Thursday, July 7, 2011

10 Key Marketing Trends for 2011

Business tips from the Ascentive team

Halfway into the year, the need for trust, value and brand transparency are as important today as they were in 2010. However, the emergence of Social Media Marketing, Geotargeting, and mobile marketing have inspired many businesses to adapt their marketing strategies in order to surpass the competition. Here are the 10 marketing trends of 2011 that businesses everywhere should incorporate into their strategies.

Build Brand Advocates
The theory that you need a legion of friends and followers to build your business through Social Media Marketing is over. What you need is quality connections who are loyal to the business and the brand to spread your message.

Stick to your Niche
Businesses need to focus on their niches and position themselves as the definitive sources for information, products and services related to their products or services.

Keep Creating Quality Content
Social media marketing and content marketing work hand-in-hand, and you need to create useful content that adds value to online conversation and to people's lives. The Internet is a noisy place. What you need is quality content in order to be heard through all the noise.

Spend More on Social Media
Statistics are showing that both large and small companies are shifting their budgets to spend more on social media and other digital marketing initiatives.

Invest in Branded Online Experiences
You need to invest in Branded Online Experience in order to meet diverse consumer needs. Having a Twitter account or Facebook page isn't enough. You need to provide consumers with multiple branded online destinations, including a blog, LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel, and Flickr profile.

Pursue Mobile Marketing
Mobile Marketing is now a marketing imperative. With mobile advertising, branded mobile apps and apps like Foursquare, consumers now expect businesses to have a mobile presence.

Make Geotargeting and Localized Marketing a Priority
Localized discount websites like Groupon and review sites like Yelp are making it easier for consumers to find deals and reviews about businesses in their neighborhoods. Creating targeted, local marketing campaigns using these popular tools is now the norm, so learn to love it.

Just Say No to Silo Marketing
Use Offline, online and mobile marketing initiatives to create an opportunity for your business to lead consumers from one message to another by through integration. You can drive a significantly higher return on investment by cross-promoting branded online destinations, discounts, contests and events.

Use Co-marketing
Use Comarketing to boost returns and lower marketing costs. With the economy still struggling, businesses can benefit from economies of scale by partnering with complementary businesses to develop co-marketing plans. Promotional partnerships not only lead to reduced costs but also can lead to increased exposure to new audiences.

Track brand reputations on the social Web
Social media has given consumers a large platform to voice their opinions, and business owners are realizing the importance of actively monitoring their reputation on the Internet. With dashboards and social media aggregators like Hootsuite, Spredfast, and Klout, it's easier than ever for businesses to develop and track their presence and influence online.

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