By: Thomas Young
“The problems we face today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
– Albert Einstein
The only certainty in our future is change, which often happens before we are prepared. Here are a few hot marketing trends that can help you better plan for the new millenium.
Customers are in the Driver’s Seat
Customers will drive business outcomes in the future even more than they do today. An incredible amount of buying options puts real power in the hands of the customer. If organizations cannot meet customer needs or add value, the customer can easily move on. Customer service and sales teams are the voice of the customer and should drive marketing strategies. Investing in excellent customer service will help organizations to prosper.
The goal is to partner with the customer. Partnerships are built on trust, immediate problem-solving, frequent contact, honest communications, and a win-win relationship. Relationships of this nature meet needs and add value to the customer. No longer can customers be thought of as a tool for personal gain. Rather, the focus must be on the customersÕ gain and making their needs the key issue. Customers are the reason businesses exist. Many organizations tend to forget this over time. The future will force them to realize the real boss, the customer.
Prepare for the Internet
The Internet is the most powerful marketing tool in history. It could be the most powerful development since the assembly line, the automobile or the telephone. This is an excellent opportunity to expand your marketing reach. The future will be a time of immediate and personalized satisfaction. Customers want it now and the Internet will satisfy that gratification. The Internet is not a quick fix solution; it takes much time and effort to gain rewards. However, the rewards are huge for those that jump on board.
Technology will Over-Promise and Under-Deliver
Do not look to technology to make marketing easier. It will make it more challenging. Technology can offer false hope because no one really knows which technologies will take off and which will stagnate. It is best to approach the promise of high-tech cautiously and following extensive research. There are no quick fixes. Any business tool requires hard work and a substantial investment, before you see substantial rewards.
Creativity: The Spark that Grows Business
Companies that are proactive innovators and create new value will thrive. Tap into organizational creativity and develop strategies that will result in new areas of business prosperity. These business leaders will create change and force competitors to adapt or fall behind.
- Increased cost of direct mail will result in more targeting.
- Telemarketing will increase to generate leads.
- Pricing will be more important and closely tied to customersÕ perceived value.
- Supply will continue to exceed demand and keep prices and inflation low.
- Global selling will continue to rise.
- People will be more selective about their work and only work in areas they enjoy.
- Honesty, genuine concern for customers and strong ethics and values will be rewarded.
- Prospecting for new business will get more difficult.
Organizations must learn from the past, live in the present and plan for the future. Applying intelligent focus in these areas can help you prepare for the future by living the future today.
Tom Young, MBA is president of Intuitive Websites, a sales training and marketing consulting firm helping companies increase revenues. He can be reached at 719-481-4040, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.