How you do your marketing in the New Year will be as a result of an honest stock-taking of how well or how badly you have done in 2016.

This year has gone by very quickly and surely it will be remembered in many ways as the year of digital marketing. The year of digital marketing in the sense that most businesses have studied the rise of Digital marketing over the years, identified its potential and employed it together with digital design on an impressive scale. Businesses made maximum use of digital platforms and Social Media to promote their brands and to sell their products and services. Customer service has also made use of the very same platforms in staying in touch with customers.

There seems, however, to be lingering question in the minds of marketers around the world as to which method is the best? The old style or the new approach to marketing? As a Marketer I think that the answer to these question lies in the honest look at how customers has reacted to our communication in 2016. There is still undeniable evidence that perhaps, 56% of our business has come in as a result of email marketing, for example, the ‘old way’ which has evolved from what many once called spam to what many now see as informative. Products and services that find people while they were not sure where to look seem to result in sales right away.

Relevant content

Content is still king as the other 44% made up of potential customers may still do a thorough search for services. Customers still need to know how they will benefit from your products and services by looking at how others have used the same. Blogs are more important now than ever. The reader’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter, and you writers need to become more creative, more product-centred and more sales inclined. Know your audience!

Endorsements and Testimonials

Get your current clients to endorse and ‘carry’ your products and services on their publications and reviews.

Increase your email marketing reach

Email marketing directs traffic to your website. For local businesses and form small to medium enterprises, internet marketing is everything! It provides continuity for the small business that relies on consistency.

Business conferences

Be on the lookout for small business conferences in your area that you can attend, both for networking purposes and to acquire more knowledge in key areas of business. I have found webinars to be just as useful for those entrepreneurs who cannot afford to leave the office.

A well thought-out marketing campaign

Have your marketing team devise a sound marketing strategy. Send out your marketing material several times a day and at different times. Two years of running a start-up has shown me that potential clients are less likely to receive marketing material and make purchasing decisions in the mornings, but in the afternoons they have the time and space in which to do all of that. Perhaps your morning time marketing should be in the form of showing off your brand alongside motivational messages, traffic reports, traffic safety messages or general travel info – leaving the more direct communication for the afternoon.

The old way

I still believe in the old way, and so you also benefit from advertising in local newspapers, radio or television. I know that you are already thinking about high escalated costs, but think online media, it’s more accessible and more cost-effective. Youtube, for example, has great potential and it is all free.

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