February 19, 2016

Marketing trends (the important ones!) to watch for in 2016

Now that all the prognosticators have had their say about the upcoming year in marketing, we’ve picked the very most potent predictions to share with the readers of BizWest. Nothing lame. Nothing too futuristic, either. Just trends that are quite likely to happen and that might actually affect the way you promote your business.

Mobile

It’s happened. Searches on mobile devices outnumber those done on a desktop. The implications are huge. And Google is ON it. They favor websites that are mobile-friendly and load quickly. You can check the speed of your website using Pingdom.

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People are also doing their searches by voice rather than typing. It’s just easier to do, and Google typically gets it right. So if you have a lot of long, multi-syllabic words on your site, you’re making a mistake. Keep your text simple.

Also, with the cost of app development coming down and the demand for them increasing, companies will soon realize that an app is no longer optional. It will just be expected of a business.

Really REAL time

It used to be that you’d wait to learn how the city celebrated a Super Bowl win by opening the paper at breakfast the next morning. Now, you make your friends’ feeds your chosen newspaper. You can read what they have to say play by play during the game on Facebook or Twitter. It’s as if you were there!

“In the moment” is what real time is all about. And there are apps galore to get you your 15 seconds of fame. Examples of instant photos are ‘Snapchat’ and instant video feeds are ‘Blab’, ‘Meerkat’ and ‘Periscope’.

Newsjacking

Keeping current in the social sphere is a requirement of marketers today. They should know that consumers have a built-in bias to favor businesses that are aware of what’s going on in real time and are alive to the context/the larger frame of reference that they themselves enjoy.

Maybe it’s as simple as sending a shout-out to your audiences when something big hits the airwaves, and making a connection to it and your brand. Watch what’s trending on Twitter, and take it from there. Sign up on Google Alerts to receive notifications when a possible real-time and highly relevant opportunity arises.

Digital assistants … or “I love you, Siri”

You know “Siri” on the iPhone… or “OK Google” on Android phones? Well, these digital assistants are getting pretty sophisticated. Even Amazon has “Alexa” now.

They are intended to give short, concise and urgent answers right then and there — rather than sending users off to a website.

Think of this helpful technology as the life support you’ve always needed, staying in the background until just the right moment to alert you to an opportunity, steer you away from a problem, suggest an alternative course of action.

Marketing automation that’s affordable

According to HubSpot, one of the most popular Marketing Automation tools in existence, the definition for Marketing Automation is simple. “It’s to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers.” So it is a lead-generating process that is deliberate, sequential and, via software, can be automated.

People often confuse marketing automation with email. But, it’s so much more than the flyers or newsletters you send out to your list of customers and prospects via Outlook or MailChimp. Every touch point on a customer’s journey with your business can be fed into the funnel that is Marketing Automation. That can be trade shows, direct mail, advertising, pay per click, social media, blogs. Those touch points can be tracked and graded so that certain segments of the prospects who come into the funnel can be nurtured before being passed along to the sales department as qualified leads.

Laurie Macomber, owner of Fort Collins-based Blue Skies Marketing, can be reached at 970-689-3000.

Now that all the prognosticators have had their say about the upcoming year in marketing, we’ve picked the very most potent predictions to share with the readers of BizWest. Nothing lame. Nothing too futuristic, either. Just trends that are quite likely to happen and that might actually affect the way you promote your business.

Mobile

It’s happened. Searches on mobile devices outnumber those done on a desktop. The implications are huge. And Google is ON it. They favor websites that are mobile-friendly and load quickly. You can check the speed of your website using…

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