It’s a new year! Time to shake off everything old that’s bogging down your brand and turning customers away to make room for fresh, new ideas that will enliven your brand and attract customers.
So, just what are the ideas and tactics that will transform your brand in 2015? Here are the top five marketing trends you need to know about right now:
1) Flip Your Focus
Your customers put themselves and their needs first, so you should too. Flip the focus of your brand from you to them. Experience your brand through their eyes, listen to what they’re saying and evolve so that your brand message better aligns with their brand perception. After all, a brand that stands still, delivering the same message the same way year after year, is not going to catch the attention of today’s consumers. If they’ve heard it before, why should they listen? Brand evolution means thinking about your brand in original ways, presenting products in a fresh light and connecting with customers on new levels.
2) Engage Customers on Their Terms
Today’s customers engage with brands on their terms, whether it’s visiting a store online instead or in person or looking for deals on social media instead of in their inbox. So give them ways to engage with your brand that they’ll value. Today, those values center on convenience and personalization. Think SMS messaging, innovative brand experiences and stellar customer service. If you don’t have it, customers aren’t going to engage. Because it’s no longer about being loyal to a brand because of a past experience. It’s about, “what can you do for me right now that someone else can’t?” Answer that question with an innovative service or loyalty program and you’ll solve the riddle of customer engagement.
3) Take Your Customer Service Mobile
Customer care is not just in your store or over the phone. It’s on your customers’ mobile devices. If customers can use email, SMS, instant message or even an app to get pertinent information about a product or to solve problems, they’ll count your brand as one that makes things easier for them and one that fits their lifestyle. In short, you’ll close the gap between how you perceive your customer care and how your actual customers perceive it. In a recent study by Millward Brown, 73 percent of businesses patted themselves on the back for doing a good job taking care of customer needs. Only 36 percent of customers agreed. So don’t just have a mobile presence. Have a mobile customer service strategy that’s easy, fast and effective.
4) Transform the Mobile Experience Into a Personal Experience
If you don’t know your customers, it shows — especially on mobile. Your customers use their mobile devices to plan and enrich their lives in highly personal ways. So the more personal their mobile interactions are with you, the better. There’s all kinds of data being shared on mobile devices that can help you go beyond segmenting and get to know your customers on a more individualized level, just be sure to use it responsibly. People want to feel known on their mobile devices, not followed or checked up on. So think about how your customers use their mobile devices and how you can tap into the data they’re sharing to build a personal connection between them and your brand. Because personal connections are stronger connections.
5) Make Your Customers’ Stories Your Story
The story of your brand wouldn’t exist without your customers, so, when it comes to brand storytelling, roll their stories into yours. Brand storytelling can be a video tutorial on how to use a product featuring actual customers who use it. Or a social media campaign that allows individual customers to insert their photos or other content into the overall story. Remember that it’s not just the story that matters. It’s how you deliver it, too. Choose the appropriate medium for each story so you are offering something unique — rather than endlessly repurposing content — on each channel you populate.
Today, consumers shape the marketing of a brand just as much as the brand itself. So be sure your marketing efforts aren’t missing the key component that every modern campaign needs: customer centricity. And that goes for everything you do, from marketing all the way to product development.