20152015 is only 13 days away and if you are like most people, you haven’t even thought past what to make for the holiday party at (insert your gathering here). Well, you won’t have to think too hard because I am here to update you on what to expect for local marketing in 2015 and how to stay one step ahead.
More consumers use mobile devices for search, purchase, payment, booking and scheduling.
Consumers are becoming more comfortable with mobile payment and prefer to also book and schedule online after considering their own research and reading company reviews. Local marketers need to understand this change and progress with those who chose this option instead of more traditional markets.
Tablets are sold more than smartphones!
Mind blowing, I know. Tablets have surpassed smart phones in the consumer market this year. In a world where there are blurred lines in the functionality of these items, it is best to optimize your content and site for both.
Mobile ads are becoming more local.
With mobile ads becoming more local, it may start to make sense to budget for localized target ads on platforms such as Facebook. It does not need to take over your marketing, but a small part of your strategy should at least consider this medium and integrate with your overall strategy.
Wearable devices will become a normal thing.
Wearable devices are still greatly in the development and tweak phase. However, to stay ahead of the curve, ensure that you know which the industry leaders are and how your company, marketing and target audience fits within this new market. Search Engine Land cites statistics that predict an increase of $24 billion in this industry by 2018.
Social Media influences purchase decisions…duh.
Social media has become the outlet of taste makers and trendsetters alike, so it is no surprise that when you see that amazing gadget on a Facebook post or ad, you just have to click. When Facebook friends see that Mark “likes” or “follows” a specific brand, if similar taste to Mark, will also be likely to like or follow. Social media users are looking to social media for information and inspiration on what to buy, so make your product or service the most interesting, or as useful as it can be.
Ensure your site is easily findable with a digital assistant.
According to a study cited by Search Engine Land, 56 percent of people that own a smartphone have accessed a digital assistant to aid in local search information. Consumers have started to bypass the manual process of entering search terms directly into Google and instead enable help from Siri or Google Now. Test your site with your own smartphone to ensure your company is easily findable.
Market messages to smaller and more personal audiences.
It’s not rocket science that consumers value a more personal message. I am a huge supporter of making sure your message matches your target audience. Convey a relevant idea and pare down your message without diluting the impact. Also one really great message can create a much better impact than 3 “okay” messages. Respect that you are only a part of their overall stream of information, “Less is more- more is never more.” Also, be willing to integrate with other companies, apps, and services in a networking mindset as your customers may be led to your product through theirs!
Direct mail is not dead!
Tried and true is always direct mail. I would like to add a digital twist to this however, suggesting that utilizing your online marketing email database and sending a personalized email offer. This is a great time for an intervention if you have not been collecting customer emails regularly. This should be included first and foremost in your 2015 strategy!
If 2014 taught us anything, then we know that reviews, as well as having a social online presence, are of great importance in representing your brand. Expect customer relationship management tools and best practices to take precedence in 2015. Your company should be responding to the customer’s comments, reviews and questions in a timely of a manner. If you are unable to manage this, then 2015 will bring tools to that help this facet of online marketing. Better yet, use your current marketing company to help you manage. After all, Seventy-eight percent of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews, according to the market research firm Ipsos.
Leverage your marketing to both retain and gain new customers!
Marketing should always have a purpose behind the message, but there are many overlaps in messages intended to gain and retain your target audience. When creating your message consider both!
Teach your clients how to do it
As much as we love to take the wheel and manage all facets for our clients, sometimes it benefits you to teach them the basics. When responding to a review, posting something on Facebook or replying to a question, make sure to explain what you did and how you did that so your client also knows what they are doing if they would like to post, respond or simply have the knowledge. This builds trust and common bonds when you can openly communicate about the brand and its direction.