You blinked, and 2014 is gone. Now is the time to prep your marketing strategy to adapt to the trends in the industry. Are those trends auspicious, or will they make reaching consumers more challenging? The answer, of course, is both. Your marketing techniques will need to be better than ever, but you'll have all the right tools to make your campaigns successful.
Here is a glimpse of new trends to the world of marketing.
Transparency on Top
Author, salesman, and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, "Honesty and integrity are by far the most important assets of an entrepreneur." The same principle rings true for marketers. Jaded consumers are tired of hearing report after report about scandals and deceit. They want to interact with businesses that don't hide their activities behind a lot of special effects or cleverly spun tales.
In 2015, transparency couldn't be more important. As Avi Dan states in Forbes, "The best brands won't be those with the best stories, or sort of made up fictional stories, but those that will give an accurate and real-time picture of what they are doing in the interest of the consumer, at any given time."
Take advantage of this trend by brainstorming ways that you can showcase your integrity. Perhaps you can add a new section to your email newsletter, engage more with customers on social media, or write blog posts that frankly address issues that will impact your students and their families
Technology Will Take Over
It already seems like technology is the end-all be-all of effective marketing, and in 2015, that's going to be even truer. As Dan states in Forbes, "Too many companies think in terms of digital marketing. Instead, they should be thinking in terms of marketing in a digital world." Yes, it is a subtle distinction, but understanding it will give your marketing strategy an extra edge. Marketing is digital. Even print ads often have QR codes or a website address that invites people to get acquainted with businesses in cyberspace.
Make sure you are up to speed on the latest trends in technology. What devices are your customers using? How are they using those devices? Do your emails look as good on 4-inch smartphone screens as they do on a 20-inch computer monitor? If your target customers are tech-savvy, taking advantage of cutting-edge technology could make you stand out from your competitors.
A Faster Pace
Marketing already moves at approximately the speed of light. How is it possible that it can it go any faster? Email marketing metrics, such as open rates and click-through rates, have been key indicators of the success of email marketing campaigns and will continue to be so. There are more immediate ways for marketers to know if their digital marketing is making an impact, though.
Through social media platforms, studios can know almost immediately if their message is making waves or falling flat. Likes, retweets, and hashtags are turning marketing into a world of now. The ever-quickening pace of marketing means that you must be ready to change direction at any time so you can provide valuable, relevant content and messages to your target audience.
The Pursuit of Personalization
Your target customers have some traits in common, but that doesn't mean that they all are the same entity. Consumers crave connection, and connection requires a one-to-one marketing approach. Even if your time or your staff's time is tapped out, you can still strive to reach customers in a personal way.
One way to send personal messages is via triggered emails. When a customer joins your studio or signs up for your newsletter, send a warm welcome. You can even include a special freebie or stellar discount. On your customers' special dates, such as birthdays, send a friendly greeting like a card in the mail. These can make recipients feel that you care about them.
In 2015, more studios are bound to catch on to the value of personalization in marketing. It will make competition tougher, so the sooner you get started on connecting with customers on a one-to-one basis, the better.