How often do you audit your marketing strategy? If your company is like most, you don’t review it very regularly. At most, a business might reconsider their marketing once a year, but there is always a reluctance to change “how things have always been done.”
However, if you’re going to be successful, it’s vital to overcome resistance to change and ensure that your marketing plans are up-to-date and use the most effective and current strategies.
Life is continually changing, and that means consumer behavior and motivation change frequently as well. If your marketing doesn’t keep up, you’ll be left behind while more agile competitors thrive.
Why should you change your marketing strategies, and how can you implement these updates? Here’s what you need to know.
Reasons to Update Your Marketing
Only looking over your marketing plans each year during the annual review and rubber stamping approval to keep going won’t help you succeed in today’s business environment. There are always changes to take into account.
From year to year, consumer tastes can change. There are always new mindsets, new fads, and new trends that affect how people make decisions. Everything from trendy foods to clothing styles is continuously shifting, and you must stay ahead of those changes in your industry.
Technology changes too. From chatbots to new ideas in video marketing and social media, it’s vital to incorporate the latest technology and be aware of the trends that affect how you connect with customers.
Your competitors update their strategies regularly, and you often have to think about how to keep up. You can’t afford to lose customers to a competitor because they’re more innovative, use Facebook more effectively, or connect with prospects at a deeper level.
Finally, your product lifecycle dictates changes in marketing strategy. Perhaps you’re bringing out a new model of a product, or want to drop the price of an existing offering to draw in budget-minded customers. Each of these steps requires a change to your marketing approach.
Understand Obstacles to Change
So many companies keep their marketing strategy the same year after year because it’s easier. There is a lot of resistance to change and obstacles to overcome if you upgrade your marketing strategy.
For instance, people might be nervous about taking on a new role or losing their job if the marketing approach shifts significantly. Successful change management involves helping people understand what’s changing, creating a clear plan, and supporting everyone in their new tasks.
Another reason change is hard is that it may involve learning new skills. If you haven’t used social media much, your staff will need to be trained in navigating each platform and rules for appropriate posting. Or, if you’re moving into video, your marketing team may need video editing classes. Learning new things is inherently uncomfortable, and some people shy away from it as a result.
Managing these obstacles and helping people understand the reasons for change and supporting them through the process is essential if you plan to be successful and stand out from competitors.
Ways to Upgrade Your Marketing Today
Interested in what’s new and exciting now? Here are some ways you can push forward and try something new as you promote your business.
First, focus on engagement rather than simply blasting a message out. A small audience that genuinely cares about what you have to say, and will interact with you, is far more valuable than a large group of people who scroll by without noticing. Engagement builds loyalty that leads to sales, so be sure to communicate with your followers!
Second, review your email marketing strategy. Is it consistent? Do you have interesting educational things to say every time you send a message? Are you segmenting your list so that the messages you send are highly relevant to your target? If not, there’s a lot you can do to improve your email marketing return on investment (ROI).
Third, combine automation and personalization to give your prospects an extremely relevant experience without using so many of your team’s resources. You don’t have time to post manually online or send individual emails, but you can’t afford to automate generic information either. Use marketing tools that allow you to include your prospect’s name in messages, speak to a specific segment of your audience, and more, automatically.
Finally, prioritize your customer advocacy program. Happy customers can share your message with very little cost to you. Focus on encouraging repeat business, user-generated content, and referrals. These are great ways to grow your business without spending heavily on gaining new leads every day!
Use a Mix of Marketing Methods
Because people rely so heavily on online marketing, there’s less competition in the mailbox than there’s ever been. One great way to innovate when it comes to marketing is to go back to some of the old school outreach methods.
For instance, marketing postcards or sales letters can help you make an impact and cut through the noise of social media and email marketing. Direct mail helps you catch the attention of those who automatically delete emails to clean up and reach “inbox zero” each day, along with those who never check their email at all.
Interestingly, print mail requires less cognitive effort to process than digital media, meaning that people can receive your marketing message more readily. People who receive mail more readily recall the brand, and they have more time to make a decision. A piece of mail sticks around longer than the few seconds you see an ad as you scroll by.
We’re not advocating abandoning digital marketing, of course. However, if you’re looking to innovate, adding in some traditional direct mail marketing has some merit.
You Can’t Afford to Stand Still
The business world is moving quickly. Consumers — and your competitors — are constantly changing. It’s essential to adapt and improve your marketing strategies to keep up.
When you do, you’ll discover new ways to stand out and attract new customers. You can boost your bottom line with repeat business and deliver targeted, personalized messaging automatically. Best of all, you’ll be at the front of new trends in marketing, from chatbots to video.
Staying up to date is a challenge, but it’s worth it. Review your marketing regularly and see how your results improve!