High quality marketing equals brand visibility which in turn should result in an increase in sales. The marketing strategies and advertising equation seems simple when put in these terms but this is hardly the case.
There are numerous avenues to be utilized to attract customers to a product and in an ever-changing industry what worked in the past may not be viable in the future. Print ads, commercials and billboards no longer hold the power they did over previous generations. Long videos, fake reviews and pop up ads have begun to disappear.
As the old approaches have gone or are going the way of the dinosaur, fresh tools and marketing strategies have taken their place.
Marketing, like the people it seeks to attract, is always changing. Beth Comstock, the former vice chair at General Electric, spoke to this, “Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.”
With the new year right around the corner, it is important to understand the trends and marketing strategies which will promote growth. We spoke with ten different business executives to understand creative and outside the box marketing strategies for the future.
Justin Chan is the growth manager for JuneShine, a beverage company offering organic, hard kombucha in a variety of flavors. He believes that product giveaways are a wonderful method of gaining the interest of customers.
“Offering free products provides two key benefits to a company going this route. First, it gets your product in the hands of people who have interest. This can be an effective way of establishing a brand relationship with people who are unfamiliar with you. Second, if your product meets the customer, they are likely to tell their friends about the positive experience which could bring in more business.
I’ve even seen companies pair product purchases with a raffle-like giveaway, for instance at a trade show, where a handful of lucky customers will receive an item that far out values their dollar purchase amount. This method negates any net loss as purchases are required.”
Participate in Q & A’s
SoFlo Tutors is an online resource for 1-on-1 ACT and SAT tutoring. Their founder, Adam Shlomi, suggests that business executives can get their companies names out there by offering their opinions in web-based business content.
“The internet is a vast resource that people constantly turn to for expert advice and opinions, especially for business related topics. With this being the case, journalists and content producers are constantly in search of these experts to lean on for their personal experiences and thoughts to be used in their pieces.
The resulting pieces will include descriptions of, and links to, your business. Because you’re being leaned on for advice, the reader is likely to regard you as an expert which can greatly influence their opinion of your company.”
Partner with social influencers
Social media has the biggest user base of any digital platform in the world. Users flock to celebrities and other industry people because of their interest in or enjoyment of these people. These social relationships can be a great benefit to a company. Jean Gregoire is the founder and CEO of Lovebox, a company which has developed a messaging device aimed at connecting loved ones. He considers working with social media personalities to be impactful as one of your marketing strategies.
“It’s been proven that consumers are much more likely to trust, or at least be interested in, a product if it is used or advertised by a person they already enjoy. Social influencers have gained large followings because people appreciate either who they are or what they do. In recent years, there’s been a movement towards companies paying influencers to market their product on their personal accounts.
This approach appears more genuine to a consumer than a traditional ad and has proven fruitful for companies.”
Kevin Miller runs his own strategy planning company where his goal is to help direct-to-consumer and technology companies expand through marketing. He believes that referral programs promote engagement with current customers and bring new ones in the door.
“Think of a referral program as your current customers doing some marketing footwork on behalf of your company. They’ll tell friends or family members about your product and in return, these people are awarded free products, discounts or exclusive offers. It’s a win-win for both sides.
People are more likely to trust the opinion of their personal relationships and a referral program utilizes this trust. If you can find ways to make the consumer’s effort to talk about your company worth it, this type of marketing can yield huge results.”
Healist Naturals is a CBD brand geared towards solving physical health issues of sleep, mental calm, immunity, and pain relief. Their brand director, Sarah Pirrie, suggests launching a Facebook group dedicated to a company or product in order to bring people together and publicize the item of focus.
“Regardless of where society has been with culture or technology, people have desired community and social media is no different. Creating a Facebook page not only brings in the people who already have an interest in your product, it can expose other users to the group because they see what their friends and family are engaging with.
People want a way to engage with the products that are important to them and a Facebook group does just that. It’s also a great place for prospective customers to discover more about your product.”
Create brand videos
The beauty of a video is that there are no limitations to what it can be. Products can be marketed incredibly creatively because of this. Michael Ayjian is the co-founder and executive producer of 7 Wonders, a digital video partner, offering full-service branded video strategy, production, and delivery. He considers video production to be an essential part of marketing.
“There are so many ways to go with creating video content. Some products will market better alongside an instructional video which demonstrates how to use the product effectively. Others will appear more engaging when paired with comedy. It’s best to use an approach which best suits the product. Youtube and Facebook have become a feeding ground for video sharing and high quality videos can circulate incredibly quickly.”
Engage with followers on a live platform
Michael Hennessy is the founder and CEO of Diathrive, a diabetes management brand which provides affordable equipment and resources. He believes that live streaming is here to stay and will prove effective
“In the past few years live streaming has become a digital medium to be reckoned with. People appreciate the personal interaction and the ability to choose niche categories that come with streaming. Launching your own live stream is a great way to pair product demonstration with customer interaction.
Instagram is one of the best platforms for this as the user base is expansive. Live streams often aren’t expensive to run either. In most cases, a smart phone is more than enough to run an effective stream.”
The Brothers Apothecary offers a wide selection of CBD products from tea to superfoods. Their CEO, Jesse Richardson, suggests for companies to drive up demand by creating new, limited products.
“Consumers love the feeling of significance. They don’t desire just any old regular product, they want something that feels special and important. A product which is exclusive in number or for a time period does just this. An effort like this does a lot for a company. As the release date is usually announced in advance, it gives the company ample time to generate excitement and promote the release.
When this is done right, the demand for the product can skyrocket. With high demand comes an increase in discussion around your brand which is the end goal of any marketing tactic. And obviously, there’s profit to be made here as well.”
Incorporate seasonal or holiday ideas
Seeing as there are numerous calendar holidays and the number seems to be slowly growing, basing marketing efforts around this could be very beneficial as people are more likely to engage or purchase based on their interest in a holiday. Circular is a tech company which has designed a smart ring used to manage sleep, energy and health. Their CEO, Amaury Kosman, considers this approach to marketing strategies especially helpful.
“Holidays and seasons already have established themes and ideas so planning ideas around them becomes much easier. For example, Fourth of July ideas will include the traditional colors and a theme of patriotism while Thanksgiving may have more of a heartfelt message behind it. Your ideas could be as simple as themed ads or you could go the extra mile and have products which directly relate to the season you find yourself in.”
Be yourself on social media
Jason Wong is the CEO of Doe Lashes, a company which offers wonderfully comfortable eyelash extensions. He believes the best way to gain attention on social media is to avoid cookie cutter interactions and instead display personality.
“Corporate social media accounts have begun to look very similar because the social media game has been played for so long at this point. Obviously, some of these methods are tried and true or they wouldn’t be in use. However, some of the most popular accounts stand out because they offer a level of human personality not seen by most consumers. For example, Wendy’s social media accounts show up everywhere and are hugely popular partially because of how unique they are.”
There are no two ways about it; marketing effectively is hard. It requires determination, critical thinking, and creativity. With consumers changing so frequently in demand and personality, it is important to adjust accordingly. Brian Halligan, the co-founder of HubSpot put it best, “It’s not what you sell that matters as much as how you sell it!”