In an increasingly saturated space, it’s never been more important to make sure that your marketing strategy is first impactful, and second personalised.
The truth is that it’s a buyer’s market. It doesn’t matter your product or service, your target market has the upper hand – and that’s kind of exciting. It’s time for brands to woo…to take risks for big rewards and to innovate with their target market’s enjoyment in mind. Brands need to be after that big “Yes” from their customers in 2017, and work hard to get it.
Analytics have never been more important
How are you going to understand and accurately appeal to your target audience if you don’t have enough data on them? Gone are the days where half your advertising budget was wasted (and you never knew which half) – now you should be keeping an eye on whose interest you’re piquing, when, how, and if you’re eliciting the right reaction from them.
All the data is automatically captured now, either through the platform you’re using, or through a third party tool. If you’re not taking advantage of this fact, then not only are you doing your brand a huge disservice, but also giving all your competitors a ridiculously good advantage.
Understand your target audience as far as you can so that you can deliver exactly what they are looking for, at just the moment when they are looking for it – you’ll soon get to the point in your relationship where they are so used to associating the right moments or needs with your brand that you won’t have to work as hard to stay top-of-mind.
All communication needs to be interactive and visual
So you’ve discovered where your target market is and want to serve them content that will grab their attention. This is becoming increasingly difficult, with each year seeing audiences leaning closer and closer to wanting to be part of the action.
About 4 years ago, simple text statuses had the furthest reach and greatest engagement (mainly because data was very expensive and people where scared to lose it all loading images), but for the past 2 years, photos have won out over all other forms of content – signalling the start of brands needing to use proper content marketing to draw their audience in and entertain them, rather than simply inform them.
And in 2017? Video content is already on the rise and will only become progressively the order of the day from here on out, as people expect experiences from their favourite brands. Want to be properly innovative though? Integrate augmented reality or virtual reality into your strategy for the coming year – our audiences are no longer sitting back in their chairs, they want to live the content.
Real life will blend with digital (IoT)
What is IRL and what is digital? The line is blurring and hopefully it becomes even further smudged out in 2017. We have wearable tech tracking our every movement, apps that allow us to catch Pokemon in the world around us and adverts served to us on Facebook based on conversations we’ve only had out loud (tell me you haven’t?). You can fight it, or embrace it, but the digital world has begun to stitch itself perfectly into the physical world and has opened it up wider than ever before.
Expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to come increasingly closer to home in 2017, as innovative brands take on the task of breathing digital life into their products and services.
Social Buying will become a thing
Much like how the boundaries between the digital and the physical are breaking down, so is the segmentation within the web itself. Why lead your customers from one platform to the next to purchase something you showed them on the first one, but could only sell them on the next? Allow them to complete their customer journey quickly and succinctly wherever they are.
Remember, it’s all about the customer’s convenience of experience. People don’t want to have to click away from where they are and what they’re doing, especially on mobile. If they can see an item they like and buy it right there and then, brands are going to see those profits rise.
Currently, an important part of analytics for e-commerce sites is figuring out where you’re losing your customers who aren’t making it completely through the checkout process. The fewer steps to purchase, and the more options of how to purchase, the higher the likelihood of completed orders.
We’ve already seen Pinterest and Facebook flirt with social buying options, with Instagram starting to join the fray as well – it won’t be long before we can’t remember when we couldn’t conduct e-commerce on our social platforms.
Get personal (It’s ALL about your target market)
A brand that seems to understand and care about their audience is one that garners loyalty – ignore this and you might soon start to notice your brand’s conversation becoming very one-sided.
Consumers have figured just how much information you have on them at your fingertips, and because of that they want something back. Most tech-savvy customers will be willing to part with information if it means an improved and more personalised experience from their favourite brands.
Also, personalising a customer’s experience over simply targeting them with creepy accuracy will elicit a far more positive reaction and ultimately higher profits. Your target market are no longer nameless faceless LSMs, but individuals with interests and habits that should be informing your marketing strategy from its foundations.
TL:DR: 2017 is all about using the technology at your disposal to create personalised experiences to draw your audience in and increase profits.