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Emerging and important marketing tools for 2021

legendre-glenda-col-sig-1The American Marketing Association recently shared some notable marketing statistics in its February newsletter that may be of value as you roll out your organization’s comprehensive plans this year. From the familiar to the newer digital environment, several key themes have emerged in the AMA’s topics for 2021.

Influencer marketing thrives

Marketers clearly believe, with 89 percent reporting as such, that their use of influencer marketing is highly effective. In fact, nearly half of them believe influencer marketing should be a key revenue generating strategy and not to be used just for branding or name recognition.

From the key influencers, pricey celebrity endorsers for example, to so-called microinfluencers with 100,000 or less “followers” on social media forums, marketers preferred this latter group as easier to deal with and of course, less expensive.

Not surprisingly, engaging a national sports figure for your online campaigns is obviously more costly than using a local sports celebrity. Yet even some microinfluencers do have national recognition in fashion and related industries.

Instagram is an especially good forum for influencers. I’ve personally seen people at live jewelry events snapping photos of themselves trying on and essentially displaying items for their followers to find and purchase. Retailers love this promotion. Restaurants use this approach, too, with select entree food items as well.

Such photo sharing helps generate brand and image for products, enabling broader audience reach and driving more online sales or restaurant reservations than Mad Man’s Don Draper could ever have imagined.

Many marketers now outsource their influencer marketing efforts to agencies or automated platforms. Issues of authenticity of influencers is one of the challenges in this marketing arena. but the campaign itself is highly trackable.

Blog on

Does blogging still help with marketing efforts? The AMA reports that companies that blog routinely generate 55 percent more traffic on their websites. Blogs are an inexpensive and invaluable informational tool to enhance web search and to share organizational information exactly as you would like it to be told to your desired audiences.

The blog entries should be well-written and not too lengthy, but the short versions could be displayed on your website to be expanded for someone who wants to delve into more detail. Good visuals are also of great value here to draw in the reader.

Blogs should be a regular feature of any marketing plan, with AMA recent data indicating that 57 percent of businesses have acquired new customers based on their company blogs.

Digital touch points

From web to email, texts or mobile applications, there are numerous ways to digitally engage with audiences in 2021. A further complication for this alphabet soup of options is that customers seek individualized experiences yet marketers need to offer consistent brand messages throughout the content.

Not surprisingly, a new generation of support businesses is rapidly emerging to help with the expanding digital brand challenges faced by larger companies. One such new entity, MoEngage, is based in San Francisco and overseas to help its marketing clients with large scale and/or global insight-led customer engagements.

MoEngage now includes artificial intelligence automation for its global platforms. Utilization of global approaches generates a wealth of customer data for careful analysis of the best reach on actionable consumer behavior.

Although it is unlikely a small company will need such extensive outside support just yet, watching larger businesses and their marketing approaches is a good way to track trends to keep your own organization up to date and ahead of your competitors as smaller scale versions emerge.

Glenda LeGendre is principal of Marketing & Strategic Communications and can be reached at glegendre@comcast.net.