As marketing experts, this is the time of year when we’re asked about trends – what are you seeing for this year, what’s hot? While we don’t have a magic crystal ball, we typically see a build up toward the most effective marketing strategies. Here are a few trending concepts to keep in mind when planning your approach for the months ahead:
Authentic marketing is here to stay
Authentic marketing is not just a trend, it’s a way of thinking that isn’t going anywhere. Brands that are embracing their authenticity aren’t just dabbling in it – they’re immersing their entire organization in it, and in turn experiencing more long-term success. Audiences love a great brand story, especially if it’s transparent and relatable.
In storytelling there is really no end
Because the biggest challenge brands and products have in the sea of information that consumers are bombarded with daily is remaining relevant and top of mind with their audiences — there will never truly be an end to the use of effective storytelling when growing your business. The fact is human beings want to feel something and a good story connects us in a way to that numbers, facts, and data cannot. There truly is no end to the stories that can be told either. Savvy marketers are banking everyday tales to help ensure a happily ever after.
Customer service is the not-so-new marketing
We now live in a world where online reviews are gold (or kryptonite), and every experience is captured on Snapchat or Twitter. Bad customer experiences in the digital world have created a whole new public relations challenge. Companies that are embracing this and providing real customer service will be able to leverage the positive – and even negative – online experiences to their advantage.
Social media friends improve relationship status
Brands that realize that technology is a great way to stay in touch and reach their followers where they are and actually engage with their customer base are finding ways to foster more meaningful relationships, resulting in more “super fans.” More super fans mean more repeat business and referrals.
Repeating Content Marketing 101
Brands that are writing specific content for their audience are finding ways to grow their brand exposure with the help of inspired influencers, who are dying to share that content with their peers and followers. Targeted, quality content to the right audience now outweighs quantity of posts and the overall number of eyes on it.
Be about something more than yourself
People are getting behind brands that stand for something more at a pace that we haven’t seen before. Customers want to know their dollars aren’t just lining shareholders’ pockets, but instead are being used to help others around the world have a better life and the opportunity to live their dreams. If you want to make a difference, now is the time to do it.
You might want to take it personal!
With advances in artificial intelligence, marketers are finding creative ways to both personalize and automate their communications with customers, allowing for the seed of emotional connection. Some find having automated bots chatting with their customers a bit creepy, while others are embracing the technology as these thought-leading brands see the bigger role AI will play in the future.
If you are feeling trendy, we would love to sit down with your brand trust team and discuss ways to expand your authentic branding experience, improve your customer experience, tell your story and/or get into more meaningful relationship with your super fans in 2019. We don’t recommend chasing the shiny new trend, or just checking these strategies off your list, but rather implementing what is tactically and strategically right. Your brand will thank you.
This Marketing Column was first published in the Corridor Business Journal Feb 18-24,2019