Every year marketing experts come out with predictions for the next “hot” trend. Surveys are quoted, consumers are polled, winning campaigns are reviewed and dissected. In assessing the landscape of winners for ’07 (firms that are on a growth track, getting great media buzz, with a loyal customer base) it’s easy to get lost in the hype.
Top Tech Picks
So what’s worth your attention as you plan for your company’s future in the coming year? To stay in the game, make it one of your top priorities in ’08 to get a handle on the following web-based technology:
- Rich media – video and flash-based files and clips posted on websites
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization – for your website)
- Paid online advertising using Google Keywords or tile/leaderboard ads on high traffic sites like www.theknot.com or www.startupjournal.com
- Opt-in e-zines/e-newsletters
- Email signature (yup, your email signature can be used to advertise tons of good stuff – a special offer, a new credential, an award, etc.)
- Interactive social networking “community” sites like MySpace and YouTube
- Open source (fr*ee) software (like www.odeo.com)
Okay, so now you have a better idea of the top online marketing choices. Now what? Do you drop everything and hire a video production team to get a sales pitch video clip posted on your site, or invest in Pay-for-Click online ads? The simple answer is: it depends. You need to assess your company’s deliverables and target markets and make strategic decisions based on what makes sense in the short term as well as the long-range scope of things.
Get Back to Basics
The bottom line is that all the hippest advertising campaigns in the world (web and otherwise) are worth nothing unless you deliver the goods with a great product and client service. Not just sometimes, but on a consistent basis. Focus on two simple business success talismans: make good on what you promise and make sure that the experience of doing business with your firm is efficient, professional and enjoyable – whether the person on the receiving end is a new prospect or a current client.
“Successful marketers will incorporate the latest and greatest tools into their marketing mix, which includes creation of a consistent brand, and an “experience” that distinguishes your firm from your competitors,” says Joan Damico, a B2B marcom expert from J. Damico Marketing Communications, based in Walden, NY.
Learn from the Big Boys
Think about any major book retailer, and you’ll understand what Joan means. Customers can browse, sit, hang out, and in most places even savor a cup of steaming gingerbread latte for hours on end. These retailers are looking to deliver an “experience” that is not just about buying books. What is key to their success is that they deliver it day in and day out, in a very consistent manner. Imagine your surprise if the staff was surly, the stacks were jumbled, and the comfy couches were absent. If all your basic business blocks are not in order this is the kind of “experience” (and disconnect) your clients and prospects will feel.
Grow Your Sales in 2017
So whether you own a local nail salon, sell cookies or consult with clients around the globe – if you want your company to be successful in 2017, figure out how you can consistently deliver a sterling performance. Revamp your systems, train your staff and independent contractors and deliver amazing experiences that outshines your competition. Understand and use the latest technology options, so you can swiftly interact with, service and engage your unique market segments. The result will surely have a positive impact on your bottom line!