A beginner’s guide to marketing in 2014

The new year inevitably signals a fresh start for many businesses – and with the economic outlook appearing to be increasingly positive, why not?

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Whether you’re planning to launch a new brand, product or service next year, the important thing is not to seem out-of-date in your approach to getting their name out there onto the market.

While every campaign requires a certain amount of background research and preparation before it gets underway, it’s always helpful to know where you should be looking to get ahead.

So what is expected to be the next big thing over the next 12 months and how can you take advantage?

The digital age

When looking back over 2013, it’s safe to say that the digital age has well and truly arrived, with so many companies taking to social media like Twitter and Facebook to almost befriend their target audience.

However, as an increasing number of businesses adopt this approach, consumers are demanding more and more of the accounts they follow when it comes to keeping them engaged. With this in mind, you can expect content marketing to be a priority for many brands that are desperate to maintain that position of authority and trust with their customer base.

Inbound marketing of this nature is certainly set to vie with TV and radio advertising when it comes to how well it works – with the latter certainly on the decline.

Multi-media

Following on from the social media angle, business leaders would do well to spread their efforts across several platforms.

While Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can probably be described as the most established forms of social media network, the popularity of other sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ is continuing to soar.

By implementing a marketing strategy which creates a presence across several of these you can successfully build a recognisable brand.

In the flesh

While an online presence is certainly important, that doesn’t negate the level of impact that face-to-face interaction can have on any marketing campaign.

In the early months of 2014, promotional items like travel mugs are likely to be well received by customers desperate to keep warm in the winter months on the way into work and your staff will surely appreciate them too.

In terms of distributing them, you can turn back to digital methods to promote awareness of when your team is likely to be in the local area – generating interest and again making use of a cross-platform approach to achieve wider brand awareness.

Less is more

As with the previously-mentioned rise of Instagram, Pinterest and similar networks, the shift in consumer preference certainly seems to be towards simplistic, image-based messages.

With this in mind, make sure that your marketing – for the most part – sticks to these rules and don’t over-complicate things. This approach is emphasised by the increasing amount of mobile-friendly marketing content becoming available as well – with people having less time to sit and absorb things, a short, succinct and easily digestible message is the way forward.

Ultimately though, while it’s easy to predict what is likely to affect future marketing strategies, it’s hard to know if the next big thing is just around the corner. As far as 2014 is concerned – watch this space.

 

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