As we enter 2017, leaving the woes and highs of 2016 all behind us, it is indeed that time of year where we’re all feeling fresh-eyed and bushy tailed. Yes, ‘New Year, new me’ and all that jazz. Whilst as individuals we make our usual promises to ourselves about losing weight, healthy eating, saving money (the list is quite honestly endless, so I’ll stop now), it is without a doubt a momentous occasion to think about the bigger picture.
Ad and Marketing professionals, I call upon you one and all. Isn’t it about time we thought about our New Year’s Resolutions within the work place? Of course it is. Whilst we all have our own tricks of the trade, our own specialisms, businesses and paths, there are sometimes elements we let slip or the tendency to forget the importance of certain aspects within our industry. So to make the beginning of the year a little easier on you, here are some resolutions you (and I) can try and keep.
1) One Must Remember Retention is Relevant
Where would products and services be if it wasn’t for engaging marketing to keep customers coming back? As marketing and advertising professionals, it is vital we interact consistently, portraying the same message but using different techniques and angles to maintain and sustain our target audience. The continuous growth of online dominance is essential to the conservation and development of retention. It is crucial that content remains relevant in order to sustain consumer interest, whether highlighting a brand on a social media platform, creating a new banner ad, or through discount campaigns – these are just a few ways to intrigue customers and conserve their interest. Client choice is at an all time high, so it is inevitable that marketers and advertisers must make an impact to preserve current customers. “According to Gartner Group, 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.” Although the word ‘just’ doesn’t quite define the importance of a whole 20%, maintaining and increasing business with current customers is incredibly significant. Sometimes a client will drop a marketing campaign with a company, for no particular reason, so it is best to be prepared for new business. Yet, if you can implement strong strategies within retention of current business – these can be introduced to future business development and continue growth. Of course acquisition and the effect of ROI should remain a priority – just remember to give retention a little more of your time.
2) Carry on with the Continuous Rise of Content
We can all raise our hands for our tendency to relax when it comes to content – after all, it’s what we live for in the industry and is second nature to so many of us. Content will forever be one of the most credible and fundamental pieces of work for marketing and advertising. Copy is an absolute necessity (inclusive of its regulatory and practicality), which must engage current business and new business. Writing needs to intrigue the audience, whilst considering the topic and focus, as well as standing out from our competitors. Although of course copy plays a huge part within marketing and advertising, it’s imperative to not just talk at the consumer, remember to show them the story of your product. By using a diverse range of strategies, from social media and visual campaigns, to direct mail leaflets and email newsletters, it is essential to build up a loyal customer community. “Whilst content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, it generates more than three times as many leads.” Intrigue with content and reap the rewards, whether it be an increase in social media following or traffic to your website, the more quality content you produce, the more customer value you will invite. Go fourth and invigorate your content.
3) Keep up with Keywords
From the capital of content, coincides the generation of SEO and PPC. Quality content and relevant copy will always rank better than a webpage of poorly constructed text – easy enough right? Yet it’s syncing and hitting the right keywords in the right way that boosts SEO and improves your search engine ranking, which is the key in keywords. It’s a given that any website with the domain name of its brand and company as its web URL should rank at the top of a search engine result. Every company is racing to get noticed and appear on the first page of the SERP through multiple search words and phrases. The competition is already here and is still growing. However, by using keywords appropriately and constructively throughout your content, alongside statistics, graphs and readings from relevant SEO software, it is possible to correlate the success of your business ranking with the influence of applicable keywords. “48% identify keyword/phrase research as the most effective SEO tactic with 34% citing frequent website update.” The higher your ranking, the more traffic your site will receive and the more conversions can be made for your product. Recognise and thrive on the magic of keywords in 2017.
4) Drive That Data
It’s no secret that data driven marketing dominates an expanse of the marketing industry. Through optimising marketing effects, data can bring us closer to the customer through elements such as surveys and tapping into a selection of activity insights, for instance, demographic and geographic. Accumulating the correct and relevant data provides the opportunity to create multiple plans, including real-time campaigns. As we strive to utilise the right tools to compile data and analytics, it is the interpretation of the outcome and the following decisions and activities that are essential to the process of driving the marketing campaign forward. What I am trying to get at, for a ‘data-based’ New Year’s resolution, is to not forget what it can do for your business. Data and analytics can be a tricky business and is certainly for the more fact-minded individual. “87% of marketers consider data their organisations’ most under-utilised asset.” Just take a bit of time to learn more if you aren’t as clued up. Ask someone to guide you on the real benefits of the topic and involve someone in your business that understands the nitty gritty of driving data. By putting data use into routine practice, it is possible to strengthen and close the gap between strategy and execution.
5) Last but not Least (by far), Treat the Consumer as an Individual
When you are immersed within living and breathing marketing and advertising, we are bound as humans to become slightly complacent. So how about this for a New Year’s resolution - thinking about yourself (and others) a bit more. We have all and will continue to experience being a customer, so let’s remember to incorporate our own personal experiences into the work place and into our work ethic. Who are we marketing to? What are they like? What do they do? It is critical to be curious and by asking questions, we manage a better understanding of the consumer. The variety of choice now available to consumers is colossal whether it is B2B or B2C, therefore it is imperative to have an influence. “81% of marketers who have used influencer marketing judged it to be effective.” As marketing and advertising professionals, it is our responsibility to appeal to not only a mass audience but to everyone as a singular. The factors we need to consistently digest are: communication, consumer diversity, online and offline touch points, marketing channels, time and place – to influence customer behaviour and the individual customer journey. By influencing these factors directly, it is possible to scope individual consumers and their journey, amending changes to best suit them, as well as increasing brand awareness, which will increase conversions.
Although I know how busy we all are working in such a progressive and exciting industry, we can only do our best and our best is only so much. Perhaps focus little and often on these resolutions combined, or choose one that is more relevant to you. Let’s all have a happy marketing year.