(This article was written by the Forbes Business Council, an invitation-only, fee-based organization for successful entrepreneurs and business leaders and appeared on forbes.com.)
Growth marketing has seen a significant rise over the last few years, especially in the era of social media where audience reach is wider than ever. Rather than focusing on short-term success, growth marketing works across the entire customer life cycle, from engaged follower to customer to brand champion.
As industry leaders, the members of Forbes Business Council understand how important growth marketing is, especially during difficult times. Below, they share 16 trends that should be on your radar as a business leader.
- The Virtual Upskilling Market
Nowadays, particularly with the current pandemic that the world is facing, more and more businesses need to pivot from a physical presence to an online business. More and more, consumers are finding experts that can help them learn new ways to acquire products, skills and services. They will pay for upskilling from those who can help them virtually or while keeping a safe distance. – Brian Chew, OC Wills and Trust Attorneys
- People Connections
You have to get online, and you have to put messages out there to successfully market your business, but don’t forget what doing this means. When you get on your social media page to talk to your “customers,” you’re really communicating with people. Connect with them as people. This is what marketing is really about. – Dawn Brown, MD, ADHD Wellness Center PLLC
- Global Expansion
Spread out. The Covid-19 crisis has brought the world closer to each other. Everything is being built on a remote operation and the whole world is now the canvas. As a lawyer, I am looking to provide advice to international clients and that will be the key. There are no barriers now and the ones who can capitalize most on the wider reach will gain in the long term. – Zulfiquar Memon, MZM Legal LLP
- Client Experience Improvements
Client experience should be on the radar of businesses that want to grow. Sustained differentiation is nearly impossible at the level of products. Similarly, while excellent service used to be a standout, service has become more of a ticket to play and less of a differentiator. Businesses can differentiate by intentionally improving their client experience to be more valuable and more memorable. – Darrell Amy, Revenue Growth Engine
- Niche Social Networks
You don’t need to be on every social media channel. You’ve got to find your group and build your community. I find that you can get just as much value out of Reddit as you can with Facebook. The important thing is to find your focus, find the people that share your interests and go deep. Over the next decade, as niche social networks begin to open, doing so will become even more important. – Gary Riger, BKLYN Software Inc.
- Personalized Direct Mail
Look for alternative communication channels. Digital marketing has become noisy. I see an opportunity for direct mail to make a resurgence, especially if thoughtful and personalized. – Savina Perez, Hone
The rise of the microinfluencer is a trend to watch. Customers want to feel the authenticity of someone promoting a product. We’ve found that when looked at on a smaller scale, microinfluencers have the most powerful impact. They work with brands they believe in, allowing them to create more authentic relationships with their audience. They earn trust by promoting products they’d use regardless of sponsorship. – Emma Rose Cohen, Final
- Customer-Curious Marketing
Customer experience is the growing determinant of marketing success rather than what is being done in marketing. What is the customer experience? It is a good customer-curious culture, and it would go a long way to shape strategic marketing. – Lere Baale, Business School Netherlands
Micromoments occur when consumers instinctively reach for a smart device and act on a need, whether to learn, discover, do or buy. As business leaders, we need to be ready to predict our target consumers’ path to purchase and to capture them at the right moment when they need something. We have seconds to capture their attention and convey a clear, concise and relevant message. – Hema Crockett, Gig Talent
In today’s world, where we are our own walking networks, it is vital to be as authentic as possible. The millennial generation has taught us that engagement is in everything and that information, regardless if it’s accurate or not, travels faster than ever before. However, in order to appeal to Generation Z, you must be focused on transparent messaging that appeals to a targeted demographic. – Michaela Vybohova, Michaela V Inc
- Cross-Department Cultural Alignment
At large organizations, particularly those in a traditional industry, IT departments and C-suite executives charged with the mission of digital transformation often find themselves at odds with the daily activities of core operational departments. Companies designing client-facing digital solutions that implement cultural alignment across the department and employ similar marketing will find success. – Jeremy Goodwin, SYNCFAB
- Video Marketing
Because of social media, videos have become a critical marketing tool for leaders. Video marketing allows you to target clients as well as resources for your company. They provide you with the ability to demonstrate the branding of your company for customers and to demonstrate the culture of your organization for the people that would like to work for your organization. – Jeannette Collazo, Lurdez Consulting Group, Inc.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
From chatbots on websites automatically engaging customers to algorithms serving specifically targeted ads to users, AI and machine learning are the common denominators. The vast amount of big data on the internet is gradually being put to use by smart and powerful algorithms that crunch through the data and analyze it to present customers with personalized proposals that they could make use of. – Gokul Anandayuvaraj, VINVELI
- Targeted Experiential Marketing
Customers are looking for a great customer engagement experience. Specifically, technologies are available to automate a good portion of this by leveraging the data an organization already has in-house through AI. If a customer recently placed a purchase with your organization and they are calling you, your system should proactively ask if the customer is calling about their recently placed order. – Vinny Raj, Digilent Consulting
- Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is changing the inbound dynamic from the traditional sales pitch to a two-way conversation. It’s about making yourself available to talk about the customer’s problems on their terms instead of throwing solutions at them, going back to the roots of one-on-one sales. Savvy marketers are harnessing AI tools to use individual approaches for long-term customer engagements. – Dmitriy Shelepin, Miromind
- Touchless Interactions
It is imperative in crisis times to disrupt and reinvent new models. Increased awareness of touchless interactions will fast-track the adoption of digital and social media marketing. Inventions will focus on voice-enabled services, automated payments, production and distribution. What was previously nice to have will become the new normal. – Ashok Krish, Kaizen Technologies, Inc