Marketing Trends

Cheryl Catts

November 11, 2011

We can all look back on our lives and reflect on the changes we’ve seen in advertising. We’ve lived through jingles, gimmicks, and mascots. We’ve even been able to see the birth of some instant classics.  But what are the trends right now? How do we know if we should follow, or when to zig if the competition zags? Here’s a little insight into what we at Jibe see as the hottest topic in marketing today.

First of all, raise your hand if you have thought sometime in the last few years, “We need to be on social media.” Now raise your hand if you’ve actually done something about it. If your hand is up, congratulations. You’re moving in the right direction. If not, it’s time to get going.

One thing is for sure – social media is one of those marketing “trends” that isn’t going away any time soon (if you think it might be, did you also just built a Web site last year, thinking that the Internet might not last either?). It is changing the way that companies need to speak, because if we’re not talking to consumers in the way they are listening, they won’t hear us.

Access to true and unbiased information is more prevalent than ever before. Consumers know where to go to get reviews, recommendations or advice; and that is happening through social media. They don’t take what is offered on a company Web site to be worth as much, since that information can be manipulated or “spun.” Through a few simple searches the consumer is more likely to feel empowered to make their purchasing decisions based on what others are saying. So are we there while they’re doing their research, and are we willing to understand how our clients will be most receptive to us? These questions are imperative to ask before moving forward in developing marketing plans and strategies.

So get in the mind of the consumer – are they spending their time watching videos, accessing the Web through their mobile phones, asking for reviews from friends on Facebook, or searching on Google? Wherever they are is where we need to be. These mediums will continue to evolve at lightening speed, but that’s where the “trends” will come into play – we must be prepared to be available to our customers, wherever and however they look for us.

Gone are the days where an advertiser can put his message out and assume that it will be accepted exactly as it is presented. But this isn’t a bad thing. We have all benefited from this – whether buying a lawn mower, booking a massage at a new spa, or finding a new family doctor – by doing research of our own. And on the business front, social media allows marketing budgets to be tracked and managed better than ever. Dollars in can show a direct correlation to new customers and referrals out, often instantaneously.

Even though it’s today’s trend, social media is a long-term plan. Go ahead and throw in a jingle, but just make sure that your audience is actually going to hear it.