November 3, 2016  |  by Brianna McKinney

Marketing your business or nonprofit successfully requires staying on top of emerging industry trends, and incorporating them into your own strategy. Here are 4 marketing shifts to think about as you’re planning for 2017.

#1: Hyper-Personalization

In the data-driven world of today, consumers expect brands and companies to know everything about them. People have become accustomed to companies creating personal experiences for them, and now this personal touch is considered normal and is expected. In order to keep up with consumer expectations, it’s a smart business move to keep your own customer relationship management (CRM) database in order to learn from past consumer purchase behavior. Basic CRM databases are very simple to keep up with—you simply input information about your customers to build consumer profiles. By creating a rich CRM database, it will become easier to recognize consumer trends and opinions, and make hyper-personalization easy.

#2: Prioritize Mobile

As modern consumers become more and more mobile-driven, it is of the utmost importance to have a mobile strategy. Make sure your website is responsive, easily navigable, and optimized for usability. This is especially important for search engine optimization (SEO). Google searches on mobile are increasing, if not completely exceeding desktop searches. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it affects the rankings on Google, which ultimately decreases overall web traffic to your site.

#3: Shift from Multi to Omni

The marketing industry as a whole has shifted from multi-channel marketing to omni-channel marketing. While they are certainly both marketing “buzz words” the distinction is important to understand. Multi-channel marketing was all about how corporate brands want to communicate the message to the consumer. The communications were all about the brand. Omni-channel marketing, what the industry has shifted to today, is about businesses providing a seamless experience to the consumer wherever they are—on all of their devices. Omni puts the consumer first. A company’s physical store, website, mobile app, catalogs, and social media outlets should all provide the same experience from a consumer-first viewpoint.

#4: Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is coming into play big time right now. It is a young area of marketing, and marketers are just now starting to grasp the concept. It is particularly useful in lead nurturing campaigns. Once you provide educational information to a consumer, you have to somehow follow up with them. You have to continue the personalized experience, and can’t just forget about the prospective lead after you reach out for the first time. You also can’t try to sell them your product or service after just one communication. It is almost like dating—when a prospect visits your website for the first time, that prospect has barely just met your brand and may have signed up for your email newsletter out of pure curiosity. If you bombard them with ads and phone calls right after, they may perceive that as being pushy, resulting in a negative attitude toward your brand. Instead, you must delicately and consistently remind them that you are there, and strategically entice the customers to want to buy your goods or sign up for your service. This way, when they’re ready to purchase, your brand will be top of mind.

Keep these trends in mind when crafting your organization’s marketing tech strategy for 2017!
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