With the massive amount of information, data, videos, and podcasts churning on the internet, it is difficult to devise cutting-edge strategies that don’t quickly get dull and lose their power of conviction. Marketing has entered the era of hyper-competition where you can no longer find safety in a local market because consumers possess the power to search as far afield as they wish through the power of the internet.
Whether you are a small or big player in a particular market segment, your marketing mix must now respond to the challenges of ever freshly devised strategies that understand and utilize the full range of internet marketing tools. But not all of this is brand new, the old strategies have been altered and modified to adjust to the digital age.
Ultimately, it is still a question of catering to the needs and wants of customers and providing the best possible customer service that will maintain them in the company’s fold. The new market has moved from a predominant focus on content to finding complementary products, piggybacking possibilities, and marketing across networks, multi-media, multi-platform, and affiliated online networks. Looking for synergistic opportunities, and willingness to link to other websites in a give-and-take environment has proved to be the winning formula for capable players.
The website has become the preferred tool for new marketing strategies because it is flexible, low cost, and has the potential to attract a huge audience. It is a question of honing certain successful strategies to the needs of niche markets. Through the power of data harvesting and cloud storage, the targeted markets can be shrunk to ever more finite segments. These seven action steps will help you to modernize your marketing strategy:
The boomers want nostalgia – This is still the largest age demographic, which is moving into their sixties and seventies. Their youth has been dedicated to embracing the peace movement, social liberation, individualism, political protests, and sexual freedom. Many of their most life-transforming ideas and experiences are associated with this period. They are still caught up with the tastes, sounds, feel, and touch of the late sixties and early seventies.
Many of them have accumulated or inherited wealth, and want to spend it on themselves, their children and grandchildren. No large demographic group is homogeneous, and therefore their needs are dispersed across a wide range of products and services. This is where niche targeting becomes critical, but fortunately, any marketing strategist can hook up to providers of very specific data on the internet, and hit the target with much more precision. In today’s online marketing programs, tying products and services to articles and blogs that invoke the nostalgia of the boomers’ youth has a winning appeal.
The millennials trust their peers – The class of ’82 to ’04 is a different breed that has been squeezed out of jobs by the boomers, who are loth to retire early. This group uses different connectivity networks that are more inclined to trust their peers, and look to them for recommendations. Social media is the strongest influencing factor in their lives. They follow their friends on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to pick up on what is in, and cool to have. Although not fully employed, or underemployed in jobs that are not compatible with their level of education, many of them have reached the nest-making phase of their lives. This leads to a plethora of demand associated with this life cycle. But the market place has been drastically transformed so that instead of the acquisitions made by their parents they are choosing to participate in the sharing market, where almost anything can be leased or loaned. This creates other opportunities on which almost anyone can capitalize i.e. rent a room, a car, equipment, etc.. It makes for an ideal environment for small businesses. There are many ways to take advantage of this situation.
Solve problems and prosper – Instead of directly flogging your products and services through the conventional media, redirect some of the marketing funding to self-help blogs and articles associated with your website. Operating instructions or installation advice for software or equipment on YouTube will be much appreciated and can be linked to your website’s other product offerings. Keep this kind of helpful information flowing on a weekly or monthly basis, and it will drive more traffic to your site. This holds true for almost any product or service. Using the indirect approach scores better across all generations.
Entertain them – Cats and dogs doing funny and weird things have gone viral on YouTube countless times. Weird and funny video episodes and comic doodles get attention and can carry subtle references to associated products and services. Fun presentations can lead to serious messages that will be appreciated by the viewers. You can hire professionals for this, or try and develop this type of content through the creative talent within the company. All you require, at times, is a smartphone and an interesting theme. Pictures and videos can be programmed to contain links to your website.
Turn your customers into idea generators – In this age of sharing and group participation through cyber-networks, creating a special members VIP group within your website, or linked to an associated site, creates an interactive ecosystem that encourages super loyalty. This special group feels empowered to participate and contribute to the company’s success. You need someone in the organization to be in charge of this program to answer serious inquiries and consider incorporating valuable feedback into the company’s products and services.
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