In the last decade or two, we’ve seen the rise of digital marketing for two reasons. First of all, it’s relatively inexpensive compared to traditional marketing methods like TV advertisements, billboards, print advertisements etc. A simple direct mail marketing campaign may cost very little but an email marketing campaign costs next to nothing.
Secondly, more and more people are getting on the internet these days. They’re checking out websites, using email and setting up social media pages. So it’s become easier to reach your target demographic via digital marketing. And this trend is likely to continue and gain even more traction in 2017.
Even though the specific methods of reaching out to consumers might change, the basics of marketing don’t. The idea is still to provide your consumers with the information they need and present your product or service in the best light possible.
Branding is also important for the long run; you need to create an idea of your product in the minds of your consumers. However, this can’t just be any odd idea; it has to have the features you want it to have. If you market your product in the right way, you can control the way in which people think of it.
Here are a few marketing tips that you might want to pay attention to in 2017:
We are moving out of the age of persuasion and entering the age of information. This means that customers are becoming more savvy. They’re going to want to know more about your product and how it was made before they buy it. They might also want to know more about your company before they take the plunge.
Being eco-friendly and sticking to fair-trade agreements are becoming important to people. So if your company cares about the environment and making sure that people receive a fair wage, you should let your customers know about this.
Informing customers about the quality of your product or service is, of course, indispensable. How does your product or service compare with others on the market? What are the advantages of buying your product or utilizing your service? It’s necessary to let your customers know all this via your marketing campaign.
Along with providing your customers with the information they need, you also need to give them transparency. A lot of companies have started doing this by explaining their processes fully on the internet.
For example, if you’re making a certain product, you can run the customer through the production process. Of course, you need to do this in an interesting way, with charts, arrows and simple English, or else your customer is going to lose interest pretty quickly.
Similarly, if you’re providing a service, you can lead a customer through the steps of providing that service. For example, if you’re providing HR services to companies, you might have an introductory meeting with the client, a presentation with your HR suggestions, rounds of interviews to help find the right employees for that client, orientation services and periodic check-ins with the client to find out if they’re satisfied with the services they’ve received. So you need to let customers know, up-front, that these are the different steps involved while providing your service.
If you have any doubts about whether you’re being transparent enough, that might actually be an indication that you aren’t. So pay attention to those niggling doubts in your head. It might be a small thing but if you’re not transparent about it in your marketing efforts, you might have to pay for it later.
At one point of time, image was everything, especially where marketing was concerned. Different brands had different images. For example, everyone’s heard of Calvin Klein and we all know that the CK brand is cutting-edge, bold and minimalistic. CK is also sexy, with its underwear advertisements on billboards everywhere.
Nowadays, image may be less important than information. But this doesn’t mean that image isn’t important at all. You still have to create a certain idea of your product/service/company in the mind of the consumer. You need to have a brand.
So the best thing is to sit down and think about exactly who you are and what you stand for. Rather than letting people assume things about your company or product, you need to get specific and tell them up-front.
For example, you could be youthful, fresh and exuberant (like Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflower perfume). Or you could be classic, womanly and exclusive (like Chanel’s No. 5 perfume). Knowing who you are is the first step to letting others know the same.
Another thing that’s becoming increasingly important in the marketing world is speed. This means that if you don’t react quickly enough to events, it could have a big impact on your product and brand.
Nowadays, people are posting things on social media in real time. So you can’t afford to wait a day or two before saying what needs to be said. For example if you’re selling sports-related products and there’s a major game going on which features sportsmen who are endorsing your product, you need to keep reporting on this in social media.
Whenever there’s anything important going on in your company or field, you need to be on top of it and let people know, through your marketing efforts, that you have a handle on what’s going on.
Plus, you can’t let your website get outdated either. If there have been major changes to your product or service since you put up your site, you should let people know about this as soon as possible. And even if there haven’t been any major changes, you should still make sure that your website is changed every few years, to make sure that it doesn’t seem like a dinosaur in a sea of sleek, well-designed websites.
This is yet another marketing trend which has received a lot of traction lately. You can keep providing your customer with oodles and oodles of information. However, if it’s all written on your website or social media pages in a dry and boring manner, then people are going to get bored of it after a while.
The perfect antidote to this is storytelling, which basically refers to getting your point across in a story wherever possible. You can add interesting stories and anecdotes to your content whenever relevant. Get a content writer who understands the basics of storytelling and rework the writing on your website.
But where are you supposed to get these stories from? You could get them from your company and your employees. Or you could even get them from your clients.
People love stories of every kind, including rags-to-riches stories, Cinderella stories, overcoming-all-odds stories, love stories, success stories and coming-of-age stories. The basic tenet of any story is that there needs to be a conflict of some kind and the protagonist of the story overcomes this conflict by discovering that s/he has the basics of courage, love, bravery or any other good quality that they never previously valued within themselves.
Eventually, a story needs to involve transformation and self-understanding. If you can give people this in some way, shape or form, it’s going to help you a great deal to keep their attention and invoke their interest, sympathy or loyalty.