What’s Trending in Marketing for 2017

What’s Trending in Marketing for 2017
Heather Pennington, CEO- I Speak Business

Just ask people you know in different industries what they view as trending in marketing and see what response you receive. As a consultant that interfaces with a broad range of clients, it is always interesting to see how companies are keeping up with technology and remaining agile with market trends. Today’s consumer is one of the smartest, most well versed at scouring the internet for information to make an informed purchase decision. Research estimates over a 35-day period, the average consumer visits approximately 9 different websites totaling 33-35 minutes in total. That same “end user” is finding most of his or her information 82% online and only 4% offline. Additionally, mobile internet usage has skyrocketed over the past four years to overtake desktops as the most used digital platform.

With that said, it is not feasible to go in depth on all the intricacies of current marketing trends, I could write a book and by the time it was published, it would already be obsolete. Instead, I have chosen the top 3 trends that show the highest level of growth opportunities, greatest impact, and subject matter that people are wanting more knowledge.

1- Content… ranked amongst the highest from a poll in digital marketing, not to mention my clients express what a challenge it is to create relevant and desired content tailored to their end user. Consumers expect information at their fingertips and if you don’t have the content they are looking for, onto the next competitors site they go! Pointers on this topic, if you do not already have a strategy in place as to why and how you are creating content, this is a good starting place. Make sure your content strategy encompasses not only your value proposition, but consider your consumer, who they are, how you connect with them, and remember your company has personality that is perceived through content. Your content should be highly interconnected with your brand. Research estimates that 80% of consumers say authentic branding is an influential factor in their shopping. Don’t blend in with the rest, make an impression! Content is your personality through text and visuals which ultimately affect your brand.

2- Big Data…something I learned while researching and typing for submission into the Doctorate program. Data and research is everything! Companies are tired of spending money and not seeing results. The information age we live in provides plenty of opportunities and access to data. If you are using a vendor or consultant and they cannot provide research to back the strategy they have formulated for your business, run! Research should drive strategy, and strategy should explain the WHY that then drives implementation. Implementation should be followed up by regular management which leads to RESULTS. Research shows that companies will spend more money in the long run when they wing it as opposed to taking the necessary steps in the marketing process. If you are running a small business and do not have the funds to hire outside help, make sure you are finding data that is rigorously backed by research because anyone can write a book or make blog posts. There are plenty of resources available to help steer you through the marketing process.

3- Automation… Here is a big question for you to know if you are on the cutting edge of technology or already becoming antiquated to your competitors, you ready!? Are you still using email blasts that blast all your information to everyone on your list? If so, you are missing out on one of the most powerful tools in marketing. Automation software enables behavioral based communication that is personalized, capable of segregating lists and delivering the information tailored to what each individual is looking for. That is only to name a few. After all, are we not all tired of having masses amount of information thrown into our faces that is irrelevant to what we are wanting or needing? Research estimates that only 3% of companies are currently using marketing automation. I regularly ask my new clients if they are familiar with automation and yet, not one person knows what I am talking about. There are various platforms available and the cost ranges significantly. One caution to bring to light, the automation software is by far one of the greatest impacts and best ROI options available; however, if you do not have a highly skilled marketing professional who has done all the necessary research & processes in advance and is steering the strategy, the funds for automation will end up being costly.

In conclusion, you need to be making decisions based upon research as opposed to good ideas, you should be able to determine and quantify your ROI, and you should be making adjustments from real time data… Are you spending your money in the most efficient manner for 2017?

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