One of the most difficult aspects of advertising and marketing in the digital age is that information and news travels so quickly, that it is hard to stay up to date with everything that is going on in the industry and market that you are apart of. Nearly half of all marketing executives cite that keeping their strategies timely was one of the biggest handicaps to their operations, according to a study by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Of these executives, over half said that the reason this was the case was a budget problem. Well, you can be more timely with your company’s marketing without breaking the bank. Here are some simple solutions to try to do exactly that…
Use the holidays to your advantage
First of all, the easiest way to start some timely marketing is to pay attention to what time of year it is and to act accordingly. This is particularly true around the holidays. If a company’s marketing doesn’t even acknowledge that the holiday season is in full swing, or that the weather has obviously been changing outside, then it begins to appear as if that company exists on a different planet than the people they are trying to market to. As you can imagine, this isn’t a very good way to bring customers in. Marketing your business during the holidays might involve offering promotional materials that are useful or popular during that season, or simply gearing your content towards people with holiday specific needs.
Be up to date with the news
We live in a time where the newstream is a constant force that is informing people at a pace that was never possible before. As a business, there is valuable information in the news that can give you an insight into what people are thinking about, and where the zeitgeist is currently at. For this reason, it pays to be consistently up to date with the news. If you fail to stay current with the news, then there is always the chance that you might make decisions that are viewed as tone deaf, which is something that alienates people more than anything else. The news can also help you see what is currently trending in our society, which helps you give an idea of what people want.
Try not to recycle content
Content is the most immediate tool that companies use to connect with an audience and speak to consumers. For this reason, you should be creating content that is specific to what your audience might want to see during a particular time. For this reason, it’s typically not a good idea to recycle your content from years previous to try to appeal to the same market. People and times change, and so too should your marketing plan. The first step to doing this is to make sure that your content has a goal that fits in with the time that you are making it.
Listen to your customers
One of the biggest keys to being timely with your marketing is to make sure that you are actually listening to your consumers’ needs, and how it relates to the specific time, whether it is the time of year, or an event/change recently occurred that is going to change the way that you interact with your customers. Advertising should be thought of as a conversation that you are having with the markets you are trying to reach, and every other competitor you have is also involved in that conversation. The goal, then, is to make sure that the words you are saying are heard more clearly and taken to heart more than what everyone else is saying. This starts with actually listening to your audience, just like a real conversation.
Try to stay ahead of the curve
The thing about timeliness in marketing is that it isn’t necessarily about what is popular right now, but what is going to be popular down the road. If you are jumping on a viral train to cash in on the popularity of a current trend, then you are already late. The most difficult part of marketing, but the most rewarding, is trying to stay ahead of the curve, and helping make sure that your company is more of a trend setter than a trend follower.