What’s your new year marketing resolution?
It’s hard to change habits cultivated over time. That’s true of everything from smoking and drinking to ways of doing the job. It’s only during the early years on a job that people tend to try new things. When it works, they repeat it. Over time is becomes the preferred mode of doing things. Then change becomes difficult.
People tend to develop perceptions that stick, even while markets change. That explains why it takes so long for spending patterns on media to evolve. Digital spend overtook conventional media spends only a few years ago. TV was and will continue to be the way to reach large audiences but the wastage is huge. And the spend persists because the momentum of old media lasts much longer than the effectiveness.
Go deep on something new this year
As with every other habit, you don’t give up on one until you develop another one to replace it! Try what you have postponed for the last few years because you felt it wasn’t the right time, or that it was untested. That’s the only way to figure out whether a new channel or a new way of reaching your audience works. By all means, stick to what is working. But keep an eye on the future because that’s where the market is moving towards.
A new strategy doesn’t involve spending more money. But it does mean thinking differently.
Let’s just say, you’ve known of the effectiveness of email but never paid it much attention. So that’s one resolution you could make. Go deep into email even if all you accomplish in the first year is a list of 5000 prospects. The point isn’t the number. It’s finding out how it works. And unless you get into it, or ask the team hard questions, there won’t be progress.
Or video. Maybe there is no one on the team who is comfortable with video and what it entails. Plus how it can be deployed in a marketing plan. That’s no reason to ignore it because the companies who do video well are getting ahead simply by attracting another set of customers who don’t respond well to text and images.
Get out of the marketing comfort zone – and HubSpot can help conquer those fears faster than any other program. By being able to get into any digital channel and track it continuously, you get solid insights on what is happening. Don’t give up too soon either. Results take time and several options must be explored before you give up on something.
Find the least effective channel you’re spending on
Spends don’t have to follow the same pattern every year. If you spent some time analysing where the maximum and minimum gains were made, the way ahead reveals itself. Reallocate. There’s no shortage of digital channels and properties to try new strategies.
And with every new move, you’ll find a nuance that wasn’t seen before. If you move from Instagram to Pinterest to Reddit, you’ll see a difference in the response and the way customers interact in those channels. Question is how it impacts your brand perceptions. Reddit tends to be quite in your face in terms of audience response. Participants don’t hold back. Pinterest is more about artists and craftspeople – the collectors. And Instagram is like capturing a mood or emotions.
The power of discovering new ways to interact and find customers opens up new possibilities
How exactly does your brand play out in each of these environments? Microsoft uses Reddit to drive its support groups and so does Adobe. They immerse themselves in the community and adopt the terminology used there, instead of imposing the brand construct. Now, this is new ground for brands to cover, since they aren’t comfortable with diluting the image. But that’s what get’s traction on a site like Reddit.
Resolve to innovate
Innovation is hard to do, no matter how much it is spoken about. There’s a huge amount of pushing to be done internally. When roles are defined and prove to be moderately successful, people get fixed about their ideas as well.
Trying something new carries the real fear of failure. And innovation is as much about failing as doing something new. That is precisely why it is so hard to practice.
The innovation can be small but significant – and it teaches you more about customer behaviour and responses than the standard options used. Cold calls. Direct mailing. In each of these, the response rate is in the region of 2-3% and organisations accept it. But look at it another way – it does not work 97% of the time!
HubSpot gives you numerous options for experimentation and tracking. Want to do something new with content and see how it works? Do it through the HubSpot CMS. Want to track how video performs across different channels? Do it with HubSpot Analytics. Want to look separately at vertical video and landscape and see what connects better? That can be tracked as well through custom HubSpot dashboards. You can still construct landing pages in a jiffy, track paid advertising on all the major platforms, of course.
And what could be better than finding a long-term idea that evolves from experimentation? We see that happen in practically every major brand journey. Uber started in San Francisco and knew that traditional cab service was terrible. They sponsored tech events where the audience included techies and VCs. By offering free rides initially, they were able to get people to try out the service and iterate based on feedback. That gave them traction with media and the core from which they could rapidly expand.
So, what’s your marketing resolution for the year? Talk you us and we’ll help make it happen. The cliché that new year resolutions do not work can be proven wrong!
Blueoshan is a HubSpot Diamond-Tier Solutions Partner. Delivering worldwide from India.