Summer signals the beginning of budget season. Before diving into the details of your marketing plans, examine how the marketplace has changed, where your business is headed, and how to integrate evolving marketing strategies such as social media, content marketing, and mobile into your mix to make your marketing more effective.
According to IBM's State of Marketing 2012, marketers face an array of challenges. Top on marketers' lists are channel and device choice expansion and customer collaboration and influence. Given social media's exponential growth, increased smartphone usage, and the quick adoption of tablets, this is no surprise. These elements require new ways of engaging and selling prospects and customers through content marketing and social media delivered via various mobile devices.
At a time when marketers need additional funds to test these emerging channels and platforms, over a quarter of those surveyed believe their biggest challenge is financial constraints and ROI accountability. In light of weak economic growth, this is to be expected. Further, many businesses using social media, content marketing, and/or mobile are still testing these strategies and haven't developed effective tracking yet. This challenge is acerbated by consumers' ability to gather better product and pricing information via social media, content marketing, and mobile, resulting in reduced margins.
3 Must-Have Marketing Investments
Before making marketing investment decisions, analyze this year's three marketing must-haves: social media, content marketing, and mobile. While aspects of these marketing formats may not have direct costs, they all require budget and resources.
Social media provides platforms, enabling marketers to interact with their target audience. Social media involves more than a Facebook page or Twitter account. It requires an integrated social media strategy including a social media persona to ensure it's an integral part of your marketing.
Content marketing is promotion-free information that fuels social media and overcomes purchase decision hurdles. (Here's an outline of content marketing's basic steps.)
Mobile is a must-have for every business with a retail presence or that competes with a business that has a retail presence since mobiles and tablets go shopping.
After allocating resources to social media, content marketing, and mobile, make sure you integrate these elements into your overall marketing plans and strategies to maximize your effectiveness to achieve your business objectives.
Are these three marketing elements, social media, content marketing, and mobile, in your 2012 and 2013 plans? If not, where are you focusing your investment and why?
P.S. This article is dedicated to our ClickZ colleague Ron Jones who passed away last week. We'll miss his intelligent insights that showed marketers how to connect the different elements of their marketing through the strategic use of search optimization principles.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
March 19, 2014