Hockey great Wayne Gretsky was once quoted as saying "I don't skate to where the puck is; I skate to where the puck will be." It's become a bit of a cliche, but talks about what marketing is all about - understanding your customer and where their needs are taking them.
As marketers continue to look at where customer needs are trending, keep these trends in mind:
- Social Media: In 2011 companies began to take social media marketing seriously and it exploded as a marketing tool. Now companies are heavily integrating social media into their overall marketing plans, creating more leverage for a company's brand. Social media will be used to collect customer data and enable better target marketing of products and services that those customer are interested.
- Mobile Web Strategy. Nearly half of all U.S. mobile phone subscribers own a Smartphone. By 2015, more people will access the Web via a mobile device than through traditional desktop Internet access. You must optimize your website for viewing on an iPhone or other mobile device or risk brand irrelevancy.
- Video. Video communication connects with viewers from a multi-sensory perspective - sound and sight - while speaking to all our senses. More than any other medium, video alters our paradigms, and changes the way we see things. YouTube generates more than 2 billion views a day; that’s double the prime-time audience of all three major U.S. networks combined. Gather video testimonials from your customers; feature your team conducting online educational demonstrations; and use video to bring your product or service to life.
- Referral Generation Program. We are in a referral economy where consumers are increasingly relying more heavily on third-party reviews – from friends or online review sites – to make decisions about brand selection. This is a terrific low-cost solution for driving new business.