By John Foley, Jr.
The year 2011 might be coming to an end soon… but that doesn’t mean the worlds of marketing and communications will slow down!
Below are 4 marketing trends that I will be watching in the months to come. Yes, some of them have already started to occur. But I think it will be quite important to see how much further their influence grows.
QR Code Backlash… and Replacements
I absolutely still think that there is a place for marketers to use QR Codes successfully! But in the ever evolving world of marketing and communications, people are always looking to find the next big thing. I am a huge fan of QR Codes. However, we must keep an eye on other alternatives. Technologies such as Near Field Communications (NFC) will continue to generate buzz as a new (and perhaps better) way to make print interactive. Also, if marketers continue to use QR Codes incorrectly, that will contribute to people having negative feelings to them.
Increased Emphasis on Organic SEO
The amount of data being generated online daily is astounding. Thus, it will become more important than ever before to ensure that people can easily cut through clutter and find our company online too. Banner advertisements can help; but they can only drive so much traffic. In order to be found through search engines, it will remain vital for companies to ensure that they are using the right keywords on their website and in their social networking activities.
More Companies Using Social Networks as a Customer Service Tool
Many people typically think of social networks as a way to increase their lead-generation efforts. While this can be true, it can also be a very valuable tool for providing customer service and customer loyalty programs. People are becoming more comfortable turning to social networks to try to find help — whether it’s by posting a complaint or (more preferably) a question. Nearly a billion people are on Facebook; I have no doubt that your customers are among that number! Do you make it easy for them to do business with you while they are spending time on that site and other social networks)?
A Hard Push to Adopt and Integrated Marketing Approach
Yes, at times the worlds of marketing and communications can be overwhelming. Just when we think we’ve mastered a social network, a technology, or a new marketing channel, there will be a demand to catch up with whatever comes next! But no matter what the tool or tactic is, success will always come by having a strategy and integrated marketing plan to guide us along the way. Not only will that help our own marketing efforts, but our clients will benefit from it as well.
These are just a few of the trends that I’ll be watching. I think they will affect businesses of all sorts in some way! Do you have your eye on some other ones? If so, please let me know! You can reach me at http://twitter.com/JohnFoleyJr.