5 minutes reading time (925 words)

We Told You So: 5 Past predictions you STILL can’t afford to ignore

For this episode of Trends and Takeaways well be looking back at five past predictions that are now more relevant to the marketing world than ever. So take heed ladies and gentlemen, the following are KEY INSIGHTS into what your marketing campaign should already include.

1. Selling B-to-B? Video Will Lead The Way: “According to Forbes Insights, the research division of Forbes magazine, “video is becoming a critical information source for senior executives,” with more than 80% of executives watching more video online than a year ago”

(Hit) With marketers constantly struggling to produce relevant content, video has emerged as a medium with serious potential for driving traffic and increasing sales. It can be implemented as a client testimonial, product demo or even pertinent industry news. Zappos is an excellent example of this. They’ve seen videos have a sales impact of 6 to 30% and are planning to increase their video demos from the current 8,000 to 50,000. The key here is that they are creating simple approachable content. Their videos augment their current marketing campaign instead of clutter it. 

2. The Bridge between Offline and Online Experiences: “QR codes were popularized more than five years ago in Japan and are now used globally as physical world hyperlinks. Like updated versions of traditional bar codes, QR codes are images that can be scanned to relay information. A code scanned by a smartphone instantly links a user to mobile content, fostering greater customer engagement.”

(Hit) I see this becoming even more popular in the future, if for nothing else than its uncanny ability to link the mobile experience with everyday life. The most impressive aspect is the sense of exclusivity it creates. In its early stages, QR codes allowed consumer’s access to special content only available through that specific channel. It created urgency and excitement which increased the chance that the message would be received accurately. Obviously the fad has stuck, with total scans increasing 810% from 2010 to 2011.


3. Weather Personalization Is Getting Hotter: “Over the past few weeks, inclement weather has made big headlines, especially in the northeastern part of the U.S. Smart marketers are taking advantage of the timeliness of snowstorms to get the more business. This strategy involves a very specific type of content personalization – a combination of timing and location”

(Hit) This theory has been used over various mediums for quite some time. However, advertising linked to weather changes are usually related to season specific products, like lawnmowers in the spring, and de-icer for winter. The brilliant part of this trend is that recently marketers are honing in on its application for products that aren’t weather specific, and are taking a broader approach with location based marketing. Mobile Marketer reviewed a recent McDonalds campaign that offered customers $1 off their purchase when they searched via mobile device. This, as well as time sensitive/weather related offers are appearing more frequently. Look for hyper specific and local marketing to be even more prominent as individualized marketing becomes the norm.


4. Subscription Model: “Established by the publishing industry with magazines and Book of the Month Club, many retailers looking to break into an already-competitive market are turning to the subscription model. Rather than selling a single product and hoping for the customer to return for more, ecommerce sites such as Panty by Post, Men are Useless and Blue Bottle Coffee Company are hoping larger single receipts through subscription packages are the answer to bigger returns”

(Hit) This trend has exploded recently, even becoming a supplementary method of income for many traditional websites. Companies like BirchBox are connecting to the subscription model but instead of sending one product every month, they are delivering multiple trial sized products in hopes that one or more will lead to the sale of a full sized version. The idea of sending several options increases the chances that one will stick, but also creates urgency and importance in the eyes of the consumer as the products are always cutting edge and are offered at a discount the month following delivery. A recent study from Fox Business found that “if just 3% of customers enroll (in a subscription program), (marketers) will see a significant boost in revenue. Data shows that these customers purchase 2-4x more frequently with no additional marketing spent”. Clearly this trend is here to stay and will continue to evolve in response to consumer habits.


5. Costs Shift from Channel to Production: “Our trend watchers are seeing a growing need for even the savviest of marketers to educate themselves on workflow improvements. The concept of how to mass-produce automated marketing campaigns (without reliance on excessive human interaction) is not difficult to implement, yet many businesses aren’t aware of the right strategies.”

(Hit) Although seemingly simple, marketing automation can be a handful if not carefully structured. A well planned, need based campaign can greatly improve a company’s marketing mix, but each must begin with a clear goal in mind. Action based messaging and drip campaigns can work wonders for customer retention and building value, but the effort will be lost if not precisely targeted. I’d say this is the home-run hit for Trends and Takeaways so far. According to a Focus Inc. study, businesses that used marketing automation to nurture prospects experienced a 451% increase in qualified leads and in turn 47% of those leads turned into larger purchases than non-nurtured. Marketers CANNOT afford to ignore this trend. Rewards of a properly executed campaign will be twofold: marketers will see an increase in productivity as well as a more personalized and valuable relationship with current and potential customers. 

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