The only constant in the world of marketing is change. So, what tactics do marketing experts predict will bolster the bottom line in 2013?
Data will be the single most important marketing tool for cash-strapped SMEs in 2013, according to the director of digital and innovation at legendary communications agency, Clemenger BBDO, Mark Gretton.
“As every business has such different channel and audience dynamics, there is no wonder widget that will arrive in 2013 to solve everyone’s problems.
“However, clearly the impact of technology means more and more things are measurable and trackable. This means that data will be an invaluable resource for smart marketers who can turn this resource into actionable strategies to create real behavioural change in their consumer bases,” Gretton says.
Filling the gaps with marketing
The rapid growth of tablets and smartphones in the last two years has resulted in even more occasions for businesses to market to consumers.
Gretton explains: “There’s an evolved occasion due to changing device usage, which means that what used to be ‘down time’ moments (journey to work, waiting for an appointment or a bus), have become the new marketing opportunity to reach bored consumers.
“Building websites and emails to be mobile optimised is the key to taking advantage of this time.”
Wright agrees, adding that it’s crucial that businesses invest in their company website in 2013.
“This is your window to show your customers and stakeholders what you’re all about. How it is designed, what it says and how easy it is to navigate will all help you connect with your customers.
It is absolutely essential that your website is optimised for search so that it appears high in returns from search engines when people are searching for keywords around your industry,” Wright says.
Businesses will approach the relatively new marketing discipline of visual storytelling with greater confidence in 2013.
Instagram and Facebook captured the hearts of many in business working to tell their story with consumers last year, with Facebook moving to its image-focused timeline set-up helping many spread the word via this handy tool.
James Wright, managing director of PR firm Red Agency predicts social media site Pinterest will be a bigger player in visual storytelling for many this year as it gains popularity in Australia.
“We will see many more brands begin to launch Pinterest pages in order to help sell their product, service or story,” Wright says.
PR is an increasingly appealing proposition to those in business wanting to spruik their wares, with budgets to hire a professional outfit to do the work for you often far less than other advertising mediums.
Some businesses are even turning their hand to handling their own PR. Jules Brooke is the founder of website handleyourownPR, which gives SMEs the tools to run their own PR campaign. She says the average PR retainer starts at $3,000 per month ($36,000 a year), depending on the size of the agency.
Wright believes social media platforms and PR will continue to eat into traditional advertising budgets, given how cost effective these options are.
“Whilst TV might see a slight increase and continue to take the lion’s share of budget, print is flat-lining and decreasing in some areas and has already been taken over by online marketing, which I expect within will challenge TV spend in the next three years,” Wright says.
Businesses not investing in Google AdWords will need to get cracking on this simple and cheap marketing tool this year.
“Google AdWords is as crucial to SMEs in 2013 as Yellow Pages was in the 1990s,” says Ella Campbell, producer at communications agency The Contenders.
A business can create a presence at minimal cost and increase investment as it sees fit. AdWords is also flexible, takes minutes to set up and you can change content and targeting as required.
It also delivers a reach unattainable almost anywhere else, with nine out of 10 internet journeys starting in Google, Campbell says.
“The program can give you faster return on investment – an important factor for cash-strapped SMEs.”
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