You might be asking ‘what are the biggest marketing trends for 2013?’ or ‘how can I leverage the latest marketing initiatives to improve my business?’ Well I think the biggest shift change in how we go to market will be all about the social website. And that doesn’t mean adding a share or like button to your home page.
I honestly believe that within 3 years more consumers will be finding product information, reviews, news and information on your business through already established social networks than through company owned websites. The days of www.your business.com are limited. Imagine linkedIn.com/yourbusiness, facebook.com/yourbusiness and twitter.com/yourbusiness as 3 examples.
Networks like LinkedIn are already providing a company page platform (details here) where we can post product information and details about our organisation. This in my opinion is phase one of what will become a far greater, more open and configurable tool for us to promote our products and services through these platforms. And why wouldn’t we? LinkedIn has almost 200m users, an audience that already visits its site where you can simply add and share your content, enabling much greater opportunities for its users to share to their networks and in turn, an increase in traffic to your ‘content’
It’s all about convenience. Posting and making our content available and easily accessible for our audience, in a place they are likely to visit anyway, rather than paying to force traffic to your own domain, away from their normal activity.
I would love the opportunity to get inside a business like LinkedIn to evangelise the massive potential I see here. .Net architecture supported by WYSIWYG editors and the rise of technological breakthroughs such as Silverlight and HTML5 have provided a toolset than enable Marketing types to create and deliver content rich, interactive online customer experiences, without the need for coding. What we need now are platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to share them with the world.
Of course, this approach does garner some challenges. We must first analyse where our customers and prospects are? Are they engaged with Facebook or does their demographic naturally steer them more towards LinkedIn? The other challenge is one of resource, we are now talking about 2,3,4 or maybe more sites to keep up to date with information in parallel with our own websites. We will need Marketing Content Managers and it’s something I am looking at right now for my team.
We are in a transitional period here, we have time on our side and I strongly urge all marketers to build this way of thinking into their 2013 marketing plans. The Facebook generation is not going away. If anything more and more of these socially savvy consumers are not only entering the workplaces of our customers and prospects, but are and soon will be moving into decision maker roles. You need to make sure your business is equipped to let then communicate with your business and share your content the way they choose, not the way we force them.