As 2016 draws to a close many companies will be reviewing their marketing strategies and using the lessons learned to inform 2017’s marketing activities. Reflecting and reviewing on progress is an essential starting point for next year’s marketing plan. There are, however, some standout marketing trends that are on the horizon in 2017 that you will also want to take into account. In this article, we look at what those key trends are as well as discussing how the company intranet can contribute to achieving your marketing goals in 2017.
1. Digital Marketing Is Integral
The trend towards digital marketing is set to continue into 2017. Traditional marketing will still be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy, however, it’s now a fact that the baby boomers are taking over Facebook! And so even those generational cohorts that traditionally have not been associated with social media usage are now jumping on the bandwagon. What’s more, with so much information being accessed on mobile platforms, you will also want to check how your key marketing messages are coming across on the mobile platform.
The companies that are staying ahead of the game are the ones that are smarter at generating engaging content and a variety of touchpoints as well as monitoring the performance of multiple channels from websites and YouTube presentations through to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The intranet can make it easier for you to share insights and collect data about what works and doesn’t work across the organization. It may be that different geographic locations have different levels of success with the various digital channels. Monitoring performance and sharing the resulting data on the intranet is an essential task. The intranet’s blogs and shared work spaces are ideally suited to getting staff involved in sharing best practice and working collaboratively on integrating digital media into mainstream marketing activities.
2. Consistency Is Vital
With so many digital channels available to consumers, it’s important that companies present a consistent brand and a homogenous voice across all platforms – digital and traditional. For companies with multiple offices in different locations ensuring a consistent message is delivered can be a challenge and that’s where the intranet can be a great help to organizations.
Given that the intranet is the one common platform shared by all employees, it is ideally placed to manage and publicize marketing collateral, branding guidelines, PR campaigns and those all-important key marketing messages. What’s more, the intranet can ensure that vital information on the latest campaigns and promotions is communicated to the right people at the right time. You will also have the ability to check via the intranet that the relevant personnel have accessed the information.
3. It’s All About The Experience
Consumers are a much more discerning bunch these days and simply buying a product or service isn’t enough for them anymore. They expect to be able to connect on an emotional level with your company’s offering. What they are after is a whole ‘experience’. The most successful marketers are the ones that can build a community of interest and create relationships that foster long-term loyalty.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is central to creating this experience. The intranet is the obvious platform to link to or embed your CRM data. For example, if you hold any customer information in a Google Sheet, why not embed it within an intranet page for easy access by staff. In this way customer-facing employees will have instant access to the customer’s previous order history, social media interactions, earlier contact with your customer service agents and so on. So rather like how Amazon seems to magically know exactly what you’re after or, even better, presents you with potential purchases that you didn’t know you needed until they were suggested to you, so your customer-facing staff will have a comprehensive view of the customer and will be able to anticipate their needs. It’s this kind of knowledge and personalized service that helps to create the overall experience that consumers have come to expect.
4. Streamlined And Speedy Customer Service
So now that you’ve got that all-important experience happening for the consumer, in 2017 you will want to ensure that your service is expedited efficiently and speedily. Increasingly we live in an ‘always-on’, connected world: consumers expect instant gratification and speedy results and service. Not only does this mean that your brand needs to be accessible 24/7 via the various digital platforms, it also means that your internal organization and set-up needs to be correspondingly fast, accurate and streamlined. And the intranet can certainly help on this front.
It’s possible to do away with all your existing paper and email-based business processes by automating them on the intranet. So, for example, booking central marketing collateral and branding material for use in a local office is a simple process on the intranet. Using the intranet’s form builder, it’s possible to create an online form that is automatically routed via the intranet to the correct staff member for action. This not only makes your marketing department more responsive, it can also be applied to a great many other businesses processes so that they too are more responsive.
What’s more customer-facing staff that have quick and easy access to all the information and tools that they need to satisfy a customer’s query will be offering a service that defines your brand. The intranet, with its file and document management system, brand and product pages, activity wall and online forms and processes will help staff to offer this defining level of service.
From the perspective of developing your marketing strategy, being able to highlight your streamlined, speedy and responsive service makes for a unique selling point, especially when combined with the overall customer experience.
In addition, consumers are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to a company’s green credentials. Businesses that are environmentally conscious are often winning the hearts and minds of ethical consumers that want to feel as though they are making a difference. Paperless offices with fully automated, online businesses processes via the company intranet are an important step in the right direction for many companies.
Marketing Trends In 2017
When it comes to marketing the key trends for 2017 are all about highlighting the consumer’s overall experience and your company’s unique proposition. Satisfying a need or delivering a great product or service will still be central to the marketing strategy. However, companies that can genuinely connect with consumers and offer a personalized, speedy service will have a market advantage in 2017. Make sure your company is one of those by investing in an office intranet. Contact the team at MyHub today and take advantage of the free demo and 14-day trial.