The digital world around us is moving at an ever increasing pace, we need to think about the best way to not only keep up with changes in small business trends, changes to our industry but also those within the marketing industry, successful marketing is such a vital part of running a business. If we are aware of the potential changes, we can not only be prepared to work with this within our business but also to provide the best service to our customers. There are a number of different things that you can do to help keep up to date, which include:
- Subscribe to industry magazines. For the marketing world this would be organisations such as the CIM – Chartered Institute of Marketing, Content Marketing Association or Institute of Direct Marketing. Each industry will have their own dedicated publications and governing bodies.
- Read recent research. In some industries more than others white papers are more common, through your key industry bodies, identify influencers and keep up to date with their thoughts as to how your industry is changing.
- Training and CPD. As a chartered marketeer and across many other professions we need to continually learn and develop, we can achieve this by joining webinars, training or conferences to keep up to date.
Why is it important to keep up with changing market trends?
As small business owners, it is important that we keep up to date with changing trends, so we can react to them if need be. Here are a couple of the benefits:
- Improved customer Service. It helps us to provide a better product or service for our target audience.
- Stay ahead of the competition. There is high competition across most industries, all doing similar things whether you are a coach, interior designer, fitness instructor or a myriad of other professions there will be others doing something similar. If you are up to speed and in the know for your business this will help to stand out from the competition.
- Streamline Operations. Knowing what changes are coming up will help you to streamline your business, making it more productive and give you the ability to scale up or down as you choose.
- By learning new skills it will help you engage with your audience in the new space, giving you a reason to re-engage with them and explain the new technologies coming into the market place.
- Plan, plan, plan. We talk a lot about building your marketing strategy and marketing plan to put the small business owner in the best place to respond to changes in the market place.
What are the key Marketing Trends?
Every year we like to think about what marketing trends are coming up for small businesses in the forthcoming year, and this year was no different. CLICK HERE to read our full article but here are some of the highlights we noted would be a focus for 2019:
- Emotional Connection. With more and more competitors out there how you connect emotionally with your target audience and provide them with the product or service that they seek has never been so important. Truly understanding your target audience, what challenges they face and how you can help them, is a fundamental part of this. Taking time to build these needs into the visual element of marketing activity will help you reach and connect with them. Some great recent examples of big brands that have achieved this are: Bacardi, John Lewis and Waitrose Christmas Campaigns.
- Building Loyalty. It is cited that it is 5 times more expensive to acquire new clients vs retain your existing ones. So with this in mind why would you not think of ways to encourage repeat business and loyalty. Offer exclusive discounts, services, rewards and content are great ways to achieve this, CLICK HERE to read one of our recent blogs around the topic.
- Online Security & GDPR. In 2017-18 there was a huge focus on what small businesses needed to do to prepare for the new GDPR regulations. A regulation that makes sense in our digital world – certainly to treat your client’s data with the respect that it deserves is critical.
- Collaboration. This is a trend we have seen a lot over recent years and one for small businesses which is so important. With limited budgets to work along-side a colleague or complementary business will really help to broaden your reach.
- Social Media. This continues to boom and be a key marketing tool for small business owners. We are however seeing a big shift in usage and the focus for people’s time, Facebook’s usage is declining, paralleled with the huge growth of Instagram. Just showing that pictures really do speak a thousand words.
- Mobile devices. This trend is well and truly here to stay. All websites should now be mobile responsive as something like 60% us now visit websites, read emails and check out social media on a mobile device. This is now not really a trend but more of an essential.
- Content is King. This trend continues in whatever form to continue. Marketing in today’s world is very much about having a conversation with your customer and sharing relevant an useful content. Whether you decide to share this in the written word or via video the quantity of content is definitely increasing. It is predicted that by 2020 there will be almost a million minutes of video per second crossing the internet and 82% of all consumer web traffic will be video.
- Good customer service. Despite the advances of technology there is no dispute that good customer service still wins hands down to build loyalty of a brand. It does not matter on the size of the organisation but exceeding customer expectations has to be the way forward for the future.
If you would like some help in reviewing your marketing to ensure you keeping up to date on small business trends, then please CLICK HERE to get in touch to arrange an initial no obligation 1:1 consultation.