2012 Marketing Checkup [Mobile, Social Media & Content Marketing Included]

10 Marketing Opportunities & Challenges for 2012

marketing graduates provide fresh approach As marketing students graduate and start their first jobs, they bring a fresh perspective to businesses. Similarly, marketers can take this same approach to assess 2012’s opportunities and challenges to maximize their marketing effectiveness before the holiday push and budget season begins. [Hint: Mobile, social media and content marketing are on the list!] 

2012 Marketing opportunities

Here are five marketing opportunities to help take your business to the next level.

  1. Mobilize your business on smartphones and tablets. If you haven’t jumped onto mobile, do it now! Smartphone and tablet penetration are changing how your target audience engages with social media, consumes content and shops for a wide range of products. Your firm must be visible when consumers are ready to engage with or buy from you. At minimum, develop a mobile website streamlined for an on-the-go mobile experience, implement a mobile search strategy separate from your computer search, and deliver email optimized for mobile devices.
  2. Give your brand a 360 degree transformation. With the range of media and customer interactions available in today’s social media savvy, connected environment, your brand must deliver a consistent image based on tangible and intangible attributes across a variety of formats, online, offline and in real life.
  3. Become your organization’s publisher by expanding your content marketing. Use your content marketing to support sales at every step of the process, before, during and after the transaction. Remember social media feeds on content marketing! Think broadly across platforms, both online and offline, including owned, social media and third party media. Integrate your 360 degree brand into your content across media formats. Bear in mind that you can reach out to others in your organization to help develop the content.
  4. Leverage social media participation to drive sales. While many firms find that social media helps expand their reach and improve brand recognition, they’re often baffled as to how to take the next step to drive sales. To support these efforts, incorporate a relevant call-to-action, optimized landing pages, and streamlined purchase process. [For more details, check out seven steps to get your social media selling.]
  5. Enable consumers to transact business wherever they are. [Check out this research to see where and what people buy via mobile devices.] Prospective customer use your retail establishment to examine products regardless of where they ultimately buy; they consider this shopping experience the way people use print catalogs. Further, while in your store, they check the price and other purchase details on their smartphone.  Therefore you must be ready to close the deal once your prospect is ready where and how they want to do it. This can be in-person, on the phone, on a computer or via a mobile device. Further you may need to offer a mobile coupon to close the deal.

2012 Marketing challenges

Here are five of 2012’s top marketing challenges.

  1. Create sufficient content marketing. Despite the ever-increasing amount of content available from diverse sources, marketers continually need new, fresh content. Your content must resonate with your audience. Further it must be optimized for search and be consumable for social media.
  2. Keep your finger on social media’s pulse 24/7. Be present on appropriate social media platforms and build your following. Understand you don’t need to respond to every comment and interaction, but you do need to know when and how to respond to issues. Further, your responses must reflect your brand and require consistency across your organization. Therefore you need to have real-time responses ready and train your staff. [Here’s help avoiding a PR crisis.]
  3. Optimize internal platforms to convert prospects. Your business’ functionality, including your website, sales team and customer service, must be able to convert warm leads and prospects into paying customers with the least friction possible. This means linking to product and tailored landing pages as close to a streamlined purchase process as possible. Bear in mind that extra steps or long load times can cause prospects to leave.
  4. Create and track actionable social media metrics including sales. Effective social media metrics that associate marketing with revenues still elude most businesses. Determine your success metrics when you create your strategy and ensure that your tracking systems can capture and analyze your results.
  5. Build your own database. The use of social media platforms hinders marketers ability to create useable housefiles with customer contact information since the customer information is held by the social media site. As a result, marketers must coax prospects to their own sites to gather their information. This is complicated by the fact that many customers are concerned about privacy and other related data issues. While big data and cloud computing have come into their own in 2012 especially with trackable social media information, the marketing challenge is capturing the relevant data, cleansing it and converting it into useful business intelligence.

While implementing marketing strategies around these opportunities and challenges will extend beyond 2012, they’ll help get your business on track to succeed.

What opportunities or challenges would you add to this list and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schluesselbein/3111180478/

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