In the 21st century, marketing practices, customer expectations, and technologies have evolved. As an entrepreneur, you need to keep pace with them to take your business to another level. More precisely, you have to be aware of your marketing skills and competencies to stay on top of your game. Else, you can lose to your competitors quickly. Since it is not possible to learn everything, you can focus on most sought-after hard skills that go a long way when it comes to hiring decisions also. If you have an immersive experience of the same, you can encourage the team to learn and update their techniques.
As per the current scenario goes, here are a few important things for every startup to take into account.
The leading marketing practices for startups by EJ Dalius
Keeping abreast of consumer mindset
Every year consumer mindset tends to change. Privacy, digital world, and social responsibility form the core of this. The mental shifts reflect what they care most, how and for what reasons. As everyone knows, technology is peaking, and so are climate crisis and political divisiveness. Due to this, it is easy to expect that people will be concerned about privacy more than ever. Plus, they would incline towards a socially responsible business.
As a company, you can find users showing intense concerns about data use frequently. McAfee global survey shows about 43% of people think they don't have control over their information, and 33% of them don't know how businesses store their details. Coming across such sentiments should not be a surprise as even giants like Google, Facebook, and other corporations faced data breach issues in the recent past.
Similarly, you can expect consumers to have a higher sense of social and environmental responsibility. Before they exhibit loyalty for a brand or business, they may want to see if the product is safe for the ecosystem and also how careful the company has been with making it. One of the surveys shows that nearly 34% of shoppers expressed willingness to buy environment-friendly items for a higher price, while 31% of them admitted they wouldn't engage with a brand that has mismatched values and ethics. Millennials and Gen Z tend to follow tremendous ethical consumerism practices. Hence, paying attention to this factor becomes quite critical.
Getting immersed in advanced technologies
Machine learning and artificial intelligence became the talk of the town in 2019, and in 2020, they are in focus more than ever. If you check Forrester reports, you will come to know that 29% of developers across the world focused on this software mainly in the past two years. Nearly 16% of global B2C marketing decisions reflected an inclination to boost spends on data and analytics systems, consisting of AI, by an additional 10% this year. Going by this, AI will play a critical role in re-defining user experience. Besides, AI can also have an impact on new and existing products. You can take self-driving cars as an example.
Indulging in visually appealing and target-oriented content marketing
Seasoned marketers and entrepreneurs like EJ Dalius understand the importance of content marketing. As per current trends, everyone knows that content needs to have visual appeal and purpose. Nowadays, the audience consumes more content through watching. If it is text-heavy, they would usually skim through it. Hence, in 2020, you need to focus on visual content with creativity at its core. For an idea, you can visit different platforms. Everywhere you will get to see the animation, infographics, dynamic pictures, and short write-ups.
Besides, the quality and intent of the content also matter. The B2B reports of the reputable content marketing institute demonstrate that 90% of the content that works today gives priority to their audience over promotional texts. Hence, your content marketing efforts also need to aim at creating value-based messages. Say no to fluffs and click baits!
Paying attention to messaging apps
2020 is likely to see a surge in mobile messaging apps, as almost 80% of smartphone users are predicted to rely on them, as hinted by Facebook. Since messaging apps are likely to dominate as a mode of conversation, marketers cannot afford to ignore it. They have to adopt chatbots and other such tools for customer support. Chatbots are gaining popularity for enabling live chat. These messenger bots can handle user queries and many other things for you. These can prove to be a boon for e-commerce businesses.
Even some of the findings suggest that messenger bots tend to have an 88% open rate and 56% click-through. Since messengers tend to be inexpensive, you can implement one of them in your existing portals.
Tapping into on-the-go searches
As per estimates, people spend about three and a half-hour on mobile phones. Voice recognition is also on the rise. In the digital landscape, voice searches are already creating a buzz. Google has also prioritized mobile-first indexing. It means if your website is not mobile-friendly, it can slip rankings in both mobile and desktop searches.
These are some of the latest online marketing trends that you, as an entrepreneur, need to measure and apply in your business. It is necessary to gain a competitive edge and become more palpable for users. Even if you run a small business, you can cover at least a few of the areas, if not all, to be there in the race. For instance, content marketing is one of the low-budget marketing strategies that you, as a startup, can employ in your favor. It doesn't need heavy investment and can pay off well. Just make sure the message is informative and entertaining. It should have a viral effect so that it gets a wider reach.
Entrepreneurship is all about wearing multiple hats at the same time. Initially, you may struggle to manage your time. However, if you start paying attention here, you can see considerable improvement. Also, as your business grows, you would need to hire people. Of them, there can be a requirement for a marketing professional too. Choose someone who is agile and in tune with the market. You can delegate marketing tasks to him.