|By Farzin Andrew Espahani | Solution21 | VP of Growth and Marketing|
The year 2016 bombarded us with a variety of tactics, strategies, and technological advances that have completely changed the way companies market their goods and services. Here are a few marketing predictions that the team of Solution21 encourages you to consider in the upcoming year!
In the year 2017, we are expected to see a shift in focusing on customer retention. This is because customers have a lot more choices and have the option to switch service and product providers easily.
- Marketers should focus more attention at aggressively building brand and customer loyalty, and investing in more aggressive techniques, to retain customers and engage them with more personalized connections.
- Larger companies are often focused less on customer acquisition than smaller companies looking to build their brand.
- Technology and social media continues to improve ways to engage customers, and there will be a continued upward trend in listening to customers, engaging them across the lifecycle, and restructure the focus onto the customer instead of the product itself—building advocates for their brand who can spread the word.
Changes in marketing with a new generation of professionals
In 2017, having a specialization in marketing will no longer be the single method of success. Instead, marketing campaigns may be built with a team of marketers that have multiple talents in generating customer base and growing product marketing.
- While there will be some specialists such as those focused on search engine optimization, they are often part of a multi-talented team who can handle marketing challenges together. Marketing professionals within an organization will connect on all levels of marketing instead of being isolated to one area, so everyone is working together when it comes to sales, product, operations, education, and customer support.
- Working in teams is much more effective at achieving the desired goals. Just because a strategy worked last year doesn’t mean it will continue to work this year. Challenging a team to develop the right marketing solutions is the best way to see results.
- A focus on using all forms of marketing will greatly improve results this year, when businesses combine the web, photography, and graphic design to meet their needs.
- Thinking outside the box may be risky but when it works, it can be extremely rewarding.
Integration of technology and data
Knowing how technology and data work together is the first step in understanding what makes a marketing campaign “tick.”
- Marketers should work with the sales team to understand the entire process from lead generation to purchase and implementation.
- Finding the technology that works with the data to lead to customer retention is key.
Changes in techniques
While over the years there has been a tried-and-true process for customer acquisition and retention, this will change with a focus on customer engagement. This includes inbound services, broad-based lead generation, account-based marketing, paid media personalization, and direct marketing to achieve real results.
- When all of these aspects are used together they can greatly improve the return on investment for any marketing campaign.
- A detailed ABM plan should be developed for B2B marketers to execute along with creative marketing ideas to test in 2017.
- Marketing initiatives will continue to improve while technology takes ABM campaigns to a level never before seen.
Channels and content
In today’s day and age, customers are looking for value over volume. In 2017, marketers need to shift towards creating quality content over channels that add value to their brand, not take away from it.
- Evaluate what is resonating with your customers and develop a more fine-tuned process and content strategy to deliver what the customer wants.
- Think about your website’s mobile access as well, as this is a user experience often overlooked. Mobile sites need to be ranked along with Google’s search engine algorithm to continue to drive customers to your product or service.
- Keep an eye out for emerging channels and platforms to ensure organic social media doesn’t phase out your brand for a more individualized focus. While the internet is still a wonderful way to engage customers, it is not the only way.
- Facebook has already announced that ad slots in their News Feed campaigns are filling up, meaning more expensive ad campaigns on some of the more focused channels. Start considering ways to boost offline sales even though they may provide more “non-immediate revenue.”
- Businesses should also focus on targeting their audience better to make the best use of their marketing campaign, dollar for dollar.
- Test mobile-optimized video content and personalized campaigns targeted to your best audience for a better ROI.