For so long, the business world has lauded the promise of the “funnel.” At the top of the funnel is everyone you reached, and the bottom represents everyone who converted.
Now that you have that picture in your head, envision the funnel being run over by one of Elon Musk’s hyperloop trains. It’s time to leave your sales funnel in the dust; because in 2020, we’re all about the flywheel.
The idea behind the funnel was the more people added to it, the more people would become buyers. But marketing just isn’t that simple, because your audience isn’t that simple. The flywheel puts consumers’ wants and needs at the center of all your marketing efforts.
This model recognizes that gaining and maintaining customers isn’t as simple as exposing as many people as possible to a catchy slogan or a flashy commercial. The flywheel combines marketing efforts, customer service and sales into a team that must work together to gain and maintain customers.
The flywheel recognizes the importance of customer service and its impact on word-of-mouth marketing. When a customer experiences great service, they are deeply impacted and are more likely to share their positive experience with another potential customer.
So instead of trying to “shotgun” your message to as many people as possible, we invite you to focus on your current customers instead. By shifting your paradigm towards the flywheel, you increase your chances of having repeat business; and you also attract more business in the process.
This might sound a bit intimidating, but it’s really simple. Location mapping is using customers’ geographic information to determine marketing strategies and impact buyers’ behavior.
Think of location as a demographic. Many businesses use this demographic to learn where their brand is most (or least) popular. With that information, they segment their marketing efforts accordingly.
Other businesses use location information to learn about general buying habits in order to target new markets for potential growth.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Take Starbucks, for example. When you use the Starbucks rewards app, Starbucks knows where you are and what you bought. They can then use this data to predict consumer behavior.
When the customer is within a certain range of a Starbucks, the app suggests personalized offers that are likely to entice a sale. All this, and more, is powered by location information.
Yes, Starbucks is a huge international company; so it’s not hard to imagine they have the resources to pull off such sophisticated use of location mapping.
But small businesses have something to gain here, too.
You can use location mapping to find out the best locations to target your marketing. You could also use it to determine the best place to build a new store.
Many small businesses neglect location mapping because they believe it’s only feasible for large businesses; but they couldn’t be more wrong. Location intelligence gives small businesses valuable insights and an edge on their competition that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
If you want to truly capitalize on the flywheel and gain customer-marketers, you’ve got to up your game in the customer service department. One way to do this is by employing chatbots.
Now, before you brush off the idea of your customers talking to (and becoming frustrated by) robots, let’s examine the pros.
First, chatbots are available to help your customers instantly; and they never clock out. This gives you the advantage of having 24/7 customer service.
Second, most chatbots use AI to answer your customers’ most common questions. They learn on the go, and they get more consistent as time goes on. And because they’re robots, there’s no limit to their patience: chatbots will always answer questions politely.
The business world is responding to this trend. By 2020 chatbots will be responsible for 85 percent of customer service. Two years later (2022), chatbots are projected to save businesses more than $8 billion annually.
Why are businesses so invested in this technology? Yes, the savings on labor costs are huge; but the real driver here is customers.
It may come as a surprise that 63 percent of consumers prefer messaging with a chatbot when they need assistance. Given the projected growth in this sector, it’s safe to assume that this number will only go up in 2020.
Marketing is no longer as simple as a few well-placed billboards and a memorable TV commercial. Now, consumers want to discover brands through stories, and not the other way around.
At this point, people know they’re going to be marketed to—it’s an inevitable fact in the digital age. But that doesn’t mean you can be blatant with it. Research shows that 70 percent of consumers prefer to find out about goods and services through content over traditional advertising.
The key to marketing effectively in 2020 doesn’t necessarily depend on your message—it comes down to how you deliver your message.
Content marketing is important because it’s what modern consumers respond to. Studies show that, when making decisions on a product or service, nearly half of consumers look at three to five pieces of content before even talking to a salesperson. Content marketing has been proven to increase conversion rates six times more than traditional advertising.
A great way to engage in content marketing is through videos. More than 50 percent of customers say they prefer video content over all other forms of advertising.
Marketers agree: 92 percent consider video an important part of their marketing strategy.
You probably don’t realize this, but if your website has video content, it’s 50 times as likely to come up in an organic search. People like videos, and that’s why search engines like them too.
If you’re a social media user, it’s hard to ignore the impact of influencers. Is influencer marketing one of the marketing trends you’ve been sleeping on?
These sponsored posts are the modern version of celebrity endorsements. Kylie Jenner, for example, reportedly makes $1.27 million per post to endorse a product or service on Instagram.
While this might seem insane at first, you should know that it really works. According to researchers, 63 percent of consumers trust the word of an influencer over the word of a brand. This trust translates to sales: nearly 60 percent of social media users admit to buying a product in the last six months because of influencer sponsorships.
Many companies, particularly small businesses, are turned off by the high cost of a celebrity endorsement. But they don’t realize that influencer marketing doesn’t have to break the bank.
There’s an increasing number of what the industry calls “micro-influencers.” These are pages with a small-but-mighty niche following. Their followers tend to be highly engaged on social media, which is fantastic for sales.
Voice Search Optimization
Lemme guess, Voice- activated technology is another one of the marketing trends you’ve been sleeping on? Voice-activated technology is all around us and probably one of the marketing trends you’ve been sleeping on. Everything from our phones, speakers, watches and even cars have smart technology enabling voice controls… but how does that translate to marketing?
About half of us are already relying on a voice-activated search to find out things like the nearest grocery store or park. What’s more, 72 percent of people who have smart speakers use them on a daily basis. Because of this, marketing efforts need to include voice search engine optimization.
To do this, information needs to be framed in a different way. Content can be optimized for voice search by framing it around questions in a conversational tone. Think about questions consumers are likely to ask about your business and go from there.
The sooner you do this, the better. As with nearly every emerging technology, this one is growing at a rapid pace. In 2019, $2 billion was spent on shopping through an online voice search. In 2022, that number is set to increase to $40 billion. If you sell your products online, this is something you’ll have to consider in order to compete.
Successfully promoting your business in this ever-changing digital landscape is difficult at times, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll just need to stay on top of the latest trends and use them to your advantage.
So here’s your wake-up call: stop hitting snooze on valuable marketing trends that you’ve been sleeping on. Wake up in 2020, and see your business transform.