The rise of social media transformed brands from broadcasters into community managers. Brands talk to fans, and fans talk back. In the best cases, brands listen and use these opportunities to grow conversations. This trend grew into crowdfunding and crowdsourcing—where brands asked fans to “back” projects financially or to participate in decisions—and the momentum isn’t stopping.
Every marketing guru recommends that clients be bold, that they branch out, that they take risks, but nearly every business owner and leader has been burned by this advice. They tried something new, and it turned into a disaster, creating a conflict: We know that we should be trying new things to grow our brand, but we aren’t sure when to take a risk and when to be hesitant.
To remain competitive, your marketing needs to account for trends and changes in how your audiences engage with brands. The pace of innovation is faster than ever, and the direction of many of these innovations points to three major developments for the near future of marketing:
Direct mail is a classic advertising technique that many businesses still utilize, but its effectiveness is controversial.
Though the app craze has quieted somewhat, many brands still ask me if they should add a mobile app to their marketing strategy. This is a difficult question to answer (even if the answer is usually no) because a mobile app has the potential to be a powerful part of your engagement strategy—if it is executed properly.