As a marketer, you are likely driven by the thrill of innovation. When a new social media platform shows signs of capturing critical market share, you begin assessing its ability to generate new business.
When Google rolls out yet another algorithm update, you reassess your SEO strategy. In short, you recognize the importance of not just keeping up, but rather staying ahead of industry trends.
So what trends and strategies will capture the attention of marketing leaders in 2019? Let’s take a look…
- Creation of the Modern Buyer Persona
Though it seems obvious, often the buyer persona—the target customer with whom you wish to do business—is more of a concept that lives in the heads of your team rather than a living, breathing document that informs your overall strategy.
In 2019, marketers will push pause on their campaign efforts and then rewind to either revisit their existing persona documents or start crafting fresh ones.
Just consider that 77% of the most successful content marketers use personas, compared with 36% of the least successful, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 benchmark report.
Today, marketers are thinking about buyer personas in a specific and targeted way. They start by asking themselves a simple question: if we could only do business with one type of customer over and over again, who would that person be?
With that person in mind, you can start answering questions like:
- What is his/her job function?
- Who does the individual report to?
- In what industry does the company work?
- What are the individuals’ biggest challenges?
- What are the individuals’ greatest opportunities for success?
- How big is his/her departmental budget?
Once your first persona is documented, consider whether creating a second or a third would be helpful, too. Then, use the personas as a compass to direct your overall strategy so that the customer remains at the core of all your efforts.
- One Acronym—ABM
Though account-based marketing (ABM) is not a new concept, it is one that is becoming increasingly popular.
ABM is a strategy in which the marketing department—in collaboration with sales and other business unit leaders—decides that an individual person or specific company is worthy of its own custom campaign.
For instance, if your company is looking to do business with Coca-Cola because Coca-Cola is a direct match in terms of the industry, revenue and employee size you target, you may decide to create a personal marketing and sales strategy for Coca-Cola that sits outside your normal efforts.
Or, you may decide that Sue Jones, CFO at that local IT services firm, is your target persona and that Sue deserves special attention.
To jumpstart your 2019 ABM strategy, identify which contacts or companies are worthy of a VIP strategy.
Then, research the lead to determine which marketing elements will most connect with this lead (e.g. direct mailers, industry-specific white papers, persona-based blogs, etc.).
Finally, launch your campaign and measure its effectiveness, being intentional to run your ABM efforts in conjunction with Sales.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this piece!
Are you looking for help getting started with marketing? Schedule an exploratory call with Forward Marketer.