Markets evolve. That has always been a fact. The speed with which markets develop, though, is changing. Every new marketing tool and strategy picks up the pace of that change. Businesses and brands need to update their marketing tactics or get left behind. This year will be a groundbreaking year for mobile developers and marketers and the companies that use their tools to reach out to new and existing markets.

In 2017, your business can stay ahead of the competition by following these top marketing trends.

Design with the consumer in mind
Know how customers think when they access web sites, advertisements, and apps, and design with their preferences in mind. Market research shows consumers strongly prefer certain practices.

  1.  Make your headline clear and direct. Many readers skim the online text, often not reading much past the headline. Format your website, emails, and posts with the skimmer in mind. It is possible to hook the reader with a short attention span without losing the interest of the consumer who is willing to finish the whole post.
  2.  Customers expect images. Bright images and infographics appeal to readers. Not only can an image help the client visualize the product or benefit of your service, but infographics can communicate complex information quickly and clearly.
  3. Games hook customers. Why are game apps so addicting? They reward the consumer with fun! Make your app interactive and enjoyable, making customers want to return to the app frequently. Build a positive brand impression and repeat customers at the same time.

Keep it local

If your business has a physical location, you must take advantage of new and improved technology to draw customers to your door. New developments have made geofencing and tracking apps more accessible to businesses and consumers alike. Getting your business on as many maps as possible has never been easier.

  1. Use directories. Make sure your business is listed in directories like Yelp and Google.  Don’t neglect smaller lists, like local business directories, either.  When consumers enter “____ service in OUR TOWN,” make sure your business pops up.
  2. Link up with the community. People are using local websites. Make sure your business appears on community information sites, local news sites, and local blog sites.
  3. Reward customers who visit regularly. Mobile apps can be designed to reward regular customers just for stopping by. This 2017 trend will see location-based tech being used to create promotions and increase traffic.

Know which marketing strategies are working for you
New tools make it easier to track the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. You no longer have to let a marketing campaign run its course before you find out if it is working or not. Update to the latest test and tracking tools to determine your best ROI.

  1. Look at your users’ sessions. Certain tracking tools allow you to watch how your consumer is using your app. You can play back users’ sessions and see how people interact with your site. Use these tools to determine where users jump off so you can focus your attention on fixing it.
  2. Use A/B Tests. Clear and readily available A/B tests are necessary for all websites and apps.
  3. Ask for feedback. Use simple survey tools to gather feedback and improve users’ experiences. Understand your users’ perception and reduce your bounce rate.

Expose your business to a new audience.
Once you have tweaked your headlines, made your app fun, and chosen images for impact, think creatively to increase your exposure.

  1. Put your pictures on social media. Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram continue to grow in popularity. Put your images on these social media sites and reach an ever-expanding audience. Use distinctive graphics and inspirational images to build your brand.
  2. Join forces with an influencer. Who influences opinions in your community? Find the locals whose opinions matter and get them to link or share your site. Encourage your most loyal customers to share your brand, too. Word of mouth is digital now.
  3.  Work with like-minded businesses. Find the businesses in your community that complement your services, and arrange to share your base audience.  By not choosing a competitor, both parties will benefit by expanding outreach and growing local business in general.

Try an innovative platform.
Big companies and brands will be innovating this year, and new technologies will be available for marketing.  Let 2017 be the year you innovate, too. Mobile apps will be more popular than ever as uses expand. Be ready to update your app and online presence to stay with the latest and best. Try to incorporate push notifications, geofencing, or a loyalty program into your marketing strategy this year.

  1. Use the best tools available. Mobile apps have proven to be an efficient and robust marketing strategy, and that will continue in 2017. Make sure your website is mobile compatible and find out how to build an app so customers can interact with your brand from anywhere.
  2. Update regularly. Keep your site and app up to date, with both news and products as well as the latest tools. Investing in a better CMS or app builder will pay off in a more memorable and positive experience for your user.
  3. Always have a backup plan.  Be prepared with a backup of your content and alternatives to keep a website available in case of a problem.

Know your ideal customer and cater to that person.
The amount of information your business can gather about online users is staggering, and you should be putting it to work for your brand. Find out users’ age, gender, even internet habits and target your marketing strategies to them.

  1. Make loyalty programs truly rewarding. When you know your customers, you can provide rewards and incentives that they want. Ask your best customers what they want, select ideas that increase user interaction with your brand, and make rewards easy to redeem.
  2. Customize user experience with A/B tactics. With the right tools, you can target apps to your consumers’ preferences. It is even possible to change the appearance of the app to appeal to different groups.

Give your presence personality.
Bland marketing, information-only websites, and flat advertising no longer excite the consumer. Users want interaction and clients remember character. Make sure your mobile and web presence has both.

  1. Make the personality consistent. Keep the same message, tone, and voice in all your web and social media outlets. Be formal or friendly or quirky, but be consistent.
  2. Convenience matters. Use mobile features that make your products and services as easy as possible to access. Mobile app maker software is making it extremely easy to build a mobile solution for your customers.

Recognize and prepare for new tools.
Even if you aren’t ready to try a Virtual Reality project, know that it is out there, and its uses in marketing will only grow. Be aware of new tools as well.

  1. Look for partnerships. Collaborate with other local businesses for ways to use new tools. Your marketing strategy will be ready to grow in the future, so plan creative and mutually beneficial ways to use Augmented Reality, checkpoints, or VR.
  2. Mobile development. Developing for mobile is getting easier and more cost effective. Even the best app makers are affordable and have power packed features. Small businesses now can compete with big corporations.

Take Aways

Use these tactics and tools to get ahead of the competition. Advanced tools are making it easier to create unique experiences for every customer. Businesses of all sizes can take advantage of these tactics and it won’t cost them a fortune. Don’t let the big corporations out market you by using affordable solutions available to all marketers.

Content Courtesy of Customer Think.