Thanksgiving season is here, a time when people come together with their families to be thankful for the great things in their lives. After a somewhat tumultuous year, we thought it would be fitting to list a few things that marketers and their clients can be thankful for as we look ahead to the holidays and beginning of a new year.
- Content marketing continues to grow
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 study on B2B content marketing, the number of companies using content marketing increased from 86% to 88%. While this might seem like a relatively small increase, considering all the talk of content saturation and content fatigue, it’s a good sign that more companies are still joining the content marketing revolution. This trend means that companies are beginning to think about tailoring their marketing towards customers and prospects and away from self-promotion.
- Tools for data management and analysis are more accessible
It wasn’t too long ago that “big data” and “data visualization” were terms reserved for enterprise marketers with lots of zeroes in their budget. Today, even the smallest business has access to tools and platforms that can collect and analyze data to tell them how their website is performing, whether their email newsletters are effective and, ultimately, the ROI of their marketing efforts. Even without a huge budget for sophisticated marketing tools, it’s possible for companies to launch effective, data-driven campaigns that attract the right audience.
- Personalized experiences will become more common
In a time when there is more marketing aimed to a specific persona or type than ever before, buyers are looking for more – they want to solve their unique challenges. They don’t want to hear about solutions for problems most of their peers are facing – sophisticated purchasers want help with their own needs. Whether this personalized experience comes from custom proposals, tailored discount offers or interaction with a salesperson depends on the company and market, but the bottom line is the more personalized an experience is, the more it will resonate with a prospect.
- Native advertising continues to grow
Research has shown that not many people like interruptive advertising. In a study conducted by HubSpot, global consumers ranked pop-ups, auto-play video ads and telemarketing phone calls as the three forms of advertising most likely to generate a negative experience. This type of selling takes people away from what they are doing and forces a message on them without considering whether they want to hear it.
Conversely, native advertisements are based on the needs and interests of their consumers. A great native advertising piece in a magazine, for example, could be just as valuable to readers as one created by the publication. More marketing driven by audience desire is a recipe for more enjoyable advertising.
Gratitude is key
As the holidays continue and we move towards 2017, it’s important to remember all of the things to be thankful for. A more sophisticated batch of tools for marketers should allow them to create more positive, valuable advertising for consumers in the future – something we can all be grateful for.