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Our favorite headlines this week: September 4-8

September is upon us – and, with it, fall-like weather in Michigan (yay!) and the looming thought of the upcoming fiscal year (meh). If your fiscal year starts in January – or especially if it starts in October, like ours – there is no time like the present to start getting your marketing plan for 2018 nailed down.

That’s why our favorite headlines this week are all focused on important marketing trends and lessons that you can apply directly to your upcoming marketing plan. We’ll start more with overall strategy, then dive into some of the more tactical trends.

Check them out below and, as always, let us know your thoughts.

 

Why your brand should obsess over its customers, not its competitors

The Takeaway: The call-to-action in this article seems so simple, but it can be incredibly difficult to put into practice; a fact we’ve seen in the 23 retail chains that have filed for bankruptcy so far this year. What these organizations failed to recognize is that “customer obsession” doesn’t mean simply telling customers what we think they want to hear. Instead, it means really, truly getting to know our customers through what they tell us about themselves – in their behavior and the way they interact with our brands, both online and in-person. It means prioritizing data collection and analysis to ensure that customer needs are not only heard, but anticipated and met proactively.

Ideally, our organizations should be striving to understand our customers better than they understand themselves. If we focus on this, we won’t have time to worry about what our competitors are doing – and, frankly, it won’t matter.

 

Back-To-School Marketing In The 21st Century

The Takeaway: Many of us are sick and tired of looking at and thinking about back-to-school marketing, so we’ll make this one quick. There are three solid points here about various back-to-school campaigns, each of which can be applied to any campaign you take on in 2018. Whether you’re building a campaign around back-to-school season, the New Year, or a new product launch, keep each of these lessons in mind to boost ROI.

 

The Resurrection of Handwritten Communication?

The Takeaway: When was the last time you received a handwritten letter or note? When was the last time you sent one? As we shared in our post on National Letter Writing Day, there are multiple reasons handwritten letters are particularly impactful:

  1. They are rare.
  2. They show thought and effort: You could have sent a free text message, email, or tweet, but you chose to spend time writing a letter instead.

Why not try integrating a handwritten mailing into your plan for 2018? Sure, handwriting notes can be time-consuming, but you can maximize your return-on-time-investment by 1) selecting a very small group of people who are highly-likely to convert for the mailing, or 2) faking it, by using a typeface that simulates your own handwriting.

 

17 Stats and Facts Every Marketer Should Know About Video Marketing

The Takeaway: There is no denying that video is a powerful marketing tactic – and its power is only growing as we make our way into 2018. If your marketing plan doesn’t already include some sort of video strategy, it’s time to start seriously considering how to add it in. That applies for B2B and B2C organizations alike.

To start, think about what type of video content your customers and prospects would most like to consume. Would they like to see your product in action?  Will they relate to videos of your staff addressing their most common pain points? Then decide what your resources will allow you to produce, keeping in mind that in the social media age, not all video needs to be perfectly recorded and edited. Live or uncut videos that feature your employees and customers (with approval) can be just as engaging and insightful.

 

What articles did you find particularly interesting or relevant? Let us know in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments below.

 

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