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If people don’t know about your business, they can’t become your customers. If you are operating a business, it’s important to know about current marketing trends and be able to stay on top of where marketing is headed in the future. There are many trade publications that you can subscribe to that bring you the most current information and research and, of course, professionals that specialize in marketing and public relations like our parent company Backus Turner International. Marketing and public relations evolve constantly, and it is critical to stay on top of the next big trend that best fits your type of business and clientele. We strongly believe that marketing today is a combination of new technology combined with traditional methods of communicating with potential customers and customers alike.  We believe it is very important to retain and embrace current customers and very often this is overlooked by some of the larger national firms that specialize in only marketing through technology. Customer retention is as important in marketing as gaining new customers, and every effort needs to be made to achieve this.

Artificial Intelligence is on the rise and Alexa and Siri are voice assistants that provide excellent services.  Just like a human, they can take orders from users and get things done.  This is an example of “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) which refers to robots or machines that have the ability to work like humans.  AI uses a combination of different features such as voice assistance and chatbots to quickly find answers.

What are Chatbots? Chatbots either use verbal interactions or chat windows to help web users find what they’re looking for. Chabots save companies money by answering questions for companies that use them.  They also save time, provide customer satisfaction, and are unbiased and informative. While they can be helpful, they can also be frustrating when you can’t find the answer you need, and it becomes very difficult to speak to a human being.  Very often when I call about  something and get a chatbot I might have to wait ten minutes or longer to finally reach customer service.  So, there are two sides to using them.  You may save on staffing, but you still need to be able to provide customers with a human touch.

As the new year is right around the corner, many companies are already experimenting and using private messaging apps. Smartphone apps include WhatsApp, Viber, and WeChat, and they are gaining in popularity. Some companies are using private apps and messaging instead of using emails, and it is predicted that this trend will continue.

Some applications like WeChat and PayPal have already made significant progress in making it easier to pay online. WeChat, Venmo, and PayPal users are already getting into the habit of using these types of apps to transfer money.

Digital advertising is seeing huge growth in sales and attracting larger shares of some companies’ budgets.  A factor to consider if you’re not a large mass market product is to know that very often these ads are annoying or have nothing to do with you.  I have received many annoying ads that turn me off on the company and/or the product.  

Forbes magazine states that because of this overwhelming digital connection, unrelated ads or brands that keep on bombarding people with their irrelevant offers will be disregarded by 49% of people. Research also shows that 70% of the consumers get frustrated when the content is not relevant to them.

When watching television, have you experienced the growing trend of seeing the same commercial message over and over again, hour after hour, day after day, for months at a time?  Several examples of companies doing this are AT&T, Xfinity, and the Florida Lottery. If I hear the “Luck Luck” commercial one more time, I may never buy a Florida Lottery ticket. AT&T’s bed and breakfast commercial is terribly overexposed too.  Research supports that attracting the same customer repeatedly with tailored mess-ages will increase sales by 36%. What needs to be considered?  Does the cost of this type of communication and advertising merit the return? And, who is funding the research to support this?

Personalization is the future of digital marketing and all other forms of advertising whether it is technical or traditional methods. Consumers expect this and this is the most effective new trend that marketers will experience in the years ahead.   This is one of the reasons why companies and marketers address you by your first name whenever you see it in your emails, snail mail or other method of personalized communication.  To quote Dale Carnegie, “Remembering a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

A prime example of this is Amazon. More and more consumers purchase all types of products on Amazon. They build their Internet business by understanding customers’ behaviors, and past purchase history.Therefore, they present products that might interest their customer base through their “Recommendations Tab.”  It has worked for them as they are a hugely successful retailer that so many people rely on. I have been an Amazon customer for many years and competitively shop but very often my purchases are on Amazon. That is how they became the household name they are today, making a fortune.

If women are your target, about 86% of women consult social media before deciding on a product. And, what they want is for brands to be honest, friendly, and helpful. Other social media posts that attract attention include humor and trendy content. If a brand or product gets good reviews on social media, they are likely to gain more customers through what  the marketing world would call “positive testimonials.”  If you are a small  business or a national company, social media is an essential part of your marketing strategy.  Social media enables you to increase awareness, and that can increase your sales. Keep in mind that there are over three billion people around the world that use social media every month, and it is not going away.  You hear success stories of people using social media just about daily on the news and various talk shows.  In addition to social media posts, social media advertising is also an effective way to increase your brand awareness and sales.

No matter how small or big you are, there are many ways to market products and services, and some of the better methods include traditional media.  Marketing is important to address with professionals in the business because, in the end, that will increase your visibility and sales.  In the long run, using a professional should also save you time and money.   Wishing you the best in your own marketing efforts in 2020 and beyond.

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