According to the Chief Marketing Officer Council World Wide (CMO Council), more than 10.3 billion Google searches are performed every month, with a massive 78% of USA-based users exploring products & services. To make the most of the Internet’s business potential, companies need to formulate an effective marketing campaign to reinforce their branding and imprint their profile into the user’s mind: even if a visitor to your site doesn’t buy from you today, they should remember you for tomorrow’s purchase.
One of the biggest tools in building brand-loyalty today is social media: the CMO Council reports that 71% of users are more likely to buy from brands they follow on Facebook or Twitter. As you can see, establishing a strong online presence can transform you into a marketing superhero – but while this works today, will it be as effective one year from now? How about five?
We know that marketing software will adjust according to needs. Trying to predict what marketing software will become within a five-year span isn’t easy, but join us as we take a look at where evolution might bring us.
Looking into the Crystal Ball of Online Marketing
Social media has given us, the general customer, more of a voice than we’ve ever had before: we can now share any bad experience with a business within seconds, exposing poor customer service to millions of users across the globe. One example of poor social-media brand-management is the way Applebee’s allowed a small incident to balloon into a major faux pas: after a pastor visiting one of their restaurants crossed-out the automatic 18% tip added to his receipt (adding “I give God 10%, why do you get 18”), a waitress shared a picture of said receipt to Reddit – she was subsequently fired for ‘violating customer privacy’. However, Applebee’s had shared a receipt that praised the restaurant two weeks earlier.
News of the incident spread quickly, and people responded angrily across social media. Rather than trying to calm the situation, Applebee’s simply defended their actions on Facebook – and posted the same comment over and over again. More than 19,000 negative comments were made on their post, and the company eventually hid it – which only led to more outrage.
Clearly, refusing to admit any fault, refusing to engage with users in a responsible way, and then trying to cover it all up, is poor behavior – particularly for an established brand. Positive user-interaction will continue to be a vital part of brand reinforcement, with a personal connection between business and customer: now that so many of us use our smartphones for social media, businesses can interact with customers at any time. Branding is more of a two-way conversation now – advertising to the faceless masses is no longer enough: brands must be willing to engage with their customers, and target their products & services with greater accuracy. Automation in marketing software will disappear: users can now spot bland, generic messages and behavior – they want brands to have a personality, and to treat them personally.
Content, Software, and Brand
While marketing content has improved drastically in recent years, it will reach over-saturation soon enough: copy, images, and videos will all need to attain greater and greater quality to maintain users’ interest. Blogs, articles, videos, images – as customers continue to become wiser to businesses’ marketing methods, and the range of options continues to expand, they will expect content that speaks to them personally.
The direction is pretty clear, content marketing software and other publishing tools will flourish. Social media will keep growing and stay the center of the online activity. Companies will look for management tools to assist them in marketing their business. All content-based software will need to encourage quality and engagement to secure conversions, rather than quantity.
Building your brand and securing a loyal customer-base is a long-term process: do it right, and you will still be in the game five years from now, and beyond!