If all of your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?

Looking over a cliff

More than once I’ve seen companies glom onto the latest marketing cure-all because they think it will change everything. More than once I’ve seen them fail because they haven’t considered its appropriateness for their business model or audience.

“but everyone else is doing it.”

If you’ve been in the marketing industry any length of time, you’ve witnessed the continuous arrival of new tactics, tools and strategies that can help maximize your impact—or, if applied blindly, become a trip down a costly rabbit hole. Social media. Search engine optimization. Marketing automation. Artificial intelligence. Purpose-driven marketing. The Internet of Things. All of these are great resources and indisputably effective…if and when they’re applied appropriately.

The key to success is not adopting every new approach, but adopting the right approaches and doing it properly. Before you take the leap, ask yourself these questions:

Is this tool/tactic/strategy appropriate for my business and my customer base?

Have I outlined my strategy for this approach and identified the expected outcomes?

Do I have the resources to implement and sustain this approach?

How will I know whether or not it is working?

what to start (or continue) doing in 2018

Below are a few sure bets where new or continued investment has high likelihood of paying off:

Purpose and story
Buyers are looking for opportunities to connect to a company, and to make choices that reflect their own values or ideals. This is especially important to younger consumers. As online shopping and marketing automation stand to make all purchasing experiences (both consumer and business-to-business) more faceless, more commoditized and less “special,” purpose and story provide customers a reason they can believe in for choosing you over your competitors.

Personalization and segmentation
Generic, mass marketing does not command the response rates that more personalized and targeted efforts generate. This requires commitment on your part to understanding your audience intimately—including developing customer personas and mapping buyers’ journeys. The information you gather will help ensure you are delivering the right message to the right people at the right time. And that’s important because…

Content, content, content
In a Smart Insights survey of 850 businesses around the world, content marketing topped the list with 20 percent of respondents citing it as the single marketing activity they expect to make the largest commercial impact on their business in 2018. Content marketing includes tactics like social media, blogs, email newsletters, ebooks, white papers, video, infographics and webinars. And the focus is on quality of publication, not quantity, so it’s important that it be done well.

If purpose, personalization and quality content creation are on your radar for 2018, let’s talk now. January will be here before you know it.

503.680.1279 or [email protected].

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