1. Think customer first

When you have pressure from the boss and the board to cut costs and deliver your numbers, then this is easier said than done. Thinking about your customers – really thinking about your customers – can often fall by the wayside. But your job as a marketer is to understand the customer, and ensure that your business is delivering products, customer service, and communications that are right for them. In 2018, it’s time to take a step back, understand what your customers really want, and then start to give it to them.

2. Deliver personalised experiences

Customers are picky. Price generally makes the final decision when it comes to customer choice, but there are other things that can influence a person to go with you and not a competitor. Make their experience personal, based on their likes, their history, their wishes. Be one step ahead and show them something they need; something they didn’t even know they needed themselves up until then. Do this and not only will you strongly influence them to purchase from you, but if you treat your relationship as a friendship and not a transaction, the likelihood is they’ll come back for more.

3. Don’t just deliver content, deliver context

Content is vitally important in today’s media-hungry, short-attention-span, mobile-heavy world. All businesses need to create engaging content that talks to customers, encourages browsers into buyers, and tells your brand story. But without putting this content in the right context, at the right time, to the right person, it’s not doing what it should. Personalisation, when done correctly, is an extremely powerful tool that delivers real results. Deliver context with your content. Wow your customers.

4. Track everything

Installing an analytics package is easy enough and the first and best decision you can make in 2018 – if you aren’t already doing it. Amalgamating all that data with the stats you get from social media, online advertising, email marketing, and other sources, so that you have a complete 360-degree view of the customer and can make faster, better decisions to drive better results, is where you need to get to. Having a web platform with an integrated analytics package is the icing on the cake.

5. Get mobile

More and more people browse and buy on smartphones and tablets. If you don’t have a mobile optimised / responsive website – one that automatically changes and adapts to the device on which it is being viewed – then customers will go to a website that does. Your customers expect to have the same experience on a PC, tablet, or mobile. Time to give it to them or lose out.

6. Build a brand story

Brands that focus on building a story, connecting with their customers, and getting them to be involved in their story, have more success than those that don’t. If a customer gets what you’re trying to do and who you’re trying to be, relates to you, and you touch them in some way, they will stick with you and be your friend – just take a look at Patagonia for a great example. Time to decide on your brand story and tell it well – in all the right places.

7. Don’t worry about ROI so much

Some marketers, especially those in digital marketing, focus so heavily on immediate ROI, that they lose sight of the entire customer lifecycle and long-term increases in revenue for the business. It is a fact that not everything you do in marketing will bring you return-on-investment. Does that mean you shouldn’t do it? Of course not. If it’s right for your customers, it’s what they expect to see, or if it’s not what they expect to see and it wows them, and it keeps them as your customer, then it’s got to be the right thing. The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, once said that he doesn’t want the company to focus on the money, he wants it to focus on getting things right for the customer – the money will follow. That’s good enough for us – Amazon’s a pretty successful business!

8. Do more email and do it better

Email still delivers results. There is so much focus on social media these days that email often gets forgotten along the way. You should spend time and money getting your email creative right – from design to copy to headline to landing page. An email (more often than not) has only one purpose – to get you to click. Leading your customer through their personalised path to conversion once they get to your website is equally as important, but if you can’t get that all-important click in the first place, then your email is worthless. Emails get results. Spend time and money on them.

9. Produce more video

Everyone loves a video. Including Google. That’s it. The more video content you produce, the better.

10. Invest in a web platform for the future

We all need to re-design websites and re-platform from time-to-time, to take advantage of the latest technologies out there, and to keep customers happy and sales rolling in. A first-class website that really performs to drive your business forward is not a cheap thing. So, if you’re going to do it, better surely to invest from the outset in a web platform that will grow with your business – one that can deliver personalised experiences for your customers, data in abundance, and most importantly, results.

We can help with all of this...

Whether you need a new website, want to optimise your conversions, or deliver personalisation, we can help. Get in touch with us for a chat.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!