Keeping Current: 4 Marketing Recommendations for 2017

Keeping your business relevant and competitive has become increasingly difficult, especially for smaller companies with lower budgets. Many business owners struggle to identify where and how best to spend their marketing budgets to most effectively connect with their current and prospective customers.

Understanding the future of marketing can help you make smart decisions now. In this blog, we list four marketing trends you can expect to see this year.

  1. Customer-First Marketing

In recent years, there’s been a shift in customer focus. Rather than prioritizing the quality or availability of goods and services, contemporary consumers are concerned with the individual customer experience. What does this shift mean for your marketing strategy?

Industry experts recommend personalizing and individualizing the experience. Your goal is to make each customer feel like he or she comes first in your business. One of the easiest ways to create this perception is to make recommendations based on the products or services each customer has already used. For example, when you buy anything from Amazon and a number of recommendations pop up.

You will also want to provide surveys and results because contemporary customers look at other people’s experiences with your company before working with you.

  1. Interactive Rather Than Static

Currently, the best marketing campaigns encourage customers to engage with the content rather than just view it. For example, lots of successful marketing campaigns have encouraged customers to tweet a common hashtag, upload videos of their favorite products, or post pictures of how they use the product.

While much of this interaction happens on digital platforms, you can also encourage customer interaction by taking digital to the next level.  Hold contests to make your customers feel like they’re an integral part of how you do business. One of my favorites is the Orvis cover dog photo contest. Thousands upon thousands of people send in a picture of their dog in hopes of being named the “cover dog.”

  1. Personality Over Authority

While you want your customers to see you as an authority in your industry, contemporary consumers are more concerned with your persona than with your credentials. If your prospective customers don’t see your company as trustworthy and likeable, your actual level of experience may not matter. Share with your audience any community service work or volunteer efforts your company participates in. This will help humanize your company persona.

In addition, your personality could be judged by the shift toward influencer marketing. In influencer marketing, you rely on recommendations and endorsements to help sell products. Many of these influencers are social media personalities, rather than traditional celebrities. If you can find out who your customers trust and whose lives your customers are interested in, you can identify the type of influencer who can revolutionize your company persona.

It’s also more important than ever to establish a consistent persona in your print and digital media. Humor and storytelling, which we’ll discuss in more depth in the next section, can be major assets for giving your company a personality.

  1. Story-Based Selling

You may have noticed a trend in commercials where the ad creates a narrative rather than just hawking a product. While story-based selling is hardly a new concept, it’s a strategy that you should emphasize in the coming year.

One of the easiest ways to improve the narratives that your company tells is to livestream and add more videos to your website and social media accounts. High-quality video content conveys a lot of emotion quickly.

You can also shift the focus of your print advertising from the product itself to how the product may change the customer’s life. Actual customer testimonials and stories are a great starting place.

The marketing needs of your business may differ from these general recommendations. To ensure that you’re keeping up with the times and thinking ahead, partner with the experienced marketing experts at FUSIONWRX @ Flottman Company. We pride ourselves on multichannel marketing that makes your message clear.