Our December News with Edge article outlined some basic principles of sales and marketing that have remained constant over time, despite modern advancements in how we reach our target markets. Knowing your audience, refining your message and using a multifaceted approach to reach the segments of your audience the way each of them wants to be reached are some of the core tenets seasoned marketers have followed for decades.

But in fact, there is much that is new in marketing today.

Customer experience or “CX” is among the most talked-about trends for B2C and B2B businesses alike, which is all about prioritizing the overall experience clients have with your company and its products or services. Emphasize a positive culture and provide great service to elevate the customer experience at every touch point to build loyalty that keeps them coming back for more and strengthen your brand to attract new clients. In addition to superior service, factors like convenience, modern technology, personalized communications and brand image are other high-value assets contributing to a positive CX.

Personalization is its own topic under what’s new in marketing. Tailored messaging helps you cut through the noise and get your audience’s attention while they are tuning out everything else. Advancements in AI-powered technology and marketing automation tools allow us to leverage data to customize communications that help both clients and prospects better connect with the brand.

Speaking of your brand, content marketing continues to evolve but remains an important strategy for highlighting your expertise and leadership as part of your overall identity. Revisit these tips for repurposing content to maximize the value of your articles, white papers, case studies and other assets, but don’t limit yourself to plain text materials. Advancements in voice search are changing the way content is being created and searched, with interactive, video and other visual content increasingly important parts of the marketing mix for expanding engagement.

Your 2020 plans surely include other components of digital marketing, which is really anything that uses the internet or electronic devices to connect with current or prospective customers. Know which channels offer the best opportunity to convey your most important messages to your target audience.

  • Websites – Beyond staying current with both your layout and content, ensure your site is optimized for mobile devices so visitors get the best possible first impression regardless of how they’re accessing it. Don’t forget to include video and effective visuals wherever possible.
  • Email marketing – Email inboxes today are like our mailboxes a couple decades ago: filled with junk, much of which goes into the trash before anyone reads it. Always be strategic in how email marketing is used.
  • Advertising – Even for established brands, advertising remains a viable way to keep your name and key messages top of mind among large audiences. Take advantage of opportunities that enable targeting of narrow segments of the market with tailored messaging.
  • Social media – An effective social media strategy doesn’t require a presence on every platform. Evaluate the channels available to determine which are the best fit to reach your core audiences with your key messages.
  • Blogs, podcasts & webinars – In addition to posting news and insights regularly to your blog, try sharing some of your knowledge and thought leadership in a podcast or webinar. Modern tools make it easier than ever to provide tutorials to your clients, and many travelers and commuters enjoy listening, rather than reading, to stay current on industry trends.

AI technologies and automation are changing the way businesses reach and interact with their audiences. And while smart assistants and chatbots may perform base-level customer service, they don’t negate the importance of the human aspect of marketing. Technology doesn’t replace people, but rather should enhance your marketing efforts to target and personalize communications.

As you finalize your 2020 PR and marketing plans, be sure to consider a variety of strategies and the modern tools and channels available to reach your targets that will best help achieve your goals.

About the Author

With Edge since 2007, Jennifer Marsnik specializes in helping clients develop and implement strategic plans that support their overall business goals. She lives in the Twin Cities area with her husband and two daughters and enjoys golf and cheering on the Twins, Vikings and U of M Gophers.