French prophet Nostradamus is a historical figure known for his mysterious ability to predict worldwide phenomenon. Although he died in 1566, much of the world is convinced of his abilities to predict historical events. Although, it’s been proven that some of his more edgy predications are nothing more than a vague stretch. But, there is much to learn from him as it’s clear he at least understood the way the world worked.
As marketers, we also have prophetical tendencies due to our understanding of the modern consumer trends. As marketing experts, we have the uncanny ability to see what’s on the small business marketing trend horizon.
One truth in business that has always been; growth and prosperity is a direct result of focusing on relationships. Apply that to the future of marketing best practices, and predictable results begin to get easier to foresee.
Prediction One: Marketing goes 1:1
Nostradamus was vague, but deep! One thing that helps many people believe in Nostradamus’ ability to peer into the future is the overall nebulousness of his prophecies. When we apply that principle to marketing small businesses, it becomes easy to make predictions based on the current state of the industry.
This concept hasn’t changed much due to the psychology of how humans operate. Although technology has offered more outlets to connect, the goal is always to build relationships. As technology continues to disrupt the marketing world, we see changing consumer trends that demand small businesses to use said technology more individualistically. In fact, one of the top four consumer trends is currently three touchpoints that point to 1:1 marketing.
According to this infographic by AdWeek research reveals the top needs of new market consumers.
Real time customer support, memorable brand experience, and personalized service are part of consumer’s prioritized demands. Thing is what consumers have always wanted but didn’t have the voice to express or the buying power to respond. With social media, now they do.
Prediction Two: Extinction of Traditional Sales
Many of Nostradamus’ predications had a historical connection. For that reason, it’s important to look at the history of marketing and its role in the consumer decision making process. In the epic historical marketing timeline put out by Hubspot in 2012 we learn, “Ever since people have had something to sell, we’ve been marketing. But the effectiveness of those marketing methods have waxed and waned over thousands of years, and as consumers and their technologies advanced at a more and more rapid pace, marketers have had to change their game.”
As early as 1450, we see advertising come on the world’s scene and doesn’t breach adulthood until the early 1950’s. Although marketing has grown exponentially with the rise of technology over the last 70 years, it’s yet to fully mature.
In the age of technology, we see a shift in how consumers make purchasing decisions and it’s all predicated on their personal ability to research products and services on their own. According to Hubspot data, what we now see is 71% of people making a purchase if the product or service comes recommended by others.
For that reason, I truly believe unless the more traditional sales methods shift to developing searchable content, we will see the more common sales tactics fizzle out and dissolve into the background becoming just another historical marketing tactic that once was.
Prediction Three: Marketing Goes 3D
Nostradamus lived in a chaotic time and used current events as inspiration to repeat the probability of future events. In the marketing world, current buzz around AI technology is gaining traction. In like fashion, we currently see similar chaos as organizations fumble around in the dark trying to determine how to incorporate the futuristic tool into their marketing strategy.
Marvin Chow, the VP of Marketing at Google, eluted to the world back in September of 2017 that AI technology “could get us closer to one of advertising’s most-sought goals: relevance at scale. Before then, we’re going to see changes to the way we do business.” Chow referenced the push to 1:1 marketing not as a conceptual idea, but a realistic goal an entire industry is currently building for. AI technology gets us closer than we have ever been.
From Facebooks’ newly launched 3D photos, to augmented reality coloring books and now home buyer virtual tours; we are just starting to see the dawn of this new marketing trend. This shift comes on the back of the historical move witnessed as consumers crave a customized research process. This ultimate visualization capability takes the consumer led mindset up a notch and businesses should find ways to learn and adapt to the technology before marketers discover a way to taint the consumer impact; much like advertising has in modern day.
Prediction Four: Marketing Enters Maturity
The reality is, no one knows the future! Even the most respected marketing professions will miss the mark, if they haven’t already. Heck, there’s even a large population of the world that think Nostradamus was a hack. Whether industry experts get it right or wrong, that doesn’t have to discredit their overall abilities to accomplish incredible marketing results.
It’s been said, we are worse marketers today than our generational counterparts. I believe that’s in part because of the overwhelming responsibilities marketers are tasked with that typically cripple small business owners.
Buy an ad in the local paper, post a listing in the phone book, send regional mailers and voila! Marketing, done. Not so much anymore. Marketers and business owners alike are expected to be experts in every social platform, SEO, inbound tactics, modern trends, market analysis & more. Oh, & have full working knowledge of the “old” ways too.
As a marketing consultant, I constantly hear how intimidated small business ownersa are to use social media in an effective format due to the steep learning curve. Posting something isn’t the hard part. It’s the science and phycology behind growing organic engagement rates that is nebulous to a small business owner and the elementary practices applied does not return the results needed for their effort.
If we have trouble as marketers, how much more difficult is this for a small business owner bogged down with the endless tasks of running a business are?
I see the future of more effective small business marketing lies in training sessions, and seminars offered by local the chamber of commerce and local marketing consultants. As we increase our abilities to sift through the marketing industry dross and churn out coherent and effective action steps, we will begin to educate and support small business and then; marketing as a whole will mature.
The year 2025 isn’t far off; only 7 years. If we think of where we’ve come in marketing in 7 years, we will see we have quite a few practices that need to be addressed between now and then. If you are looking to get a handle of your small business marketing skills long before 2025, Let’s get training!
Category: Small Biz, Social Media Marketing Integration