2014 marketing year wash-up

December 2014

As most folk working in marketing no doubt always knew it would, the past year has seen a further shift towards sophisticated digital marketing tools, with programmatic and specifically real-time bidding (RTB) for online ads being a notable candidate for the one making the biggest impact. And if that terminology is new to you, then I’ll return to it later with an explanation.

For me though, the ever-increasing number of marketing tools and their sophistication has only led to further confusion amongst most SME owners around where to put their marketing spend. This is true whether they operate in B2B or B2C markets (or both), and nailing-down the most appropriate marketing channels and tools within them is probably now my single biggest challenge with clients.

This leads me back to a theme I’ve often visited on this blog and specifically covered in more detail back in October, which is about determining a marketing plan (so the tools to be used) based on a clear marketing strategy which itself is the result of a business objective. This is a relatively simple process but one which SME owners so often overlook, and instead dive into a wealth of different marketing activity (social media being the usual favourite) without any objective foundation beneath it.

A further issue of note which has stood out for me over the last twelve months, is the need for anyone in a customer-facing role to get their English language skills up to scratch. Why’s that important? Because anyone in a customer-facing role is now in the marketing game, and be it as a consequence of the outtake from a simple email they send to a potential customer, to a naïve post onto the company’s Facebook page – a job often given to, bizarrely, a junior person in the office (because they ‘do social media at home’).

Earlier this month I ran two ‘online writing skills training workshops’ for a client who’d recognised just the problem I’ve outlined above. This type of training workshop was knew to me and I therefore had to write the content for it, but it was fun, worthwhile (or so the client and delegates told me) and certainly very revealing. So I would urge any SME owner or manager who has doubts about theirs and or / their team’s ability to put together a well-written email, social media post or any other piece of written digital communication, to invest in some basic training.

Now back to that explanation about RTB, and the expert on this page can do a much better job than me.

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