September 1, 2014

13 Marketing Musts For 2013

The ever changing and evolving marketing best practices continues to show us that the right mix and blend of traditional and new media is the best approach to branding you and your business.

Almost half of consumers welcome social media marketing messages from brands they follow, according to a newly-released survey conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Pitney Bowes Software. The study, “Social Media: Contrasting the Marketing and Consumer Perspectives,” surveyed 300 B2C senior marketing decision-makers globally as well as 3,000 adult consumers.

marketing musts

Marketing Charts reports that social media has not replaced more classic methods of brand interaction, yet:

“19% of consumers report using social media to contact companies they use, while 67% report preferring email, 31% calling and 30% providing feedback via the company’s website.”

Thirty six percent of consumers report being interested in messages about upcoming sales, just 9% of marketers say they create such messages and 36% of consumers are interested in hearing about new products or services, while only about 19% of marketers have created such messages.

There is clear evidence that we are still watching TV, reading magazines and newspapers (more online) and listening to the radio. Add to that, the parallel world of content marketing with blogs, podcasts, e-marketing, mobile, text and social media platforms and we can and do get overwhelmed with all the choices.

Here’s what’s most important to figure out:

  • The marketing vehicles that are best for you and your customers.
  • A clear brand and marketing message about you, what you offer, why you.
  • Being consistent, looking professional and staying fresh.

Marketing yourself and your business is the most important aspect of your business plan and can greatly impact your success or failure. More  focus on your brand authenticity, engagement and transparency is, however, more important to consumers and will continue to be. Prove you’re honest, earn trust and you will be rewarded.

As we all try to cut through the clutter, choices and options, here are 13 marketing musts for 2013:

1. A clean, current, engaging, easy to navigate website.

2. A WordPress Blog where you can share your expertise and the expertise of others you admire.

3. A Fully developed professional, active Linked In Profile, with recommendations.

4. A Facebook page that you use strategically, respectfully and carefully.

5. Smart use of Twitter for branding yourself and others.

6. Podcasting and listening are hot. Feature quality content from yourself and others.

7. An e-marketing campaign to regularly engage with your permission based A list.

8. A local chamber membership or professional organization to engage in your community.

9. Going to key conferences to meet key people, in person, in your industry.

10. Seminars and workshops to enhance your professional advancement and knowledge.

11. Brand makeover to keep yourself fresh and relevant.

12. Choose smart, strategic partnerships and alliances to add more value and reach.

13. Give back, pay forward, help others, pro bono.

If you want to be taken seriously, then you have to act serious about adapting and adopting the new best practices. Get some help, hire a consultant, take a class, invest in your own professional education. This is not an expense, it is an investment in yourself and your business.

Check out Forbes, TrendWatching and MarketingCharts to find great ideas and resources.

Are you ready to “make a serious stand with your brand” in 2013?

Must Have Photo via Shutterstock

41 Comments ▼
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Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a staff writer for Small Business Trends covering marketing, branding and social media topics. She is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media specialist. Deborah hosts her Top 100 Small Business Podcast weekly. Her book #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Values and Humor Get You Through Anything and award winning "Career Transition: Make the Shift" (2011) are available through all major book sellers.

41 Reactions

  1. I can’t agree with #1 enough. Even my dad, who raises grass-fed beef, gets more business because his website is professional and easy to use. If a rancher can benefit from a solid website (people mention it all the time) any business can.

  2. Fantastic list here, Deborah. I especially agree with #2 and #12. I believe that every business, regardless of the model and niche needs to have an online presence. The best and easiest way to do this is through building up a blog presence through content marketing and building relationships and partnerships with influencers in your niche to reach a larger audience. If you were to just do these two steps, you can double even triple your business. Thanks for sharing your insights with the community, Deborah.

    Ti

    • Ti, content marketing and mixing up platforms and applications is key. Things change, people change, application usage changes. We can’t get too set in our ways, or too all over the place. We have so many options. It’s just figuring the best ones and ways to use them. Always enjoy your comments!

  3. Hi Deboarh,

    Thanks a lot for this very interesting post. I can’t agree more with all your points, especially the first one too. I’m from France where many small businesses have very outdated websites that really don’t look professional, made by web agency who don’t really care for their customers. It’s a shame because all these businesses lose money investing in poor websites that don’t help them engage with their customers.

    I think your article is very useful and I would love to share it on my blog, but many people in France don’t speak english. Would you allow me to translate your post and publish it on my blog? Don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss this further.

    Cheers!
    Pascal.

    • Pascal, thank so much for your comment! I sent you a direct email. By all means share it in French! Outdated websites can be the kiss of death for new customers impression of a business. Please come back again!

  4. Wow, Great List Deborah…I really like #1 and #13. Using your list as a checklist for 2013. Thanks Great Post !!!

  5. Thanks C Marketing for sharing the article!

  6. Deborah, I agree with all but one: #11. I don’t think every company must refresh their brand in 2013. Some are solid (e.g. Home Depot, Amazon) or have been recently refreshed (e.g. Avis, Motel 6). Of course, some that have just been refreshed (I’m looking at you, JC Penney’s) really should try again.

    I would agree that brands must continually recognize how their brand is perceived. If it’s time for a refresh, do it! If not, just keep polishing.

    Of course, I own a sign company so I wouldn’t be opposed at all to every company refreshing their brand in 2013. In fact, that’s fantastic advice. :)

    • Casey, thanks for your comments. I would say polishing is very important as long as all the visuals, technologies and content is current. Polishing something that is dated is not going to make it stand out. Rebranding is an ongoing process and doesn’t always require dramatic changes. Small subtle tweaks and ways to market can make a big difference. I would welcome your suggestions on what you think JC Penny and I should do better. Are you blogging?

      • Ha! Yes, polishing muck doesn’t improve things much. Being constantly aware of your brand and how it is perceived by your clients is wise. Small tweaks (new equipment, processes, methods, marketing messages) are definitely needed on an ongoing basis.

        JCP. There are some logo refreshes I adore but sadly, JCP’s change was not my favorite. From the over-bright red and blue combo to the blocky design, I’m not a fan. It doesn’t give me the impression of class that I’ve always had of JC Penney’s. It looks comical and clunky much more akin to Kmart than to Macy’s or Nordstrom. Their new pricing strategy and their planned boutiquization of their stores is definitely interesting but I’m not sure it is sustainable. To their defense though, they must change and change they did. I do hope it works for them. Bravo for being gutsy and refusing the status quo.

        As far as your brand, I must apologize, this is my first introduction to you. Answering blog comments is a huge plus in my book so I’m hooked. After a cursory glance at your website, it gives me the impression that you are high-energy and passionate about what you do. Your message is simply stated which I always appreciate. It’s immediately clear what you do. The one tiny thing I would change is the textured background on the Radio Show and Blog boxes at the bottom of the homepage. It makes the text links really hard to read.

        The only other thing about your brand is more of just a curiosity to me and something that has intrigued me quite often. When a brand is personality driven, what happens to the brand when that personality (Oprah, Dave Ramsey, etc.) wants to get out? As part of your business is aiding in career transition, I’m sure this has crossed your mind before: What happens in 30 years when you want to spend time with your new grandbabies and you want to transition out of your business? Just throwing that out there for the very far future.

        Yes, I blog. I blog for my company at signsoveramerica.com/sign-blog as well as for the national Signarama franchise blog at blog.signarama.com.

        I hope this finds you well. I’m glad I stumbled onto this article.

  7. Thank you for sharing this Deborah. Improve social media campaigns.

  8. Thanks to each and every one of you for your comments, ideas and participation. It means a lot to me and all of us that write for this amazing site!

  9. Giving away keys to the store here!

  10. Thanks for posting this! Especially, with the legal field, there is so much you can do although there is lots of compliance.

  11. Thanks Scoop. it! Appreciate you sharing!

  12. Thanks for sharing to your community! What’s your top 5?

  13. Thanks Paul for Scooping this today!

  14. Thanks Andy for sharing this! Can you add more?

  15. Thanks for reposting the article Don!

  16. Thanks March Communications for posting the article on your site. How’s it going in Boston?

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