The marketing world moves at breakneck speed, and new trends are constantly emerging, promising the potential to capture a different or larger audience. While not all trends have staying power, it's smart to pay attention to the ones that are gaining budgets and momentum.
Sometimes marketing trends are a response to real-world events. The development of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union or the Cambridge Analytica scandal transformed the marketing business, as companies had to scramble to get more explicit permission to access and use consumer data. Nevertheless, using consumer data is still a vital part of marketing--the way it is accessed is just different.
When the marketing world shifts, it's vital to stay on top of the latest trends and get ahead of the game. While it's hard to predict all the real-world changes that will influence marketing, you can bet on these three trends to help you stay ahead of the competition.
1. Use live experiences to engage customers.
The most successful marketing brands know the value of a live experience. For example, Facebook's IQ Live experience brought their wealth of user data to life in a tangible way for marketers. The IQ Live campaign included innovative ways to illustrate how customers use Facebook and Instagram, including a retail scene that highlighted online shoppers using social media to decide what to buy and an Instagram themed café with built-in photo opportunities. A whopping 93 percent of the event's attendees said the experience gave them insight into how they could use Facebook for their business.
To best utilize experiential marketing, think of your campaign as a three-course meal. For a starter, create a brief campaign prior to the event telling attendees what they can expect, whether it's a pop-up shop or a performance. Your experiential campaign's main course -- the event itself -- should offer participants photo opportunities and remind them to use your campaign's hashtag when sharing on social media. Dunkin' did this through a photo contest, rewarding those who submitted a photo with the brand's handle and hashtag with discounts. End with a "dessert" that builds customer loyalty by creating a follow up text or email that will engage your audience after the event ends.
2. Master mobile-oriented storytelling.
Many companies already know how to use storytelling to engage customers, but need to adapt this tactic to the mobile marketplace. One out of four customers uses a mobile device for all their online activity, from banking to buying groceries. Mobile devices mean smaller screens, and it's vital for brands to tell their story with fewer words and more creative visuals.
Attractive infographics and photos are useful for mobile storytelling, but video is perhaps the best format to reach mobile users. Forty-eight percent of Millennials watch videos only on their mobile devices, so if you aren't delivering engaging video marketing, you're missing a huge opportunity.
The way consumers engage with brands online has shifted drastically. Brands need to adjust to a mobile-heavy marketing world with short text, engaging images and creative, eye-catching video content. The smaller screens are here to stay.
3. Use multitouch attribution
Customers typically interact with a company through multiple touchpoints before ever making a purchase. In the past, marketers have attributed success to final touchpoint before purchase--for example, if a customer makes a purchase after receiving an email about it, the email is given credit for the sale. This attribution ignores other touchpoints the customer had with the product, such as researching it online or seeing a digital ad.
Multitouch attribution (MTA), addresses this flaw by attributing sales to multiple touchpoints in the marketing funnel.
"MTA provides a bottom-up, granular view of your approach," according to JP Pereira, chief client officer at Conversion Logic, a Los Angeles-based firm that uses artificial intelligence to help companies build MTA into their marketing strategy. "These insights allow you to know where to invest your ad spend for the greatest incremental impact, as well as which creative, copy, and messaging will resonate best on each channel."
When you use MTA and attribute sales to multiple touchpoints, you'll get a more accurate picture of what parts of your marketing campaign are most effective and how to allocate budget accordingly.
If you want to get more out of your marketing strategy, shift your focus to experiential marketing, tell your brand story on mobile and embrace multitouch attribution. The world of marketing is always changing, but using these strategies will help you stay ahead of the game.