So… we’re six months into 2019 and all of those marketing tricks and tips often become obsolete in no time- so it’s time for a mid-year check-in on the tools, from us “insiders” in the business.
I often get asked about BUILDING BILLION or MILLION DOLLAR BRANDS as we’ve been fortunate to have handled a few- PROACTIV ACNE SKIN CARE SOLUTIONS, VIVISCAL, FLAWLESS FINISHING TOUCH, P90x, SHAMWOW, TAE BO, DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB…and others our company and/or industry have seen grow into massive monstrosities in the marketing world.
Products are never just products. COCA-COLA is more than a soda. STARBUCKS or TIM HORTONS are more than just coffee. FENTI is more than a tube of concealer. WE-THE-NORTH is currently more than just apparel and merchandise. Interacting with these products provide experiences, and we buy them with that experience in mind. Better yet, the companies that create and market them know exactly the experience they want you to have when you make (or consider) a purchase. That’s why we create brands.
Your brand is one of your most important assets. It gives you an identity that makes it memorable, encourages consumers to buy from you (with confidence) and supports your marketing and advertising initiatives.
Standing out from the crowd means getting creative sometimes in order to cut through the clutter.
Marketing continues to change over time and each month we literally see new trends- what may have worked for you and your company/product/service in 2017, 2018 and the beginning of 2019 may not work today. Principals and fundamentals don’t change, but the manner in which we market drastically has.
If you’d like to stay current with our marketing practices, to attract eyeballs, foot traffic or brand awareness let alone revenue, these are MARKETING MUST-HAVES FOR 2019.
- KNOW YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE / TARGET AUDIENCE OR DEMOGRAPHIC (Survey Monkey can be your best friend here) – tell your origin story or elevator pitch and rehearse it so you’re always focused on what makes you, YOU.
- RESEARCH YOUR COMPETITION and how you differentiate i.e., your unique selling proposition and advantages.
- DEVELOP A GO TO MARKET
STRATEGY BASED ON THAT RESEARCH
- Mission Statement
- Define your features, values, benefits
- Plan what visual assets you need
- Determine a budget
- Research service providers who can help- those that are free within your family circle and those that you must pay for, referred by people you know or who have had success with certain partners.
- AD COPY – create content that’s a mix of self-created origin story/ad copy and third-party generated content – this creates relatable content that customers will more likely gravitate to
- VIDEO FOOTAGE – including video in an email lead, landing page or advertising campaign increases conversion rates by 75% – 80% depending on the price point/category- it helps to tell your story with or without words, with or without music.
- INTERACTIVE OR 360 VIDEO CONTENT – everyone from the massive corporations to ‘mompreneurs’ or start-ups and social influencers from 4 to 24 years of age use video in social media, on websites, blogs/vlogs etc. The idea started with wanting to increase engagement with customers versus regular video. There is a 90% chance people will finish watching a 360-degree video and ultimately give you a higher rate of return on your investment – 360 videos have a click-through rate about 9 or 10 times greater than traditional videos so if it’s possible or applicable or within budget, it’s a marketing must for 2019 / 2020.
- PUT YOUR BRANDING TO WORK – Once you finish designing and creating your new brand (or rebrand) integrate it throughout every inch of your business. Pay extra attention to ensure its displayed anywhere your business touches customers so the identity is reinforced – whether it’s your logo, colour palette, font style or imagery and style, ensure its consistently included in all of your messaging whether it’s online, in print, on the radio or wherever you choose to make your presence known. Think of NIKE’s “swoosh”. No need for the word NIKE at all to know what the symbol means.
- SEM – SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING – while it’s important to lean on experts, it’s equally important to have internal capabilities to continue what they have started
- EVENTS, TRADESHOWS, CONFERENCES, WEBINARS to continue learning whether your product/service is in demand – even in our digital age, nothing beats attending live events (as long as they are relevant to your product/service) – leads can lead to other leads and ultimately networks of potential clients or services or customers – look for councils or associations that provide annual or occasional access to distinct communities. Membership in these groups provide endless networking opportunities to build upon.
- PUBLIC RELATIONS / PRESS RELEASES – showcase your company, mission or vision and announce something newsworthy to create brand awareness or stay relevant – lots of publications are free to send PR to so take advantage of them along with influencers in your field or category.
- CHATBOTS– according to stats, 1.4 billion people interact with them each year. 80% of companies are already using them or planning to by 2020. Implementing LIVE CHATS provide better customer service and an overall customer experience that’s customized and more important than ever in the customer journey. LIVE CHAT makes it 3 to 4 times more likely that customers will complete their purchase process and likely leave a good review later on.
- IGTV – operated by Instagram – this standalone app means vertical videos and made specifically for mobile phones – Instagram has seen the biggest rise in social media so marketers will need to adjust their video content and marketing strategies to tailor for IG. If your target audience and current customers are using IGTV, you will need to, if you want the capture eyeballs and fingers or clicks.😊
- ENHANCED PERSONALIZED RECOMMENDATIONS – artificial intelligence algorithms (scary I know) are making it possible to offer more personalized content than ever before – it’s like social stalking but you can increase your brand awareness and ultimately sales by personalizing the customer experience. This is not new but the accuracy is heightened (now in 2019) and there’s a rise in customers willing to share personal data if they can benefit from a more personalized journey.
- FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM ADS – paid social media ads are not new but trends are changing. Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat seem to be fading while FB and IG are holding strong and trending upward for paid ads.
- BEACON TECHNOLOGY – similar to GPS but not as complex. Marketers are leveraging this technology to target customers, especially in retail stores or vicinity-driven locations close to key footprints relevant. Once the app is installed, customer locations can be tracked and companies or businesses know exactly where the customer is in store. Promotions can be targeted via a push notification that’s related to what they might be looking for. You can place beacons in public places relevant to your product/service offering.
- MOBILE PAYMENTS – if you’re not already offering this service, you’ll affect the sale in some cases. So it’s critical to migrate to this when possible.
- AMAZON – let’s not forget the biggest platform in the world for product presence. However, ensure you have IP protection, where possible (Trademark registered) and video content if you want more legitimacy on the page to entice customers to buy. Managing customer reviews and doing what you can to list with good key words and search-words is critical to getting to that front page.
From the language in your Instagram caption to the colour palette on your landing page to the material (fuss-free or environmentally friendly) used in your packaging, companies or individuals who create strong brands know that their brand needs to live everywhere. They know their names extend far beyond the label or logo alone. It’s about impressions, building trust with the customer and knowing how to tell your story through more than just words.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
– Warren Buffett
Nicole Andani, Vice President, International Sales & Marketing - Global Brand Launches, Consultant, Writer, Speaker, Mentor Northern Response International Ltd. Email: Nicole@nresponse.com