Relevancy is everything in today’s marketing landscape. Things move at lightning speed in the digital world, so what worked for your business last year may not be very effective anymore.
Failing to adapt to change and sticking to the status quo can bring certain death to a business. For example, Kodak was once a powerful brand that controlled 90% of the United States’ film market in the 1970s. However, they never adjusted their marketing message and relied on old strategies to keep them afloat. Kodak failed to realize that customer’s priorities change. Today, consumers are interested in the actual story of a business, in addition to their product. Kodak failed to adapt to the changing priorities and nearly had to shut its doors after it declared bankruptcy, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “Having a Kodak moment.”
Unfortunately, many marketing teams can get stuck in their ways when it comes to tactics. Only six out of ten marketers believe that their strategies are actually effective, and a quarter of teams report that their organization is resistant towards change, especially when it comes to embracing technology.
Are there any warning signs that your brand’s marketing methods are in need of a modern makeover?
Let’s talk about the big ones to look for.
1. You don’t back up decisions with self-curated data
Most marketers understand the need for data to drive their strategies. Whether it’s researching the best time to post on social media or identifying the topics that are trending in the industry, some level of data is necessary to make the right marketing decisions. However, the quality and source of this data can make all the difference.
Relying on generalized information that may or may not be totally relevant to your niche can lead to mistakes and misguided efforts. For example, if your team uses data reports that collect market research from the entire country, the results may not be totally accurate for the state in which your company does business. And yet, 88% of companies still rely on third-party data, rather than gathering their own insights.
Instead, your brand should be placing emphasis on self-curated data that comes directly from your own customers or specific niche. While 59% of marketing teams understand the importance and benefits of data, only 39% are actually using insights collected from their own customers to drive their strategies.
Machine learning business intelligence systems can be of great assistance here. Not only can they help you understand your customer’s better by gathering important datasets, but they can also support better business decisions. For instance, when you are building the marketing team itself, recruiting tool Harver uses AI technology to determine the essential qualities and skills needed to ensure the success of a new hire. It creates analytical reports based on personalized assessments for each candidate. These assessments are designed to gauge things like situational judgment, communication skills, problem-solving ability, and more. From here, the system uses predictive analytics to determine company match potential.
Throughout the entire scope of marketing, data-driven decision making is essential for eliminating the guesswork and helps drive better results.
2. You only offer blanketed personalization
The idea of personalization is fairly straightforward: it’s creating a unique experience that is specific to the individual based on their preferences and needs. However, lots of brands seem to miss the mark when they try to offer personalization to their audience.
Customers expect personalized experiences with every brand interaction. The level of personalization must be deeper than the surface level. 44% of customers react negatively when a brand’s website makes no effort to personalize for them. They are far more likely to buy from businesses that do make this effort, either by recognizing them or providing personalized recommendations.
If your business relies on generalizations or offers no personalization whatsoever, now is the time to change. Again, self-curated data is the key to providing this kind of experience. However, integrating it does require a smart technology system. Once more, AI assistance is especially helpful for not only gathering the personal information needed to provide customization but also seamlessly integrating it into your team’s marketing strategies.
For example, AI enabled POS systems can gather data on customer shopping habits to send personalized shopping recommendations, cross-sell items, or special offers based on the customer’s previous purchases. A little personalization can really go a long way with a customer, as long as it’s relevant. By using AI tech, you ensure that everything is tailored exactly to your customer’s preferences.
3. Your social media is only promotional
Social media is a great way to connect with customers, but it can be an instant turn off for them as well. Sadly, many brands treat social media platforms as another advertising space, like a billboard or TV time slot to blast their marketing messages. While social media advertising is certainly effective, promotion should never be its sole purpose. In fact, nearly half of social media users will unfollow your brand if the messages are overly promotional.
Customers tend to have a totally different perspective on social media. It’s a place for them to express themselves and communicate with their friends and family. Therefore, they expect brands to be more human-like. 35% of customers have reached out to brands through social media to voice a concern or ask a question, and businesses who engage in social conversations report up to 40% higher revenue.
Design your social media strategies around engagement, rather than promotion. For example, ask your customers their opinions, invite them to participate in polls or contests, or share interesting content about your business that isn’t just an ad.
Today, social media is about engaging and conversing with your audience in a personal way. Using it solely as a channel to spout promotions and flashy deals will make it incredibly tough to build real relationships that lead to sales.
4. Your content marketing is text-heavy
While long-form articles are certainly necessary to supplement a hearty content marketing strategy, a constant barrage of super textual pieces can be quite disengaging to some customers. The thing is that many customers don’t have the desire (or the time) to read these long pieces.
Most brands focus on text-heavy content in their strategies. 82% produce case studies, 81% post blog articles, and 79% write content pieces for their website. Of course, these are excellent for SEO, but that does not necessarily make them the most engaging.
The truth is that your audience doesn’t want text content only. 80% of consumers would prefer a video to a blog post about a product, and infographics have 54% higher engagement rates than long articles.
Remember, content marketing does not refer specifically to written content. Videos, visuals, infographics, and even podcasts can be excellent additions that will boost engagement.
An outdated marketing strategy can have an adverse effect on your efforts. Ignoring the trends and shifts in the market will lead to the kind of irrelevancy that may be impossible to bounce back from. If your brand is guilty of any of these old-school mistakes, make it a point to adjust and get with the times before it’s too late.
Guest author: Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.