The beginning of a new year often leads professionals to take time to rethink their marketing strategies. Even if the marketing landscape doesn't change all that much from one year to the next, it's still vital to refresh a business's marketing plan each year. As 2015 begins, there are a few things professionals should consider including in this year's marketing budget.
Informed marketing will begin to dominate marketing campaigns in 2015, as businesses realize the value of information. By knowing as much as possible about how customers interact with your brand, you'll be able to craft specialized campaigns. Data analytics will also help you track each effort to determine what works and what doesn't.
Many businesses already take advantage of built-in analytics in social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Google Analytics is also a free way to track customer behavior on your business's website. Using the service, professionals can investigate analytics possibilities for each piece of technology that powers their businesses. For an extra fee, your business may be able to get in-depth reports on each facet of your organization, from sales team performance to in-store sales and beyond.
High-quality content remains one of the top ways to reach consumers in 2015, improving search rankings and bringing customers back to read more. Businesses will continue their efforts to consistently source high-quality articles and blogs, possibly through a combination of original and curated content.
In addition to quality text-based content, businesses will also continue to explore visual media in their work to connect with consumers. "Posts with videos attract three times more inbound links than posts containing only text, so marketing campaigns will benefit greatly from including more visual media," says SEO professional and CallMarketplace COO Frank Kasimov. "Short-form videos may become even more mainstream, with businesses finding new ways to be creative on the social media sites consumers use."
Personalization will become more important than ever in 2015 as brands strive to stand out from the rush of emails and status updates. Simply adding a person's name to an email won't be enough. Customers are so adept at filtering out mass marketing attempts, brands need to compel them to open email messages through unique subject lines and email texts that speak directly to them.
Personalized marketing involves a combination of analytics and technology, as brands first learn as much as possible about its customers and then put that information to use in segmented marketing. Facebook is already using personalized ads and many email marketing tools to build personalization into their offerings. These tools make it easy to personalize ads, taking users step by step through the process.
Forrester predicts that mobile will create a dividing line between businesses who cater to mobile device users and those who don't. As mobile continues to become an increasing part of most consumers' lives, it will be more important than ever that those consumers receive messages tailored to the smaller screen size and quick-glance engagement of smartphones and tablets.
Instead of launching apps that require a download, businesses will spend more time learning where consumers are searching for information on mobile devices. Instead of creating a separate app for customers who want delivery or takeout, for instance, a restaurant might work through a service like Seamless or Eat24. Working through these channels, a marketer can make more impact with less effort.
As businesses plan their 2015 budgets, it's important to make room for the marketing strategies that will best connect with consumers throughout the year. By putting the right professionals and tools in place to successfully reach out to consumers, brands can have a more successful year than ever.