Is your marketing capitalizing on a fad, following a trend, or a tried-and-true method giving your business a step up among competitors? The first thing to know is that fads happen overnight, trends happen over time, and tried-and-true methods help to solve a problem, making them staples in a sound business marketing plan. Each strategy has its own unique benefits when done correctly.
Marketing fads disappear as quickly and mysteriously as they arrive, but when used wisely and leveraged with proper timing and frequency they can help put your company in the current spotlight. Examples include:
QR Codes – In 2013, only 19.1 percent of consumers had tried scanning a QR code. The problem with this fad is that users must download an application in order to scan the image. With this unnecessary added step, the QR code quickly became a dying fad. During their peak time they did offer versatility, acting like a link and leading the scanner anywhere the designer of the code desired. They were a fun fad for a short while, but are no longer relevant in today’s marketplace.
Automated Cross-Channel Social Posting – Originally a time-saving process, this entailed auto-posting messages to multiple platforms quickly and easily. However, different social networks serve different purposes and draw their own unique audiences. Therefore, the same message should not be posted everywhere; instead, messages should be tailored to each specific set of viewers to help your business stay current and relevant on each network.
Unlike fads, marketing trends develop more gradually over time and tend to be more of a process-improvement strategy that has legs to continue developing rather than quickly fade away, such as:
Mobile Optimization – As of 2015, 92% of adults owned a cell phone. The adoption of media usage on phones has increased over the past decade and doesn’t show signs of decreasing any time soon. Optimizing your website for mobile phone usage is no longer an option but a necessity; it even goes as far as ranking you higher in Google searches.
Interactivity – This is a great way for businesses to engage an audience while offering them information. To avoid becoming a fad, interactivity should be utilized to make a user’s experience easier and engaging. The goal is to personalize the experience to increase engagement and leave the consumer with a positive brand experience.
Crowdsourcing – This is a way for businesses to gather information from consumers for the purpose of enhancing their experience. This trend has grown more and more with the development of social media and the ability to engage with a brand online. This is an effective trend with staying power, because it puts control in the consumer’s hands and makes them a key part of the decision-making process.
Traditional and tested communication strategies aim to deliver customers or prospects with information on what your business has to offer that can make their lives better. Case in point:
Inbound – Draws the attention of your potential consumer via content before they are ready to purchase, making it one of the most successful and cost-effective ways to convert shoppers into buyers – content is truly king here! Inbound marketing – blogs, e-books, etc. – is consumer-driven, timely, and content-heavy, and often creates a two-way interaction between marketer and customer. Ultimately, it is the act of drawing customers to you by positioning you as the expert that can enhance their life in some way.
Outbound – Marketer-driven communication, meaning often delivered to or “at” the consumer. Outbound marketing has developed a reputation of being product-based, with a simple one-way interaction where the marketer is seeking the customer out instead of vice-versa. Think billboards and print ads to direct mail and trade shows.
Print – From post cards and branded letterheads to flyers and window decals, in this digital age print isn’t going anywhere. Print is engaging and gives the consumer palpable memories to draw from when they touch, feel and even smell a printed piece. It can be used to establish your brand and gain credibility by giving the consumer the ability to view it whenever they want.
Whether you prefer to jump on a fad, roll with the trends, or keep it tried and true, we can design your marketing plan to fit your business and budget. It’s good to have a team who’s got your back to make sure you don’t fall behind the fads or miss out on any new and upcoming trends, while pairing these efforts with the basics for a solid foundation to help grow your business in the right direction. Give us a call at 701.757.2000 or visit our website to learn more about who we are and what we do here at Stray Media Group.