business

Definitive(ish) List of 2016 Marketing Predictions

We made it to the last 2 weeks of 2015, crazy year...  Crazy for me personally with the broken neck (don't take life for granted!), crazy with all the "Unicorns" that emerged, crazy in terms of the continued innovation in business and marketing, you get it...

There are hundreds of articles on "2016 trends" to accompany your eggnog (Tip: Makers Mark and eggnog rocks).  The good news for you?  I handpicked the top articles, jotted down a few predictions of my own and sure enough listed 'em directly below just for you! :) 


"Innovation is change that unlocks new value"
-Jamie Notter

  • Five Social Trends Marketers Won't Be Able to Ignore from AdvertisingAge. Not sure I agree that "Messaging platforms will trump broadcast social networks", but you need to see their points on Snapchat TV. 
  • Business 2 Community infographic called out the over-techie marketers out there, computers STILL can't do your job for you! 
    • Your Brand Reputation Isn't An Algorithm.  I won't be that guy that says "SEO is dead" or "there's no need to put a press release on the wire", but you need to x...
    • Marketing Automation Matures. The platforms and tech won't do the job for you, but they can damn sure make it easier and more cost effective. 
  • InstaHype and Double L Brands are banking on the fact Influencer Marketing will finally mature and hold bloggers accountable for real business metrics. 
  • The next big platform will not be smart glasses, smart cars or virtual reality from Business Insider, are they more bullish on augmented reality?
    • Magic Leap's $827 million capital raise is bewildering, especially with NO product except a video. Huge opportunity for other AR tech to capitalize on this buzz and actually launch REAL products, likkkkke Dallas-based Aireal
  • 5 Predictions that WON'T Happen from eMarketer are pretty great, particularly their point that young people WILL NOT abandon Facebook.
  • BONUS Restaurant Trends:  Great article from Food Channel says "A No Tipping Future" will emerge in 2016, and "Tangy" is the magic 2016 flavor palate. 
  • ***UPDATE on NYE:  Had to include the predictions in this Social Media Examiner article as I think this is a SOLID list of 10 predictions!

 

As we all know, this will be a different list by the end of Q1... I damn sure don't have all the answers, but looking forward to being part of the crazy innovations in 2016!

 

And, if you're still reading, we'll end on a personal note...

I'm in the middle of my post-game analysis of the year, and 2015 kicked my ass. I paused Double L Brands, randomly moved to Denver to unsuccessfully launch a music startup, broke my neck, and have spent the last few months getting it all back together.  Just remember, SHIT HAPPENS! :)  Plenty of amazing personal experiences, growth and learnings -- I'm REALLY looking forward to the 2016 ride with all of you! 

Keep Livin' that Dream!

-LL

 

How Do You Know If Your Marketing Firm Is Screwing You Over?

 

How do you choose a marketing firm?

Should I hire a digital agency or a creative firm?

What the hell is a "Growthhacker"?!

How do I know whether they're doing their job?

 

These are a few of the questions small and medium-sized organizations face when trying to take their brand to the next level. I've been in these conversations, seen some great partnerships formed, but I've also seen many horrendous decisions made and a lot of money wasted. Here are some straightforward thoughts and tactics on how to make this BIG decision, take it for what it's worth and let me know if I missed anything! 

 

Most small and medium-sized businesses are run by entrepreneurs that are extremely passionate and great at what they do! That said, many of them have never had anything to do with the core function of marketing before, making marketing decisions very difficult and scary… Eventually they realize the importance of marketing and have what they consider a “marketing budget”, and it’s time to choose a marketing agency or partner.

The business owner knows the business, products/services and customers better than anyone, so handing over the reigns to an outside firm is scary. Before doing so, they need to do a brand analysis and get everything in their head onto paper. What is your elevator pitch? Who are the current and future target customers? Why do they buy from you versus the competition? Is this an emotional decision or financial? Where do they live and shop (in-person or online)? And the list goes on (sign-up at LandonLedford.com & I’ll send a brand analysis document)…

 

"A very important addition to this brand analysis is to ask your current customers what they like, dislike and what they would like to see from your company!"

 

Once they REALLY understand the brand and their business, the owner needs to figure out exactly what (monthly) budget exists, and what sales revenues (and profits) this budget is supposed to help them reach. From there, it’s time to reach out to local marketing firms for help!  

Don’t let a creative shop say a new logo and website is what the brand needs… Don’t let a social media consultant say social media will make the brand take off... Push to talk to the strategy teams (probably the founder), ask how they plan to reach that target audience (you already identified) in the places they make purchases and how they will track results? Then how will they take this information to update the approach monthly to maximize your budget and reach the goals you have?  

Talk to at least one creative agency, a digital marketing firm and a PR firm to understand the different areas of specialization, which will help identify the gaps in each approach and which of the options is most targeted for the brand. I would recommend getting a second opinion from another firm you trust, or at least someone that has been through this before (feel free to email me at Landon@DoubleLBrands.com). From there, you've got to make a data/results driven decision, then it’s time to start testing (yes, it’s all an ongoing test) and hopefully growing the business!

I realize this is pretty straightforward and to the point, but these are VERY important things to consider and not overlook -- this is the future of your business we're talking about! Let me know any questions or thoughts, I'm always here to help. 

Keep Rockin!

-LL