Over the past few years, we’ve seen tremendous changes in the way we do everything from business to social outings, and events. So what about Marketing? What has changed, and what will marketing look like in the near future? Since we are only a few weeks into a new year, I wanted to write about what the current state and subsequent future of marketing will look like. Hopefully, this blog will give you some insight into the things you are currently doing well, and maybe some additional ways that you can optimize your current marketing dollars and efforts.
The biggest shift that I have seen is the shift to digitally automated tools. Pandemic-related policies have forced many to explore tools and process shifts that include more and more technology-based solutions. For one, this is a great shift that needed to happen. More and more people have been exposed to the time-saving benefits and organizational opportunities that digital tools bring. However, changes to business tools can make previous internal processes outdated. Seeing this shift taking place has only highlighted the need for sales and marketing to work collaboratively. Digital marketing and sales have to speak the same language, and processes have to be tightened so that opportunities don’t fall by the wayside. Our agency has helped numerous clients improve their tech stacks, while also helping them place improved processes and guardrails to get their sales and marketing teams aligned like never before.
Now, what does that look like? For most, this shift is typically identified through our sales process. Typically clients start by identifying the needs for a website upgrade and then soon realize that a lot of the other tools we recommend can easily be implemented at the same time, and provide immense benefits. Our agency has been a HubSpot partner for almost a decade, and we love to help companies who are looking to upgrade their sales CRM, marketing automation, or inbound and content marketing. HubSpot is our preferred partner because of their combined “Hub of products” that help companies combine and align their sales, marketing, and service departments. I could write for hours about why it’s great, but if you would like to learn more, feel free to read some of our other blogs about the benefits of HubSpot for business here or reach out and I’d be happy to tell you more.
The next most important area I’ve identified about marketing Nowadays is the need for digital visibility. We’ve realized rather quickly that if your organization doesn’t have a strong digital presence, you run the risk of losing out on opportunities to grow. Fostering a strong digital presence isn’t something that can happen quickly or something where you can cut corners. The benefits that you see companies enjoying come from years of effort and investment. Time and time again I talk to business owners or executives who want results quickly. Simply put, the opportunities to increase leads and drive traffic aren’t something we can turn on and off unless it includes pay-per-click advertising, which can be costly at times. True organic visibility–which in my eyes, is the most important–is a culmination of months of effort, tactical investment in content marketing, and usually working with a strong digital partner to ensure success. The best time to start investing in inbound marketing efforts is now. It takes time to reap the rewards, but the longer you take to get started, the further you are away from enjoying the growth.
What's Next for Marketing?
Now, where is marketing going? We’ve seen digital become more important than ever, but just going through the motions with digital marketing efforts isn’t enough. I personally get boring marketing emails numerous times a day. There is a common thread of “we need to do this because x competitor is doing it” going on. Simply sending a monthly email to your prospects may help some, but in my eyes, it’s not enough. In 2022, the most effective marketing efforts are going to be well thought out, creative ideas that really gather attention. Does your marketing follow a creative theme? Is it something that people actually want to read or just another boring industry article? I think the companies that take strategic risks in their communications and employ effort will be the ones that come out as winners. So my advice, get creative and make sure your marketing isn’t a snooze fest.
Automation and technology usually translates to increased speed. The information age has conditioned most of us to expect speed. If your organization isn’t investing in technology and automation, you may be getting beat by competitors that are faster. By providing digital information that is accurate and quick, you’ll impress and entice prospects to gather the information they need in a more helpful manner. We know this helps increase your odds of them making the decision to buy from you versus a competitor, and why we recommend this investment. The companies that provide helpful and relevant content at the pace at which their prospects want it, will be the true winners.
Personalized communications are another growing trend that I see only increasing in use. Most automation tools now have the ability to utilize SMART content, and also list segmentation to ensure you are communicating the most personalized information to the correct audience. Wide casted nets of general content may perform at some rate, but when you really dial in your message to resonate with someone that has a particular pain point, your response rate and interaction with your content will dramatically increase. Looking at ways to improve personalization in your content will only continue in importance.
Ready to Get Started?
There are numerous other ways that marketing is changing in 2022, but these were a few of the trends that I’ve identified as a growing area of interest, as well as what I see with most of the companies I speak with lacking. If you have already started exploring how to implement these things with your organization, that’s great! If you haven’t and would like to learn more about how to get up to speed, I’m more than happy to chat!