Traditional marketing tactics — email, search spam, paid/rented email lists, outbound sales calls, display advertising, interstitials etc… continue their decline. As a result, marketers worth their salt are doubling down on inbound marketing, most especially mobile, social and content marketing as a means to drive engagement with their markets.
In 2016, successful marketers will remember the 5 Ns:
Newer is not always better: Don’t burn budget on new channels, get your hands out of your wallet. New channels, such as VR, need to leap a few hurdles before you should invest — obviously, it needs to be inhabited by your consumers. They also should offer some extensibility of your marketing prowess. It would be nice to build off of what you already know in order to acquire new skills. Finally, new channels need to acknowledge that they need you just as much, if not more, than you need them. That acknowledgement should include the opportunity to run channel-specific experiments without damage to the brand.
No more ads: Ad blocking software is incredibly effective. In fact, the use of ad-blocking software has risen 48% this past year. CMOs should shift even more of their marketing spend to inbound tactics as a result. Personally, I think display advertising is going the way of the Dodo bird.
Networks in decline: Messaging platforms are in ascendance. Growth is explosive. The user base will expand from 2.5 bn to 3.6 bn users by 2018. Less posting is happening on social networks like Facebook — and only 20% of millennials use social networks to post photos and videos. You need to shift more of your presence to these platforms. The challenge becomes, how do you build brand without intruding into environments that are architected for direct conversation? Very carefully. Brands on messaging channels need to focus on ways to enhance conversations, not detract from them.
Notch lapel video: Each social channel is like a fine suit with great lapels. Lapels to wide? You’re a leisure suit wearing dude from the 70’s. Too thin? And they won’t let you out of Brooklyn. Content also needs to be tailored just right or the consumer experience is all wrong. — and your consumer won’t be caught dead consuming that content. Because video can be consumed very differently over virtually every social channel, it needs to be customized and optimized for each. You can’t just post on YouTube any more and be done with it.
aNother Walled Garden: Channels like SnapChat and Instagram are the 21st century equivalents of walled gardens (how many of you actually used walled gardens with dialup modems — CompuServe or AOL — am I dating myself?). Anyway, these channels minimally integrate with other services — a CMO’s worst nightmare because now he or she needs to treat each channel as if it’s the only one that exists– focusing more on channel-specific effectiveness rather than cross-channel migration of prospects and customers. It makes demand funnel management that much more complicated.
Remembering these 5 Ns will help the savvy marketer succeed in 2016.
(Cross-posted @ AbleBrains)