by Jeff Tomlin
Every marketer says that telling the story is the way to go. It’s become such a generic piece of advice that, although relevant, now seems almost as commonplace as “the medium is the message.” But here’s another marketer here to tell you it’s true. According to an online survey of 1,000 US marketers, 76 percent of us believe that marketing has changed more in the last two years than in the past fifty. What is true for marketers is true for companies—the marketing landscape has changed dramatically and companies need to find the new path to follow, or better yet, lead.
So what’s changed? The medium and the tools, yes, but much more than just that. Your customers have changed. How you allocate your budget has changed. Who you hire has changed. Who sets your brand’s message has changed. In short, nearly everything is different. Here are three things you need to do to stay relevant in the digital marketing landscape.
Broaden expertise in the marketing department. Long gone are the days when marketers need only know how to write slogans and design billboards (if that were ever the case). Companies need content creators, data analysts, influencers and learners. Most of all, marketers need to be well versed with technology. They need to know how to manage brands online, how to get people talking and sharing content, how to dig into analytics, how to source relevant data—the skillset attributed to marketers is undergoing a rapid evolution, and will continue to change as long as technology is driving business.
Produce engaging content. Inbound and content marketing aren’t just buzzwords—they are an absolute necessity. If your company is still cold calling and emailing people who have never heard of you, you’ve got some catching-up to do. People need to see you as industry leading and relevant. Businesses need to see you as a trusted source of information, providing something of value to them. Then, when they’re ready to buy, you will already have proven yourself as the trusted agency, and the natural choice will be to come to you.
Embrace innovation. This could not be truer than it is today. As your customers evolve, you must evolve, too. Your message and information should be available where your customers are—whether that’s a new industry site, directory, social media platform or news site. If your customers want to offer retargeting, you should be able to, at least, be a source of truth for them, providing knowledge and advice.
As marketing and the way companies communicate with the world continues to evolve, the most important thing to remember is to be flexible. Those resistant to change, will be left behind.
Jeff Tomlin is the co-founder and CMO of Vendasta Technologies, a company that builds white label reputation management, social media marketing and listings management software for some of the most successful media companies in the world. In working with channel partners to help their business clients to grow revenue with digital media solutions, strengthen traditional media assets and develop digital sales strategies, Jeff is known to many of America’s top media companies. Prior to co-founding Vendasta, Jeff was the VP of strategy and business development at Point2, where he helped grow a real estate platform from the ground to power over 185,000 agents in 84 countries. Follow him on Twitter @.