4 Ways to Take Advantage of the New Age of Marketing


4 Ways to Take Advantage of the New Age of Marketing

It’s time to ditch habits that don’t translate into the digital world.

TV, billboard, and print ads were once the gold standard for marketing. Basically, companies pushed their name in front of the masses in an attempt to build brand awareness.

Now, customers want personalized, one-on-one interactions with brands, and marketers are beginning to see how a targeted approach can stretch their marketing dollars further and generate leads faster. This is what changes everything.

Print, radio and Super Bowl commercials — there’s only one reason companies spend money on these marketing methods and it’s for bragging rights. They have little to do with actual branding and lead generation.

You probably knew that. What you may not realize is that many startups still use techniques that seem hyper-personal and new but don’t actually move the needle for their companies. Here are some conventional methods that are missing the mark:

  • Cold calls: Although the B2C world has long rejected this method, B2B companies are discovering the faults in this strategy, too. Buyers want to establish their own solutions and work out their issues online. Marketers need to offer online as much information as possible or potential clients will find a competitor who does.
  • Blast emails: Many people still swear by email marketing. But a mass-delivered message just doesn’t work for most companies, even if it’s delivered by email. One message can never resonate with a general audience.

Join the New Marketing Era

These days, every successful marketing trend stems from knowing your customers, like where they congregate, and how they form trust. Marketers no longer “think” of campaigns; they build them around buyer needs. Personalization has become the key to generating ROI for your marketing efforts.

Knowing your buyer is the most effective marketing tool you can have. Start with customer profiles and dig deep into who your customers are, to figure out how to reach them.

Once you understand your customers, consider these marketing tips to make your strategy work harder.

  1. Start with content marketing. Customer-driven content marketing can help your company address potential concerns and convert customers with more precision. Too often, companies blindly produce content; throw it out into the world and hope that it bring in leads. The content often centers on what the marketer thinks is important, rather than what’s useful or relevant to customers. With few metrics to accurately measure the content’s success, many marketers have difficulty gauging its effectiveness. Regardless, when done well, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads.
  1. Use marketing automation to help you scale. Marketing automation software helps companies market across multiple platforms. These services do everything from organizing leads to creating hubs that launch digital campaigns across many networks. But this trend is still new and few companies have adopted it. Jumping on it early can give your company a competitive edge in the next wave of marketing.
  1. Use social media to extend the conversation. If content marketing starts the conversation and marketing automation scales it, then social media perpetuates it. Find out where your potential customers hang out, then speak their language. For example, don’t offer eBooks on Twitter. Join the conversation on their terms.
  1. Don’t forget the old ways. Personalization doesn’t mean you should completely reject older methods. On the contrary, personalization can transform those old techniques into efficient marketing tools.

Direct mail is an example of an older method. Mailboxes were constantly stuffed with junk a few years ago, so no one noticed a good campaign. But many companies have stopped sending mail, and buyers are becoming much more receptive to good mail campaigns. This presents the perfect opportunity to create a targeted direct-mail message that potential customers will find refreshing.

Traditional marketing campaigns bring a single company message to a large pool of potential buyers, but that just isn’t cutting it anymore. Consumer trends are shifting toward personalization and marketers need to take note. Buyers want results. When you tell a compelling story that directly relates to them, they’ll believe your company can deliver.

Content marketing, marketing automation, social media and even personalized traditional outlets can all reach potential customers effectively. But make sure your campaigns hone in on buyer personas and also address their specific needs. You will then have customers for life.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Image credit: CC by Pinterest

About the author: Justin Gray

Justin Gray is the CEO and chief marketing evangelist of LeadMD, which he founded in 2009.

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