Marketing trends that will affect their operations

By Simon Bird, General Manager Australia and New Zealand of Pitney Bowes Software

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 16 May, 2013 - The remit of a modern marketer can be overwhelming. Marketing has become a whole new world with social media, email marketing, ecommerce and search engine optimisation. In a constantly evolving environment, marketers must keep up to date with the latest trends or risk their business falling behind the competition.

  1. Social media marketing will move beyond Twitter and Facebook. It is important to know who your audience is and where they are in the social world. Maybe they are only on Twitter and Facebook, or maybe also on LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, or Pinterest. If you only focus on the most popular or obvious social sites you might miss out on valuable niche groups. Smaller sites are also likely to have less competition for the audience's attention. So provide a valuable opportunity to interact with your customers.
  2. QR codes will become more pervasive. The use of QR codes is sure to grow throughout 2013. The good news is that businesses can easily reap the benefits of QR codes, as they are easy to set up through online services. The most compelling thing about QR codes for businesses is the interactivity and ability to be easily measured, allowing return on investment to be measured easily.
  3. Customers will be more picky about marketing content. With the enormous amount of information both existing and potential customers’ receive every day, it is vital that businesses only communicate interesting, meaningful and relevant material. Make sure it is not just about getting a sale, by providing value-added tips, tricks, educational information and encouraging user-generated content with contests and incentives. Keep content interesting by using a variety of rich media like videos, photos and webinars. And remember to ask yourself how customers consume your content. Are they using a laptop, a tablet or a mobile device? 
  4. Social reviews will become key factors in customer decision-making. Word of mouth has always been a key influencer in buying decisions. Now, online consumer review sites are the modern day equivalent. Sites like Yelp, provide potential customers with ratings, reviews, and detailed experiences that impact consumer decision making. Soon, we’ll see more of a combination of consumers’ social networks and ratings sites, letting you see when one of your connections has posted a review. While anonymous reviews are surprisingly influential, reviews from trusted friends and co-workers are ultimately the most persuasive.
  5. Mobile apps will help customers buy from you. Mobile marketing is growing, and mobile devices are central to consumers’ lives. We’re increasingly using smartphones to find and engage with businesses. The most important thing a mobile app can do is simplify your message to a direct call-to-action. Generally, if someone is searching for your app on the phone, they probably already know your business and want to streamline the process of getting in touch by going directly to an app rather than your company's website.  

How to make sure your business is ready

  1. Multi-channel marketing. Multi-channel marketing campaigns will need to be taken to a new level. Increasingly, customers are using multiple channels to find the information they need and less on their relationships with sales representatives. Consumers now find the information they need to make business decisions on their own through mobile and the web. This is why businesses need to tap into every avenue necessary to reach existing and potential customers.
  2. Location, location, location. Learn how to make sure your business shows up in local searches. While not always a mobile activity, local search via smartphone is growing, and it’s important to show up in mapping results.
  3. Start leveraging QR codes. By printing a QR code on postcards, posters, or labels, you give people an opportunity to connect with your business on the go.
  4. Optimise web presence for mobile search.  Web searches on smartphones have become much more common, quadrupling in number in 2012*. Mobile search is now critical to reach customers who are nearby and ready to buy.