So many marketing avenues exist today that business owners, managers, and marketers can get overwhelmed trying to decide where to invest their ad dollars. The other day I overheard a colleague lament that there is no longer just a handful of ways to get the word out, there are thousands of ways to market.
Where my colleague saw an insurmountable challenge, I see opportunity and encouragement. Opportunity because there are so many ways to focus your marketing where your competitors are not. Encouragement because the various services that present a world of marketing opportunities are doing very well in their respective businesses – which means there are tons of potential customers for any given (and useful) product or service.
How many times have you seen an article about a millionaire who became wealthy peddling a product or service you've never heard of? If you're like me, it happens all the time; which means that marketing channels are being employed in targeted ways that do not reach me. An enterprising individual can make millions off a very small percentage of the population, using a very small percentage of available marketing avenues.
The reality is that having diverse marketing arenas does not strap the savvy marketer's budget, it liberates it. You can't market everywhere, so you have to focus your marketing where it works.
Just like the early 2000s saw everyone scramble to define their product or service niche, I believe the 2010s will see everyone scrambling to define their marketing niche. The following five marketing trends are in line with that philosophy.
1. Local marketing partnerships
Partnering with other businesses to save marketing costs is nothing new, but the frequency and volume of such partnerships is almost assured to increase. I recently saw an advertisement in my local newspaper that promoted a street in a semi-distant town renowned for its furniture retailers. The ad was paid for by four of those furniture stores, each with its own logo, name and web URL prominently displayed. These are competitors, yet they worked together to get customers to their street where, I would imagine, the gloves come off when it comes to marketing warfare.
I know, another buzzword, and one I don't even like. But getting your customers to work alongside you when developing new products, services, offers, and policies can be an amazingly effective way to get the word out to thousands and even millions.
3. More print
Online, mobile, QR, AR, it's all good. But print marketing materials still generate better conversion rates, allow better customer access via less competition and are cheap to produce.
4. Print evolves
Brochures, banners, catalogs, flyers and posters continue to be cornerstones of print marketing, but many companies are also employing booklets, stickers, table tents, and other print marketing materials to tell their stories and engage customers.
5. Social marketing continues to mature
More companies are focused on social marketing analytics so they can engage customers in ways to ultimately lead to higher profits. Knowing what strategies work to that end versus what strategies simply take up space is highly valuable in a world with so many marketing opportunities.