Introducing ‘INNW’ (a new marketing acronym)

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Introducing ‘INNW’ (a new marketing acronym)

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I’d like to propose ‘INNW’ as a new acronym* to guide marketers in 2017.

These 4 letters stand for a relatively simple statement – If Not Now, When?

As (almost) everyone in business and marketing knows, the world has changed. A lot. If you’re in the business of selling a product or service, you’re probably scratching your head and wondering how to manage a decreasing marketing budget amongst an increasing array of media options. “Do more with less” seems the mantra nowadays.

As 2016 comes to a close, and in the spirit of new year resolutions, I propose that “If Not Now, When?” be the slogan that inspires your approach to marketing in 2017. Marketing demands bold ideas, innovation and bravery. That means marketers should always be looking to test new strategies and tactics.

So next year (not next decade), see if one or more of these are right for your business.

Get mobile-friendly.

This message has been hammered into everyone for a number of years. Australia’s smartphone penetration is #2 in the world (77% in 2013 as per SMS Global study).  More searches are done on a mobile device than PC and ‘search’ is the most frequently used shopping tool for mobile consumers (according to a Google USA study).

So any business that hasn’t yet thought of a way to embrace a mobile-optimised web presence – or any other mobile-friendly tactic – then it’s definitely time to act! Put at the top of your list. Let me know if you need some help with this.

Accelerate digital-based innovation.

Now is the time to start embracing not only change, but the method of making change happen.  A recent report by Accenture details the benefits that accrue to companies that actively innovate to add value. Their key findings contains one element that successful innovators are doing: “Incorporate digital as part of the customer experience.”

Breakdown your whole go-to-market plan and identify touchpoints that can be strengthened by applying a degree of digitisation. This can be either customer-facing or an internal communications/workflow solution.

Accenture: Rewriting The innovation Playbook

Social selling.

This is a relatively new concept so if you’re unfamiliar with it’s premise: social selling is when salespeople use social media to connect directly with their prospects. There is much more it than simply connecting, as the idea is that salespeople use social media as a means to establish a relationship that  might lead to a future sale.

Social selling is a B2B marketing strategy that mostly occurs online using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare, Pinterest and YouTube. The premise is that a salesperson publishes content of interest to his/her prospects, who will then follow/like/share that content.  Over time the salesperson and prospect develop closer ties, including meeting in person, that may lead to a sale.

Read more about this strategy in this Forbes article. Better still, ask me for some advice.

Programmatic media buying.

Digital advertising is now dominated by programmatic media buying.  Proponents laud its ability to efficiently display an advertisement to the right audience at the right time and in the most measurable context.  It has been primarily for large advertisers but the scale of programmatic means that even small ones can use the platforms.

This Digiday article looks at 5 key charts to explain the big growth in programmatic. Then allocate some ad budget and give programmatic a go. It’s so highly measureable that you’ll know if it’s working soon enough.

Customer experience improvements.

As Lee Tonitto, CEO of the Australian Marketing Institute says, “A good CMO is chronically obsessed with the customer.” Lee goes on to say in the MediaScope article predictions for 2017, “Organisations must undergo radical shifts in their structures to align themselves with how customers act in a new world obsessed with digital experiences. This starts with the CMO closely collaborating with the CIO, and building from there.”

If you’re going to improve something, you need to know a baseline to grow from. In terms of CX, that requires a forensic examination of the pathway to purchase. And beyond. A great way to achieve this is to conduct a customer journey mapping exercise. Contact me if you’d like to learn more.

Make smarter use of Facebook and Google.

How’s this for a staggering stat: “In the first quarter of 2016, 85 cents of every new dollar spent in online advertising will go to Google or Facebook” (NYT 13 Dec 2016).  These two online brands now dominate the online advertising landscape so much that they must be part of every marketer’s plans for 2017.

Whether it’s Facebook Ads or Google Adwords, use a specialist agency to ensure you are getting the most value from the ad budget spent with them. And if you need help choosing a digital agency – ask me for advice.

Data capture and usage.

If you’re not collecting data about your prospects and customers, then you’re already behind the eightball. If you’re collecting data but have no strategy for how to effectively use it in marketing communications, then you’re only doing half the job.

To manage data effectively you need a good CRM, a customer segmentation strategy, and a publishing platform that leverages the data sets being captured through online interactions, social media connections, search results, real life transactions, and post-sales interactions.

Read my blog post about leveraging the ‘Data Funnel’ and contact me for more thoughts on how you can improve your data strategy.

Which strategy or tactic should be included? Add your comments below.

* Sorry…I know everyone hates acronyms. Hopefully it’s a useful one 🙂

P.S. When I came up with this idea, I didn’t realise the phrase was the title of a novel by Italian author Primo Levi, published in 1982. Read more about the book. The book inspired American alternative rock band Incubus to use the title for its 7th album, released in July 2011.