15 Oct Adapt or … Part 2
It can be uncomfortable and daunting to rethink and reevaluate how and who we communicate with and how we allocate our resources for marketing but it needs to be done. Previously I wrote a post about trends that businesses should adapt to and embrace in order to succeed as marketing continues to change. Here are three additional trends that we should take into consideration as we develop marketing plans.
- Non-interactive Videos are good but Live Streaming Videos are better
Livestream research shows that:
- 59% prefer live videos online vs. live TV due to the interaction, connectivity, and unscripted moments from real people
- 80% would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog
- 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts
Customers want engagement, spontaneity, and connections with real people in real time. Videos are effective content but live videos take it to a new level. According to Nick Losq, founder of StarBeast “when a business starts adding a “live” component ……. it has the power to connect with consumers in a personal and honest manner, allowing businesses to separate themselves from their competitors. Live video has the ability to give many businesses a face AND a soul.”
Live streaming builds a community of brand followers, saves money, reaches a younger audience, and enhances your social media presence. Companies which dedicate resources to live stream videos will be more successful.
- Subject Matter Experts Open Doors
Companies are realizing that their customers want to see them as trustworthy and authentic with expertise in their field to solve their problems. So they are relying increasingly on subject matter experts (SMEs) or key opinion leaders (KOLs) to educate, guide, and advise their employees.
SMEs are a valuable resource to advise on industry trends, best practices, and how products can navigate through the competitive landscape. Top companies will continue to utilize SMEs for product launches, management of life cycles, and identifying niches in the marketplace.
In this age of information, it is common to find people who know enough to be “dangerous.” All you need is to do is acquaint yourself with a search engine and you will have more information at your fingertips than you can read in months. As a pharma sales rep, which seems like centuries ago, I was standing outside a closed exam room waiting to detail a cardiologist when I heard him yell loudly, “I don’t care what you read on the internet.” It was a bit jarring and, frankly, for a moment I thought about making a clean getaway and live to fight another day. But I was determined to tell him what great drugs Plavix and Avapro were for many of his patients. This was another instance where I had personally heard someone “dangerous” interacting with an SME.
SMEs have expertise in a particular field gained through decades of education and experience. They help teams avoid pitfalls and solve complex problems because they have been in the trenches and learned the hard way from similar mistakes. They can:
- improve workflow by incorporating best practices and advising what to start, stop, or continue
- lower project costs by performing work more quickly, thoroughly, and accurately
- add authenticity and depth to the content being produced to improve how an organization is perceived since 60 percent of content produced by brands is declared as poor, irrelevant, or failing to deliver 2
- Bottom line is best improved by emphasizing values over the bottom line
Last few years, I have heard about companies opening doors earlier and earlier on Black Friday. Some even open on Thanksgiving night much to the chagrin of their employees. Customers have taken notice that these companies have made their employees sacrificial lambs for the sake of profits.
In November 2016, REI shut down all business operations on Black Friday, their busiest day of the year. They gave all employees a paid day off to spend with their families. They were richly rewarded as store sales increased by 7% and digital sales by 23%. Since then, more than 150 businesses have followed their lead. The reason for the uptick in sales is shared values between the organization and consumers about a higher purpose and not just dollars and cents.
These trends are re-shaping how we conduct business. We need to be aware of them and adjust to stay in the game.
I’d love to hear what fresh marketing ideas you may have implemented.
— Brad Saeed, firstname.lastname@example.org