Marketing strategy shifts constantly. With the widespread use of predictive modeling on the horizon and the continual rise of video content in the marketplace, those shifts are sure to continue throughout 2018. Here are five tips for optimizing your marketing strategy, no matter what new trends or techniques pop up over the coming months.
Give your customers what they want, before they’re your customers.
In 2017, consumers made it clear that they want to be educated and served, not sold. Businesses that struggled to gain traction or keep market share over the past year didn’t prioritize service in their strategy. To reap the most benefit from your marketing strategy, focus on authentically providing the type of content and information that your potential customer is already seeking. Serve people before they’re your customers, and they will seek you out when they’re ready to buy — no hard sell required.
Focus on ROI.
Success in 2018 will be about spending smarter, not spending more. Though business leaders are preparing for a market correction in 2018, consumer optimism is still high. Companies can ride the wave of consumer optimism and experience growth in 2018 if they work to gain a better understanding of ROI and cost of acquisition. Know what it’s costing you to gain each new customer and leverage the techniques that produce the greatest ROI. Let the other techniques go.
Target the right demographic.
The best way to recession-proof your business is to attract the right kind of customers. The right customers want to: a) buy, b) buy from you, and c) buy at the price you’ve stated. Ensure you’re targeting the correct demographic (i.e. the customers you truly want not just whoever shows up because of your marketing). Be selective about whom you’re serving and remember that authenticity will create the sustainable relationships that will enable your business to profit, even during less profitable times.
Have the tenacity to stick it out.
Content marketing produced better results in 2017 than in past years, and that trend will continue throughout 2018. However, better results take longer. The key to harnessing content marketing for ROI is patience. It takes, on average, 14 interactions for today’s customers to make a purchase. The key to leveraging content marketing is to focus on serving your target market through the content, and let them purchase when they are ready. The days of “getting” someone to buy from your brand through advertising are over. Serve your target market by sharing value-added content. The ROI will come. Persistence produces results.
Learn to integrate distribution channels effectively.
Consumers don’t come through expected channels anymore. They come through whatever channel speaks to them. Content marketing that focuses on serving the customer, not selling the company, is an ideal avenue for integration. Combine distribution channels into a single marketing campaign, and then measure the ROI results of that campaign to find what’s working for you and your market. Knowing what you spent on each program (not channel) and how many unique customers you received for that expenditure will enable you to shift your marketing dynamically in order to see continued growth throughout 2018.