Rethink and Reinvigorate Marketing: Maximize Impact– Paradigmatic Shift in Marketing Strategy… Market Trends…

Marketing: It’s the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future. ~Clay Shikry

Competitive marketing means staying ahead of the curve. In the wild world of marketing, the last mile is the most critical and often the most overlooked. Global brands will spend millions on traditional advertising and related marketing infrastructure, but spend little or nothing on making a smooth handoff to sales. The marketing world is constantly shifting and changing, and to stay ahead of the game, you need to be on top of – if not ahead of – the latest marketing trends. Sure, the methods you use are worth continuing, but you need to keep your eye on the ball…

According to Chris Marentis; based on current data and trends, you should see innovation, expansion, automation, and refinement across the entire marketing industry, including; delivery mechanism, cross-channel marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing and social media marketing… According to Sid Shah; next year will be eventful for digital marketing, for example; mobile traffic will continue to sharply rise; cross-channel and cross-device measurement will be paramount; marketing will become even more granular; marketers will understand true value of social.

According to Vishal Sankhla; social outreach and analysis are important components for making marketing campaigns successful, and should garner just as much time and preparation as traditional campaigns. As more social sites emerge– further fragmenting the landscape– using the right technology to locate, monitor, analyze, and engage audiences will make or break marketing programs…

According to Audrey Howes; This year marked by quickly changing marketing landscape, for example; mobile will surpass desktop, visualization will reign supreme, personalization will become even more important, and local marketing will be the new, old thing… According to Rob Eleveld; this is a year of content marketing, mobile usage, and email marketing. Marketers will look for more efficiency and utilization of multi-channel tracking, reporting  for integrated channel campaigns to deliver real-time results at a lower cost…

Lines between traditional media and new content formats will continue to blur as journalists and bloggers will be distinguished by the content they create and their influencer reach… In search of optimization, more companies will move select sales responsibilities ‘up-funnel’ including; CRM operations, lead and opportunity qualification– into the marketing department… According to Richard Hanna, Andrew Rohm, and Victoria Crittenden; marketing can no longer be about solely– capturing attention via reach; instead, marketers must focus on both; capturing and continuing attention via engagement.

This calls for a blend of both traditional and social media, which requires new approaches to media strategy– media that does not simply replace traditional media, but rather expand media choices so as to capture– reach, intimacy, and engagement. Social networks aren’t about web sites: They’re about experiences. The ever-changing and evolving marketing best practice continues to show that the right mix and blend of traditional and new media is the best approach to branding… The parallel worlds of marketing— blogs, podcasts, e-marketing, mobile, text and social media platforms…– provide an overwhelmed variety of choices and challenges for the year ahead…

In the article Social Media Strategy: Marketers Need to Revisit by Tricia1000 writes: Social media marketers need to reflect more on current social networking practices in terms of– value, grabbing attention, and future prospective… It’s interesting to note how fast new social media sites are being adopted, but just as interesting is how many of them eventually disappear.

The keys marketing priority must include; rethinking current social media networking practice and how social media networks can better meet the needs of their customers… A social media strategy should focus on at least these three aspects:

  • Value: People visit social media sites to gain something from the experience. This can be to socialize with online friends, getting the latest news and resources playing games, to name but a few. By providing value to its customers; the business reinforces brand and creates loyalty.
  • Attention-grabbing: The social media network must also grab and keep the attention of its users. A social media site must offer something different to its users so it can continue to grow.
  • Future prospective: It’s important to sustain the business’ presence on a particular social media network. A social media site must be relevant to the business’ target audience, both today and planned strategy for the future.

In the article Digital Trends You Need to Embrace by Kent Lewis writes: Digital marketing trends that no marketer can afford to ignore include; social media, video, search engines, mobile, and marketing automation. Key strategies and trends are:

  • Evangelizing your brand via social media marketing: The current thinking regarding how your business should interact with customers via social media is already becoming outdated. The old mode of one person, one voice does not offer the depth and breadth of a multi-faceted approach which involves all employees. I recommend turning social roles upside down, focusing on integrating social media throughout your organization, driven by a social media evangelist. In the evangelist model, the role is that of chief brand officer/ CMO/ editor-in-chief/ director all wrapped into one.
  • Maximizing your media via video marketing and YouTube: Video provides the ultimate storytelling medium; if a picture is worth a thousand words, then how many words is a 30-second video at 30 frames per second worth? According to eMarketer; U.S. online video advertising spending will grow 52.1% to $2.16 billion in 2011, before reaching $7.11 billion in 2015. In terms of social media platforms for video, YouTube is the 800 pound gorilla and the second most popular search engine by volume. A few YouTube stats: 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute, over 4 billion videos are viewed per day, U.S. consumers exposed to a YouTube homepage ad are 437% more likely to engage in a key brand activity on the same day than those unexposed, and 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S. As such, you cannot afford not to create your own channel. To be truly effective, a YouTube channel should contain videos for all four stages of the sales cycle: awareness,  interest, intent, and purchase..,
  • Penguin-proofing your search engine optimization efforts: Over the past two years, Google has made a series of updates to  its algorithm, collectively known as Panda and Penguin. Most business owners felt the impact of penalization immediately, but it is important to confirm that your  poor-quality content and suspect inbound links. To solve the problems, once identified, simply reverse or de-optimize  the elements and resubmit to Google once you have 100% confidence the website is clean.
  • Mobilizing your marketing: Marketers have scrambled the past year or two in order to find a solution to the mobile challenge. After years of hypothesis, mobile is finally upon us, and there are a variety of elements to consider when developing a mobile marketing strategy. Before you get started, however, conduct the necessary research up front to minimize your investment and maximize your ROI. Don’t forget to develop KPIs, embed necessary analytics, and start small with limited testing before committing significant resources. The three key mobile strategies: mobile-friendly websites, mobile ads, and SMS and email messaging.
  • Automating your marketing: A marketing automation platform helps develop and analyze marketing campaigns and understand prospects and customers. While core functionality focus on automating marketing campaign development, management, and reporting, these platforms also offer critical lead management capabilities, including; lead scoring and nurturing.

Marketing leaders are asking questions about how to effectively attract, influence, and retain customers in this age of increasing media options and decreasing customer attention spans. According to Shelley West; four topics we hear most often include: Omni-Channel Customer Experience: How do I create a seamless experience that is relevant and engaging across channels – including; digital, social, traditional media, and bricks and mortar? Integration of Tech and Marketing: How do I effectively leverage and integrate the new technology available today, such as; customers listening tools, marketing automation, and ROMI attribution?

Understanding the Customer Journey: How do customers travel the path to purchase in this age of digital, social, and mobile and where are the points of drag along the way? Marketing Talent for the Future: What skills and capabilities do I need to hire for and develop to ensure our function is properly equipped to deal with the rapid pace of change in the marketplace?

When taken together, these questions paint a picture of world in which the only constant is change: New technology, media options, new customer segments – all of which need to be identified, understood, worked into a marketing plan, and executed expertly. Certainly it was easier when all marketing leaders had to do was chose which of four big networks to run advertisements and then calculate the GRP. But we are finding that ‘big is making way for small’, reach for depth, and mass for personal. And that means many marketers need to rethink things all together…

According to SmartMediaTips; last year was the year of the social network. Pinterest has become the third biggest social network in the U.S.; Twitter surpassed 140 million users by its birthday; and Facebook brought Instagram for a cool $1 billion. Everyone from B2B right through to B2C has embraced these social media powerhouses, and rightly so.

Search engines are starting to place more relevancy on socially generated content. So if you’re not getting social – you should be. In 2013, your online marketing strategy will rely heavily on social sharing and content generation. To be seen as an industry expert, your social media presence will become more important, and networking will drive more traffic to your site…

A recent study reported that worldwide tablet traffic will far exceed mobile traffic in 2013. New wave of ‘mini tablets’ hitting the market means– tablet strategy– making sure your websites are properly built for devices, and tailoring your marketing to the users… Marketing must implement effective strategies that target these audiences. The web is changing and marketing must lead the change…

Integrated marketing is nothing new; we have been combining our marketing strategies for years. But in 2013, digital marketing will play a bigger role when combined with more traditional campaigns. For example, networking events have been a strong tactic for many years.

But next year, we will begin to see a rise of the digital event. Webinars are commonplace and easy-effective way for reaching out to customers and peers all over the world. In terms of your marketing strategies, this is one trend you should be keeping an eye on. Participating in digital meetings, Twitter chats, and Google+ Hangouts will become the new way of communication with customers…

According to Kate Freeman; probably the biggest error brands have made as they venture into mobile is that they think mobile is the same thing they’re doing for the website, just down to a 4-inch form. Mobile is an entirely different medium…

Marketing on mobile devices must be– timely, personal, contextual relevant (people expect their phone to be customized to them), in order to work…  Marketing must get smarter– listen, learn, understand– who, why, what, where, how much… Now, take a step back, and get to know the customers… they are different, global, personal…