LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.
Search engine optimization, social media, mobile marketing, gamification, relationship marketing, influence marketing, and content marketing.
Every year, as new technologies and social channels explode on to the market, new marketing trends and “best practices” are developed to take advantage of them.
New “must have” strategies that promise to deliver the elusive marketing return on investment are touted.
Hype is built around each new strategy and technique by early adopters and bloggers starved for fresh content and proof points of their expertise in a differentiated market.
As a result, each becomes the default “new marketing,” complete with conferences, books, articles, videos, and podcasts claiming to be experts in the field and thus, fueling the vicious cycle.
Personally, I’ve never bought into any of the hype. I’ve maintained my position as an old-school marketer, focused on the customer.
My first filter and strategy has always been to learn more about the customers, improve their experience with the brand, and move them along the purchase life cycle – from awareness to purchase to advocacy.
Now, as the co-author of a business book entitled Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing, I understand the irony in that last paragraph. So before everyone jumps to the comments to call me out, I’m calling myself out.
While I’m the first to yell “hype!” with each new social technology and trend, I’m also a realist. There’s a role for a deep dive exploration and debate on each marketing strategy du-jour.
The challenge seems to be keeping each in perspective. They’re not “new marketing ” They’re simply another tactic to help a business’s branding and sales efforts.
There have been enough blogs and articles written to persuade you that each new platform and strategy listed above is merely a tactic or execution of marketing and not “new marketing” at all.
If you’ve not been convinced yet – and think that content marketing (or other) is THE way to build a business today – you’ll never be convinced. And I’m not going to continue that struggle (although I’d suggest you find a new profession).
The New Marketing Trend You Must Pay Attention To
What I will share with you is an observation. I have studied, documented, and experimented with each new channels and marketing trend during my career.
I’ve been lucky enough to do so across different silos within corporations, from customer service to human resources, and from marketing to sales. And what I’ve discovered is that there is a marketing trend that we should be focusing on and that might very well be the new marketing.
What is it? The answer is rather simple: Whatever traditional or digital channel you embrace and whatever strategy and tactic you plan within it, the one consistent requirement is the need for speed. It’s a common theme evolving with each new iteration of must-adopt technology and social network.
Having a sense of urgency in whatever communication channel and strategy you deploy is of utmost importance. Consumers, employees, and stakeholders, as well as the media, are no longer searching for information; it finds them. And when information is placed in our path, we’re less inclined to go looking for it or to search for additional data points.
Further, consumers have more options than ever before to create and share content and product reviews, which exert influence over consumer purchase decisions and affect the ranking of your brand’s position in search engines and in public opinion. We’re so hyper-connected to multiple global and local social graphs that no business can afford to not be “real-time.”
Push- or pull-marketing? Doesn’t matter, it has to be real-time.
Real-time Software Support
How do you get real-time? Not surprisingly, we turn to technology. Consider:
- Listening software such as BrandWatch, Sysomos, Trendrr or ViralHeat to track real-time conversations and sentiment.
- Analytics software such as Pulse Analytics, Adobe Site Catalyst, Appinions or Spout Social to analyze issues and trends bubbling up from those conversations and alert the appropriate personnel within your organization.
- Communication software such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Jungoo to better manage out-bound communications with various audiences and channels.
- Social relationship management software such as OneQube or Nimble to manage real-time relationships with all your stakeholders.
- Internal social networking platforms such as Jive or Yammer to speed up internal communication, processes, and decision-making to meet the expectations of external stakeholders.
Of course, without a corporate culture that embraces the operational and human resource changes required to become real-time, no amount of technology will have a significant impact on the bottom line. In fact, it will only serve to frustrate personnel and processes, which will result in a negative impact on the bottom line (but that’s the topic of an upcoming blog post).
Is the importance of “real-time marketing” understated or overstated here? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego
Image: Wikimedia Commons, licensed via Creative Commons