You've heard of the sales funnel, right? We're sure that as a business owner at some point you have! In case you haven't heard of it... The sales...read more
Sometimes as business owners, we wish we had crystal-balls. Unfortunately, we don't, but we do have data, and with that we can predict the future. That's still cool right? Well, without a practical way to utilize that data, it's pointless. In this post I'll be going over what the future of marketing looks like and how we as businesses can leverage that knowledge.
Power To The People.
It's no secret that consumers have more power than they once did, and they're only going to get more powerful as time progress. Why? Because as technology progresses, people can communicate faster, and more widespread. That means if they have a bad experience with your business, they'll make it known, and that can really hurt you. Conversely, if they have good experience, they're likely to let people know about that too, and that can be the best thing that ever happens for your business.
In practical terms your marketing needs to be keep these facts in mind. Approach every idea for a marketing campaign with the "Will people run with this and burn us or get behind it and support us?" filter. It's impossible to make everyone happy, but that doesn't mean you can go out and piss people off for the fun of it. It will cost you if your try to be confrontational!
Armed with the knowledge that consumers have all the power, make sure your marketing is easy for them to relate too and soak up.
Have you heard of "Conversation Marketing?" It's a buzzword right now, and for good reason! Conversation marketing is just what it sounds like. it's marketing that's meant to start a conversation. In the not-so-distant past, businesses would send out flyers, run radio/t.v. commercials, or buy space on billboards. This was effective at the time but now, thanks to technology, consumers expect to be able to talk back with the business, something that's not possible to do with a billboard or radio commercial.
How can conversational marketing be applied you ask? When it comes to social media, you could ask questions in your posts and use the comment section for the conversation. Also, having a live chat on your website is important as well. As more and more people prefer real time live chat vs. filling out a contact form.
Sharing memes and posting about trending topics are also a great way to start a conversation. Memes bring the humor aspect which most people respond well to, while posting about trending topics allows you to be at the center of the conversation.
Many Channels, Closer To The Experience
Consumers are already operating on many different communication platforms and you can expect that number to increase as time goes along. In order to market effectively you're focus should not just be on one avenue of communication. I'm not saying you should be on all social media, radio, t.v., billboards, blogs, etc. But you do need to pick a few of those options and invest everything you can into them. It's not enough for a consumer to see you once, they need to see you a lot and consistently across multiple platforms.
If you look at history, every big new thing that comes out is making it possible to be closer to other's experiences. Photo were great, then video came along, now live video is here. Soon, virtual reality will be the big thing, then after that it'll be whatever can make us have an even closer to a real experience. What that means as a business owner is you should always invest in ads, apps, and anything else you can that are tied to services that deliver the realist experiences.
How could I talk about the future and not make a prediction or two?
By 2020 mobile devices will account for 90% of all online traffic.
By 2025 contact forms on websites will be totally replaced with live chat. Every site you'll go to with have a live chat.
By 2030, Live Video has come and gone, VR is mainstream, but a new version of VR is on the rise, one which lets you feel and touch the surrounds as if you were there, 4D VR if you will.
One thing is for sure, the sales funnel is dying. Here to replace it is the Marketing Flywheel. We've put together a handy downloadable template that lets you map out a flywheel for your business. You can download it here: My Company Flywheel Model Template