Embrace (And Accept) the Future in 2019

While your marketing plan is likely already set for next year, we know that plans are made to evolve as the year goes on. Many companies had discussions around their 2018 marketing successes and carried them into 2019, with some new innovative tactics. That’s a good place to start, but we always like to challenge our clients and think of things from another angle.

You should bring some winning strategies into the new year, but your marketing strategy, specifically for social media, should always adapt to your customers’ interests, and there are new audience segments constantly coming into play. How you reach the middle-age CFO is definitely not how you reach the 32-year-old millennial or the new-to-the-workforce 22-year-old.

Millennials have been impacting marketing strategies for years, but as this segment ages and they enter decision-making roles professionally, they will become even more of a focus for advertisers. After all, they’ll soon become the nation’s largest living generation.

In 2019, the older members of Generation Z will blast onto the marketing scene in a whole new way. This group born after 1995 are now working adults with tons of buying power and a new set of marketing and purchasing expectations. With around 74 million people in the U.S. falling into this generation, it’s incredibly important for you to consider them in your 2019 and 2020+ marketing strategy. And, what’s great is that a lot of the tactics they expect from companies are also tactics the general public has come to accept as well.

Acknowledge the Digital Natives

Members of Generation Z have never known life without internet. Millennials may remember dial up, but have had the internet at their fingertips for most of their childhood. If they want to know something, they go to their nearest device and find it out in a matter of moments. In reality, though, most of us would now be considered “digital natives.” The vast majority of us have at least a couple of devices linked to the internet and improving our lives one click, tap, or voice command at a time.

For marketers and businesses, this means it’s time to flex your digital muscles. Your audience is comfortable with being online, or if they aren’t, they have someone they can pull into the situation to help get them there. Thanks to Alexa and Siri, personal interaction has taken on a whole new meaning. Face-to-face or over-the-phone communication used to be key to a successful customer acquisition process. Now, consumers are comfortable with never interacting with a human being when they’re researching or purchasing, and many buyers would actually prefer not having to interact with someone.

Your business’s online presence needs to support this new purchasing mindset. If your platform has customer accounts and profiles, make sure you personalize that interface as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to incorporate a chat option on your site, especially if your business involves products or services that customers may need to troubleshoot. Using chat strategically can provide your customers with the quick and thorough service experience they expect and will allow you and your team to focus on what you need to.

Keep It Real

Resist the urge to load up your content with marketing speak. The more real and authentic you are as a business, the more your audience will gravitate toward you. Your content marketing strategy should include blogs and articles with applicable tips or how-to’s that don’t scream “buy our product!” but instead build brand loyalty and create a natural affinity to buy from you. On your social media platforms, think of your company as a person. Be transparent and down-to-earth (if appropriate) and regularly connect with your audience through live broadcasts like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. This gives your audience a unique opportunity to connect with you in a way that is second nature to many of them. Making your business more than a name and a logo is vital to capturing the digital Millennial and Gen Z that loves the convenience of technology but also values the emotional connection of brand loyalty.

Let Others Speak For You

Gen Z has grown up looking to influential people. These influencers educate them and sway their purchasing. It’s not at all uncommon for them to search YouTube for a review on a product by a community influencer, even before they run their potential purchase by Google. And they’ve gotten their parents and older generations to jump on this mindset, too.

Don’t let the term “influencer” scare you, though! We aren’t talking about spending major marketing bucks on a celebrity to promote your product or brand. Your customers’ testimonials and online reviews can be just as powerful when it comes to informing and influencing a purchase. Encourage your customers to leave reviews, but be careful not to be overly solicitous with your ask. Google and Yelp can pick up on reviews that don’t seem to be 100% genuine and will actually dock your brand.

If you have an influencer or two in your company’s industry that you think would be interested in partnering with you, reach out! Influencer partnerships can be an economically smart advertising option for you that pays off big in the end with increased brand loyalty and regular sales. Influencers can also help you reach all-new audience segments traditional advertising may not have been able to get you into.

If anything we just mentioned makes your head spin, don’t turn and run! Changing things up in 2019 may just be the marketing strategy your business needs and we are here to help guide you to new heights this year. Contact the Marbury team today at group@marburycreativegroup.com!

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