By Yosi Heber, President
Oxford Hill Partners, LLC
Five years ago, when a client asked me helped them write a marketing plan, I put on my old Kraft and Dannon marketing hat and delivered a “traditional” marketing plan. Today, when clients ask the same question, I tell them to expect that at least 40% of the substance in their “traditional” marketing plan is going to be a mixture of digital, web, mobile, social media, e-mail and search.
The marketing world has undergone more change in the last 10 years than it has in the last 30 years. So where are you in all of this? Are you still an “old school” marketer or have you begun transforming yourself into a “new school” marketer? It’s not just about reach, frequency, TV, print ads and FSIs anymore. If you’re not constantly exploring the latest in digital and mobile, or at least testing some of them in your marketing plans, you run the risk of becoming obsolete! In a few years, the “old school” marketer as an exclusive institution will fail to exist.
It’s certainly important to continue leveraging old school elements such as the 4 “P”s, branding, positioning, research, etc., but you MUST begin to add meaningful digital, mobile and social programs to your marketing planning calendar. That will help transform you and your company to “new school” marketers.
To help you along, as we head into the 2016 planning season, let’s look into the ‘crystal ball’ to see where the marketing world is trending now. Here are the 6 marketing trends I believe all marketers need to keep in mind, and be sure to integrate into their 2016 planning process.
- “Traditional” Branding, Marketing and Sales are still very important – Despite all the hype about digital, all marketers still need to focus on the core fundamentals and the 4 “P”s. The old school of marketing we grew up with at P&G, Kraft, Ford and Pepsi still very much applies to today. However, these days the old school must carefully integrate into the new school. In fact, as mentioned, I tell clients who’ve engaged me to develop a “traditional” marketing plan to expect 40% or more of it to be digitized with strong integrated doses of mobile, social, e-mail, search, and a variety of the latest new media techniques.
- Mobile continues to be the “Prime Viewing Screen” – According to a recent global study among 16-45 year olds, people spend an average of 147 minutes per day on their mobile devices, but just 113 minutes watching TV and 108 minutes on their PCs. So your mobile website and apps need to give visitors the same excellent experience they have on their computer. Do you have a solid mobile strategy (that properly integrates with your marketing and business plan) to capitalize on these trends and requirements?
- New High Tech Marketing Mediums will continue to shine and grow – All marketers must stay very much on top of these vehicles as they often are not only more effective, but much more cost efficient as well; which allows you get much more bang for the same buck. For example, I have directed numerous clients toward a new and very fast growing digital technique called “Re-Targeting”. Here’s how it works…When potential customers visit your website, competitive sites, or related content, they get a cookie which will then follow them to other sites. So if they then go to their favorite sports website, they might see an ad for your business, and they’ll again see your ad on the next website they visit as well. Since only 2% of web traffic converts on a first visit, and retargeting keeps your brand top of mind, it is able to smartly increase your overall long term conversion rates….at very low cost. Are you testing these techniques yet on your business?
- Content is (still) king – 78% of CMOs think custom content is literally the future of marketing, We’ll not only see a proliferation of relevant content on websites including articles, videos, and testimonials/reviews, but a major increase in branded content across many media platforms as well. And “Native Advertising” – which is sponsored content that looks and feels like ordinary content, but is seamlessly weaved in – will continue to be a major content and ad spend growth area. Will you somehow leverage content in your 2016 marketing plans?
- “Conversion” is the key sales and marketing buzzword and measure – Website traffic, e-mail opens, and Facebook “likes” are nice, but unless you eventually convert these people to sales, it’s like getting a lot of base hits without ever scoring runs. Customer engagement and brand participation are a great start, but does your marketing plan have a section on how you are going to convert those leads into actual revenue?
- China is a bit more of a “wild card” right now – China recently passed the US as the world’s #1 e-commerce market. But as the recent stock market correction illustrated, China’s dominance could be very volatile going forward. Numerous clients have a major presence in China/Asia. If you also do, keep a careful eye on the situation as you write your 2016 plans.
So as you begin the 2016 Marketing Plan process, be sure to integrate the above trends, but also be honest and ask yourself….Do I need a more potent traditional marketing plan to drive increased revenue and profits? Do I want to better integrate digital, mobile, social and the latest “new media” into my current marketing plans? Do I need to better understand my strengths and weaknesses vs. key competitors in a quantified way so I can influence my CEO to invest more money in marketing/digital? Do I want to get to the next level with my digital strategy, but need a bit more help?
Yosi Heber spent many successful years in senior executive positions at Kraft and Dannon where he invented the $800 million dollar kid yogurt category, and as CMO of the Entertainment Division of IAC/InterActiveCorp. Yosi is currently President of Oxford Hill Partners, LLC, which provides strategic traditional and digital marketing counsel to over 40 of the world’s most famous companies. He is also a highly sought after speaker at many major industry conferences and universities including Harvard, Wharton, DMA and ad:tech.
Yosi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on LinkedIn athttps://www.linkedin.com/pub/yosi-heber/0/270/490, or by phone at 248-569-9366.