Exploring a decade of marketing trends.
Even for those who have spent their careers in marketing, it can be difficult to keep up with the steady stream of new trends and tools that have emerged over the years. So L&T asked 7 experts for their take on the trends that have most influenced their marketing strategies over the past decade. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Greater Segmentation in Marketing
Years ago, marketing was more of a guessing game, but with the digital age has come the opportunity to segment different audiences according to their specific needs — and thereby for brands to speak more directly to members of their target audience.
“Customers are doing more research on their own, so we’re really looking at what opportunities we have to engage with them during their purchasing process,” says Julia Eberhart, Marketing Manager at Daktronics.
2. Focus on the Customer Experience
Christopher Liechty, Vice President of Marketing at People’s Utah Bancorp, says that over the past decade there has been a much greater focus on enhancing the customer experience.
“The most impactful thing we’ve done digitally is through our survey system: we send monthly e-mail surveys out, and use the comments as opportunities to reach out and actually connect with the customers.” With so much content cluttering the digital space, consumers are looking for brands that speak uniquely to their values and solve their specific problems.
3. Millennial-Driven Marketing
More and more, brands are embracing the values of younger generations to help craft their messages and reach their goals.
Kendra Dahlstrom, Services Product Management & Marketing Director at SGI, says that as the purchasing power of millennials continues to grow, “We’re shifting our entire strategy to make sure that we’re marketing to millennials in the way in which they like to consume content.”
5. A Move Toward Digital
Amy Nedwell, Director of Marketing at Good Times Restaurants, notes that while her company used to utilize strictly traditional media, they’ve had to implement automated marketing efforts to follow up with customers.
“We have to be sure that as viewing habits change, we’re still able to get in front of as many people as possible,” Nedwell says.
6. Community Outreach
Andrew Fortin-Trimble, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Camden National Bank, says community outreach programs are becoming more and more popular.
“Coming up very soon, every time someone swipes their debit card, they actually donate to our Home to Home program which gives money to various homeless shelters throughout the state.” Giving back to the community is a great way to promote your brand while reinforcing your values and showing appreciation.
7. A Focus on Content
Timothy Barnes, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at FairPoint Communications, tells us that content marketing has begun to make a splash over the past decade. “We’ve had to produce a lot of content online — whether it’s an email or white paper — just to promote awareness among our customer base.”
Content marketing is no longer just an option for today’s brands — it’s an absolute must.
8. Increased Opportunities to Reach Customers
“With advancements in technology, we’ve found more channels with which to promote our brand and message — whether that be through social media outlets, digital, SEO, etc.,” says James Huddleston, Senior Director of Solution Marketing at ServiceSource International. “There are so many more ways with which to try and reach your buyer.”
Huddleston says his company has found success by taking existing marketing collateral, like white papers and ebooks, and spinning out digestible content pieces for specific channels.
9. Integration of Analytics
Huddleston also says that over the past decade, he’s begun to use tools to analyze marketing data. He says this new focus on analytics allows his team to obtain “concrete, actionable intelligence that helps us market effectively to the right audience for our brand. We’re able to look at the results of our content marketing campaigns relative to our goals.”
10. Increased Personalization
“It is critical to find ways to personalize your messaging and leverage the right channels instead of just throwing stuff out there and hoping something sticks,” says Huddleson.
With so many new channels and marketing trends, it can be a challenge to make your message heard. In the past decade, tailoring content to suit specific audiences has become one way of breaking through the noise.
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