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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2013 Looking Into the Marketing Crystal Ball

      Combining art and science. We do it every day in the salon but how many of us practice this combination for marketing? We need to look at the art of marketing, the creativity, the content, the pretty pictures on Instagram with the science of market research. I research marketing all the time. I read and Google and download multiple reports, webinars and podcasts to find information that will be valuable to our listeners. Marketing trends and predictions for 2013 are getting posted this time of year. While many do not relate to our business one trend has peaked my interest. With the new world of online marketing where your clients are in control of educating themselves on your products and services your marketing job has shifted from how to find new business to helping new business find you.

          Inbound marketing is a growing trend that reaches out to these clients. Inbound marketing is about creating informative, interesting and even entertaining content to clients that may not even realize they need your products and services. Once you draw them in, they just might take the leap and go from a reader to a client. When potential clients are just passively cruising the internet to be entertained or educated they let their marketing guard down and you can begin to build an actual relationship. Unlike interruption/ outbound marketing like email blasts, Inbound marketing can make its mark with problem solving. Different types of content can be integrated into your content packed Inbound marketing.

      Types of content can include Articles, Blog posts, Books or eBooks, case studies, demos, live streamed events, videos, press releases, and images. Let's not forget if your content is found valuable enough your readers will be compelled to share it as well. Remember your content developed for inbound marketing should always focus on clients challenges and concerns over your product or service especially in the early dating stages. They're still trying to get to know you after all. A few more predictions worth noting? Social and content will impact SEO even more. There is now an overlap between search, social and content. Static social media campaigns will fade and real time marketing will give marketers the advantage of real time communications to grow business. Pop up events have clients engaging real time with spur of the moment salon parties and promotions. Engage your clients when it's convenient for them, not you. Social media is integrating all platforms from Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest and client data from these interactions will better drive individualized marketing messages. Determining which messages resonate with which clients will lead to better conversion of targeted offers.
      Be mobile or fall behind, again this message is at the top of the pile. in 2012 more people bought a smart phone than a PC, it is clearly where you need to be. Marketing on every level. Your receptionist should share the same marketing language as the stylist, as the owner. There is no separate marketing department anymore. In order to build long term relationships you've got to deliver a unified, consistent, human voice. Email will still a large piece of the marketing pizza, however it will have a more personalized look and feel. No more big blasts, more selective, relevant and targeted. Google trends see Inbound marketing taking over marketing automation. Unless you have a constant feed of new viewers your automated updates become annoying and put in the spam pile. Update your mix of Inbound real time and automated messages. Look for more content curation companies or "content marketplaces" that can provide a good mix of interesting posts in a saturated content world. Content crowdsourcing will also grow. Why not use your current clients to help share your message and generate new clients from their followers and fans. Last but not least Pictures will still be worth a thousand views. With all the buzz about content, visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram will continue to grow as audiences want to digest content faster than ever. Take a look at your marketing hits and misses from the last year and take time in the coming year to make effective changes.
Research courtesy Hubspot

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