Scroll. Like. Scroll. Repeat. Now more than ever, American consumers are adopting an “always-on” mentality. We’re endlessly surfing the web, swiping through Instagram or streaming the latest hit show on Netflix. According to a recent Nielsen study, U.S. adults spend nearly half of their days consuming media content. Nearly four hours of that time is spent on digital mediums such as the Internet or smartphone apps.
With all this noise in the marketplace, how can companies stay relevant — and profitable — in the New Year? It’s simple. They must adapt their advertising to meet consumers’ changing habits. Here are the top marketing trends every company should follow in 2019:
Embrace data: Any good business should strive to know more about their customers’ interests and behaviors. And with easy-to-use and cost-effective technologies such as dynamic email, there’s no excuse not to tailor communications to meet these preferences or actions. Data, and even more specifically intent data, allows companies to better understand their consumers so they can improve the relevancy and value of their content in real-time. Once armed with this information, businesses can improve targeting, track potential leads, send follow-ups or, if needed, retool their strategies.
Up the personalization: There’s nothing worse than spamming customers with irrelevant content. All that does is ensure an immediate delete or pitch into the trash bin. Even worse, it hurts the chances of connecting with those consumers in the future. As AdWeek says, today’s shoppers “expect retailers to offer a more personalized experience based on their shopping habits and preferences.” Businesses can easily customize marketing materials by adding unique coupon codes, providing personalized landing pages (i.e., PURLS) or simply better targeting their outreach materials. By putting the generic appeals aside, companies will soon see increased engagement — and sales — from their customers.
Incorporate print: Consumers are constantly bombarded by ads on their social media feeds and in their email boxes. While some may call it old-fashioned, print marketing has significantly evolved and, in fact, is still one of the most cost-effective ways of capturing customers’ often-fleeting attention. But instead of thinking about print and digital as two separate efforts, companies should combine these tactics. For example, businesses can add direct links to digital assets such as videos or infographics on print postcards or mailers. And there’s no need to stick with the basic paper options. They can add textures, raised spot coating or unique inks – from glow in the dark to liquid foil — to maximize impact and engagement.
Use influencers: Businesses no longer need big-name celebrities to endorse their brands or products. Today, many companies are turning to micro-influencers, or those with 10,000 followers or less. These individuals are often more approachable to everyday consumers and have high engagement with their “fans.” If businesses aren’t able to afford micro-influencers, however, they can consider reaching out to peers of their target customers. They can then encourage these individuals to create authentic content such as Instagram stories, Facebook Live or even written testimonials on direct mail campaigns to help sway potential audiences.
As in year’s past, marketing techniques will continue to rapidly evolve. But if companies can implement a data-driven, personalized and authentic marketing campaign, they can stay ahead of the curve — and their competition — in 2019.
Editor’s note: Kent Middleton is co-owner and CEO of Magna IV, a print and marketing business located in Arkansas for more than 40 years. For more information, visit magna4.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.