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I’m sure you’re seeing all of the “New Year's Marketing Resolutions” articles making their way into your inbox or social media feeds by now. Around this time every year, it’s a chance for marketers to offer their marketing predictions for the year to come, predictions that may or may not become a reality.
Then come all the trends that are exploding onto the scene each year. Livestream video this, influencer marketing that. “These are the top 7 trends in marketing you NEED to focus on in 2019”. Too often business owners are bombarded with the next big shiny marketing trend or prediction that is said by many marketers to bring a colossal impact on the way we either market our business or operate our business in general. Their mind is so clouded with promises of top performing strategies and ideas that they forget about the fundamental facets of marketing in their business.
When it comes to marketing, business owners tend to gravitate towards the “shiny object” side of marketing. Videos, Instagram and content are just a few things they are naturally attracted to, like a moth to a flame.
In 2018, I’ve had countless conversations with business owners around their marketing infrastructure or lack-there-of marketing infrastructure. Usually, these exchanges involve this question and answer:
Me : “How has your marketing performance been over the past 12 months?”;
Them : “It’s ok, I’m not 100% sure. It’s pretty scattergun and has been so for a while now. But we have been doing some (Facebook Advertising).”
Me: “Oh yeah? How has that been going for you?”
Them: “It’s been ok. It’s been great awareness for our brand and we’ve acquired some (new followers on our Facebook page)”.
I’m sure this would sound familiar to a lot of you reading this article right now. A scattergun or “ad-hoc” approach to marketing is dangerous to the growth of your business. Usually, this approach means you’ve fallen victim to the next trend, or the next “big thing in marketing” without even knowing if it’s the right approach for your business and your vision. Not every marketing trend is the right fit for every business and you could potentially end up spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on tactics you have been told are going to work but deliver little or no return on investment.
There is a reason why some businesses have success with a consistent flow of ideal leads each year whilst some struggle to attract anything worthwhile. For small businesses, success comes from forming a marketing infrastructure that will attract leads, nurture those leads, convert them into customers and create advocates and referral drivers. The ones who don’t see any significant growth are those who are easily influenced by the trends, the shiny marketing objects, without any real thought to a strategy and if those trends or predictions are right for their business.
Before you start drooling over the marketing trends and predictions for 2019, set yourself the one marketing resolution you need as a business owner. Build a marketing infrastructure. Simply put, this is a system or structured marketing approach that will attract leads to your business and nurture them through to a point where they are ready to buy from you.
Your marketing infrastructure may include specific assets and platforms for different stages of the customer buying decision lifecycle. Things like landing pages and premium content to capture lead information, valuable reports and free tools to nurture those leads, and automation and sales strategies to convert those leads into paying customers.
Before you go investing in “shiny object” marketing, whether that be as a hard cost or a cost of time, get the foundations of your marketing in place first. If you don’t have a marketing infrastructure, you’ll end up spending money that shouldn’t be spent, and eventually be one of those business owners who say, “marketing doesn’t really work for us”.
Taking some time out at the start of the new year to establish your marketing infrastructure should be your only marketing resolution for 2019.