Yes, it’s already February. But still, I’d like to share my vision for marketing in 2020 with you. Read a succinct overview about getting green, owning niches, the importance of HR Marketing, online advances, and emerging markets.
There’s no more getting around it. We all care dearly about the environment and we cherish nature and all topics related to crearting a sustainable future.. Now all that’s left is to show it to your audience.
If you are reading this you work at a life sciences company so, most likely, you already have some affinity with the science behind sustainability and the environment. For next year, maybe try to:
Improve something in your company to show the world you care. Get some biological soap in your bathroom or toss all the single-use items in the cafeteria. As always, go wild.
Find a charity which you give some money (preferably a hip local one)
Better yet, plant some trees
Get rid of all the paperwork in your office for real this year (like, all of it)
Finally, make some nice updates and start posting. The world will know that it is now a better place. For you. And for me. #getgreentoday
Employee happiness & HR Marketing
Alas, in the past are the days when we would queue in line to get into the factory, work 14 hours straight, have employee hazards around every corner, and get home satisfied knowing that we still have a job. Fast-forward several years and enter: employee happiness.
You can see it everywhere, just have a look the next time you’re in a grocery store. The feel-good products are everywhere. Usually, it’s almost the same stuff if you have a good look at the label but the wording will be conditioned to a new standard: really short, misspelled like it was written by a toddler interestingly, and try to make you feel good about yourself.
Non-monetary benefits and perks are a business’ way of promoting this kind of corporate social responsibility. All jokes aside, everybody’s different so instead of offering everyone X pay + X vacation days try to find out what people enjoy most. It’ll increase loyalty more. And don’t forget to publish this modern way of thinking on the platforms where you recruit.
Working from home increases productivity. At least, that's what most studies will have us believe. Whether it’s true or not, working from home is the new best thing so it will happen more and more. It’s even better to work from a beach in Spain with a pinã colada in your left hand and typing with your right.
Besides the obvious comfort of not having to go to an open office flex jungle, be aware of the very lucrative befits you can use for your business:
If it doesn’t matter where you work from, it probably doesn’t matter where your customer is either. Bammm. Global business just opened up to your company.
If it doesn’t matter where you are work from, it probably doesn’t matter where your staff works from. Bammm. Less overrun and less costly labour markets just opened up to your company.
Forget your desktop / laptop for a moment. Close your eyes. Try to envision the last moment you were reading some fun little stories, or you were looking something up that caught your interest. My guess is you were probably in the break room discussing some new guidelines, maybe yet another productive meeting where you are secretly doing entirely other things, or contemplating life and browsing LinkedIn in a bathroom stall.
As far as I know, desk- and laptops are pretty uncommon in these areas, but phones aren’t. The numbers are convincing enough to know that everyone is looking at their mobiles, like, all the freaking time. Sadly, when I go to websites or open newsletters or whatever from small to midsized companies, half of the time I can’t even read it properly. Let alone that these important aspects of their marketing are optimized for mobile.
Is this new in 2020? Definitely not. Does everyone do it? :)
Your website is ‘more than a just digital business card’, you know the story.
So, what’s hot and happening in website-ville:
Chat bots: are you selling products in large numbers? Try it. You probably have high traffic and people asking questions through your online chat. It’ll save you time and increase conversion because of the increased number of leads you can take on in a set time. Make sure you have a well-scripted flow because otherwise it’ll look like the work of an amateur pretty quickly.
Analytics: You should start doing something with your data. Anything. You can probably write another blog on all the different tools that exist for website analytics. And with every year that passes you're missing out on informed decision-making.
Artificial Intelligence: I had to mention this one but actually I don’t think there are a whole lot of affordable AI solutions out there that will make a difference to the marketing of most small and midsized life sciences companies. Unless you’re developing it yourself as a product, of course, then you should definitely keep up the good work.
Voice recognition: Do you ever wonder why your little nieces and nephews are yelling to their phones or other smart equipment around the house? It’s called the future. Just google “Alexa OR Siri AND marketing “, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Have a look at it. You just might find something fun inspiration for applying Voice recognition to your own products or services.
If you’re planning on starting or growing a business this year, do yourself a favour and focus on a niche. The reason I only work for life sciences companies is that it puts me in a position where I don’t have to compete with a thousand other marketing and business development companies. Luckily for me I have an education and background in life sciences, which makes it accessible to me.
Being a niche also allows you to put all your efforts into a single focal area. Instead of blasting out everything you know in a less-than-optimal way you can write some real meaningful content for people who are looking for specific information (like blogs). In the end, you’re probably better off being visited on your website by a few qualified leads than amazing traffic with an even more amazingly high bounce rate.
Shortly, own it. And in 2020, you’ll make that niche your b*%$#.
Personalized automation -> Dynamic content delivery
Use a person’s first name. Learn how to use ‘Mail merge’ in if you’re using outlook. Take a day to turn your emailing audience into nice little segments and, from now on, share info with them that’s relevant to them in particular. Set up a friendly welcoming email for when someone subscribes to your list. Create an entire string of content that gets shared with subscribers over time. Send re-engagement email and do a confirmation campaign to new emails you have magically found in a list somewhere.
So here is the innovation for this year: dynamic content. Dynamic content, this means web content that alters based on a visitor's demographics, behavior, preferences, and such. This is some real next level marketing and you'll maybe need some externa help for this if you really want to give it a go.
Baby-steps. It doesn’t all have to happen in the first week of January but things like these could be finished with little effort and time and actually save you time looking forward.
Take your content to the next level
In with the old and in with the new. Blogging is still good. No need to change a winning team but you can always add some spare players.
Video, virtual reality, augmented reality, live-streaming, and interactive content. Consider some of these and you’ll find they can give you that modern edge or creative cut that puts your company on the map just a little bit more than you had hoped for.
New buzzword for 2020: conversational content. Google it.
I learned something this year: different regions require different approaches practically.
What astonished me was mostly how I was thinking only in abstract stereotypes of other countries or cultures like the Japanese being conservative and traditional and conservative, eastern Europeans like to eat and drink before business, the Germans love their titles, and the Dutch are, let’s be honest, awesome.
But did you know that Russia blocks LinkedIn? That there is a huge list of websites we use all the time (besides google and every single one of their plug-ins / add-ons) work in China because of their Chinese firewall and that WeChat is a huge thing there? Half of the professional networking in Germany is done on Xing? These are pretty significant facts to be aware of if you are planning to conquer any of the emerging markets. So, before getting in business head over heels, do some research on how these things can affect your marketing plans.
Bonus tip for your 2020 conferences
Get a back-lit exhibition wall. They are a bit costly for the first investment but the covers on them can be re-printed for minimal amounts. And even if that wasn’t the case, they are totally worth it if you want to be noticed!
Keep I mind that it takes a little longer than a regular pop-up wall to set up but it shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes.
Getting one is easy. Design something cool. Find a vendor to produce it. Steal the show at your next conference.
Need a cool design or some help? Send me a message!