Meet and Defeat the Top Two Challenges to Modern Day Marketing

Does technology run the show when it comes to modern day business marketing? Or the consumer? In our opinion, it’s neither, at least exclusively. Rather, the combination of advancing technology and the empowered consumer is what’s making the difference in how we conduct and market our business.

What is an “empowered consumer”?

An empowered consumer is one who utilizes the speed and knowledge available through technology in order to make informed decisions and purchases. This happens quickly. And if your brand doesn’t pop up on the first page of search results, have a solid referral base, or has fallen behind in digital marketing methods, then other brands – your competition – will rise above.

Consumers have the advantage of being able to compare products, opinions, etc., all thanks to a search engine. They make judgments about whether to work or buy from your company based on the appearance and message of your website. They care about what your company stands for, not what it offers as a product or service… yet they are cynical that it’s all just marketing hype and not the honest truth. In short, it’s a challenging time to be in marketing because our potential customers and clients have so many choices – and they make sure they are informed before making a decision.

How does technology come into play?

Technology, with all its capabilities and future advancements, will continue to challenge businesses and how they relate their products and services to the consumers they want to reach. Short attention spans and an overabundance of choices (search results) that technology lends the consumer can hurt the chances of getting your business noticed. The good news is, with all of the activity on tablets and smart phones, businesses can, for a price, reach a more highly-targeted audience than they have ever been able to reach before. Each of our personal information, personal interests, and personal tastes are monitored and stored. Internet browsing history leaves breadcrumbs scattered across the digital space, for each and every user. Then, as a business, we can market digitally or with more traditional printed pieces once personal information has been acquired.

So what can you do to better market your business? To use technology to your advantage, and convert targets or leads into paying consumers?

  1. Mind the signs. Ask your clients and customers about their preferences – and really listen to their answers. Institute a short questionnaire to gather valuable information in a quantitative way on a continuous basis. Monitor social media insights and website analytics to look for trends, dips, and what kinds of information or promotions generate the most engagement and attention. But don’t forget one of your biggest resources: yourself. Even though you are a marketer and a business owner, you are also a consumer who knows how the game is played. Don’t let important signs pass you by unnoticed, or worse, pass you by without your taking action.
  1. Utilize digital marketing options. Digital marketing has grown significantly over the past decade, and it will continue on that trajectory. There are many services that offer digital marketing consultation and digital marketing management tools. There are hundreds of books available on the subject, and thousands of free resources from reputable sources available on the Internet where you can find advice, strategy, and how-to tips.  However, it’s really helpful to have an in-house expert in this area to help navigate, ask the right questions, and get you on the path to success. Digital marketing includes sponsored email blasts, email display ads, pay-per-click ads, and social media advertising. Begin with the most promising avenue for success (within budget and that reaches your target audience) and branch out to others as necessary. You may reach an untapped market simply because you’re trying something new. And as always, track the results.
  1. Build a lead generation website. A well-built website will do more marketing for you than any digital or printed advertisement. Capture visitor information so that you can market to them in the future, such as to download a PDF or to sign up to receive regular email updates. Promote your website in email signatures, on social media (even by utilizing advertising), and in the office when face to face with clients. Make sure your website is intuitive, mobile friendly, straightforward, and as transparent as possible with regards to your company culture and business offerings/products.
  1. Be willing and ready to adapt. Take action. You’ve done your due diligence and have the data in hand to support any new initiatives. You’re confident in the direction you need to go. Once you recognize a need, jump on it. Strategize, test messages or designs, target your audience, track the results. You need to meet your (and your clients’) potential consumers where they want to be met, to put messages in front of them that speak to them on a seemingly individual level. This requires being able to create and track multiple digital marketing initiatives simultaneously, and being able to adapt quickly in order to maximize conversions and increase your ROI.