With 2010 just around the corner many businesses will have started planning their marketing for the coming year. It is important to remember that when it comes to marketing planning, it’s never wise to adopt the ‘same as last year’ method – particularly as the industry is constantly evolving with new developments. So what are the key things you should be thinking about for next year?
Digital marketing is still having a big impact and will continue to challenge traditional marketing methods. With PR for example many media groups like the Financial Times or the Guardian now tend to break the news online while leaving their printed publications for commentary. This is quite simply due to the speed and immediacy of the web. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have for the first time allowed the general public an opportunity to self publish and create their own content online. Citizen journalists are on the rise, as we have seen from the Mumbai terrorist attack last year where news was first broken to the world from one of the hostages via Twitter.
Marketing should be perceived as a dialogue or two-way communication. You will never get anywhere just by shouting out your message in the hope that your target audience will hear it. By maintaining ongoing conversations, you will more successfully build brand awareness, while gaining valuable feedback on your products or services from the people who matter. A lot of hard work and effort will need to be put in, but by taking time to develop this relationship your customers will feel like they are truly valued.
Online advertising will continue to grow in popularity as it offers a wealth of potential customers who are actively searching for products and services. If targeted appropriately with a strong message and engaging creative, you can achieve highly positive results. It is also one of the most measurable and accountable mediums around.
Many businesses have now abandoned their printed newsletter in favour of an e-newsletter which proves far more cost-effective, environmentally friendly and goes straight into the inbox of a target prospect. Furthermore it allows connectivity with your website and encourages potential customers to find out more about your organisation while moving them towards that all important call to action.
Perhaps it would be a good time to sit down and evaluate how successful your marketing efforts have been over the past year. If you find you are doing those things simply because you always have done, it might be worth asking yourself what specific benefit they bring. Every activity you do needs to generate significant return on investment for it to be worthwhile.
A new year brings the perfect opportunity to get creative with your marketing and experiment with things you haven’t necessarily tried before. By pushing the boundaries and taking a bit of a risk, you may just be surprised at how well it pays off. In a competitive marketplace, it’s always important to keep trying to find innovative new ways to engage with your customers and potential customers.