The first weeks of January are usually regarded as being one of the grimmer parts of the year. The yuletide festivities are over and done with, the skies are grey, the days are short and the bills for most of the Christmas excess are only just beginning to roll in. Add to all of this the fact that you have to cope with people endlessly asking what your New Year’s resolutions are and it’s not difficult to understand why many people wish we followed the example of large parts of nature and just spent a few months in bed.
If you run a business, however, hibernating isn’t really an option, so it’s probably best to look January square in the eye and take it on in the best way possible – by looking forward. January may not be much fun in its own right, but it does represent the start of a whole new year full of possibilities, opportunities and challenges. Here are just a few of the marketing and advertising directions in which businesses are adapting to see dominating 2017:
Conversations with Machines – 2017 could be the year in which voice recognition technology becomes a truly mainstream phenomenon. To a degree this is already happening, with the emergence of Amazon’s Echo device, but we’re still at the stage at which the technology is the province of early adopters and the most tech-savvy sectors of the market place. The fact that we’re still being treated to media coverage detailing not always easy to believe accounts of people ‘accidentally’ spending huge amounts of money via Echo (or discovering their children have done so) – something which is actually difficult if not impossible to do – is indicative of the fairly nascent nature of the technology. As it becomes more widespread, however, it will be imperative to adjust marketing content to make allowances for the fact that many initial enquiries in the future will be spoken out loud rather than typed into a search engine.
Interaction – the issue of voice recognition naturally leads onto a consideration of interaction with your customers. Social media has already made it possible to create a two way ‘conversation’ with your customers, but even the most well managed Twitter or Facebook account is going to involve a degree of delay between enquiries being made and answered. Voice recognition technology, on the other hand, will make it possible, for this ‘conversation’ to mimic real world interactions. Consumers will come to expect real time interaction of this kind, whether it’s via voice, live streaming or location based content.
Omni-channel – omni-channel has been a marketing buzzword for some time now, and 2017 could mark the year in which it becomes a genuine phenomenon. In simple terms, it means linking the separate channels via which your customers and prospective customers interact with you, offering a seamless experience both on and off-line. Put basically, the person behind the till in the store will be able to access the online order you made earlier that week, whilst search results accessed on a smart phone will be ready and waiting when you log on via your lap top or tablet.
Here at Positive Results Marketing, we design and develop digital and traditional advertising services for customers of all sizes, specializing in creating stylish, modern websites, digital marketing and traditional advertising. Call us today, and grow your business to its full potential.
Positive Results Marketing, Ltd.
239 Kensington High St.
London, W8 6SA
020 7316 3096
Positive Results Marketing, Ltd.
1st Floor Holborn Gate
330 High Holborn
0207 203 8477
Many businesses, particularly during financially difficult periods, opt to cut their marketing budget before cutting virtually anything else. This is a mistake, of course, since effective marketing is what draws income in the first place. No matter how effective the product or service which you provide is, it won’t have the expected impact if the target audience don’t get to hear about it, or aren’t convinced to invest in it.
As a marketing agency, we’ve witnessed companies making this mistake time and time again. All too often, the assumption is that the marketing effort can be handled from within the company, but this is to severely underestimate the degree of expertise involved in effective marketing and advertising. When it comes to handling aspects such as email marketing, ppc advertising or creating a custom mobile app, leaving an amateur in charge makes no more sense than asking an unqualified office worker to deal with plumbing in the company washroom.
In recent years, the drive toward taking marketing in-house has been driven by the rise and rise of social media. Since the basics of setting up and using the various social media sites which are available are relatively simple, business owners make the leap of assuming that assembling, mounting and keeping up an effective social media strategy will be equally straightforward.
The truth, however, is that each social media platform has its own characteristics and will work more effectively with different forms of marketing aimed at different sectors of the public. An understanding of these differences is imperative if you are to use social media as an effective marketing tool, and to illustrate the point we’d like to share a few of the most striking statistics regarding the different platforms that are available. Gathering, understanding and utilising statistics of this kind is part of the job we do, and it’s why we’re a marketing agency that can deliver effective results time after time:
83% percent of parents with a child between the ages of 13 and 17 are friends with them on Facebook.
The average Facebook user has 155 friends. The average woman has 166, the average man 145.
32% of Facebook users say they regularly engage with brands.
49% of Twitter users follow brands or companies, making them three times more likely to do so than Facebook users.
42% of Twitter users learn about products and services through the platform
41% comment on products and services via twitter
19% use the platform to access customer service support.
68% percent of Instagram users regularly engage with brands.
Instagram users are 2.5 times more likely to click on ads than those using other platforms.
A 2015 user survey found that 60% percent of users discover new products on the platform.
Two-thirds of the Pins on the platform come from a business website.
Pinners are 45% more likely than those on other platforms to be introduced to new brands.
45% of mobile users access the site for inspiration while out shopping.
Half of users say they’d be more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.
94% percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to share content.
LinkedIn drives more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B blogs and sites.
64% of gamers downloaded a game after seeing an ad for it on YouTube.
Those viewers who complete a TrueView ad are 23 times more likely to visit a brand channel, share the brand video or watch more by the brand.
Statistics taken from: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statistics-for-social-media-managers/
As anyone who followed the UK Brexit referendum, the US Presidential election or even, to a lesser degree, the progress of Ed Balls to the later stages of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ will confirm, making predictions can be a tricky business. This is particularly true where technology is concerned. After all, how many people, hand on heart, can say that they put a bet on one of the biggest phenomena of 2016 involving crowds of people walking the streets whilst simultaneously playing a video game involving cute Japanese creatures (that’s Pokémon Go to anyone who’s spent most of the year hiding in a cave)?Nevertheless, it is part of our remit as a leading advertising agency to stay on top of the trends which might be emerging during the next twelve months. Only by ensuring that we know what is coming down the line will we be able to offer our clients a fully rounded service, and that includes spotting the trends which don’t take off, as much as those that do. After all, the most well established digital platforms were once innovative start-ups, and tools such as email marketing, Google adwords and custom mobile apps might once have been regarded as gimmicks, are now pretty much taken for granted.
Bearing that in mind, we offer a few brief predictions for digital marketing trends which might emerge during 2017. We can’t guarantee that they’ll all come to fruition, but we do promise that we’ll keep a careful watch out for them either way, and will offer those that do emerge as part of the package which our clients can access.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
We’ve already mentioned Pokemon Go but, as well as being lots of fun and getting hard core gamers up and out into the fresh air for a while, it also underlined the possibilities offered by augmented and virtual reality. How about an app which enables customers to see the furniture they’re wearing in place in an image of their home, or a headset which lets you take a ‘walk’ round a holiday spot you’re thinking of booking? The limits are literally as wide as you can imagine.
Live Video Streaming
Turn your branding and advertising into an event by streaming content live. Video streaming is becoming more and more of a feature of social media, thanks to a combination of broadband availability and more advanced smart devices. When the first Presidential Debate of last year was streamed live across multiple platforms all over the world, the form genuinely entered the mainstream.
The sheer weight of content pumped out across all digital channels will mean that much of what is produced is lost in the ‘background noise’. Brands and businesses will be able to combat this, and make sure that their content cuts through, by making increasing use of big data to finely hone the personal nature of their content.
Mobile has already overtaken desktop as most people’s online access point of choice, and this process is only going to accelerate. Combine this with search engine algorithms which concentrate on websites optimised for mobile access, and you have a situation in which being fully responsive to mobile search is a necessity, rather than an option.
As wearable devices and the internet of things become mainstream, so advertisers will increasingly become able to target content to both the individuals previous history and their current location. This means that marketing content which is useful in real time will become every bit as important as content which simply sells.
As one of London’s leading marketing and advertising agencies, we pride ourselves in our forward thinking and staying up-to-date with the most recent trends. If you are looking to take your business to the next level, contact us at PRM London or contact your local UK advertising agency for a consultation and review to improve your business’ marketing strategies.
As a top advertising agency we pride ourselves on remaining completely up-to-date with the latest developments in marketing. Over recent years, this has meant fully realising the opportunities presented by the most up-to-date digital platforms. From something which now almost seems traditional, like email marketing, through to getting Google certified with adwords and utilising the latest cutting edge custom mobile app, we offer our clients the full range of tools via which to get their message across to the people who matter – the customers.
A large part of offering the best possible service involves remaining fully aware of the latest developments, and in terms of digital interaction that currently means advising our clients that there approach to marketing now has to embrace an omni channel perspective.
Until now, many companies, whether working with a marketing agency or not, have adopted a multi-channel approach to their marketing efforts. In simple terms, this means interacting with consumers and potential consumers via a number of different platforms, ranging from a website to a bricks and mortar retail location and taking in aspects such as emails, flyers, posters and even packaging. The days when on online presence could be regarded as an optional extra or even a luxury have long since passed, but the latest trend, driven by consumer demand above all else, is for all of these channels to work together seamlessly.
The modern consumer is used to being able to access digital content on a more or less constant basis, and via numerous different devices. Until now, the emphasis of the average marketing agency has been placed upon ensuring that the messages in question are equally accessible via devices such as smart-phones and tablets as well as the more traditional lap top or desk top PC. An omni-channel approach takes this one stage further, recognising that the modern consumer demands a unified service no matter how they opt to interact with a business, and providing this across all media.
This would mean, for example, that a consumer who begins searching a website on their smartphone whilst commuting to or from work would then be able to access the same site on their tablet at home that evening, and find that their details and the details of their earlier search had been transferred across the devices. The same will also be true if they then decide to make an online purchase on their laptop, or even if they visit the bricks and mortar store. In this last example, the shop assistant in the store will be equipped with a device such as tablet enabling them to access the consumers’ online profile.
Whilst only a handful of businesses – such as large corporations like Disney – have actually travelled very far in the direction of an omni-channel offering, the modern, digitally engaged consumer will soon begin to take the customer service levels involved for granted. This will mean companies accepting the fact that all parts of their organisation, including on and offline divisions, marketing and customer service, will have to work together and share information and resources to deliver the experience the modern consumer demands.
As a London ad agency, it’s our duty to think about every possible channel when it comes to spreading the message of the people who hire us. The digital revolution has increased the communication channels and advertising options massively, with the result being that many businesses – particular smaller concerns lacking the ability to lavish lots of money on a marketing department – can feel somewhat overwhelmed. Developing PPC advertising, working with Google Adwords and creating a custom mobile app to drive sales can all seem like highly complex and specialised practices. Of course, that’s where professionals like us enter the picture, but the individual or small business is still in a position to take advantage of the power of email marketing. There’s a tendency to look upon email marketing as being somewhat old fashioned in this multi-media age, but get it right and it can form an excellent channel of communication between you and your customers.
The key to effective email marketing is to keep a few simple tips in mind at all times. You don’t want to bombard your customers with emails until they’re sick of the sight of your name in their inbox, nor should you send out unsolicited email marketing. What you should do is provide carefully targeted and crafted messages capable of providing what your customers want in terms of information or entertainment, and designed to turn them into repeat visitors to your wider online presence. A few simple tips and pieces of advice will help you to do this:
The underlying purpose of any email marketing is to drive traffic to your website, landing page or home page. No matter how entertaining, informative or useful the content of your email is, if the recipient doesn’t click through then it won’t actually lead to any business. Make it easier to click through by including plenty of links and calls to action, and making sure that the links obviously are links. Don’t be afraid of being obvious and using ‘click here’ links.
It may seem to defy logic to make it easier for customers to stop receiving your marketing emails, but the opposite is even worse. It someone chooses to unsubscribe, then you have to accept that you got something wrong in this case, and make it easy for them to do so. A long, drawn out process, or one which is all but impossible, will have two effects; it will lead to the customer blocking all of your emails permanently, and it will create a lingering negative impression of your brand. Let them unsubscribe now, and you might get another chance in the future.
Keep it Short
Nobody has lots of time to send ploughing through long, drawn out emails, so make sure that you edit to keep yours short and concise and include the relevant information as quickly as possible.
Many email programmes don’t automatically download images, so make sure that the text and any images you want to use are kept separate, and that the main message of the email is not contained in just an image.
Don’t Overdo It
Don’t send too many emails to your customers. You want them to look forward to hearing the latest you’ve got to tell them, discovering your newest offers or finding out what advice you’ve got to share. Several emails a day will simply frustrate even the most loyal customer.
Having a business presentation can be a very stressing, and therefore, a very difficult situation but it’s something that we must all do if we want to make our businesses flourish. So, we should get used to that idea and conquer our stage fear, no matter how grand it may be. In my career, I have done many presentations, and I can only say that I’ve gotten better with practice but at first I was helpless, so here are a few tips I’ve learned on the road, I hope you find them useful for your own business. Happy presentations!
1. Choosing an amazing software: Back in the day, one could only dream to master the delicate art of Power Point to create a slideshow for your business presentation. One could create great graphics and add very cool headlines but in my opinion at least, Power Point is just not dynamic enough. Not long ago, I discovered Prezi, a fantastic software that allowed me to deliver a much more engaging presentation that dazzled my clients. Its mobile graphics make it a much more interactive and friendlier software, to my taste and it is not the only one available in the market. Have a look at the different softwares out there and impress your clients by doing things differently to what they are accustomed to. It takes a little time to learn it but you’ll have no regrets once you’ve mastered it.
2. Being assertive is key: This can be a little tricky to achieve but once you’ve found that place where you feel comfortable with yourself, then you shouldn’t have any problem. Being assertive is all about demonstrating flexibility, while at the same time, showing that you’re firm in your own convictions. Just relax, and be sure that you have a product that is necessary for your clients and that their business is important to you as well.
3. Eye contact and your audience: Having a presentation is a lot like being on a performance stage, one has to keep louring people’s attention and the best way to that is by addressing them directly. If you feel that you’re loosing your audience’s interest, try to find the most distracted one and talk to that person directly, as if you were giving your presentation only to that person. Once you’ve recovered your audience’s attention start addressing everyone else.
4. Avoid reading in presentations: This is a personal choice. In my experience, I have learned that keeping your eyes on your audience instead of your notes is far more effective. From my perspective as an audience, I think a presenter that keeps his or her eyes in their notes is unprofessional and rude, so try to avoid it. PRM can help you with your graphic design to make your presentation stand out with infographics or even an animated video.
5. Suit up!: This is a trick I learned from Byron Read, who told me that suiting up has nothing to do with a power trip, but it has to do with the formality of a business meeting. Your clients need to know that you will take their business seriously and a formal suit can say that about you and much more. Turtle necks are now trendy in business meetings but I honestly rather a person in a suit, makes me want to be as ambitious as they are, but it’s a personal choice.
Thank you for reading this and next time you’re trying to find a London Advertising Agency, I hope you consider PRM. Perhaps we can discuss our meeting experiences and compare notes.