Marketing trends are always in motion. What’s popular one month becomes a thing of the past as new social media platforms emerge, technologies develop and audience preferences change. While marketers can feel drawn to the latest and greatest, a disciplined marketing professional first knows and implements the basics. With 2020 approaching, take time to review your marketing best practices and take note of marketing trends to see where your strategies might need a refresh.
Mind the research and data
There are several marketing best practices that should be in every company’s toolkit, the most important of which includes knowing your competitive landscape, researching your customers and tracking data. These tried and true basics work across businesses, industries and company sizes as the foundation for great marketing.
Knowing how your company differs from your competitive set is the basis for any effective marketing plan. Performing a SWOT analysis will help you understand how your product or service is unique and how it provides customers with something your competitors do not.
Speaking of customers, do you really know yours? A good marketer researches to understand the details of their target customer and reassesses that information each year as consumers and their preferences change. A key piece of this process includes mapping the customer journey, which illustrates how your ideal customer goes from knowing nothing about your business to making a purchase.
In addition to knowing competitors and customers, good marketers obsessively track and analyze data. Setting goals and measuring performance against them empowers marketers to understand what is working and what is not while allowing for course correction during campaigns.
Work to diversify
Video is king for the foreseeable future, but that does not mean it is a fit for your brand. Unseasoned marketing pros may chase big trends, such as video, and invest all of their time and budget in that space. But an experienced marketer works to understand the many different messaging channels and uses their customer research and journey mapping to implement the best strategies for the brand and budget.
Personalization, personalization, personalization
2020 and beyond will be the era of personalization. Today’s consumers demand authentic brands and individualized experiences. Host a launch event where team members or brand advocates can communicate directly with customers. Use social media to conduct one-on-one conversations. Leverage micro-influencers who can deliver tailored messages to engaged audiences. No matter how personalization works best for your brand, be sure it is a part of your strategy.
Paid, earned, shared and owned
The PESO model is the modern standard of current-day marketing and public relations. Rather than relying solely on earned coverage through media relations, the PR experts on your marketing team should implement strategies in the paid, earned, shared and owned spaces. Paying for well-placed bylined articles and maintaining a blog on your company’s websites are just two examples of ways your marketing team can execute the PESO model to create more robust campaigns featuring multiple consumer touchpoints.
As 2020 nears, this is a great time to take stock of some of the up-and-coming marketing opportunities for your business. However, avoid being tempted by the allure of what’s new at the expense of tried and true fundamentals. A commitment to marketing basics helps create a solid foundation on which to build successful marketing strategies for many years to come.
Jackie Wright is the president of Rainmaker Integrated, a public relations and marketing firm with a specialization in restaurant, retail, hospitality, multifamily housing and niche healthcare.