Looking through the Looking Glass at 2018

by | Dec 12, 2017 | JFG News

Marketing is Evolving – Are you Keeping Pace?

As we wind down 2017, now is the time to start looking forward. Many organizations and businesses spend December mopping up year-end projects, reviewing successes and failures, and planning ahead for what to do and how to do it in the new year.

So do we.

Looking ahead, it helps to take a look around the marketing industry as a whole and see what other thought leaders and prognosticators have to say about 2018. With the rapidly moving pace of technology and the widely varied and constantly moving methods there are to connect companies with customers, there’s a lot to consider as we look into January and beyond.

The Internet of Things and Our Digital World

You might have heard the phrase “Internet of Things” before, but not quite known what to make of it. On the surface, it’s nonsensical, but when you break it down, it explains so much of where marketing is heading.

The Internet of Things is a broad term talking about how a growing range of devices are connecting to the web, allowing for more connectivity and data gathering and more convenience at the same time. This term covers everything from your smart home devices, like connected lights or thermostats, on through smart-ANYTHING (TVs, toasters, refrigerators – you name it, there’s probably a “smart” version of it) and on to network hub devices like Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

For many retail businesses, tapping into these capabilities and offering conveniences like automatic replenishment ordering and same-day (and even in-home) delivery can be a true differentiator in the marketplace. For others, providing the best results – the best answers to questions, literally speaking – is the best approach.

It also means there’s a changing method to marketing. The advent of these devices has moved the target once again off screen. Like so many things, the cycle of marketing has gone full circle, and the power of voice is now reigning in a way it hasn’t since the advent of radio.

Speaking of Voice …

While we’re on the topic of voice, voice search is another trend looking to surge ever higher in 2018. As more and more homes adopt Alexas and Homes and Apple’s upcoming HomePod and whatever else is yet to come, we’re talking to ourselves more – well, to our devices – and that’s driving a whole new avenue of search.

People are performing searches and requesting information more and more verbally, meaning that you need to find information now with a voice command instead of the traditional cues you might use while keying in a search on your computer or phone. It also means that businesses and organizations need to take that into consideration when creating marketing campaigns or generating new content. The goal now becomes not just “can this be found online?” but also “can this be found if I asked (Alexa, Siri, etc.).” Search Engine Land perhaps says it best: Content may still be king, but context has become queen, and as marketers, we need to continue to play competent jesters to suit the royalty’s demands.

Keeping the King in Power

Finally, whether you’re rejuvenating an existing campaign or starting a new one, you likely know that it’s important to keep the content your messaging and branding consistent across each of your marketing channels. You don’t want to have a different ad campaign on radio or television than you do through your social media or on-site channels or your print materials. You want everything to match so that your slogan or tagline is seen, recognized and remembered.

Messaging is driven by content. It is the basis of your written words, your videos and images, your spoken ads and voiceovers. As digital marketing guru Neil Patel called it in his look ahead to 2018, your content serves as fuel to drive prospective customers along on the road from “never heard of you” to “loyal customer.” And, just as you need fuel in your car, truck, four-wheeler, lawnmower, chainsaw and any number of other machines, you need content to drive your marketing.

Indeed, content will need to be a major part of any campaign – new or renewed. You’ll need copy for your website and blog, brief content for social media, an attention-getting video for the web or television, a catchy phrase or message for radio or voiceovers … you get the picture.

At J. Fitzgerald Group, we’re moving into our 17th year in 2018, and we’re standing by to help your business or organization find and grow success. Our talented team specializes in identifying compelling opportunities and memorable messaging that will help expand your reach and recognition – and your response rates. Let us help you make 2018 your best year yet. Take a look at some our past work, and call us at 716-433-7688 to get to work on your future.

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About J. Fitzgerald Group

JFG is an advertising and marketing agency located in Lockport, NY. JFG has helped businesses and organizations create and execute effective marketing strategies for 20+ years.