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New Marketing Trends

The Competitive edge

Marketing is changing rapidly, the ability to master and exploit these changes into your daily operation and short/long term strategy is key. No time for a pause as the tempo of change is constantly rising.

Mass marketing is largely untargeted and focussing on the brand rather than the customer with no other purpose for a user to buy a product is not enough anymore. You won’t hear me say that is will never be a part of your strategy anymore. However by itself it is dead. Modern marketing is developed with the vision of brand building as well as conversions. It needs to be personal, add value for all parties and be measurable. Marketing Automation and data are shaping the future.

The first big trend we spot is the use of live video streaming.

Social media and it’s very big influence has paved the way for live content possibilities. Research concludes that 80 per cent of end-users prefer watching a live video as opposed to reading a blog. Why: too much information not enough time.

Video gives businesses a chance to interact and communicate with their audience directly next to this the broad spectrum of social media platforms make it possible to get real time feedback. Most used platforms are: Facebook live, Youtube live, Instagram live, Twitter and Periscope. Finally, videos and their content can be repurposed in the future.

Another trend is the rising importance of micro influencing.

It’s all about the focus on qualitative results instead of the quantitative aspects of social media influence in gaining an audience. Using brand ambassadors and social influencers has become a legitimate marketing strategy. 85 per cent of end users trust peer recommendations over brand advertising, 70 per cent of end users consult social media before making a purchase and 82 per cent of end users are highly likely to blindly follow the recommendation of an influencer.

Still trending and again getting a position in the yearly trend list is content marketing,

However, the proof that businesses are still not adopting to this, as it keeps coming back as an advise to implement in your strategy. Compared to other, important, factors such as; Big Data (including market and customer insight via predictive analytics), Mobile Marketing, CRM/ Email Automation, PR and paid search (Google AdWords & Pay per Click), content marketing according to business executives will remain in having the biggest impact on companies. Make sure your content is relevant and has a clearly defined audience. In line with the cost saving challenge we all have in marketing rather than coming up with new marketing strategies; refine your existing ones. Content marketing is not expensive and when properly executed will increase sales and customer loyalty.

A new challenge is the focus from the Millennials to the Generation Z. 

Oldest trick in the book: “Target your end users while they are so young you can retain them for as long as possible”. However, how to target this new generation as they have completely different buying habits than the generations before them. Millennials have shaped the marketing landscape and trends for the past 10 years. It now is time though to also put some more focus on the younger generation as well; the i-Generation, Homeland Generation or the iGeneration born in the late 1990’s to mid 2000s. The oldest people in this generation are entering their early 20s. In other words graduating from college and entering the workforce and changing their habits. As their steady job results in having more buying power. No matter what industry or size your business is, you need to do research on this generation and find out how to target them. Don’t forget the Millennials or Generation X, in contrary, however embrace that whole new and fresh market for you to target.

In line with the above, more key than ever in 2018 is consumer personalisation,

We all know it and we all need to implement it, however, the fact is a lot of organisations don’t focus enough on this way of increasing engagement and sales. How can you sell to your customers if you don’t know what they want? 75 per cent of end users prefer suppliers or retailers that use personalisation to improve their shopping experience. And we are not talking using your prospects / customers; name and surname.

Encourage people to create a customer profile on your website or mobile application. The more data you have the more you can implement personalization tactics which will make it easier for you to up- and cross-sell to your customers. It’s cheaper to target your current customers than it is to acquire new ones.

You can also send personalised email messages to your subscribers. Email personalisation improves your conversion rates by 10% and increase click-through rates by 14 per cent. A personalised subject line of an email, increases your chance of the recipient opening the mail with 26 per cent. Those of you who weren’t using personalisation in 2017 need to start doing so in 2018. So, hopefully your 2017 focus was cleaning up your CRM database and making sure you accumulated a lot of clean data.

Speaking of data another very important trend is security.

South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act ensures the end user’s privacy. And let’s face it a lot of people are rightfully worried about their privacy. However if you respect all the rules, regulations and stick to the guidelines there is nothing to hide and transparency is key. Let your customers know you are protecting and not abusing their information. Use your privacy protection strategy as a selling point. If their information is safe with you, tell your customers. Using data lists without permission, selling your customer’s data or engaging with the end user without their permission will result in your company appearing sketchy or untrustworthy; it will be difficult for you to get lots of sales and regain trust.

Finally, last trend for this year is interactivity.
Focus on a multi-channel approach. No or – or strategy but an and- and. Making a connection from print to online and integrate this into your email marketing. Email marketing is far from dead. However, if you keep sending out the same unpersonalised, untargeted boring emails over and over and over and over again, yes you will not get different results. Engage with your subscribers and improve engagement via interactivity using: real-time activities, adding surveys or reviews and using GIF’s instead of pictures.

To be or not to be in South Africa is up to you. It’s a simple key to success: staying up-to-date with the latest marketing trends. The best marketing professionals seize opportunities from the future and look forward using consumer behavior.  It results in being able to identify trends and making significant though applicable changes to your marketing strategy giving you that: “Edge over your competition”!

Article By NEX Media


What a crazy year!

We survived 2018

If you are reading this post it means you have survived!

Well done, you are still here, you made it!

So many companies, both large corporate and small business’s took a hit in 2018…some closed down completely, others down scaled or got new investors.

2018 changed they way we approach any marketing activities

Quote from Brandwatch – “Thinking back on it all — Facebook dramatically changing their relationship with advertisers and vendors, GDPR taking effect across Europe, value-based shopping and the related buzzy, take-a-stand marketing campaigns — it hardly feels like everything happened in the same year.”

Value based shopping will definitely play a big role in the consumers buying habit this year.

 The big question how do we survive 2019 when most of us and our customers are just barely hanging on.

Most companies stopped marketing activities or have scaled it down to almost nothing and have been doing so for the last couple of years. This obviously has a positive impact on you bottom line for the short term, but can hurt your company in the long run. It was assumed that brand loyalty will prevail and customers will stay with you.

Now we see that customers are buying with their hearts. They want to know what you stand for, what you are giving back. They are weighing the the principles, price as well as quality

In 2017 statistics show that 67% Of belief-driven buyers, bought a brand for the first time because of its position on a controversial issue & 65% will not buy a brand because it stayed silent on an issue it had an obligation to address. One in two were belief driven buyers. 

In 2018 we saw a rise to two out of three people to be belief driven buyers. They will choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues? This now is applicable to all generations and income levels!

 Additionally, brand loyalty has been on the decline for years due to increased competition, and more general cultural shifts.

How can we assess the new decision matrix for consumers in an increasingly complex purchasing journey? Price, convenience, new environments emerging daily – plus consumers want a trusted brand but not too corporate. Yikes!
— Julie Pender, Jim Beam Bourbon

Grow Your Business

by Keeping Your Name in Front of Customers

Ever wondered whether Twitter or Instagram of Facebook is the better social media platform for your business? Or maybe its Blogs or a YouTube Video, or maybe you should just give them a pen..

The point is all of them…it really just depends on so the trend at the time…You cannot afford to stick with just one thing because it work for your father and for his father before him

The bottom line is we can never stop marketing as that could mean the death of the company

Keeping your name in front of customers and prospects is critical to growing your business especially if you rely heavily on word-of-mouth and referrals. You’ve got to find ways to make it easy for people to remember you and even easier to find you.

Fun & functional  as well as memorable and cost-effective promotional items is still effective as we just love getting stuff for free, especially if it is something that would probably be used daily

The point to high light though is – it must be through the creative use of promotional products- items

Who hasn’t received a pen, key chain, or mug imprinted with a company’s name and phone number on it? But do you know the true power of promotional products and how to use them most effectively?

Consider These Statistics: 

The “staying power” of promotional products is what makes the difference. Unlike ads that can be overlooked, a good quality promotional product is functional and used for a very long time. Imprinted with your logo, website and phone number, these branded products continue to remind people of your business long after they have been received. 

The following statistics and trend information from the Promotional Products Association International might surprise you:

Banner ads…27% Print & TV ads…53.5% Promo Products…76.1%

Promotional products are used daily, and 83 percent of consumers use them more than once!

Promotional products provide brands with a reliable path to reach the target consumer group by positioning their message as it will be best received. In fact, according to PPAI research, promotional products are the most welcomed form of advertising by all generations and considered most effective in providing a rationale to respond 

Try to pick a time that ties in with something directly related to your business – use your slogans, product benefits or even the results your service delivery will have on your customers

Exactly what are Promotional Products?

Promotional products are tangible symbols. They are usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message, and include useful or decorative articles of merchandise that are utilized in marketing and communication programs. They include ad specialties, business gifts, premiums, other identification applications, and recognition awards. When promotional products are distributed free, they’re referred to as advertising specialties. When the items are given in exchange for a purchase, deposit or financial contribution, they’re called premiums. Other kinds of promotional products are business gifts and awards.

Quality off Gifts & Delivery Methods

From NexMedia:

It is not only the quality of the product that is gifted that needs great evaluation, but also by what method it is given,’ said Nick Sarnadas, event director for the Markex 2018 tradeshow at Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery. ‘As a brand, have you considered all the consequences of your promotional campaign? Have you set boundaries? Are you at risk of it all getting to unmanageable and damaging your brand?’

He explained that social media channels have become popular platforms to swiftly spread the promotional freebie word. ‘A hashtag is far cheaper than running a media campaign,’ he pointed out. ‘However, social media can morph into a life of its own and, if a proper strategy is not in place, the short-term excitement can turn into a detrimental disaster in the long term. Just imagine the hashtag, the shares and comments, should you have run out of freebies, or your promotional item not live up to its hype, and no terms and conditions are in place?’

Sarnadas stressed, ‘That said, the promotional item still has a critical place within the marketing mix, but rules need to be adhered for it to garner a positive reputation, a loyal customer and a potential buyer.’He said that the easiest means to judge your promotional campaign and item is to put yourself into your customers’ shoes. Ask yourself, what value do I expect my client to obtain – and vice versa, what value should my brand get from this. That pinpointed value is the ultimate goal from which your strategy, good planning, item inventory and rollout follows. Never lose sight of this value and nurture and protect it, because this value holds both your reputation and the customer experience.

‘Remember, everyone loves a freebie, and promotional items remain hot news – but, the “free” needs to be treated precious.’ Don’t make a costly mistakes

Promotional Gifts Are Still Effective

Use Promotional Gifts to Motivate, Reward to Retain customers and Grow your business

Effective branding can help your product stand out against competitors

Marketers have used promotional products for ages as an effective means of advertising a business. Many such items become part of daily lives of the recipients for a long time. Thus, the products with a business logo turn into a potent tool of marketing a brand.

The cheapest yet most effective tool

Many surveys have revealed how important promotional products are for business promotion. According to the British Promotional Merchandise Association, 79% of the recipients of promotional products think of doing business with the company. The association is dedicated to the research for the usefulness of the promotional products for marketing.
The survey disclosed that 66% of the recipients of the promotional products can recall the name of the brand or company.

The Promotional Products Association International conducted a study entitled “High End, Low End: Which Promotional Products Work Best :”It said:“More than a fourth of respondents (27 percent) felt significantly more receptive to the company and its objective and 44 percent felt somewhat more receptive to the company and its objective.

A reason for the traditional marketing still thriving in the digital marketing era is that it continues to be the cheapest way to advertise. Most of the promotional products can be bought in bulk at low prices. The prices turn out to be even cheaper considering the increased customers attention and brand promotion value the companies get in return. People can recall a brand much quicker as they use the promotional products. The advertising means such as television, radio and print have a lower brand recall value. This is because these advertisement tools are not so close to the people as promotional merchandise are.
However, your marketing team must plan promotional products programs carefully. The plans should take into consideration several aspects such as budget, audience, goals, etc to target the customers.

Here is what you should consider creating your promotional products strategy.

1. Your Objective

Before starting your promotional products campaign, find out your precise goal behind the exercise. Many marketers fail to drive customer attention on expected lines for a simple reason that they did not set the goals of the campaign. Different businesses may have their own different set of goals.
For example,

  • to attract more people to a trade show exhibition or it may be aiming to increase sales.
  • show gratitude towards your customers for being loyal to your company and business.
  • make potential consumers aware of a business, company and its product or service.
  • motivate partners, customers, and prospects to encouraging them to do a specific task.
  • convey a non-marketing message such as inviting people to a get-together event.
2. Products Relevant to Your Business

If the promotional products are relevant to your business, the recipients are more likely to recall your brand.

3. Good Quality

Pay attention to the good quality of the merchandise so that it helps build an image of a trustworthy brand. An inferior quality product can do more harm to your company’s brand image than good.

  • Pick some promotional gifts that is useful to the people.
  • Choose the products that can represent your company well.
4. Distribution Plan

Distribute your promotional products in a planned way that will drive more traffic to the event or website. This will also generate more qualified leads.

5. Products with a Theme

Create a theme for the campaign. The theme should have your brand message. The message should be such that it solidifies your company’s market position. A catchy and strategically crafted theme will linger on in the audience’s mind for a long time.

6. Personalize the Items 

Your promotional products strategy must also consider ways to build relationship with your potential customers or existing clients. The recipients will remember your gifts for a long time if they get it with a personalized message. Sometimes, putting name of the recipient on the product is a good starting point for building the relationship.

7. Tip for branded Clothing

Unless you are a truly beloved brand, for example Levi or Columbia  – chances are your customers will not relish the thought of wearing a ball cap with your logo on it.

If, however, you can include a logo with a catchy original slogan, you might have a winner.

Why is branding so important

What is branding?

Branding is strategic and marketing is tactical and what you use to get your brand in front of consumers. 

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small.

In our current business environment, branding has a totally new meaning and VITAL in today’s world of marketing. an effective marketing strategy will give you an competitive edge

What mental picture does your customers see when they look your brand?

Branding is not only about getting your consumers or target market to select you over the competition but about getting your prospects to see you as the sole provider of a solution to their problem or need.

Think of branding as the expression of who you are as a company or organization and what you offer


What Should branding achieve?

  • Tell them exactly who you are
  • Build trust
  • Connect buyers Emotionally with your product and or service.
  • Build loyalty
This is the mental picture you want them to see
  • Consumers must identify with you
  • you must be the only solution to a problem they have
  • they must become loyal to you
  • they must relate to you
  • trust is very important
  • reliability

The importance of branded gifts

  • your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer
  • Your brand is a corner stone in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.
  • Brand serves as a guide to understanding the purpose of business objectives
  • It helps them understand the purpose of the organization or the business.

A Basic Checklist to Evaluate Your Brand

  • Does your brand relate to your target audience?  Will they instantly “get it” without too much thought?
  • Does your brand share the uniqueness of what you offer and why it’s important?
  • Does it reflect the brand promise that you are making to who you are targeting as well as to your internal audience?
  • Does your brand reflect the values that you want to represent as a customer?

Where to start

if  you have no idea where to start or have a vague idea of what you want to achieve,  you may want to return to the drawing board and refine the marketing approach that will strengthen and support your brand

the marketing activity should be an instant “ah-ha” it should be a perfect fit that will last as the mental image your customer will have of you when they see your brand


A product is …..well a product…

A brand is the perceived image of the product you sell!

BUT  branding is the strategy to create that image

How are you going to achieve that perfect image today?

Decide on the message and choose the perfect gift to strengthen and enforce that Image