Recently, I’ve begun to take a deeper look at marketing. I’ve always been a big believer that marketing is an absolute necessity for the wellbeing of your business. However, I understand that many business owners don’t have the same affinity for it that I do. You see, marketing doesn’t behave like the other arms of your business. You don’t see an immediate return on your investment. This leads many business owners to cut funding or give up on their marketing campaigns prematurely. As if that weren’t enough marketing is a very fluid thing. What worked for your company 10 years ago, probably isn’t going to be effective now. That’s why I’m using today’s post to examine 5 effective marketing trends to follow.
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When it comes to your business, your mission, vision, and values should be steadfast. If they’re not, then you have no mission, no vision, and no values. Instead, you have ideas and beliefs. But just because the core tenets of your business should remain the same doesn’t mean the way you present them to your customers has to. In fact, being rigid in your marketing efforts could be detrimental to your company’s survival and growth. Back in the 1950s, television was one of the hottest trends. As a result, many companies began to advertise their goods and services on television.
Some even used America’s love of this modern marvel as a way of branding their products. Perhaps you’ve heard the term, “TV dinner?” This term was coined by Swanson and directly capitalized on what was trending at the time. By marketing their product as TV dinners, Swanson was able to turn their frozen entrees into a cultural icon. Do you think it would have been nearly as successful if Swanson marketed them as “radio dinners?” Although radio remains a popular form of news and entertainment, it wasn’t the trendy platform at the time.
Effective marketing requires that you reach your customers where they are. Therefore, today’s marketers must be dynamic, putting their message in front of consumers in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at 5 effective marketing trends to follow.
Some parts of your business will be able to catch up with emerging trends relatively quickly. The technologies you use in your business are one example. On the other hand, there are parts of many businesses that this process could take decades or even centuries to complete. Look at the wheel. We’re not going to innovate or improve upon that any time soon. Sure, we’ve made some improvements to allow it to work in different environments and for various applications. But overall, the wheel remains unchanged.
This isn’t true of marketing. We’re not going to come to a point where marketing has reached the pinnacle of innovation. Therefore, for you to get the return you need on your marketing dollars, you must constantly look for ways to innovate your marketing strategy. Apple is a fantastic example of this. They are constantly innovating and creating new products for new markets. Likewise, they create new marketing strategies for each of their new products.
Because the business environment is constantly evolving, your marketing plan must also evolve. I’m not suggesting you give up on your plan. You made the plan so your marketing efforts could be successful. But sometimes the tactics need to be adjusted. Just be sure not to lose sight of who you are, as a company, in the process. Stay true to your mission, vision, and values regardless of how your marketing must evolve.
We live in an age where information is available everywhere. You can find the answer to just about any question with a quick Google search. So, I challenge you to do some market research. However, stop looking at the marketing research in a self-serving way. Instead, look at what the market research is telling you through your customers’ eyes. Like you, they have more research data available to them than ever before. How do they view your company? What advantages are you placing in front of them to let them know your company is the one they should be using?
When you understand the mind of your ideal consumer, you can use market research to craft a message that directly targets them. You may have hired a marketing firm to handle this. That’s great, but they can’t do what I’m describing to you. Oftentimes, marketing firms don’t fully understand what you’re trying to accomplish. How could they? They’re not in the trenches working with you and your customers on a daily basis. Only you can truly know your customers. Put yourself in their shoes and look at your business through their eyes. If you’re unsure of how to do that, interview a few of them. Find a couple of great customers and some not-so-great ones and ask questions about what they want, what they’re interested in, how they use products, etc. Once you understand marketing trends through the eyes of your customers, you can use the information to help improve your marketing budget and your return on your marketing investment.
Here’s where you’ll switch gears a bit. You should be conducting your own market research of your customers, just as they’re doing with you. But your marketing team has to understand the value of the internet. This is an area where marketing has drastically changed over the past decade. When I first got into this business, we relied heavily on something called, “Lunch & Learns,” to grow our business. Essentially, this was an event where you would rent out a restaurant and pay for customer’s meals in the hopes that they would tell their friends and family about you because you’ve just given them something (a free meal).
The major flaw with this style of marketing is time and money. You see, I always wanted a business that works while I’m not working. That’s where the value of the internet comes into play. Video advertising and email marketing have been projected to account for 46% of all advertising in 2021. This is often referred to as a funnel. If you’re able to harness the power of a true funnel, then you can reach new customers across the globe while you’re asleep in bed. But in order to use the internet, you must produce content that has value. This very blog is an example of this. I use this and other forms of content marketing to reach you with my message.
As you create this valuable content, your customers begin to learn that you can help them. Even if you don’t have all of the answers, you know where to get the answers to help them find what they need. As you begin leaning into this trend, you must understand the true value of evergreen content. This is content that retains its value. It works, even when you’re not, to reach your target demographic with marketing materials that matter to them.
Last year was a very disruptive year. In fact, we had one day in Knoxville where businesses were being forced to shut down, a tiger was on the loose, and a plane landed on the stretch of I-40 that runs right through the middle of the city. Friends, it doesn’t get much more disruptive than that. When it comes to the market share, we’re seeing a couple of things take place that are creating disruption.
First, baby boomers are beginning to age out of the marketplace. What’s being called the “gray tsunami,” is creating many openings in the market as the baby boomer generation looks to retire. This is creating an opportunity for younger business owners to step into the market, filling the spaces being left vacant by the mass exodus of baby boomers from the workforce.
COVID-19 has also created plenty of disruption around the world. Specifically, many people were asked to exit the workplace, go home, and be just as productive as they would be if they were at their physical jobs. So, working remotely became normal. The pandemic created a shift in the way people work and it doesn’t look like that’s going away. Here’s the thing… each of the people who now make up this remote workforce is also a consumer. Therefore, the remote workforce is a trend that requires you to think about the best way to spend your marketing dollars to reach these people. Market share disruption is a trend that effective marketers will get in front of. Now, these examples are unique to the past year, but if you think about it, every year presents a new market disruption. Each new disruption presents a unique opportunity for you to get in front of your customers.
Profit-oriented marketing is the last of the effective marketing trends I want to discuss today. By creating connectivity between your profits and your marketing, you can generate higher sales rates and greater customer retention. In fact, organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates. However, you must integrate your sales and marketing departments in order to track marketing profitability. What do I mean by marketing profitability?
At my company, Heritage Investors, we are able to track how each individual marketing tactic leads to profit. We do this by putting every interested customer through a series of funnels. This enables us to track where each prospective client came from and therefore, we can see how much money is being spent in that area. We’re able to see our ROI for the specific marketing actions we’ve taken because of these systems and processes. Technology is making this type of profit-oriented marketing much more common. But, if you’re not thinking in these terms of connecting profits to your marketing efforts, you’re probably wasting your marketing dollars.
Friends, these are 5 effective marketing trends that you can use in your businesses. I know that marketing is not something many business owners enjoy. It isn’t the type of thing where you can simply say, “Let’s just go with the best one and forget it.” Marketing just isn’t a laser-focused machine. I often liken it to a shotgun. You see, you can aim a rifle at a specific target, fire a single bullet, and hit that exact point on the target. However, shotguns don’t operate in this way. They fire dozens, if not hundreds, of small projectiles to create a pattern. That’s what marketing is like. You can hit your target, but you’re going to also hit some of the general area surrounding it as well.
Look, life is hard, but we all know that it’s good. Marketing is often frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Try using these 5 effective marketing trends to make your company’s marketing, at least, financially simple.
Do your company’s marketing efforts produce the results you want? Are you allocating enough money to your marketing? If you want to find answers to these and other marketing or business questions, reach out to us. The team at Financially Simple is looking forward to meeting you for a complimentary consultation.