Marketing as we know it has changed. Today, it’s the consumer who’s in control.
To quote the wise-beyond-his-years-Ferris-Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” While the fictional movie icon was specifically speaking to teenagers looking for any excuse to skip school, his outlook can also be applied to the world of marketing. Marketing changes fast. Like, super fast. And if you aren’t paying attention, you’re missing out and may be putting your business’s success in jeopardy.
But even businesses with the best marketing teams, who have their hands on the pulse of the latest trends, have difficulty keeping up with every innovation. Don’t let yourself feel defeated and fall into a marketing rut. With a solid understanding of how the marketing landscape has changed, you can evolve your marketing strategy and keep from missing out.
Today, the consumer is in control. It’s critical that your marketing strategy acknowledges this shift and isn’t stuck in the old ways of thinking. When a customer visits your business, you’re not just selling the items on the shelf, but rather the entire in-store experience, so make that experience exciting! Engage with your customers from the moment they walk through your doors. If they’re part of your loyalty program, keep them on their toes with push notifications for items of interest or make them aware of discounts or promotions as a thank you for their continued loyalty.
The goal should be to turn every customer into a loyal one. How do you do that? Show the personality behind your brand.
For fully engaged customers, your brand also needs to be everywhere. Send limited-time offers via email to lapsed customers to entice them back in. As a business owner, you also need to recognize the value of every customer and extend the relationship beyond the transaction. The goal should be to turn every customer into a loyal one. How can you do that? Show the personality behind your brand. Make your customers aware of what makes your business unique, and that there are real people behind every tweet, email and push notification.
It’s safe to say that traditional marketing is dead. In a recent survey by loyalty reward program Belly, where I’m the director of brand communications, SMBs reported that social-media advertising, email marketing and loyalty programs are the most popular channels for marketing their businesses. But for these channels to succeed, they must be personalized. Gone are the days of sending the same email to every customer—they’re smart and can recognize these generic messages! The rise in mobile marketing further demonstrates the shift in how marketing is done, too. Put your business where your customers are, which is on their mobile phones.
Thankfully, you don’t need to be a big-box brand to keep up with the rapidly changing marketing landscape. Many marketing solutions are designed with small businesses in mind. The best solutions are easy to use, don’t require a marketing business degree and are affordable. They also provide access to insights and trackable campaigns so that you can measure what’s working and make on-the-fly iterations for improved success. While there is ironic charm in using an old-school register and being a cash-only establishment, this nod to nostalgia can come at a price. Refusing to innovate can be annoying to customers, which may prompt them to visit a more contemporary and convenient competitor next time around; it’s a consumer-driven world, after all. As today’s modern marketing landscape continues to evolve, find comfort in a solution that can grow and change just as fast.
This article first appeared in www.americanexpress.com