Since the days of television and newspapers, the marketing environment has certainly changed. Now we worry about things like how 90 percent of B2C businesses find social media to be the best form of content marketing, according to The Content Marketing Institute, or how mobile technologies will account for 72 percent of digital spending by 2019, according to eMarketer. It doesn’t seem as simple. So as a marketer, what key changes do you need to be aware of, and how should you address them? Let’s take a look.
How Marketing Has Changed
From the traditional advertising structure that focused on one-way communication from business to consumer through now old-school methods like broadcast and radio, marketing has developed rapidly. It has weathered the onslaught of the internet and all new technologies like smartphones, tablets, laptops and WiFi; and as a result, the way in which we market and the tools we use to market has changed. Some key changes to focus on include:
- Customer Purchasing Power
Consumers have access to more content, more information and knowledge, and more vendors than ever before. And all at the touch of a button. No longer do consumers just believe what an advertisement tells them to believe, and then decide between two different brands — they research information, shop around and dig for the best deal.
- Two-Way Communication
Businesses used to speak to consumers through traditional advertising methods and consumers didn’t have a way to respond. Now they do. Whether it’s through social media posts and comments or even personal blogs and reviews, consumers now have a way to rebut advertising claims, complain about products and services, and set certain expectations for businesses.
- The Power and Necessity of Social Media
The influence of social media is no secret — from Facebook to Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, and even Pinterest, billions of people around the world engage with social media. And as a result, it’s become more than just a communication method between pals. It’s a powerful marketing tool that enables companies to have a prevalent brand personality, influential voice and unique relationships with their consumers.
- A Shift in Spending
From choosing between whether to advertise in the newspaper, on television or through radio, companies are faced with a much more nuanced decision-making process. We have social media, SEO, native marketing, web banners and mobile all in addition to traditional methods, and as such marketers need to have a much deeper understanding of their audience and the best way to reach them.
What You Should Do About It
With the environment changing so drastically, it’s important to always keep up with the changing times. Almost every day we’re seeing new technologies arising, new sales strategies being used and new ways to save money in the marketing world. To stay relevant and keep up with competitors, consider reading books on the changing environment, such as “The Age of the Unthinkable” by Joshua Cooper Ramo. Likewise consider attending conferences and investigating articles by prominent publications, such as the American Marketing Association or Adweek.
- Keep Communicating
If nothing else, it is the age of communication — people are always connected and in touch, whether they’re at home or on the move. So as a marketer, you must keep up with this fast pace and offer new and exciting content for people to engage with, otherwise you will end up being irrelevant. Whether you’re posting new content, or simply just responding to the thoughts of your followers, always engage and communicate with your audience.
- Target Your Efforts
With so many channel options, and the over-saturation of content available to your market, providing value and efficiency in your marketing efforts is more important than ever. Piggy-backing off your research efforts, make sure you know where your audiences are looking, what time of the day they’re looking and what will catch their attention. Provide unique content that no other company can show them, and give them a reason to constantly engage.
As a marketing leader, it can be difficult to keep up with all the changes, and to know how to face it the best way. Take a look at these key movements in the marketing environment, and what you can do to keep on top of it, and see how your strategies and approach can drastically change.