Part One (I know attention spans are low these days)
We have already shared the importance of digital marketing during 2020. In this article we will touch on what you should be doing through the end of the year and looking into 2021. Because we have been focused on what is currently happening in our world, we have had to learn to pivot our marketing quickly to continue to make impact and reach customers. But we also need to look into the future, I know it is hard with all the uncertainty that is happening – but we must push through and plan for the future.
In this blog we will look at what we feel are the trends that you need to incorporate into your marketing strategy through the end of 2020 and into the 2021 new year. These are of course predictions, but we feel strong that we are laser-focused on what will make an impact now and in the future. For example, marketing professionals could have never predicted the world as we know it and the changes in marketing that took place over the last six months, but we learned quickly and made the necessary changes and suggestions to keep moving forward. No one knows for sure the future of marketing, but only looking at the present will not get you where you want to be as you look at your potential growth.
There are some key take-aways from this article that we want you to leave with:
-Customer Service, Employee Engagement and Content Visualization are the key areas that you should be focused on.
-The idea of marketing and what that means in constantly changing.
-Marketing is not just about branding and advertising, like we have said for years…you MUST work with other departments to create an amazing customer experience and retention.
–Having a key leadership person to “drive your bus” that understands marketing and has the ability to move swiftly and keep up with the marketing changes and trends is crucial, do not try and do yourself if you are focused on operating your business. It could be disastrous.
#1 Trend that cannot be ignored: You MUST provide EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE. Customer’s expectations are more intense and you have to be ready to bring the experience seamlessly and with well trained staff. If you can provide top notch customer service, your marketing will fall into place.
Be sure you are 100% customer focused, from quick responses to questions and comments on social media to being available to assist with personalized messaging that is coordinated with sales/marketing teams and your front line staff. Remember, it is always the year of the customer! And now more than ever it needs to be your focus. How can you help?
Good customer experience will look different from business to business, however, there are always key components that can be tailored to a specific industry. These components include: efficiency, convenience, knowledgeable and friendly service, and easy payment options. Sounds pretty simple – now go make it happen!
#2 Trend is a well-trained, knowledgeable team to deliver that amazing customer service. Providing good customer service ultimately will fall on your employees. We have all experienced bad customer service where it seems the employee(s) just don’t care. In order to be sure that your employees are providing the level of service you want, there needs to be engagement with your employees and empowerment to solve problems.
You want your employees to want your business to succeed as much as you do. You need them to buy into the brand and the company culture. You need to treat your employees like your most important customers. Creating and having happy, engaged employees is how you will succeed! If you have happy employees – you have live, active billboards out selling your brand for you. Win. Win. But how do we make our employees happy?
–TRAINING. Not just training to do their specific job, but training that will grow them as an employee and help them move up the business ladder. An employee that feels they are being invested in, will always feel more appreciated and respected as a person.
–Get your team involved in creating posts, blogs, taking photos and videos, creating white papers and any other marketing collateral. GIve them an opportunity to shine.
–Social Media posting. Allow your employees to post about your company and brag about the service and/or product, and even the company culture on their personal social outlets. It is proven that leads through their personal channels are higher than lead conversion from your company channels. Plus, there is much greater engagement on their personal channels, at a tune of up to 10% more than the company.
#3 Trend is still VISUAL. It is important to continue to be creative and understand the visual content is still king. If you put out information that is all text vs information that includes creative, visual components – it is no brainer which one will perform better…visual for sure. So even though there is information that you would like to get out that includes facts, figures or explanations – you need the visual piece to raise the bar.