That was a fast year, wasn’t it? Hard to believe that the holidays are upon us, and certainly planning for next year as well. In the spirit of achieving greater success in 2014, we provide the following as a list of tactics that are all well worth consideration. Where are your strengths and weaknesses, and how can create more of the former?
The marketplace is evolving faster than ever before. We know of many CEOs who believe the most successful companies aren’t those with the best products and services, but rather those that can adapt the fastest. Stagnation will kill your company today. When Amazon announced same-day delivery in several markets, Wal-Mart quickly followed. Samsung is looking into a wearable fitness device – along with at least a dozen other brands. The headphone brand Beats has announced a new music streaming service. Snapchat decided they don’t want to be part of the ‘old’ social network (meaning Facebook) – even if it meant turning down billions. And in response, Facebook is rolling out a new mobile chat feature today.
Today companies need to evolve quickly, or perish. It’s business Darwinism, but it’s happening in real-time. What new solutions can you provide for your customers? How can your current product evolve to make it more meaningful to your target? What does your company need to stand for tomorrow?
This may seem like a simple one, but here’s what we’ve discovered: Most companies create a brand identity and then simply forget about it. Often for ten or even twenty years. The reality is your identity needs to stay current. Even if it means changing signage around the world. Simplicity is the key. The evolution of the Starbucks logo is an excellent case study.
If you’d like to read more about logo design, here’s a blog post of ours about what makes a logo great:
This is perhaps the most obvious item on the list. Any website that’s over two years old is more than likely due for substantial revisions. First, is the site responsive so it works on all kinds of devices? Over a third of web access comes from mobile phones today so there’s really no excuse for design that doesn’t work there. Second, is the website something that you can feel good about in 2014? Does it look clean and contemporary? Is the brand premise quickly defined? Is it easy to use and navigate? Has it been optimized for SEO recently? Does it provide easy links to your social networks? Do you have a blog that your primary target finds useful? Is the copy concise enough?
One of the defining principles of business as we move forward is that people have less time. You need to make your points quickly, and with high production value. No one is going to stick around a site with uninspired stock photos and copy that blathers on about product descriptions. What’s in it for your prospect?
The word that appears in almost every marketing blog today. And the reason is? That’s how you get people to your website, and how you ‘educate while entertaining’ them. Larger brands are now hiring Chief Content Officers. Consumer brands have recognized that moving forward, nothing may be more important than producing high quality content on a regular basis. Your business needs a strategy, a budget and a timetable for producing highly original videos. The higher the production value, the better it will reflect upon your brand. Great content is watched, shared on social networks, commented on, and occasionally creates news.
I’ve said this in an earlier post, but Red bull could almost be thought of as a media company that also manufactures an energy drink. Imagine your brand making that transition even a small step of the way.
The most effective marketing campaigns today integrate news creation (PR), content creation, social marketing and advertising. And what’s a bit surprising is, with all the hype that digital advertising gets, it’s still a distant third in terms of media buys. Here’s where global ad spending is today: TV = 57%, Print = 30%, Internet = 4%. This doesn’t mean that digital shouldn’t be part of your plan. But it’s important to remember that consumer brands still count on the power of broadcast media to move the dial. Keep this in mind when it comes to ad concepts: If your agency’s ideas don’t scare you a little, it’s time to look for a new agency. This is no time to be conservative or safe. First you have to be noticed.
6) MOBILE INTEGRATION
The new consumer lives with their phone. He or she shops with it, uses it for GPS, Tweets, posts to Facebook, taking and sharing photos, finding restaurants and movies, streaming music, checking in, near-constant texting, and once in a while even uses it to make calls. PCs are fading away. So if your digital program hasn’t made mobile a priority, you aren’t positioned properly.