5 Marketing Trends Your Competitors are Using that You Need

Technology is the driving force of change in the world today, either directly or indirectly. This includes marketing. Emerging technologies like AI will create new ways of reaching customers. They also create concerns such as a company’s stance on current events, customer data, and cybersecurity will dictate marketing efforts. Technology has made it so that companies aren’t just selling a line of products. Companies are also selling emotion and their corporate persona. This new paradigm is what creates the driving forces behind a consumer’s decision to buy. The businesses that know this are the ones that are coming out on top. These are the trends they are using to grow their business strong.

Privacy and Security

How big of a concern is cybersecurity? In April, May, and June of 2018, 765 million people were affected by data breaches. We are regularly bombarded with stories of hackers stealing personal information and selling it on the dark web. What’s worse is that the individuals affected may not be informed about the data breach until months after it happened.

A related issue people are growing more concerned about is privacy. Most people signed up for the myriad of free web-based services and social media platforms like Facebook with an understanding that these companies would use their information. They expected it was to send them targeted ads. What they didn’t expect was the Orwellian level of intrusion, where major corporations file patents for the technology, which would give future smart devices the potential to eavesdrop on our conversations.

The way a company handles cybersecurity and privacy concerns will determine if some customers will do business with them. Aside from that, recovering from a data breach or getting hit with ransomware can cost tens of thousands or more in costs.

customer review

Respecting the Customer’s Feelings

Ignoring the generation snowflake and ok boomer jokes, the importance of how a customer feels about a company remains. This goes much deeper than a momentary reaction to one tweet or official statement about a product release. It’s about the long-term emotion-based opinion a customer has about a company and how they believe the company feels about them.

Customers form deep and complex views on companies. Part of it is based on the company’s actions. What are their stances on the environment and social responsibility? Are these positions and actions good, or just lip service? How customers believe a business feels about them is another critical factor. People want to feel valued as individuals, and not only as an open wallet for greedy corporations to reach into. 

Communicating with Customers Effectively

Effective communication begins with understanding one’s customers, especially the best channel to reach them and how to speak with them on their level. The most well-crafted email is useless if your customers are the type to delete without opening it automatically. Finding out which communication channel works nest can be challenging since there are so many ways for businesses and customers to communicate. Experimenting and soliciting feedback can tell a company which channels work best.

Communicating with customers on their level is a matter of common sense. A trendy nail salon will use a more casual and familiar tone when communicating with their clients than a B2B IT professional sending an email to a button-down law firm. What gets tricky is walking the line between friendliness and professionalism. Again, this depends on a business’s clientele, but correspondence should feel like it is part of a natural conversation. Even an AI chatbot shouldn’t make a customer feel like they hear canned responses.

email marketing

The Importance of Peers

Customers have preferred reviews from peers over ads and other traditional forms of marketing for a while now. It’s a trend that will remain relevant for years to come. 92% of customers trust peer reviews over ads. Businesses should encourage their customers to leave online reviews. Some companies have found that offering incentives to do reviews such as free products or coupons highly effective.

Reconnecting

reconnecting

The advances in technology that have brought us e-commerce has also created a barrier that can isolate businesses and customers from each other. The convenience of email marketing and automated responses are addicting for a busy small business owner who spends eighty plus hours a week running their business.

Making an effort at person to person contact can show customers that they matter and that a business sees them as living breathing individuals. Communication doesn’t only mean a face to face meeting. Something as simple as a phone call following up a good sale, or signed holiday and birthday cards can give enough of a human touch to show customers that you see them as people.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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