2014 has finally arrived and brings with it a whole host of marketing trends and ideas for the year ahead. At MarketingFile we hope you all achieved what you set out to accomplish in 2013 and you are all looking to expand your targets for the next 12 months.
So now we all want to know, what should our marketing plans be focused on for 2014? The word on the street is there are four main trends that shouldn’t be overlooked. Whether you are a multinational corporation (we doubt you are reading our little blog) or a SME based on a local high street the essence of taking on new marketing challenges should be the same, just in different proportions.
Here are the four top trends we came across for the year head, we hope they help you focus your marketing plan ensuring a successful 2014.
One element which is becoming ever more important for direct marketing is the growing opportunity for personalisation when communicating with your customers. Using targeting, segmentation and analytics to base effective marketing communication on is essential when wanting to engage with customers in a friendly and unobtrusive manner.
Going with a personalised approach can make your customers feel that extra bit special; offering those specific products and services which they need or want will be far more economical in comparison to bombarding them with bulk messages. Implementing an effective CRM system will enable your marketing team to anticipate what consumers may want before they start searching by looking at their previous purchases or searches on your website. This is a very common direct marketing activity undertaken by companies such as Amazon and Apple, using previous searches to offer related products.
Targeting your audience with messages they are more like to respond and engage with will not only mean and higher ROI when it comes to accounting for your marketing activity but also the added benefit of customer retention.
This is linked to personalisation in the sense that a specific message is being delivered to an individual who has already interacted with a product or service. However, the key difference is the message can come from multiple devices.
From a consumer perspective, you click on an advert which you are interested in, rather than seeing the same advert every day for the next week sequential messaging will mean the brand will change the messages they send depending on how you interact with them.
The distinct line between above the line and below the line marketing (yep we’re going old school) is becoming merged and less defined. For example, TV, traditionally ABT is now changing with technology advancing the way it has over the last 10 years we are watching our favourite programmes on smart-phones and tablets, meaning companies are able to use this as a contact channel to engage with their consumers. It doesn’t stop there, social media is now more than Facebook and Twitter, there is google+ trying to make a go of it, snapchat, tumblr, tinder etc etc... the list is long.
Allowing your brand to use sequential messaging and engaging with consumers with a sequence of personalised messages should be a big part of any acquisition plan for 2014.
Any company using data will have to be aware of the EU Data Protection Legislations that have been in discussion since 2011 are to be finalised this year when all 28 countries agree to the new laws, although it is expected not be enforced until 2017.
Without the EU Data Protection Legislation in place at the moment, all companies should still act responsibly when handling and using customer data in order to gain their trust and respect that we will not abuse their personal information.
Ensuring your data is up to date and abides by the law benefits your company and your customers, misusing customers information which they have given consent for you to use will destroy any relationship that may have been there.
This is something that has been around for a while and used with larger brands but unfortunately not all companies will be able to employ this technique. However it is something to keep in mind when looking to offering customers a different or new experience when dealing with your company.
This term is to give the customer multiple sensory experiences when interacting with your brand. Engaging the customer with more than just the look of your product or service by using sound, smell and touch will give the consumer a whole range of senses to remember your brand by.
Stimulating multiple senses when interacting with your customers will make your brand more memorable, especially when they recognise a certain smell or song which will trigger their memories back to your company.
As mentioned above, this cannot work for everyone but we should all make focusing on customer experience a priority as retention can be a greater power than acquisition, and will cost you less!
So there are a few trends to be aware of this year to keep your marketing techniques up to date, you may not be able to employ all of them but remembering that making your customers feel special is something that should be concentrated on.