Get Your Marketing Market Ready | Trends for 2017
Marketing is often used as a term that encompasses every type of communication that comes from a company to their target audience, but is a bit of a misnomer – especially if you’re in one of those other fields, like Advertising, Design or Public Relations.
/noun/ 1. Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients and partners.
Marketing is about communicating the value of a product, service or brand to customers or consumers for the purpose of promoting or selling that product, service or brand.
Marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction. And it does not include developing the entire business process as consisting of a tightly integrated effort to discover, create, arouse and satisfy customer needs.
Marketing differs from selling because selling concerns itself with the strategy and techniques of getting people to exchange their cash for your product. It has little to do with getting customers to pay for your product—it’s all about developing a demand for that product and fulfilling the customer’s needs.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter Drucker
According to the Market Ready Index, most business-to-business marketing (column 2) is scoring 48.0, although the 2017 target score is 67.0 – a variance of -19.0. Overall, the average B2B scores 40.5, 25.4 lower than the 65.9 target score. Based on best practices, these scores provide a metric for comparison.
Marketing Trends for 2017
As marketing often provides direction for other communications, understanding where you actually are in the marketplace will help you better understand how to create the right type of engagement.
Mobile First Strategy
For the first time in history, more Internet traffic is now coming more from mobile devices than desktops. It’s not just about “optimizing” for mobile; it’s also about making sure that piece of content gets integrated with a user’s lifestyle on the go.
Think “Content AND Context.”
Ask yourself, “What is the type of content I think my audience is interested in engaging, and where are they when they engage with that content? If you’re not catering your content, ads and online experience to a mobile user, then you are missing a massive opportunity.
This also effects the way the vehicles for content are developed – ads, blogs, landing pages, websites, and the like. Your audience will be better served if you start with the phone and work your way out to larger screens with less contextual demands.
Influencers are the people who will stand up, support and promote your brand to their audience. Although the use of influencers in Marketing is not new, it is of greater interest given challenges we see more of this year than in years past.
Considering the challenges marketers face with chat-bot fraud, ad blocking, social algorithms and general skepticism in the marketplace. Consumers had learned what “buyer beware” has meant, but tactic are changing and the market is responding.
Influencers who will stand by your side, through the good times and bad, can provide the authenticity that makes your brand stand out from the crowd.
Collaboration + Co-Creation
Brands will not only be collaborating with Bloggers and Vloggers to access their audiences, but co-creating original content that can’t be found anywhere else. The co-creation can strengthen the relationship between the brand and influencer, and it can generate new or heightened trust with the influencers audience on behalf of the brand.
This collaboration will take others forms, too. Extending relationships with key customers to collaborate on improving and developing products, services throughout the customer experience is creating a “design centricity.”
Businesses moving towards this include leaders like Apple, AirBNB, Google, Warby Parker and Uber. Although the businesses are extremely varied in size, industry, and focus, they all have one thing in common: extreme design centricity. Design Thinking teams include customers as collaborators in their thinking to learn how to use empathy: not just focus groups and trials.
Getting Market Ready for 2017
Understanding where your marketing is today is a first step in making the decisions and changes that can help you compete in the marketplace. The Market Ready Index™ Self-Assessment is a free (beta) resource that helps you understand where your marketing, and other channels of Communication, is today.
It also provides benchmarks for B2B, B2C and NonProfit organizations to better understand how they compare to other businesses, just like them.
The point of all of this is that if you are really trying to make a different this year, then you’ll have to do something different this year. A subjective evaluation is a start, an objective evaluation is a next step. Get real about how prepared your business is to compete and you’ll stand a much better chance in reaching your goals. – kp