Like many Sydney-siders I watched Sydney’s New Years Eve fireworks with great excitement. It is an annual tradition that I’ve enjoyed since I was a little girl. I’ve always found NYE fireworks and Sydney’s spirit at that time of year so special, magical and inspirational – very fitting for welcoming in a new year, a time that represents a fresh start.
I have to admit I was particularly inspired by the vision of Embrace for 2013 – set by one of my favourite Australian icons, Kylie Minogue – aka Kylie Kinogue by my two young daughters! Kylie’s vision for Embrace was to not only embrace someone you care about, but to embrace new opportunities, ideas, challenges and change.
At this point, you might be thinking how is this related to marketing? Starting a new year is the perfect time to review your business with a clear focus on sales and marketing. And embracing new ideas, strategies and tactics is a key part of this. This requires an open-mind, fresh perspectives and the ability to look externally at the environment that you operate within and the behaviour of your customers.
So, our top picks of the must embrace marketing strategies for 2013 are:
- Social Media. You simply can’t afford to put social media in the too hard basket in 2013. It needs to be embraced by everyone in an organisation – not just marketing departments but sales and operational teams and most importantly senior executives and the C-Suite. Now more than ever, having a strong online presence is a must – including a visible and credible social network. There are a number of social media platforms to consider but we recommend focusing primarily on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Please refer to previous posts for more detail around how to implement an effective social media strategy.
- Content marketing. Content marketing has emerged over the last couple of years as an increasingly important part of the marketing mix. The online revolution that we continue to experience has created a fast and instant society where we are all hungry consumers for more – whether it is products, services, news or information. We want it all and we want it now! Developing fresh and insightful content is a great opportunity and cost-effective way for companies to increase brand awareness, generate leads and develop thought leadership. In our experience it is an area companies continue to struggle with – many confessing that it takes too much time and commitment. We will reveal our top tips to creating an effective content marketing strategy in the future. Stay tuned!
- On-target messaging. Never under estimate the power of your brand’s messaging and value proposition. On-target messaging in a society confronted by a daily assault of brand messages and advertising is the key to being noticed in a crowded market place. Developing effective overarching brand messages and targeted messages for individual stakeholders is an essential part of the marketing process. However in our experience we have found that it is something that is often overlooked or forgotten by companies. Our challenge to you this year – embrace a review of your brand’s messaging. Take the time to get it right and reap the rewards
- Customer insights/feedback. Embrace listening to your customers in 2013! It is one of the most effective ways to gauge how your products and services are being received, the perception of your brand and what you should keep doing, stop doing and start doing. Make sure you make this a priority as part of your 2013 review – you will never look back. Also remember not to make excuses for why your customers might feel the way they do. You need to embrace their feedback and take it on board.
- Technology. Marketing and technology are intertwined in the modern business environment. Being across the latest technology platforms and their role in marketing is incredibly important for your business. Technology can be used to collect key information about your customers, provide insights about the performance of your website and social media efforts and help you further refine your marketing efforts so you are on track, on target and get the ROI you require from your efforts. We are going to explore technology and marketing in more detail in future posts throughout the year.
My challenge to you for 2013 as a business owner, marketing professional or manager is dare to be bold! It is the year for change, the year for growth so embrace shaking up your marketing. Don’t be afraid to take some measured risks and try something different after you conduct a review and analysis of your products and services, your customers and your market.
It is a challenge that I have set for my own business and team. After all, we need to be walking the talk. Watch this space for some creative and new marketing from M&C throughout 2013!
We would also love to hear your Embrace story – what do you plan to embrace this year – share your story with us at @manningco, or on our Facebook page, Facebook/ManningandCo.
Happy New Year. And here is to some successful marketing campaigns.