Business is ever-changing, and so are the marketing strategies that drive business growth and success. Change is certainly inevitable. The COVID-19 pandemic made this very apparent with many brick and mortar businesses left with no choice but to digitize operations.
And this is where innovation comes into play. The innovation in technology has disrupted marketing in more ways than one. From enterprise companies to local businesses, innovation is no longer a side thought.
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Innovate or close up shop is in many ways a mantra these days. Marketing is no stranger to innovation. Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and more continues to reshape marketing.
To get perspective on how innovation is changing marketing, we sat down with John Bertino, CEO of The Agency Guy, a truly unique marketing consultancy that helps small and emerging mid-sized brands source better marketing partners through pro bono consulting and no-cost agency matching.
Here’s what Mr. Bertino had to say:
How important is innovation in terms of successful marketing?
Marketing is not a one size fits all solution in terms of growing a business into a successful company. This goes for local businesses on main street to global enterprise companies.
For every marketing strategy these days, innovation and digital technology comes into play. Even traditional marketing campaigns, like a store-wide sales event, have some form of innovative technology behind it.
Social media, for example, is used to create a buzz around an in-store event. And the innovative ad platform within a social media platform, like Facebook, can determine the online reach and visibility for a traditional marketing campaign.
Touching on those local businesses on main street, can small local businesses leverage innovation in marketing too?
Absolutely. And if they fall short doing this, small local businesses can lose a ton of business to local competitors that do utilize innovation within marketing strategies. This is also more important now more than ever, since COVID has pushed local small businesses to take a more digital approach.
Let’s take a look at Google My Business for example. When restrictions on COVID guidelines loosened for local businesses, consumers turned to Google to find out what businesses were open, when, and what services were offered.
Local businesses without a Google My Business presence, or businesses that didn’t have their GMB listing optimized, lost out on major profits. Profits that could have been a factor in business survival during the pandemic.
Is mobile still a powerful medium for reaching customers? How does innovation play a role in mobile marketing?
This is a great question. Mobile devices are certainly innovative, to say the least. And when it comes to reaching customers, mobile is exceptional. There is no other device that allows businesses to reach and connect with customers 24/7.
In terms of innovation and mobile marketing strategies, innovation comes via the mobile apps themselves. These apps could be served up from companies, or be advocates for companies through app features, ads, push notifications, and more.
Amazon and Walmart have done this to perfection. Walmart is a good example here, since the once brick and mortar superstore had no choice but to innovate using mobile technology to stay competitive with Amazon.
The Walmart app and mobile experience proves just how critical digital innovation is. And how important it will be in the future.
How important is it for businesses to align their marketing strategies with SEO?
Optimization is at the core of every successful marketing strategy. If a business wants to get a bit of viral attention for a social media marketing campaign, keywords are essential. Well placed keywords in YouTube titles, tags, and video descriptions can make the difference between mediocre to successful social attention.
Optimizing local landing pages utilizing keywords and local business data can make a huge impact on a business’ search engine rankings as well.
Schema markup, for instance, helps Google understand a business via specific data points, thus ranking the business accordingly. Without search engine optimization practices like these, businesses, and even mid-size companies can get lost in SERPs.
How do you make innovation a talking point for businesses when they come digitally knocking at your agency?
I believe it is important to address the goals of the business first. What do they want to achieve? What marketing strategies are currently in place? What tools do they have for tracking current marketing campaigns? And the list goes on.
To match up innovation with a business’ goals is the first step toward success. Many business owners don’t have time to research all the innovative marketing and SEO tools, platforms, and software available. They are busy running business ops. This is where partnering with the pros can come in handy.
Lastly, what advice do you have for business owners looking to grow via innovation?
The digital means by which consumers find businesses, and engage with them online, are endless. The most important aspect of marketing to understand is that there is no magic bullet. Combining multiple marketing strategies with innovative tools supporting campaigns proves the most beneficial.