series…you get the idea. Next year will be the year of super-relevant content delivered to ideal customers through a number of distribution channels. It’s about nailing it with your copy, lifting engagement, and accelerating the trust-building process to boost credibility—all while still offering enough sizzle without giving away the whole sausage.
3. Facebook Advert Frenzy
Depending on your industry and where your star clients are hanging out on social media, Facebook advertising may be a great place for you to spend some cash to get the right people into your sales funnel. I recently mentored a client through a killer Facebook ad strategy that saw his company pay $18 per new customer acquisition, leading to an average initial sale of $499. Watch for the use of storytelling in Facebook advertising to go bananas next year as businesses also start fully utilising the platform through custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and remarketing.
4. Secure Outsider Talent
Whether you’re a solopreneur, business owner, CEO, or Marketing Director, taking advantage of a pair of outside ears, eyes (plus brain and heart) can transform your business. Creating an external talent pool means you get fresh, innovative ideas and concepts from new faces, and that means keeping your team inspired and your marketing ahead of the curve.
5. Get Personal (Keep It Simple)
Consumers love relating to a brand’s personal story, but sometimes we get so bogged down in strategy meetings that our real, genuine stories get lost in translation. Whether your campaign is by way of print, television, social media, radio, or Adwords campaign, keeping it simple, direct, and relevant is going to give you higher conversions – and the right type of customer.
6. Make Customer Service Your Marketing’s Foundation
Building a seamless customer experience is crucial if you want to create lifelong customers. It doesn’t make sense to me why most customer service and marketing departments are located so far away from each other – or why they’re considered separate entities within a business. Get on ground level to learn more about your customers to not only improve their overall experience, but to increase sales and retention, which will allow you to get ahead of the curve and stand out in your industry.
Where are you headed in 2015? Are you ready to knock it out of the park with marketing by upping your customer engagement and providing real, rich value, the kind that builds relationships? I certainly hope so!
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