With 2017 getting underway, below are some trends and challenges we saw in 2016 that are sure to have impacts in the coming year. With proper planning, your marketing and sales teams can keep pace with the quick transitions and evolution of changing trends. Having a few plans in place will only ensure success.
For example, if cold-calling suddenly becomes effective again, at least you would be prepared to start moving effort into the "newly" effective tactic. Without any idea it's coming, you would be ill-equipped to make that move. Consider the following marketing trends a “heads up” as to what you should be on the look out for in 2017.
Video Content Will Become Prominent In Content Marketing & Inbound Marketing
No real big revelations here. Video is already super popular as a content type (and growing each day), but going forward short, self shot snippets for use on social, web, mobile and email are going to be much more popular as vehicles to carry your story and engage your prospects. The need for polished and produced video is still very much there, it just means consumers want MORE, and that means getting candid to let your companies culture shine through.
Marketing Strategy Will Remain A Missing Element From Inbound Marketing Programs
I'm educating as many owners as I can but on the whole, companies tend to not value marketing strategy, and therefore don’t want to pay a premium for it; they don’t want to work on it , and in some cases don’t even want to talk about it. This must change if your business is to grow. The strategy quality and presence within an inbound marketing engagement is a direct predictor of inbound lead generation success.
Shortcuts In The Creation Of Inbound Marketing Tactics Will Impact Performance
People are always looking for shortcuts, but there has been a major influx of new services, software and apps that appear to be cutting too many corners. Prospects don’t want an e-book created simply based off the company website. That’s not going to produce leads. It’s only going to give them a sub-par e-book that will likely disappoint and not get them to trust or work with you. Resist the urge to cut corners this year. Create content that's impactful and you'll see ROI like never before.
Sales Enablement Programs Like Inbound Sales And Account-Based Marketing Still Struggle
A lot has been talked about in regards to the alignment between sales and marketing. But what are the challenges that face making this a reality? Sales teams have historically been much less likely to change, much less accepting of new processes that present much bigger risks for organizations when it comes to introducing new methodologies. Be aware of how nimble your sales team is, and set them up for success with the right training.
Pair Endorsement Campaigns with Inbound Marketing
Companies have been doing endorsement marketing for years now and it’s great when it works. However, these custom programs take a lot of energy to get them to work right and it doesn’t always produce results if not marketed correctly. In 2017, endorsement marketing should take the next step and become a more predictable, scalable and sales driven tactic when paired with inbound marketing elements.
Customer Advocacy Is In Its Infancy A Tactic In Inbound Marketing
It makes sense. If your customers are talking about you then you’ll get more leads, so we’re all-in on customer advocacy marketing bus. As with all new tactics, this too comes with change management. The question for 2017 is how quickly will companies adopt this vertical and get it rolled out to see the impact?
Website Optimization Sees Advances When Paired With Inbound Marketing
The big website redesign project is becoming less popular for obvious reasons (time, budget, etc). Ongoing, regular website optimization is a mandatory part of any progressive marketing campaign. This is a trend that you need to be looking for in your inbound program. If you’re not optimizing your website every month, you’ll be disappointed in your lead generation results. People (and search engine robots) want fresh new content, so let's give them what they want!
BONUS: Invest in your Technology Stack
Most business owners find the investment in social ormarketing automation to be enough for their teams, but the reality is it’s not enough. In 2017 and beyond, you should be budgeting and planning to invest in marketing and sales technologies as a whole. The better your tech stack, the better your results. Start thinking about investing up to $5,000 a month for technology if you’re looking for 20% growth in revenue.
I'm sure we will see more newcomers to the 2017 marketing trend stage as the year progresses, but these should be on your radar now. Start thinking about how your company will embrace technology to grow market share and consumer loyalty. Need help figuring out what trends you should be using to grow your sales? CLICK HERE to set up a time to talk.