Some might think that it’s a little early to discuss marketing activity and priorities for 2018, but I believe now is the appropriate time. September/October is usually when companies begin to evaluate marketing successes and failures for the current year prior to developing marketing plans and budgets for the subsequent year.
While most marketing activities flow from one year to the next, there are five insights that could improve your planning and multiply your 2018 successes:
- Engagement – Marketing leadership needs to recognize the shift from investing in programs and activities that gain the attention of prospects and customers to having them actively engage the company. One recent example of active engagement is Tesla’s campaign to have prospects reserve the new Model 3 automobile. A prospect is required to put up $1000 to reserve a car. By insisting upon this, Tesla provides the prospect the opportunity to engage emotionally in the purchase in advance of the car’s availability.
- Sales Channel Integration – It is important to stop thinking about sales channels as unique sales methods and more about their common elements and needs. Telesales, field representatives, distributors, VARs, agents and others should leverage the same common messaging, benefits statements, value propositions and primary marketing materials to support their unique sales methodologies and audiences. Determining the commonality that exist across your channels makes it easier to recognize where and when divergence is required.
- Mobile marketing – Although most website designers understand the need to support mobile users, less than 20% of small business websites are optimized for mobile. Moreover, only a small percentage of mobile optimized websites offer marketing campaigns and promotions that are either unique to mobile devices or have mobile devices in mind. Mobile marketing needs to improve dramatically if it is to keep pace with mobile device usage. Information presentation is just the tip of the iceberg for responsive design. Successful mobile marketing requires more.
- Social Media Planning and Integration – Using multiple forms of social media for corporate marketing is common. However, it is time to establish specific plans and tactics to leverage the differentiation between social media site offerings, capabilities and audiences. Marketing must establish individual strategies, budgets and tactics for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Marketing must also explore the unique marketing tools and campaigns offered to business by each social media site to maximize its effectiveness and ROI.
- Digital Transformation of Marketing – Transforming marketing to address the ever-expanding digital world requires the integration of traditional and digital marketing beginning with education and ending with tactics. Greater marketing success is achieved when traditional and digital marketing leverage budgets, messaging, lead generation and promotions. Only 25% of large corporations actively plan and integrate their traditional and digital marketing. The percentage is even smaller for small businesses where digital marketing is often outsourced.
I will provide greater depth on each of these insights over the next few weeks to aid your marketing planning for 2018. Knowing more now will enable you to achieve the marketing and sales success your business deserves and make you a better steward of your marketing budget.