Marketing Trends To Thrill Your Customers

by | Mar 21, 2016 | Innovation, Marketing, Marketing Trends

The old days of building a solid, lasting brand are just about done. With the pace of web and app development, it’s now easier than ever for start-ups to enter markets and disrupt them. The marketing trend for this year and beyond is all about putting the customer experience first. Customers are now more mobile, more demanding and better informed. Holding their attention means keeping customers engaged by understanding their pains, gains and the jobs to be done in order to delight and engage them, not once but over and over again.

Innovation and speed to market are now the norm. Disruption has also been demonstrated to carry little risk with huge rewards if done well. We only need to look at Uber and Airbnb where Uber doesn’t own any taxis, licenses or property and Airbnb owns no hotels, apartments, homes or property in its market, yet both are causing huge disruptions and setting the tone for new customer experiences by removing their pains and providing huge personal gains.

In fact, 24% of companies report disruption from new competitors moving into their industry, and 58% of companies expect to face increased competition by start-ups enabled by data.

“Big & Fast Data: The Rise of Insight-Driven Business,” Capgemini and EMC

Columbia Business School Professor Rita McGrath calls this the end of competitive advantage — where every successful innovation will likely be copied within months, resulting in only a “transient competitive advantage.”

Disruption in the market place also raises the marketing challenge of getting noticed. The huge increase in the amount of high quality, engaging content that is available today makes it very difficult to be seen let alone get noticed. It is estimated that 2.5 Quintillion Bytes of data is created daily. This Big Data Infographic is very interesting.

To try and understand these marketing trends a little better, the volume of blog posts, time spent on Facebook and video content being uploaded to YouTube has exploded. A few facts that really stand out – each day:

  • 294 billion e-mails are sent
  • 2 million blog posts are written
  • 4.7 billion minutes are spent on Facebook
  • 864,000 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube
  • More iPhones are sold than babies born!

Check out the rest of the facts in this infographic. All this is one day!

In earlier times on the internet there was a far greater separation between good and bad content and naturally the good cream rose to the top and got the attention it deserved. [social_quote duplicate=”yes” align=”default”]Today much more of the content available is cream. Cutting through is much more difficult.[/social_quote]

How do we build a customer-centric model?

Fast development cycles are being lead by the adoption of agile coding methods. The results mean its no longer a guarantee of leadership if you have the best product or service. To build and retain customer loyalty and engagement will require businesses to adopt and develop an agile process.

Small agile teams are already in action in many industries going from ‘soup to nuts‘ on any project or task they are set to. They design, test and evolve by learning and applying to succeed and always the focus is on discovering and removing the customers pain. Combining the entire product development right through to a marketing philosophy. Agile marketing is now the norm. Each stage needs to be constantly in flow between innovation and implementation of a customer-centric model.

By running smaller teams any idea can be designed and tested before going into full production or indeed being ‘perfected’. This philosophy demands failure to be the norm, much like a prospector panning for gold. Tests can be quick and inexpensive so more can be designed in order to find the gold. With agile teams, these ideas can then be quickly completed, iterated and perfected.

Any innovation has involved risk. There’s always a danger in trying something out that it won’t work.

Marketing trends already show that many companies are already in transition, committing to thrill the customer. According to the “Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends for 2015” from Econsultancy and Adobe, 78% of survey respondents are currently attempting to differentiate themselves through customer experience.

Innovation is the only way to ensure you can keep competing. Organizations must gain speed and agility. They must detect change and adapt to it.
EMMANUEL VIVIER Cofounder the HUB Institute

Cutting through the noise

By adopting agile marketing methods built into our new, nimble business practices we are already working on our customers pains, gains and jobs to be done. This understanding enables us to more quickly focus and produce content that helps remove these pains, build a relationship and engage on their platforms, at their level.

A great example is when Jay Baer identified the issue of businesses lack of response to customer feedback. In research, Jay discovered that 80% of companies thought they had superior customer service. Unfortunately only 8% of their customers agreed. This discovery lead Jay to write his book “Hug Your Haters“. The demand for his research and how to apply it has now become a huge business in itself.

By identifying the markets pains, developing a system to not only remove that pain but increase business and loyalty at the same time for his customers has enabled Jay to develop this niche, cut through the noise and acquire a whole new tribe. Now that Jay has his hungry, loyal customers he also has an inbuilt ongoing relationship where improvements, ideas and further innovation will naturally develop.

This example highlights how companies and individuals set up traditional forms of customer service. In reality, customers are moving to public communication in social media and beyond. As Jay says, [social_quote duplicate=”yes” align=”default”]”Now, customer service is a spectator sport. Are you prepared?”[/social_quote]

What makes a customer-centric experience?

There is no one tool or application that will gain a sustainable advantage. We need to be nimble and adopt the ability to be constantly and continuously transforming, testing, evaluating and applying as and when required for each new idea or service. Businesses need the “capability to develop and manage a pipeline of initiatives since many will be short-lived.” explained McGrath in her 2013 book, The End of Competitive Advantage.

In our endeavours to thrill customers, we can see many great examples of businesses and individuals with their products and services doing just that. From Google, Amazon and Apple to…. Some of the common elements are:

  • A consistency of brand and design lead today by Material Design practise.
    Direct and clear product and service benefits.
  • A combining of products, training and services into one larger more sticky experience.
  • These experiences are glued with applications, memberships, forums, wikis, private groups, meet-ups, gamification, certification and any other member benefits.

A great example is where training courses and books were commonly provided as individual experiences. Today these are still used as a means of introduction, a funnel, to lead the customer back to a larger more unified and ongoing experience for greater delight. Often it is the community that builds around these brands that provide the glue and opportunities for further growth of the owner(s)

As technology and communication channels continue to rise, including mobile, wearables and social media so does the opportunity for the customer journey. As connections deepen among these channels, customers will expect not only a unique experience but also a consistent one in the channels they use or are comfortable in.

As customers adapt and apply the latest innovations, they, in turn, expect this as the minimum expectation from businesses they deal with. If companies do not adopt to this new marketing trend of the agile customer experience then our existence will be short.

As customers adapt and apply the latest innovations, they, in turn, expect this as the minimum expectation from businesses they deal with. If companies do not adopt to this new marketing trend of the agile customer experience then our existence will be short.

How nimble is your business?

Agile methodology’s really can be applied anywhere like Bruce Feiler’s radical idea: To deal with the stress of modern family life, go agile. Inspired by agile software programming, Feiler introduces family practices which encourage flexibility, bottom-up idea flow, constant feedback and accountability. One surprising feature: Kids pick their own punishments.

Is it possible for a disrupture and potentially game-changing start-up to take root inside a giant corporation? Peter Biddle draws on his own experience going rogue inside Intel, sharing tips on setting the tone, maintaining secrecy, and communicating discoveries to the mother ship.

Takeaway:

What are the lessons and what can we apply from the current business trends:

  1. Solo startups are gone, today we need to build teams.
  2. Doing it all yourself is not an option, neither is hiring a project manager.
  3. Single projects and apps are great for testing and easier than ever to setup and test.
  4. To become sticky, to grow, we need to build a loyal community.
  5. Clarity of our vision, process and deliverables is the norm, not an option.
  6. Bring it all together, build a home your tribe likes to hang out in, gets inspired and goes out from to do great stuff.
  7. Look after your dedicated fans and they will look out for you.

The great thing about trends is that all we do is observe what is already happening and what consistently rises to the top. This means there are some great examples. While we can find, follow and imitate it’s important to present our own voice and vision. Finally, Building an online platform and business is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It takes focus, time and hard work.

Conclusion

These marketing trends are the new norm. We need to learn how to apply agile marketing methods and embrace technology on an ongoing basis in order to build our brand and delight our customers.

To be agile today we need to – Learn, Apply, Succeed then Design, Test, Evolve.

What trends you are seeing? What methods are you applying to evolve in today’s market?

Recommended Reading

Peter Wennersten

Peter Wennersten

 

Passionate about family, friends and flying. Founder @iconinnovations building brand experiences for local business, small and large, to thrive in the social economy through Creative, Design, Digital, Marketing and Social.

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Marketing Trends To Thrill Your Customers

by Peter Wennersten time to read: 14 min
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