How are you planning to market your small business in 2012? Whatever your approach may be, see how your marketing strategy measures up against U.K. inbound marketing specialist Sookie Shuen's predictions for the top 10 marketing trends of the year. While they might not be specific to small businesses, they do resonate with companies of all sizes. A recurring theme in her list is how the consumer has taken on important new roles, including social media influencer and content creator.
Two of Ms. Shuen's top marketing trends that can apply to your small business are:
- The breadth of multi-channel marketing campaigns will continue to expand as companies strive to create coherent messaging across digital, social media and traditional channels.
- Mobile marketing will take center stage as the percentage of shoppers making mobile online purchases increases.
Marketing Trend: Multi-channel Marketing
Multi-channel marketing isn’t as much a trend as it is a cornerstone of business. It works best when it’s integrated. When you maintain consistent and convincing messaging across your direct mail, email, print, and social media marketing, you can cement your value in your target customers’ heads. We recently published an in-depth series on integrated marketing:
- Understanding the Basics (Part 1): Get acquainted with integrated marketing, and learn why it’s important for your small business.
- The Building Blocks of Campaigns (Part 2): Understand what marketing pieces make up an integrated campaign.
- Case Study: The English Teacher’s Friend (Part 3): See a real case study on how one solo entrepreneur pulls together her integrated campaigns.
Marketing Trend: Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is growing in importance, because our mobile devices are central to our lives. We’re increasingly using smartphones to find and engage with businesses. And your small business can enter mobile marketing by taking a few simple steps.
- Location, Location, Location: Why Google Matters for Offline Business: 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 Google Map results.
- Mobile Marketing with QR Codes: QR codes are an easy way to start engaging your customers via their smartphones. By printing your QR code on postcards, posters, or labels, you give people an opportunity to connect with your business on the go.
What other marketing trends will be important in 2012?