We’re now well into 2016. Now is a good time to take a step back and assess the progress to date on your business strategy.
How are things going for your marketing programs? Are you getting the results you want? Are there still key trends you need to explore?
It’s always wise to consider where the actuals are in relation to established goals. Course corrections are often necessary due to shifts in markets, advances in technology, or other changes to the competitive landscape.
Keeping Up With Trends & Technology
Below are some of the key trends shaping marketing in 2016. They all sing a familiar refrain. Marketers today need to be mindful of the growing role of the customer in determining how and when there is interaction with your brand. At the same time, technology is continuing to evolve, forcing marketers to respond and adjust accordingly. Let’s look more closely at 5 trends shaping the technology- and customer-focused marketing space.
1. Ad blockers
Nothing turns off a customer faster than pop-up ads and other advertisements considered intrusive. Technology now lets customers block advertisements in many forms. How will marketers respond? For one, they’re using more native advertising, which creates ads that have the look and feel of other content on a site. Marketers also can use more digital insights and social media to drive engagement in other ways.
2. Getting personal
Personalized landing pages and emails have been popular and effective tools for years now. Customers today, however, expect more. Customers want more relevant content that is customized, reflecting how they use a particular product or service. Content needs to be interactive – think quizzes, calculators, training, and games. And customers expect the brand to know how its products and services are being used, personally.
3. Middleware management
Marketers today are increasingly turning to middleware tools to manage and track insights, usage, and interactions with customers across platforms. Tag management, data management platforms, user management, application program management (API) and cloud connectors are examples of middleware. Using these tools, marketers can be consistent across media rollouts and reporting.
4. Channel-specific campaigns
Tags and APIs are helpful for high-level consistency, but campaigns fall flat when marketers repurpose social media content for mobile or desktop without thinking about delivery. Where do videos, articles, white papers, blogs or infographics work best? Pushing the same content onto multiple platforms is likely unwise. Instead, use different platforms to cross-promote that content.
5. The customer experience
Today, communication with customers needs to be bidirectional. One-direction content pushes are more likely to fall on deaf ears. Instead, engage with customers using tools to track usage, seek feedback, measure and respond to loyalty and sentiment, and respond to customer interests and needs. A positive user experience can turn your customers into brand ambassadors. Advocate marketing, which markets to and through well-connected brand ambassadors, can dramatically grow the referrals funnel.