The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

New Marketing Trends and Terminology (Part 2)

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In the Part 1 article of this two-part series, we discussed tips to increase your success with any marketing initiative.  In this article we will explore new marketing trends and terminology and share how to take advantage of some of these tactics in your firm.

New Marketing Trends

There are new trends emerging, a few cannot be ignored.  Mobile marketing is developing as an area that needs to be incorporated into marketing strategy discussions. Research studies support this; last year more people purchased smartphones than PCs, which means having a mobile-ready website is becoming more of a requirement versus a luxury.  According to a news announcement published by Gartner Inc., 821 million smart devices (smartphones and tablets) were purchased worldwide in 2012, and over one billion will be purchased in 2013.  Consumers are accessing information from their smart devices at an increasing rate.  Businesses are addressing this by adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in the work place.  Mobile marketing strategy discussions, in addition to traditional marketing discussions, will become the new norm.

Social media is another trend that will be embraced more by businesses this year.  While business owners may feel increasingly comfortable and perhaps compelled to be involved with social media, the extent to which they should become involved is not fully clear. According to amarketing trends article published  by, new social media sites will continue to surface and the existing sites will evolve making it difficult to pinpoint specific social media site participation "must-haves" for marketing.  What is recommended is to focus efforts on one social site that makes the most sense for a business's customer and prospect base.

New Marketing Terminology

New terminology will continue to be introduced every year.  However, what is touted as new terminology may not be a new concept; rather, it may have been around for a while and simply updated to adjust to emerging trends such as social media or using YouTube as a marketing tool.

Viral advocacy

Digital avenues for getting the word out, such as social media (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) and YouTube has more reach than word-of-mouth advertising.  One satisfied customer telling another is great for business, however in a digital environment, when a happy customer posts their satisfaction to a social site, they have now told their entire circle, their network of connections.  While 30 to 300 people are not a number that would be considered "viral" by World Wide Web standards, in your local community, reaching this group of people with a positive message from one satisfied customer is viral for your community.  Customers' use of a social media tool can be leveraged as your business's viral advocate.

How you can use this to your advantage:

  • Ask your best customers to post their positive comments about your business on their social sites.
  • Add a message to the back side of your business card and to your brochure, such as
  • "Happy with our service? Please tell your Facebook friends."
  • "Did we give you great customer service? Please share your great customer service story on Facebook!"
  • "Our best customers refer our best customers! If you love our service, please tell your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter."

Landfill marketing

The term "landfill marketing" was coined because of the over-stimulated consumer being over-marketed to. While consumers used to only have to contend with junk mail delivered to their mailbox by the U.S. Postal Service, today they are bombarded with advertisements everywhere they go, especially online.

Targeted mailers, items such as postcards or prospect letters delivered via U.S. mail or by email, may or may not hit the mark in terms of messaging that resonates with the intended audience. If the message being delivered does not reach or resonate with the intended audience, time and resources are wasted as recipients view the message as cluttering up their mailbox and online experience.

Social media sites are also becoming cluttered with advertising.  Consider Facebook, which has evolved from a simple message board between friends to a cluster of friends postings intermixed with advertisements for products, games and prizes.

How you can use this to your advantage:

  • Talk with your best customers.  Ask what message (about your product or services) would have captured their attention or moved them to do business with your company.
  • Test and measure.  In your marketing material (i.e. eNewsletters, advertisements or mailers), test different messages to determine which message generated the greatest number of positive responses.  Tailor your next message with content that generated the greatest response.
  • Limited-time offer. "Limited-time offer" implies the message is temporary and creates a sense of urgency to respond. You will know by response rate whether your targeted audience was a fit for this message or not.  Little to no response means little to no interest and the message was not a fit for the recipients.

Black marketing

Black marketing, a term that is similar to what most associate with the black market, under the radar marketing techniques designed to be used where advertising is not allowed. There are familiar terms that approach marketing in a similar way such as stealth advertising and product placement advertising where products become part of an event.  For example, when you notice a certain make or model of a car, computer or a beverage being used in a movie on a television show, that product was likely placed there and the placement was paid for by the company who manufactures that product.  Other common occurrences would be businesses sponsoring golf tournament tee boxes or the sponsorship of coffee breaks at industry events.

How you can use this to your advantage:

  • Sponsor events that cater to your target market
  • Offer free commonly used goods (i.e. branded mouse pad, stylus for smart devices, coffee eyeglass cleaner) to your target market
  • Sponsor food or beverages at an event
  • Host a charitable event (i.e. donation point for coats for kids)
  • Give-a-way breakfast, coffee break, or lunch in a register-to-win drawing.  Consider working with local outlets (radio station, city or county newsletter) to promote this (i.e. deliver donuts and coffee, party-sub sandwich, etc).

VLOG: Video Blog

A (vlog) is a video blog that contains thoughts, opinions and advice.  Vlogs are used by businesses as a marketing tool that provides a variety of messages and as an additional platform to educate customers and prospects. Producing a vlog does not have to be an expensive endeavor, using a free video hosting service like YouTube is common.  Like any new initiative, before launching your vlog, think though the purpose, process, frequency and resources needed to manage this tool.

How you can use this to your advantage:

  • Create a monthly or quarterly vlog that addresses:
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Tips to help customers with the product or service they purchased
  • "How to use our product/service" demonstration
  • Testimonials (combined with a brief demonstration of the product or service) featuring what customers are saying