Top 11 Things You Need to Know About Marketing in 2011

Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like? So last year. Burger King’s Subservient Chicken? What is this, 2001? Making a large banner ad buy on MySpace? Wake up!

Indeed, it seems a tweet sent 20 minutes ago is already old news in today’s frenzied media cycle. In these rapidly changing times, how can any marketer expect to stay relevant or stand out amidst the never-ending avalanche of content that buries consumers every waking minute of their lives? Is it time to throw all of your tried and true marketing tactics out the window?

Probably not. Before you commit a R.A.D. (Random Act of Desperation), take a breath, count to 10, and find comfort in knowing that marketers don’t need to re-write the rule book every day. Rather, a smart marketer needs only make subtle edits to the rule book (in pencil.) We can’t tell you exactly what will happen next year (according to the Mayan calendar, the world will be ending in 2012 anyway, so stressing out about it might be a huge waste of time), but what we can tell you is what every marketer needs to know today, right now, this second.

So…cheer up, buttercup! And get familiar with The Top 11 Things You Need to Know About Marketing in 2011.

  1. Your customers can and will talk about you on social media and review sites. Don’t let them talk about you behind your back! Pay attention, respond, and participate in the conversation.
  2. A clever commercial will get more engagement on YouTube than it ever will being aired during prime time.
  3. If customers can’t find your brand’s presence online easily and quickly, they’ll stop looking and go with a competitor they CAN find. Ditto goes for directions to your physical locations (if applicable).
  4. Speed and response time are key. If you can’t react within 24 hours, don’t even bother.
  5. Mobile matters. Your customers aren’t just viewing your website from a computer, or your ads in print magazines and on billboards, they are accessing your content and looking for your products on the go from their smart phones. Can they find your brand when and where they need it?
  6. Integrate traditional media buys with new media buys. Neither should be ignored.
  7. Consumers are your new content creators, and they will remix, alter, change, and otherwise use your brand as part of their identity. Ignore these influencers at your own peril.
  8. Technology has allowed consumers to be targeted more now than ever before. To stand out, don’t be the first to talk; be the first to listen.
  9. As the shelf life of ideas shrinks, so do does the shelf life of a marketer. Ask questions, and accept that seemingly inexperienced or uninformed sources might hold key insights that can’t be taught.
  10. The fall of newspapers is an opportunity for marketers to take up brand journalism. Just remember, consulting Twitter doesn’t count as fact-checking, and erroneous information will always be exposed.

#1

By the time you finish reading this list, the marketing industry has already permanently changed. Find comfort in knowing you have the power to change it again.