2017 marketing trends to keep SMEs ahead of the pack


2017 marketing trends to keep SMEs ahead of the pack

Marketing is an everchanging practice, where adaptation and development can either make or break a business.

Understanding and implementing current marketing trends is crucial to success, as it allows business owners to stay at the top of their respective industry and ensures objectives are achieved. Here I share the top marketing trends SMEs need to look out for and adopt this year.

1 Native and live videos

Video-based advertising campaigns are now the new frontier of product promotion. With videos flooding the feeds of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users worldwide, marketers need to adapt and evolve with this trend. Video is now on track to be the answer to many business goals this year, whether you’re looking to increase customer reach, leads or sales.

Short videos, particularly those that are part of a series have become popular among audiences as they are easy to digest. Live streaming and 360 degree videos have both been successful as the immersive experiences enable customer engagement. It’s crucial to integrate videos in all marketing campaigns as they connect with online customers immediately and the message is often a lot more memorable than static words in a newsfeed.

2 Make personalisation a priority

It’s no industry secret that consumers want to be interacted with on a personal level and the quality of their customer experience is dependent on this aspect. Customers are seeking a service that continually treats them as a priority.

Personalisation means segmenting your content to reach different audiences based on their preferences, habits and demographics. It also means customising your content accordingly, not only in the form of what offers you promote but also in terms of content designed to help or benefit your audience. If you share posts or videos that cover the benefits and features of certain products, is the selection of products random or according to what is popular with your customers? One-to-one marketing is also becoming accessible to small businesses, with mobile apps being a good platform on which to begin testing it. In a world of too much content and not enough time, personalisation is a huge win for brands looking to earn consumers’ attention.

3 Embrace the ‘Internet of Things’

The development of the internet has established a level of interconnectivity that is unprecedented to any other previous technological advancements.

The Internet of Things is the integration of physical devices and a computer-based system. It elaborates on the concept of limitless connectivity between internet devices. This year, the Internet of Things is expected to leverage the power of billions of connected devices – a marketer’s dream.

Sensors, TVs, beacons and more are all producing useful data, which means this trend is opening doors for branders and marketers to integrate with the everyday lives of consumers. The marketing implications of this concept are endless, with interaction not only limited to person to person, but now also between things and people and vice versa. Through expanding the way you use the internet and its connectivity abilities, you can gain the competitive advantage over other businesses.

4 Lead generation engine

Lead generation involves stimulating and obtaining consumer interest in a product or service and ultimately gaining inquiries as a result. A lead generation engine collects these inquiries to produce a valuable and efficient way of enhancing the way firms interpret customers. Generating quality leads is the top marketing challenge of marketers, so it is imperative to be a business that excels in it. The more leads that are generated, the more prospective customers a business will have, meaning ongoing marketing efforts will have a greater reach and this will help improve ROI. Marketing is all about finding new and creative ways to reach potential customers and capture their attention. Producing a lead generation engine could give you the innovative edge you’ve been seeking.

5 Influencer marketing

With the exponential upsurge of social media usage over recent years, the capabilities and marketing potential of platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have grown dramatically. Social media juggernauts also known as ‘influencers’ have revolutionised the way marketing and product placement is conducted on social media. Influencer marketing gives brands the opportunity to create word-of-mouth buzz.

Before using any influencer marketing platforms, define your brand’s goals, intended audience and compile guidelines which specify what you would like influencers to focus on and mention.

When influencers are used effectively, they establish credibility for the brand and create natural ways to reach niche target markets. Influencer marketing has seen an increasing number of receptive consumers as they tend to trust recommendations from thought leaders, and therefore are more likely to purchase a product or use a service.

Matt Daunt is CEO of the end-to-end creative marketing solution agency, The Certainty Principle. The senior leadership team has a combined 60+ years of experience.

The Certainty Principle is a full service Creative Marketing Solutions Agency designed to provide all businesses a level of marketing certainty usually only enjoyed by large scale enterprises. Expert strategic, analytic, creative and media buying services across all channels are offered – paid, earned, owned and shared – at a fixed price.