Few things change as quickly as marketing. This valuable component of any small business is prone to fluctuations, shifts and movements. Therefore, entrepreneurs and managers have to be on the ball when it comes to new, creative ways to reach potential clients.
In order to boost marketing and a financial plan, small business owners should look at where everything is headed in 2014 and find ways to capitalize on those trends. Thankfully, few strategies require a major monetary investment, and most need just a simple shift within the company itself.
Where marketing may be headed in 2014
Marketing can range from print advertisements to social media, but today's industries have been leaning more toward the online variety to reach the largest possible audience.
Joanna Lord, chief marketing officer for customer loyalty technology startup BigDoor, wrote in an article for Entrepreneur magazine that innovation and growth has sped up when it comes to marketing. Now, there are plenty of new opportunities for businesses all across the U.S., and predicting where things are heading in the new year can help any firm grow and prosper.
For starters, Lord explained that mobile marketing is expanding at a rapid rate. Therefore, all companies have to be concerned with how they are meeting the demands of an increasingly mobile world, beyond simple web design and applications. That means marketing strategies have to be compatible across multiple devices. Better yet, customer service has to be geared toward a mobile clientele. These consumers can provide valuable data and feedback for a company.
In addition to mobility, more people are interested in the visuals, Lord explained. This applies to nearly every form of marketing, including advertisements, websites and social media. Consumers want something that is beautiful, attractive and attention-grabbing. If a strategy lacks these elements, odds are, they'll lose interest and move on to the next thing. Small business owners should pay attention to any financial tips that encourage posting photos, videos and other graphics to help attract people's attention.
Appeal to on-the-go customers
Being able to work on the move is as important for companies as it is for clients. While businesses have tools like mobile banking, consumers have their smartphones and tablets. And every marketing strategy should look to appeal to this segment.
According to CIO.com, the first step is for firms to figure out how ready they are for mobile marketing. Executives can decide what they want to get out these strategies, and how they have to go about reaching those goals. Once the operation is prepared to make any changes, they can go ahead and start the process.
That includes launching a mobile-friendly website, CIO.com noted. It has to be easily accessible via a smartphone or tablet, and it also has to be functional, attractive and easy to use. If it isn't, most people will simply move on to something else.
"Mobile Web surfers are a demanding bunch," Ken Barber, vice president of marketing at mShopper.com, told the news source. "If they visit your website and it's not optimized for both the device they're using and the different ways [that] mobile users behave, they will get frustrated and leave."
To reach the largest possible audience, a mobile website has to be simple, CIO.com explained. Fast, easy access is the name of the game here, and people have to be able to get what they want exactly when they reach for it. Therefore, it all comes down to design. Marketing strategies can even focus on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. These can be easier to start up and more cost-effective than some other options.