Ten Trends and Predictions for Successful Marketing in 2009
Companies confront an interesting start to the 2009 calendar year. Many major organizations have recently elected to rescind or completely forgo forecasting their fourth-quarter 2008 and first and second quarters of 2009 due to highly uncertain conditions. Following are ten trends, observations and predictions for the coming year that all marketers should explain in their planning course of action to help navigate by the uncertain economic conditions.
- Marketers apply lessons from the 2008 Presidential campaign. The millions of online-activated volunteers that supported the 2008 Presidential campaigns have come to expect a level of transparency, accessibility and community that most businesses have however to reach. More marketers than ever will pursue digital and social media as a method to connect with customers.
- Marketers will measure absolutely everything. A recent report on CNBC from a major marketer on their newfound need to “precisely measure the value of their sponsorship and advertising activities” highlights the “show me the money” approach that we should have had all along to our marketing use. Return on Investment will be all that matters to marketers in 2009, and they’ll find more creative ways that ever to measure it.
- Insurgent marketers will win big market proportion. inventive underdog organizations thrive in economic downturns. In fact, some of the best companies of the last half-decade, like Google Netflix, Ryanair, and the University of Phoenix all surged following the dot-com bubble and the September 11 terrorist attacks. Marketers that take an insurgent or underdog position and original in 2009 will see strong growth during the recovery.
- Customer data will be the most precious marketing resource.high customer data will allow marketers to learn, adapt and profit from their customer base in tough times. Successful marketers will develop an examination competence and target customers with precise offers to sustain profitability.
- Everyone becomes a marketer.Companies may struggle with how to control who says what to whom, but they will increasingly realize that the marketer muscle they need starts with their employees and loyal customers. Successful marketers will aim everyone on the marketing tools they need to turn their front line into customer magnets.
- Marketers focus on targeting. Marketing 101 teaches us that STP – segmenting, targeting and positioning are meaningful to marketing success. In good times, marketers often enlarge their segments and targets without demanding discipline. Successful marketers in 2009 will dig deeper into their existing data to become more vertically focused and then target that kind of customer horizontally across segments. Watch for the information “vertizontal” to appear.
- Consumers expect feedback loops; companies respond. It’s been called “Feedback 3.0” by some of the trend watching think tanks. In 2009, consumers will get used to contributing their ideas for corporate improvement on sites like My Starbucks Idea (www.mystarbucksidea.com) and companies will seek to include in those same conversations or risk alienating customers.
- Mobile and location really begin to matter. The buzz on mobile phone marketing has been alive for some time, but with the iPhone and other smart phones that are GPS enabled and that sustain 3rd-party applications, be on the lookout for small business opportunities to add value with mobile applications and to assistance from the existing mobile apps. Update your particulars in places like Google Maps. Geo-locating mobile apps usually use free data supplies like those to find your business.
- Tactics will nevertheless rule before strategy.It sounds like blasphemy, but in a world where we’re overwhelmed with so many ‘tactical’ options for taking our message to market, we’ll continue to see marketers infected with the ‘bright shiny object syndrome’ (BSOS) which has them chasing after however another new, unproven tactical approach in the absence of strategy. Look for 2010 to be the year that ‘strategy’ makes a reappearance!
- B2B Marketers will increasingly seek a ‘thought leadership’ based approach. With the threat of continued price promotion, successful marketers will try to change the game and shift to an industry thought leadership position based on competencies and being useful to customers, instead of compete only on the price game. Get your leadership on board, because this will take work to execute.
It seems that marketing always finds itself in challenging times. If it’s not the economy, it’s competition, growth, product launches or something else. The most successful marketers keep a continued eye on trends and keep their ear to the ground to learn what’s new and afoot in the marketplace.