Consumer trends move at such a dizzying speeds that companies have to work double time just to keep up with the changes. It's understandable that company owners and marketers don't want to be left behind. After all, there seems to be more competition for attention every year, more technological advances to absorb, channels to be active in, and higher expectations from customers.
Now more than ever before, companies need to future-proof their business and marketing strategies in order to stay relevant in 2018.
Understanding the Importance of Future-Proofing
"Future-proofing" describes a technological system, a product, or a service that would have to be updated as technology changes and improves.
In business terms, future-proofing means that you'll need to implement a sound strategy to keep up with changes in your industry and the needs of your clients before they happen.
It should be pointed out though that regardless of preparation, you can't really future-proof something 100%. However, companies can plan how they'll adapt their systems in order to connect with their clients on the correct channels, using the most relevant content at the right time.
5 Strategies to Keep Your Brand Relevant
1. Always Listen and Touch Bases With Your Customers
Today's marketing is all about dialogue, and it appears that this will remain true in the foreseeable future. Your company has to be able to communicate with your client in order to remain relevant. It's also vital that you listen to customer feedback.
Graphic via StartupGuys.net
Regardless of whether you're conducting a survey, using live chat to talk or reading customer reviews you have to pay attention to your audience and try to spot upcoming trends. The insights you get from listening and having a dialogue with them can help improve the marketing campaigns you presently have and those that you're planning for in the future.
2. Make it a Habit to Learn New Things Regularly
Always stay on top of upcoming trends and why they're important. Learn new things by studying vital and new marketing resources from reputable researchers and companies. Whether you're outright studying a course, listening to content or just reading and watching new trends and technologies, always be open to learning about it.
3. Invest Smartly With Your Marketing
It's never a good idea to blow your entire marketing budget on one strategy. The risk of losing is simply too high. A better move would be to invest small but smarter. Companies can try alloting small amounts of time, money and resources and invest them in various areas of marketing just to see which sectors perform well and which don't. It's also a good way to gain exposure and experience in different marketing techniques.
This approach will also be valuable if a particular marketing medium becomes more profitable or relevant over time. If that happens, you already have a foothold and have the right knowledge and experience to drive results in your expected direction.
4. Build a Pro-Active Team
Your team is just as important as your strategy. Build a team that's pro-active and understands the importance of future-proofing the company's marketing efforts.
It's important that your team is comfortable and adept with changes. A good team is one that questions the company's processes and strategies in a bid to improve them. They should also be aware of what's happening outside the businesses and its impact.
5. Mentor Millennials
Millennials will dominate leadership roles in the future and you want your staff to be prepared. This generation prefers formal training and mentoring in order to learn the system and feel engaged. Design a program where a younger employee is paired with a mentor. Provide onboarding programs that will help this key group better understand your company better and their present and future role.[Featured image via Pixabay]