Wednesday, January 21, 2015
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I hope you had a refreshing break like me - I had a great time on the most south western tip of Australia. A beautiful spot called Augusta and in particular a little beach called Quarry Bay near the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse (pictured).
During this time, I had a chance to reflect on the past year and review the year ahead.
This inspired my feature article on the Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2015.
1. The New Likeability Economy
We now live in an increasingly fragmented, frazzled and filtered world, where the lines between reality, truth and believability are becoming increasingly blurred.
We’re time poor, always on the go and constantly connected to the internet via mobile.
The chances of getting our attention are dwindling as we become obsessed with the latest online breaking story, trending hash tag or crazy cat video.
Facing an infobesity epidemic of massive proportions, our attention deficit cravings get stronger and stronger as we try and make sense of an increasingly complex and crowded world.
What does this mean if you are trying to attract customers, build a business or become a trusted advisor? Well, the sad, hard truth is that customers and clients are becoming more sceptical, more demanding and more price conscious.
With information within easy reach of their fingertips, in this new likeability economy, it is becoming increasingly difficult for you to convince them to buy your product or service.
The new likeability economy is also one shaped by the Global Economic Crisis, which like everything in the new online, mobile order gets shortened to the GFC.
In this new order, customers have massive choice and get satiated from marketers with promotions, rewards programs and generous discounts.
In the new likeability economy, driven by likes on social media, reputation linked with popularity is the new currency.
2. The Evolution of the “Value Being”
The emerging and vibrant discount culture is alive and well as consumers rediscover that time honored virtue of thrift.
Most consumers in the post-GFC era are looking for a bargain and their mindset is never to pay full price.
Consumers are also better educated and more knowledgeable about marketing, distribution channels and margins, so they are looking for extras.
This means companies need to be more generous with their discounts, warranties or value adding.
I call this the emergence of the “Value-Being”.
Fed on a diet of Scoupons, Groupons and other online discounts, the Value-Being wants a company, product or service that adds value to their life and improves their well-being in some way.
This could be through education, the environment or giving back to the community through a corporate social responsibility program.
The key to the heart and mind of the Value-Being is that they want to be entertained, educated and informed.
All this must improve their well-being in some way.
3. Content Marketing
This is in for massive growth in 2015.
Shareable content builds credibility because of similarity. For example, to engage with target audiences they must have similar tastes, interests and consumer preferences. This is an important currency in the new likeability economy.
As budgets get tight, smart companies will get employees and customers to generate most of the content.
This also increases trust in the new likeability economy.
It is all well and good to produce content but getting it in front of the right eyeballs is critical.
Stratebution is all about the strategic distribution of content and making sure it hits the right targets.
We'll see a greater focus on depth versus width of distribution with the rise of niche audiences.
Also we'll see lots of discussion around reach versus influence.
5. Recognised Brand Champions with Influence, Authority and Status
While reach is a good metric its really influence we want and we will definitely see the rise of brand champions who have massive influence.
Gone are the days of being all things to all people.
Expect to see a rise in smart marketers going deep within a category or niche and servicing them well rather than servicing a broad market poorly.
I've come up with the term to describe a product or service that solves a problem in a professional, timely and cost effective way.
It usually involves some sort of disruptive technology.
It goes against rampant consumerism and is driven by the minimalists and a return to simplicity.
This is a key marketing trend because it is increasingly difficult to make people, products and companies more trustworthy.
Gaining the trust of a potential client or consumer is critical to improving the chances of them buying the product or service.
On line reviews, testimonials and product demonstrations all help improve transparency to build trust. This is typically a form of two-way or asymmetric communication between a customer and the company.
Technology enables this to happen easily and seamlessly and many companies such as Uber and Airbnb are using disruptive online technology to totally transform traditional and conservative industries.
With Airbnb for example, both the host and the visitor need to leave online reviews for them to be public. If either party does not, then the reviews are not accessible online. Collaborative reviews like this helps the host verify the trustworthiness of potential guests.
In a true two-way dialogue, it allows guests to check out the standard of the accommodation via online reviews from others who have stayed there to ensure the online photos and descriptions actually match what they are potentially paying for. This new model is totally disrupting the traditional, conservative and slow to move hotel industry.
Demanding consumers want to know the producers and providers of goods and services.
Expect more marketing messages featuring real people in ads giving a more authentic feel.
8. Enjoyience Marketing
Consumers want more fun, enjoyment and a feel good factor when they buy a product or service.
This is the flipside to thrift and being frugal. Consumers still want to be self-indulgent,
This takes traditional experiential marketing to a whole new level.
Expect the trend of marketing shaping consumer experiences to rise.
It is all about creating a positive experience for consumers and associating that experience with your brand, product or service.
Expect a massive associated increase in events marketing to create a memorable event to promote or launch the brand.
9. Indiconic Marketing
This is the year we will see the rise and rise of the individual and their desire to be seen as iconic.
Iconic brands will make a massive comeback because it is all about longevity and authenticity.
Indiconic marketing builds attraction because in the often photo-shopped, digitally enhanced and over-hyped online world no-one believes anything anymore.
Authenticity is the new law of attraction because it creates revenue in the likeability economy through the currency of popularity and familiarity.
The more familiar people are with a brand, the more popular it is, the more people like it then the more they are likely to purchase and buy it.
Familiarity is directly linked to longevity and brands being passed onto the next generation.
Consumers want their purchases to say something about who they are as a person and as a way of expressing their authenticity and values.
10. Deep Love and Respect
There is a backlash to the concept of having shallow and meaningless relationships with tens of thousands of Twitter followers, blog subscribers, LinkedIn connections or Facebook friends.
It is all about quality relationships with those who are loyal to the product, service, business and the brand.
Consumers want to develop a deep emotional connection to brands. Any marketing activity that allows people, products and companies to be understood, appreciated and loved will be hot in 2015.
This strengthens the relationship and results in the most powerful form of marketing – word of mouth marketing. This lowers marketing costs, drives sales and revenue and increases referrals and repeat business. This is the dream outcome of any successful marketing campaign.
Need a speaker on marketing trends for your next event.
Contact Thomas here.