New Rules of Marketing

I had the pleasure of speaking at DigitalNow, a conference for associations which was held at Disney World’s Swan Hotel in Orlando. This is a beautiful resort with nice shops along the Boardwalk, man-made sand beaches and restaurants serving international cuisine. Speaking about “5 trends of marketing and how you can use them to your advantage”, I discussed how marketing has undergone massive changes since the first banner ad and on-line diary (now called a blog) in 1994, the beginning of search engine marketing in 1998, the rise of social media platforms circa 2003 and the initial mobile marketing efforts following the launch of smartphones in 2007. New devices, search, and various social media platforms also changed our communication styles and content consumption behaviors.  I shared five trends of marketing with the audience.  

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Consumers are spoiled

Google’s search and Amazon’s delivery services spoiled our customers and us.  We expect expedient delivery from all industries.  Consumers no longer want “fast, great and cheap.”  They want “fast, great, free and easy.” Question: What are we doing to spoil our customers? Ideas to think about: – Can you provide free, unique and differentiated content? – In addition to fixed membership pricing, can you offer a-la-cart pricing? – Some of the associations offer certification programs (members’ core skills), can you also help customers grow adjacent skills?

They are not that into you

Consumers go to certain websites to be entertained, learn something, be challenged, buy something or get help. They don’t think about how much they love your brands. Once their needs and wants are met, they go on with their lives.  They want to know if you can provide value to them. Question: What are you doing to facilitate your customers needs? Ideas to think about:

  • Make your information easy to find
  • Your members love to network and connect.  Can you be the matchmaker and connect them locally?
  • Can you increase membership benefits by offering free third party products and services (free Dropbox storage, Evernote for Business free, offer popular paid-apps for your members use)

Good design is good business

Rather than desktops, Smartphones and tablets are becoming the primary devices for your customers.  With desktops, we tend to type our input while we use touch and swipe for smartphones and tablets.  Our usage behaviors are different, therefore, the format, layout and design of content needs to be different. Question: Who owns “design” and “customer experience” in your company? Design is about the overall experience you create on-line and off-line. Do you always keep users’ needs in mind when creating external-facing content? Ideas to think about:

  • Design takes time and effort. Consider the technology requirements, layout of content, copy writing and user-interface.
  • Test, optimize, re-test and re-optimize

Data and Analytics are your BFF

If your data is connected and integrated, an abundance of information will be generated.  You should mine your data to find insights to help you make optimal decisions. Questions: Is your data connected? Do you have the right talent for data analytics? Ideas to think about:

  • Consider frequent optimization by AB testing of your websites, e-mail and other digital communications.
  • Personalize your communications and customize your content for lead nurturing.

The New Rules of Marketing: Tell a Good story

I shared clips of Andrew Stanton’s TED Talk, the “Clues to a great story.” Andrew stressed that to tell a story is to find a way to make listeners care and make it worth their time.  If narratives are static, listeners lose interest. Question: Is the way you approach your customers dynamic? Ideas to think about: Look at your past, present and future to tell a story. Can you have your customers to tell your stories (nor talking-head testimonials)? What are you doing for your members that you are excited to share with them?

In summary…

These five trends are inter-related.

Trends in marketing

These five trends can be summarized into the following statement:

Trends in marketing


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