You wear the same sparkly sweater to your office holiday party, year after year. You always order the chicken fettucine alfredo at the same restaurant, because why mess with what works? You participate in the Turkey Trot 5k on the Friday after Thanksgiving, shoving away suggestions that you should try a longer run. Even at work, you do the same promotions for your marketing strategy with the same direct-mail postcards every year. If you could choose just one area to shake things up, to break out of your pattern, it should definitely be your marketing for 2020.
Maybe you tweak a few things each year, only to see what might move the needle. What if you tried a completely new approach to your marketing strategy this year? You could break up your routine and see some measurable growth by embracing a new set of tricks. Here’s how to get started:
Get Comfortable with Data: Find out what you’re doing well. By digging a bit into social media data and Google Analytics, you can find out what kinds of activities are leading people to your website, and then to a sale. You can also determine what’s not working, from a landing page that doesn’t deliver what was promised, to a web site where navigation isn’t intuitive to how your visitors want to use it. Learn what kinds of social media posts are delivering the most comments or click-throughs, and whether your email campaigns are leading to growth.
Check Out Trends: One of the challenges with writing a good marketing strategy is determining the difference between a fad and a lasting trend. That’s not to say that you need to grab on to every trend, because it may not be one that your particular target audience will embrace. But if everyone is excited about live video on Facebook (and they are), you should at least be asking whether your audience would respond to that format.
Before embracing a new trend, be sure you have a goal in place, with a matching metric to determine whether it was effective. For instance, Instagram contests are definitely a thing, but you shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon simply because you know they’re a thing. You should have a clearly established goal for running a contest, with a measurable way to tell whether it delivered on that goal.
Collaborate: Before inking your marketing strategy, you should be having some in-depth talks with other departments. How does the sales manager see the growth you’re focused on delivering? Are your lead generation and lead nurturing efforts delivering results for the sales team?
Talk with your customer service managers. What kinds of problems, questions and issues do customers tend to talk about?
You should also be talking with executives to see how your marketing strategy fits in with the broader vision and goals for the organization. Having a good handle on data and analytics will aid your conversation, because you’ll be able to demonstrate how dollars allocated to your marketing strategy are generating leads and growth for the company.
The Practical Guide to Mold-Breaking
Once you’ve decided that it’s time to stop tweaking and think strategically about driving growth, it’s often the cue for an overwhelming sense of urgency without direction. You know there are almost innumerable directions you could go, but which are the best?
While it’s impossible in the scope of this article to address your individual marketing strategy, there are a few avenues you could consider:
Reconsider Traditional: Sure, some brands have seen digital marketing eclipse traditional methods like direct mail and billboards, but that isn’t the case for everyone and might not be the case for you. Successful marketing is about getting smarter in the way you choose your marketing channels. Examine the data to determine which digital and traditional methods are most effective with your unique audience. Also, incorporate tools that allow you to measure their effectiveness. For instance, if you decide to invest in a radio or television ad, it can be hard to know whether it’s delivering any leads to your company. To overcome this foggy “hope it’s working” mentality, try including a unique URL in your traditional marketing channels so that you know when someone that heard your ad on the radio is visiting your website.
Search Is Changing: If you’re heavily investing in your search strategies, you should know that search looks vastly different than just a few years ago. If you haven’t updated your tactics in a while, it’s time. For instance, zero-click search is becoming more common, decreasing the importance of keywords. A zero-click search provides a summary result that requires no click to get all the information necessary from the SERP.
Companies are also considering how voice search is gaining dominance because of Alexa and all of her assistant buddies. Search results will more clearly be the answer to a question, rather than a single keyword look-up. You’ll want longtail keywords and more conversational phrases.
New Avenues: Some new opportunities are emerging that may give you an edge if you’re including them in your marketing strategy before competitors catch on to the trend. For instance, you can purchase smart speaker ads that are becoming less invasive, but can easily create a direct connection between the consumer and your company. For instance, a pizza ad can lead the consumer to say, “order pizza,” and go directly from the ad to a sale. Not all industries will be so seamless, but the popularity of voice assistants provides a new way to connect with your audience.
You can also try marketing opportunities on Amazon, who recently began pursuing the taillights of Google and Facebook in terms of paid advertising. You’ll need an Amazon seller account to participate, but this option is sure to help you drive more conversions and increase your digital brand visibility.
Get Personal: You already know that data is a handy avenue for better understanding your audiences, but you should be using it to craft personalized messaging for small segments of your audience. Don’t send out a promotional email to all of your contacts; create personalized email for the subsets of your audiences, tailored to their preferences and needs. Consumers are increasingly expecting a customized experience, and the brands that deliver it will outshine their competitors.
Look, 2020 is right around the corner and while this could be just another year of same ol’ marketing plans, maybe it’s got sort of a nice ring to it … 2020: The Year of the Strategic Breakthrough.
Your marketing strategy is due for some mold breaking, and we’re here to help you bust things up. Contact us at SJC Marketing for new ideas that will help you make 2020 a year like no other!