How are customers shaping marketing trends for 2017?

- January 2, 2016 3 MIN READ

A new year is a great time to reflect on what has worked in regards to marketing your business this year and also look at trends to capitalise on in 2017.

I always take some time out to plan for the year ahead and to put in place strategies to become ‘talk aboutable’ and to engage the right people.

It’s no news that our audiences’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and there is certainly a shift in how customers are engaging with brands. Companies need to customise how they engage with their customers more and more, there is no one-size fits all approach.

The future of successful promotions and campaigns lies in authentic, personalised, customised and original marketing that enables audiences to be meaningfully engaged, whether your business is online or offline. Businesses really need to challenge themselves to think about how to engage with their customers, that’s more significant than just using a trending hashtag or the latest emoji.

Three key trends every brand needs to know to succeed in 2017

# 1. Customer-ization
One of the many demands to come out of this rise of a competitive, technology driven age, is the customer’s involvement in different areas of the business, from content creation to creative ideation to promotions. Customers are becoming more and more picky and are expecting customisation more than ever before.

And believe it or not, many people are prepared to pay a premium price for an outstanding customised experience. The big question to ask yourself then is not so much ‘what do we want to sell’ but ‘how do they want to buy?’

When looking at the level of customisation a company can offer, I often use a triangle model where we look at the company’s product offering depending on the level of service a customer gets. At the bottom we write down all low-entry level products with higher priced items going towards the top. If a product or service is not making money, regardless of its price point, or it is annoying, it’s time to go.

This gives the company a clear overall picture of their offering and allows them to look at combining and packaging products and services depending on what the customer wants and needs.

So, whether it’s your customised communication to build credibility and maintain reliability to a customised product offering, implementing a customisation tactic is a key ingredient in the recipe to succeed.

# 2. Personalised everything
As consumers, we have such a huge variety of companies we can choose from so when a company goes the extra mile to give us some extra loving, we certainly take it. And not only that, we are more likely to go back to a business that remembered our name, sent us a handwritten note or made us feel special.

The internet and technology has amazing stalking power and has made it super easy for a business to know and find out all sorts of useful (and not so useful) information about our customers. It’s allowing us to tailor our content depending on someone’s likes and dislikes.

While it may seem overwhelming to personalise content to every individual, it’s not as hard as you think, it can be automated using any good client relationship management system. Technology is helping businesses automate, systemise and simplify processes like never before. Robots are literally coming to the rescue, we just need to humanise them a little more.

This means businesses should always be willing to go the extra mile through offline efforts, such as sending your VIP client a book on golfing, their favourite bottle of wine, a ticket to a show or a box of their favourite chocolates.

# 3. Engagement
People don’t want to buy from faceless, characterless businesses, they want a human touch and they want to feel engaged.

Take it one step further by creating heart-warming and captivating content to further connect, engage and make your customers feel something towards your brand. It could be as simple as sharing a simple video of you at work creating their design, or a quick sequence of images with insider access to a sourcing trip, be open to let customers be involved in the entire product development.

Finally, we need to consider how engagement internally could improve your business. By involving team members in decision-making processes you’ll have an involved, inspired and innovative team to help you create a successful brand.

The more you engage through clever marketing, the more you become ‘talk aboutable’!

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