Welcome back! We’re getting comfy here in Q4. The year is flying by and I’m sure you’ve been thinking about next year's plans and strategy. Today we’re talking about 3 trends that can take your small business to the next level.
We all know that things constantly change.Things as simple as the weather, all the way to viral trends. They constantly fluctuate and sometimes are unexpected. You cannot rely on the same marketing practices as previous years. Marketing trends change as brands learn to leverage the ever-evolving technology. Consumer behaviors and values have dramatically shifted more than ever. Staying on top of these shifts will keep you connected to your consumer and ahead of your competitors.
1. Long-term Influencer Relationships/Partnerships
Word of mouth will always be your most authentic and trustworthy type of advertising. Influencer marketing has been a successful marketing tool since the early 2000s. Within the past 10 years it has been on a steady rise and shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re brand new to the space, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements from individuals that have a strong community in a certain niche.
While influencer marketing is not new, it is going to be beneficial to build long-term relationships with these brand ambassadors going into 2023. A long term commitment from both the brand and influencer increases brand awareness, generates leads, reaches target audiences and builds brand loyalty while driving conversions. This also ensures that the influencer is promoting consistently and maintains authentic brand trust.
2. Elevate Customer Experiences with AI (artificial intelligence) and VR
AI technology has been taking over the marketing realm over the past few years. It’s one of the fastest and most organic ways you can learn about your customers FROM your customers. If you’re not familiar with AI, great examples are, chatbots on websites that engage with consumers, companies that have loyalty and rewards programs. They use the data to understand the buying habits and needs of their consumers. They can analyze the data and recommend other products or services. With AI you are able to improve the customer experience from data directly sourced from the customer.
Another tool that has been successful with customer retention and experience is opening the door to VR. Brands have implemented apps that allow consumers to try on makeup virtually like the Sephora app where you can try on lipsticks or home decor brands like Magnolia Market and IKEA allows you to view and place “3D” products anywhere in your home. This gives brands a way to engage and interact to elevate the customer experience.
3. Lead with Brand culture
While technology has advanced marketing trends in many ways, going back to understand the basics never hurts. Determining a mission statement is one of the first things you do in a business. You explain your goals, purpose and values as a company. The mission statement is supposed to be directed to employees, customers and stakeholders. It defines your overall existence.
Now, it’s common for a small business to create your mission statement and then move on to other aspects of the business because let’s be honest… you need to be profitable to stay afloat right? But what consumers are really focusing on as of late, is experiencing what the true values of the company really are.
Branding and corporate culture have traditionally been seen as separate aspects of a business. However, the lines between the two are blending and should be seamless with one another. For example, having a “green” business is a marketing strategy. Whether that be using recycled packaging and shipping supplies, to reduce their carbon footprint. Being a sustainable business is branding AND culture. You must also ensure everyone in the company maintains these values to seamlessly drive company authenticity.
Connecting and building credibility with your target market is crucial. We hope these three trends have inspired you to think outside the box in ways to raise the bar in your marketing strategy!