Pay no heed to the “hottest trends in marketing” hype for the New Year, as there is often little correlation between what’s hot and what actually works. Instead, make your resolution to execute these Top 10 smart marketing trends for 2012.
1. Adopt a mobile Web strategy. Nearly half of all mobile phone subscribers own a smartphone. By 2015, more people will access the Web via a mobile device than through traditional desktop Internet access. You must optimize your website for viewing on an iPhone or other mobile device or risk brand irrelevancy.
2. Become a guru. Utilize social media, including a blog, and email marketing to build awareness around your expertise. Don’t be afraid to give away content and share your knowledge in an effort to build your personal or company brand.
3. Develop a proactive referral generation program. We are in a referral economy where consumers are increasingly relying more heavily on third-party reviews – from friends or online review sites – to make decisions about brand selection. This is a terrific low-cost solution for driving new business.
4. Experiment with QR (Quick Response) codes. It’s a square bar code smartphone users can scan to be taken directly to a targeted Web page. For example, a movie poster might feature a QR code linking directly to a movie trailer or the ticket-ordering site.
5. Increase subscriber engagement. When it comes to social media in particular, have more conversations and broadcast less. The real value in your social media activity lies in interacting with your followers as engagement leads to brand loyalty.
6. Get in the video age. YouTube generates more than 2 billion views a day; that’s double the prime-time audience of all three major U.S. networks combined. Gather video testimonials from your customers; feature your team conducting online educational demonstrations; and use video to bring your product or service to life.
7. Formalize a customer feedback strategy. Develop a strategy for ensuring you are regularly requesting customer feedback allowing you to deal with potential issues before you lose a precious piece of business.
8. Deploy a holistic marketing strategy. The one-off project approach to marketing doesn’t work. This year, resolve to create a comprehensive strategy, more heavily weighted toward digital than analog channels.
9. Develop your brand personality to better connect with Gen Y. This still relatively new generation to the marketplace doesn’t respond to cold, sterile brands. In fact, be more emotionally engaging, personal and conversational in all of your communications.
10. Get out from behind the desk! Spend more time with prospects and customers. Go to more networking events. Social media networking is not enough. Reclaim the lost art of face-to-face connection.