This week’s Friday Favorites are are from Spin Sucks author and Arment Dietrich CEO Gini Dietrich. A few weeks ago, she wrote two blog posts covering eight trends to watch for 2011. And, next week she is presenting a webinar on 9 Marketing Trends for 2011. (Not an affiliate link.) Her abbreviated comments are in italics followed by my thoughts. (You can read her complete posts here and here.) Thank you, Gini for starting the conversation.
- Content, content, and content: Gini mentions that it’ll be big for B2B companies as they figure out how to use intellectual content to attract new customers.
I’d add that B2C companies will use it to show how to use products and humanize their business.
- FTC Rulings: The days of free wheeling social media entrepreneurs is almost over according to Gini.
She’s right. The FTC will increasingly require disclosure (note the not an affiliate link above.) Take it from me, as a seasoned direct marketer bound by FTC rulings, you don’t want to battle them. Their fines are large and per offense. (Which means that one mistake could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Net neutrality Gini notes that if Google and Verizon get their way, the people who can afford to pay for speedy delivery will have an advantage.
The actual proposal excludes the public Internet. Before you breathe a sigh of relief, it include private networks AKA mobile. This rapidly expanding channel may require marketers to bid on exposure.
- Customer engagement “If companies do not engage their customers, I mean really engage them as human beings and not as people who you think want to be sold, it won’t matter what kind of content you have, how you follow the FTC rules, or if you have more cash to get on the Internet more quickly,” says Gini.
Agreed! This means that you have to roll up your sleeves and get serious about your customer acquisition, retention, and expectations. You have to know who wants a one-to-one relationship and who simply wants to complete the transaction. Both need to be served the way they want.
- Social commerce Gini notes that ecommerce is easy to set up on Facebook. Not only can you sell there, your customers can easily tell their friends.
If you thought ebay made it easy for anyone to be an entrepreneur, you haven’t seen anything yet. Watch for new cottage industries to pop up as more people become business owners. In other words, if you have an established business, watch your back. The competition is about to heat up.
- Group buying Expect sites similar to Groupon to grow providing new opportunities to reach different audiences.
Deals of every kind will increase in popularity as people accept new financial realities. Make sure that your marketing wins include profitability metrics as well as sales and response rates.
- Q&A sites Straight from Gini’s post: “It may seem crazy if you’re not a high user of the social platforms, but people are beginning to make real decisions based on recommendations from their virtual friends. Sites such as JustAnswer will begin to pop up, allowing people to ask a question and get real answers, from real people. The marketing possibilities become endless because you’ll begin to collect data from groups of people instead of one customer at a time.”
Your marketing team needs to be well versed in data mining and behavior analytics. If not, the golden nuggets of information needed to provide direction will remain hidden.
- Mobile Gini suggests that you “Watch for movement toward mobile payments and begin thinking about how to accept payments via an application on the phone.”
Start by making your website mobile friendly and incorporating mobile marketing into your current channels. Test everything, documenting as you go. You’ll be so far ahead of your competition, they won’t be able to see you.
The plus one trend will be revealed in the Spin Sucks 9 Marketing Trends for 2011 webinar on December 15. If the first eight are an example, it’s bound to be good.
What trends do you foresee for 2011?
Have a great weekend!