This year’s marketing trends don’t look like previous years. This time around, we’re not going to be talking about the prevalence of video (that’s been growing for a while,) and we’re not going to dig deeper into the key benefits of content creators and influencers (we should know this by now.)
Instead, this year’s marketing trends have more to do with how you execute your marketing plan more than the tactics you engage. Because here’s the thing – tactics will continue to evolve. New platforms will hit the market. Consumers will continue to shift their decision making.
Companies must recognize that regardless of sales and marketing tactics and tools, one thing will always remain the same. It’s a buyer’s world and we’re all just living in it.
Adopt a Customer-Centric Mindset
For a long time, sales and marketing programs have been built for immediate gratification. Sales incentives to get the instant win. Product-pushing to woo a new buyer. We’ve created messages and entire systems around a standard funnel expecting customers to hop-skotch their way through the process exactly as we want them to. This mindset is antiquated and it will not deliver the results you want.
Companies that adopt a customer-centric approach in their marketing programs don’t put their revenue goals and products ahead of the customer, they put the needs of the customer first.
You see this take shape when companies are delivering content to their consumers that is meant to attract, delight, engage, educate more than sell, sell, sell. Hubspot mastered this with inbound marketing. They understood that by offering insights and resources on inbound marketing, they could attract more people to trust their inbound marketing automation and CRM software.
Create Your Brand Story
Your brand story is the way that you share facts, feelings and experiences with consumers. Simply put, it’s the way that you communicate your company’s why. Why do you exist? Why do you sell the thing that you sell? Why should anyone care about it at all?
As your company adopts a customer-centric approach, you start to tell a brand story that truly connects with your current consumers – and those like them.
Your brand story goes beyond an about page. It’s a persona. Think about the brands that you love the absolute most. The ones that if they were a person, you’d be best friends with it.
For me, it’s REI. I love their mission, their products, their store experience, their membership program…the whole thing. What’s more – I feel like I get the same experience in store as I do online. On social, I feel tapped into a larger story. In email, I get excited reading someone else’s travel adventure. I even love the direct mail catalogs, which are recyclable.
Enhancing Customer Loyalty
By a raise of hands, whose business has been most successful because of referrals and word of mouth? Ya, us too. And we absolutely love our network because of it. And oftentimes, we feel that we’re not adequately saying thank you nearly enough for it.
If you also raised your hand, this is the year of really pouring into these customers. Oftentimes, they’re not only you’re most loyal, but most profitable. Continuing to enhance your product or service portfolio based on what these consumers need, you’ll start to see ways to attract others like them.
Transform Your Marketing
Marketing in 2023 and beyond is about continuous improvement. Aligning sales and marketing teams is a start, optimizing your process is next. Marketers must become comfortable with utilizing research and data to help direct the strategy.
- Market Research: We have an immense amount of data at our fingertips – and it doesn’t require expensive studies in order to find it. Becoming customer-centric means keeping an eye on how our consumers feel, act, and seek information. Evaluating our consumer profiles a couple of times a year will help us form a deeper connection with our current and new customers.
- Data Alignment: How are we measuring success? How do we know whether we’re truly resonating with our consumers or not? Oftentimes companies have the data needed to make better decisions, the issue is that the data is fragmented or just not activated at all. Time to change that if we want to be more efficient and effective.
If you find yourself with your head spinning, let us leave you with this note. This year’s key marketing trends are all about creating better connections. Create a better connection across the divisions of your team. Create better connections with your consumers. Once you adopt that mindset, all of this is possible and worth it.
P.S. Bondfire Strategy exists to help companies optimize their sales and marketing efforts through customer-focused marketing strategy planning. If we can help you break down silos and create better connections, give us a shout.