Have you caught up with the hot marketing trends for 2017? Wait, are you still focused on that breakthrough from 2016? Or 2014? Don’t look now, but people are predicting the next blockbuster marketing tactics for 2018 as we speak.
With the sheer number of “Oh-my-God-you-have-to-implement-this-or-your-campaign-will-fail” strategies emerging every year, how do you ensure that your campaigns aren’t obsolete by the time you launch?
Don’t worry, I can help. I’ve gone deep. I researched not only the new trends for 2017, but I’ve looked at predictions up through 2025. I even went back. Not just a few years either. I went back decades. From this analysis of past and future trends, I can assure you that there is one common thread that is the basis for marketing success…
Wait for it…
Be good at selling.
Okay, before your eyes roll out of your head, hear me out.
To be clear, it’s important to understand the latest trends. You need to know the terminology and be prepared to implement the concepts. In this hyper-informative age, clients will educate themselves and come to pitch meetings armed with industry buzzwords and expectations. You will need to demonstrate how trends fit into your strategy. That said, if you build your foundation on basic sales principles that have worked forever, you’ll never have to pivot too far to keep up with the next big thing.
As a test, let’s look at some new trends and compare the underlying technique with tried-and-true sales practices.
2017 trend – Personalization
Essential sales principle – Know your audience
Personalization is all about tailoring your content for a particular audience based on preferences. You can segment the audience with mailing lists and deliver a message based on their profile. If you’re already performing market research, learning about personas, and determining how customers consume their content, it won’t be hard to make the move to personalized marketing.
2017 trend – Mobile first
Essential sales principle – Simplify your approach
If you’re not thinking mobile, you’re not thinking about a huge part of your audience. According to comScore, mobile makes up 60% of digital media consumption. It’s crucial for marketers to adapt their messaging to fit smaller screens and embrace micro-moments. However, you should strive for simplicity in any sales endeavor. If you’re keeping it concise, you’re ready for a mobile-first strategy. (Besides, sales people have been optimizing their campaigns for the phone for decades.)
2017 trend – Data driven marketing
Essential sales principle – Listen and learn
I always think it’s funny when data-driven marketing shows up as a trend. We’re fortunate to work in an era when we take extensive reporting capabilities for granted. It’s almost irresponsible if you don’t use the data to improve your strategy. This is not new. Marketing teams have long employed focus groups, promo codes, and customer surveys to determine what works and what doesn’t.
2017 trends – Interactive content, chatbots, mobile videos, Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), etc.
Essential sales principle – It’s all about the message
If there’s one thing that’s easy to predict, it’s that each season will bring new gadgets, technologies, and platforms that you’ll need to consider as you plan your campaign. And that’s great. New form factors allow you to think differently about design and can send you in new creative directions. What doesn’t change is the importance of the story you tell. If you show the customer that you understand their pain and can explain why your solution uniquely solves their problem, it doesn’t matter if your audience is wearing VR goggles or checking a screen on their refrigerator. Your message will land.
If you’re having trouble navigating the latest marketing trends, or if you need some good, old-fashioned marketing expertise, contact us. We’d love to help.