About the Author (Guest Post): Ari Rush is President of Rush Ventures, a Toronto SEO and digital marketing agency. Prior to Rush Ventures, Ari led a marketing technology company, which helped more than 1,500 clients generate online traffic.
Earlier in his career, Ari founded an online telecommunications firm, which he sold to a private equity group based out of Arizona. Ari has lectured at places such as Ryerson University and BizLaunch, one of the largest small business training companies in North America.
The internet has been around for long enough that bad practices are starting to get old. Consumers won’t settle for the same tricks that businesses have been pulling on them for years, and they have no reason to!
Every year, the size of the web grows exponentially, meaning that content availability is soaring. If you don’t like what you’re seeing on one website, there’s hundreds more that you can check which will provide content relevant to your needs.
Finding a website whose marketing strategy is to provide relevant, contextual, speedy, and effective delivery is pretty easy nowadays. Simply put, if consumers don’t like what you’re selling or how you’re selling it,
At Rush Ventures, our goal is to help you keep a focus on the needs and expectations of your customers, who operate with a very low patience threshold.
Here’s our list of the ten commandments of marketing to uphold for 2017:
1. Omnichannel is the only channel:
Omnichannel is actually a rather old concept. It dates back to before the 1900’s, when certain top businesses realized that brick-and-mortar stores and sales catalogues were not enough to attract and maintain customers.
They decided to try out additional means of communication with customers, such as post mail, personal visits, and in the modern age, mobile and online communication.
The unification of all these marketing and communication methods is referred to as omnichannel, literally meaning “all channel”.
By creating one smooth interaction, where every email, sales rep, store, or newspaper clipping is a manifestation of the businesses voice.
This makes the transition between online and in store much more blurred, simplifying the process for retailers and consumers alike.
2. Social Media can be lonely:
Social media is not marketing, certainly not on its own. The common strategy to utilize social media completely disconnects it from other marketing methods, glorifying social media as some ever powerful marketing tool.
Social media should be seen as a marketing platform, which along with other platforms can be used to run a successful marketing campaign.
Social media is no longer the marvel it was when it emerged in the mid-2000’s.
Consumers have embraced social media as a conventional part of their lives, and efforts by businesses to separate it from other marketing methods will prove to be ineffective in 2017.
3. Market with dreams:
Virtual reality is an up and coming technology, and before we know it, nearly every person will be able to slip on some glasses and enter their own virtual world.
This opens the door to countless new marketing opportunities. Facebook has already taken a big step towards this by purchasing Oculus Rift and developing a virtual marketplace in the video games that Oculus offers.
This means that consumers can relax, slip into their favorite video game, and when they can’t get past a certain level, they can just head over to the virtual marketplace and pick out what new game they want to buy, or where they want to go on vacation next summer.
They could then make these purchases without ever leaving the virtual world! Imagine how accessible this would make products for consumers, and how it would change the game for businesses!
4. Ad block, ad create:
Consumers and marketers alike are engaging in debates about the presence of ad blockers, as more and more browsers become impervious to ‘in your face’ marketing.
If advertising isn’t relevant, or isn’t presented when it’s required, it becomes annoying. And annoying marketing is ineffective marketing.
It’s up to businesses and companies to create advertisements that blend into the browsing experience, ads that are disguised as information or reviews, or even ads based on consumer interests and data.
Google and Facebook are slowly emerging as the kings of blended marketing; by siphoning consumer data about which products they want and need, they can present ads that consumers find relevant and non-intrusive.
5. Customer experience:
The traditional marketing strategy saw marketing and sales as two separate aspects, one team attracting the consumer’s attention, while the other team closes the deal.
More recently however, advertising and marketing are being made part of the sales cycle, and what is known as the customer experience.
Marketers can engage with consumers both online and in the real world, they can provide loyalty rewards, request satisfaction reviews, and continue to learn about their needs and interests so as to grow with the customer.
So many brands exist that without this continued input, consumers may look elsewhere for this experience. In 2017, brands that are able to provide this customer experience will see their business thrive and their conversion numbers grow.
6. Don’t let the data scare you:
Big data is your number one friend when building a marketing strategy. This can include social media data, as well as information gathered by large search engines.
Because a large portion of this data is unfiltered, it can be difficult to sort through it and figure out what will be beneficial to your strategy.
As big data becomes more and more readily available, tools are emerging that help sift through these large chunks of information, such as Jaspersoft BI Suite.
This one is open source, but there are more comprehensive paid platform available online as well. Claim 2017 as the year when you conquer big data, and integrate these analytics into your marketing decisions.
Very simply, if you don’t accommodate and work with mobile, you might as well quit now. Mobile is big and it’s here to stay, and business or company that’s worth its stuff is working to create a usable mobile platform.
Retailers are embracing mobile as one of the most basic methods for shopping and discovering new items, and are working to provide as seamless as possible of an experience for consumers.
In fact, those that have been working with mobile since its debut are now able to move on to bigger things such as VR and influencer marketing. Being mobile friendly means having a mobile friendly, or even better, a responsive website.
Creating applications that can work together with the retail aspects of your business is another great way to give consumers the option to engage through mobile. Don’t be stupid, Stupid. Just be mobile.
8. Videos are the real reality:
How many times has someone sent you a long YouTube video, expecting you to watch the whole thing to find out just several tidbits of information?
Well, amongst younger generations, this is pretty common. Videos are the new way of conveying information, and are the chosen form of entertainment for most mobile users.
Snapchat, YouTube, Vine, Periscope, and Facebook Live Stream are all being consumed at rapid rates, regardless of what the videos may be about.
There’s an entire slew of new celebrities that have found fame on these video and streaming apps, showing just how powerful they are in modern society.
Live streaming is seen as the most direct way of communicating with consumers, as it provides real time information and entertainment.
Businesses are embracing these applications to provide engaging marketing campaigns that focus on the consumer.
With videos being so easy to make, there’s no reason at all not to capitalize on video streaming apps.
9. Content is King:
This one cannot be overstated enough times. Quality content means quality business, means quality customers.
Businesses are bringing in influencers and storytellers that can help them deliver natural and relevant content to the right channels.
Don’t settle for subpar content; create content that you’d be proud to have consumers see, make it interesting and engaging, and watch your conversion numbers skyrocket.
10. Data means results:
Marketing is expensive business. You can’t afford to pump dollars into marketing without seeing some kind of return on your investment, and the only way to see this return is by studying the data.
Before, during, and after marketing campaigns, you should be studying your consumer data to ensure that there is a return on your marketing investments. If you’re not looking for results, it’s quite likely that there are none.
2016 has brought many changes to online marketing, all of which are crucial to success moving forward. But even though the technologies or platforms which these changes bring about are new, the ideas behind them remain the same.
Value, customer focus, and data-oriented decisions are ideals that successful marketers have embraced for hundreds of years, and will continue to embrace.
By being creative and innovative, you can count yourself amongst this elite group, and watch your brand flourish in this technological age.