You know it is fall when you begin to see all the pundits post their top trends in marketing for the New Year. Not to be left out, we are following our instincts to take a road less travelled to share with you our 10 For 2020. This is our list of top ten items you should include in your planning for 2020 as defined by our work with architects, builders, contractors, designers, homeowners and remodelers.
- Zero-based planning: do not assume this year’s plan will deliver again in 2020. Now is the time to question and access everything you are doing. Ask yourself if you are leading or following the market with your marketing. Are you differentiating yourself while still meeting the needs of your customers at each phase of their decision-making?
- Paid social media and search ads: they are outperforming traditional advertising methods for a reason, so embrace them. Traditional advertising includes TV, radio, billboards, sponsorships and print. There is a time and place for these mediums but they need to be highly strategic.
- Personalize: think targeting based on interest, location and account. It is expected.
- Local social media: again think targeting. This is one of the beautiful things about social media; it is built for targeting using a large number of variables to connect with the customers you want.
- Content remains supreme: it now demands more skill. Most everyone understands and has accepted the importance of self-publishing branded content. Unfortunately, not everyone is producing quality, readable content. As a result, the demand for skilled interviewing, writing and production is the new expectation. Unique, creative content that grabs people’s attention still works.
- More video: feature 1:1 videos via email, live videos and using alternative channels like LinkedIn.
- Influencer marketing is still big: it just needs to be professionally managed. We have been producing and delivering influencer campaigns for the past seven years. We noticed the past two years every other PR department was connecting with an influencer to speak on the behalf of the brand. At the same time, we began to learn of influencers with fake followers. We suggest working with a professional team to identify, qualify and manage the influencers and keep them accountable to the campaign and its KPIs.
- Email marketing: there is a real art and science to make this work effectively for you. The science behind an effective email campaign is rather straightforward when working with an automation program like Mailchimp and Constant Contact. Creating intriguing subject lines and compelling content is an art. The unspoken ingredient for success is list acquisition and management. As a former publisher of both a catalog and trade publication, list development is critical.
- Community building is key: the changes in social media platform algorithms require this to overcome their new restrictions. So there is the practical reason for building online communities per the reference to algorithms and there is emotional need to be a part of something. It is the latest that is most powerful and a tremendous opportunity for most BPMs. Milwaukee Tool is one of the best at building, nurturing and retaining their communities. It is not coincidence they have been number one in our Top 50 Social Media Marketers Research Report the past two years.
- Above all else, acquire your customer’s map to decision making: this one thing is the magic sauce for your success. Among all of these tactics is this single strategic recommendation – research and map your each of your customers path to making decisions about your products. I guarantee you will learn what, why and how to provide them with exactly what they want and need to make their decision. No more guessing and investing in broad distribution of a fist full of communications tools.
There is more to consider. Long form content like blogs, case studies and white papers are being well received and work hard for you as a SEO horse and sales support tool. We enlist professional journalists to interview internal and external subject matter experts and write compelling pieces. This approach assures we have the necessary skills to produce meaningful content and allows our clients to achieve one of the most difficult objectives – consistency. Just like traditional publishing, consistency is one of the important keys to gaining a loyal following of customers.
It is interesting what you learn when you ask, listen and take note. In fact, we learned much more about when and how to connect with architects, builders, contractors, designers, homeowners and remodelers than we have shared in the 10 For 2020. Next up, learning and mapping the path to the decision making of BPMs. Thank goodness we have experience wearing those shoes.