Last year we saw the rise of crowdfunding, the announcement of exciting wearable technologies, and a continued effort to engage customers through social media and mobile. It was a year of thrilling trends in consumer development.
How many times have you or one of your colleagues said “That’s just the way things are done around here”? Don’t get stuck in a pattern of doing things a certain way just because that’s how things have always been done. Ask WHY, and if there isn’t a good reason perhaps now is the time to think of changing.
There’s no better time than a New Year and a new budget to bring fresh ideas to your business. Here are 5 exciting and innovative places to allocate your marketing budget in 2015 with an eye toward future revenue streams:
1. Getting to know your buyers
Consumers are expecting a personalized service. People are sick of cookie-cutter campaigns and one-size-fits-all products. This year we saw an increase in subscription services that learn about the customer. Services regularly send products based on a personality quiz or from previous likes and dislikes.
Commit to learning about who your customers are. You need to know who you’re talking to so you know what say. Research your customers, learn about their lifestyle and purchase motivations, and you’ll create relevant marketing campaigns that send them sailing through the sales funnel.
Need I say more? Mobile is the present and the future so invest in a mobile strategy. That’s more than a responsive website with easy-to-access share buttons (and if you don’t have one the time is now). Think about designing mobile apps that serve your customer or creating pieces of content that are easily viewed and shared via mobile.
Go beyond phones and tablets. In the next 5 years you can expect that wearable technology is going to become mainstream. Consider today how you will start to capitalize on that so you can be relevant in this new space.
3. Generation Z
Last year was all about Millennials. We wanted to know how they are changing the workforce and how to get them on your brand’s side. But this year Generation Z (born between 1994 and 2010) will be entering their final year of college, while 27% of Millennials are already in managerial positions.
If you’re looking to the future, invest in Generation Z. Start recruiting the future leaders of your business – hire high school students as interns, learn more about what Gen Z wants as they enter the workforce through graduate programs. We’re looking forward, too: our 2015 BuyerSynthesis Scholarship will support one Gen Z future marketing star.
Crowdfunding is the Cinderella story of the investment world. Hardcore investors didn’t think much of it until 2014 while Fundable estimated that these platforms put $65 billion into the global economy while adding 270,000 jobs. Crowdfunding is here to stay. It speaks to wider consumer trends and support for a business or idea.
Don’t think it’s just start-ups that are crowdfunding. Last year British department store John Lewis got in on the action by offering a mini-bond that provides an annual return to investors. By investing in the store and getting a financial return from a successful company, buyers feel more a part of the business than they do through typical patronage.
5. Anti-buyer personas
Creating buyer personas is one of the first tasks of any marketing strategy, but in 2015 you should know who your buyers aren’t. Stop wasting time trying to change minds. This seems counterintuitive – surely this brings in customers, right?
Maybe, but the resources required to convert these people outweighs the benefits. Turning away people who aren’t the right fit for your product or service 1) Builds trust, because you aren’t selling or trying to placate everyone; and 2) Increases your bottom line, because the ones who stay are certain that what you’re offering is for them.
We all know the old adage about the three types of marketers and trends: there are those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and the ones who wonder what happened. You want to be in the second group and that means looking ahead and taking action for innovation in 2015.
Consultant Jennifer Cooper heads BuyerSynthesis, the buywhys™ marketing research company. BuyerSynthesis helps clients clarify their goals, plan methodologies, conduct research and use insight-driven recommendations to drive success. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.