What do artificial intelligence, voice search, and influencer campaigns have in common?
They make most lists for 2019 marketing trends on the internet right now. Odds are, they might even be on your marketing roadmap. And in the spirit of the new year, let’s be honest-a roadmap is just a fancier term for a resolution list. So go ahead. Make room for a few more bullet points under gym visits and carb cutting.
But don’t worry. This isn’t your ordinary listicle presenting what buzzwords to chase. Nope. We're sharing high powered resolutions from marketing executives that will jumpstart your 2019.
Winning Brands Harness Employee Power
Justin Nicolette, Director of Communications at Corning Optical Communications, explains that tapping into internal resources can aid content development.
“We are thinking about thought leadership a lot. When it comes to thought leaders, Corning is fortunate to have so many futurists within our walls. They’re talking about advances such as the Internet of Things, 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality /Augmented Reality, and Voice-Activated Search, and how these advances are better enabled by optical communications. In 2019, we’re resolving to share the wealth. We’ll be focused on employee advocacy in the new year, helping each Corning employee share more with their networks to round out our content marketing efforts.”
Employee advocacy platforms, like Bambu, can spread company content at scale. It helps increase your audience reach, lower your advertising cost, and can even boost trust. Research shows customers are 16x more likely to read a post from a friend than from a brand directly. Turning employees into content advocates can help your messages breakthrough the increasing clutter and reach the right eyeballs.
Take time in the new year to explore the rich information inside your company’s walls and use it to amplify your marketing.
Set the Tone for Your Team
Derek Detenber, Chief Marketing Officer at Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV), shows us that leaders should always be focused on making their team better.
“2019 will be a year for me to focus on being a better, more visible leader, a better strategist, a more nimble tactician to consistently put the ABV brands in a position to be chosen by consumers in a crowded category. To do this I will need to support, organize and motivate my team to be the best we can be.”
For marketing leaders, it’s easy to focus on tech trends or market shifts to compete. But maybe we need more inward analysis rather than sitting through another Saas demo in 2019. Sometimes the best work comes when we set the right example and give our teams the direction—and space—to succeed. Whether in a competitive market like craft beer or global manufacturing, teamwork is often the competitive advantage we need to push past our fiercest rivals. In his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, author Patrick Lencioni lifts teamwork above all other corporate pillars:
“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”
Need to brush up on your leadership qualities? Check out some more inspiring actions you can take to build success.
Continuously Audit Your Tech Stack
René Fielder, Chief Marketing Officer at Sona Dermatology & MedSpa, reminds us not to accept the status quo with our marketing platforms.
“It’s important to monitor the "user friendliness" of Google Ads (formally AdWords). Google wants to maximize people using their platform so they're continually making it more user friendly, which creates challenges for marketers. Now "everyone" can do it, which increases competition on the platform, raises costs, and makes sophisticated usage of AdWords less effective. We have to fight the commoditization of AdWords with a more robust SEO program.”
What can brands take away from this? Pay attention to your current tech stack and make sure you are evolving with it and your competition. Resolve to stay current on the latest updates but don’t let the mere existence of technology be your silver bullet. Maximize its potential with strategic positioning and comprehensive market plans.
Many marketers fall into the technology trap, thinking that using or adding technology will add more customers and more revenue. But it’s the application of technology that creates a competitive advantage. While it’s easy to chase the new shiny object, sometimes it’s better to find inventive ways to infuse current technology with new and expanded tactics.
Start with Silence
Our final resolution comes from our 2018 Market Charlotte speaker, Allen Gannett. Allen spoke to our chapter about how anyone can unlock their creative potential. And if you’re a hustle-first, always-on marketer, his words may surprise you.
“In the new year, I think it's critical for marketers to carve out time for something that will seem odd: silence. The research shows us that for creativity to happen we have to give ourselves moments when our left hemisphere is "quiet" and the divergent ideas percolating in our right hemisphere can actually be "heard." This is why we talk about aha moments happening in the shower or on our commute. These are moments when the stronger, left hemisphere activations are tuned down. But too often, we don't give ourselves the time to experience these moments. The result is we bang our head against the wall looking for creativity, when really we just need to slow down and experience quiet.”
Allen Gannett is the Chief Strategy Officer of Skyword and author of The Creative Curve, a book on developing your creativity. Previously he founded and served as CEO of TrackMaven which merged with Skyword in 2018.