Future-Proof Marketing: Staying Ahead of the Curve in an Ever-Changing Landscape

With social media evolving every day, it may seem impossible to keep up. But is there a way to create future-proof marketing?
Author, Profit First
September 27, 2017

One of the challenges confronting marketing experts and business owners is the ever-evolving platforms and technologies of their target audience. Being ahead of the pack on marketing strategies can require more than simply maintaining your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Your company can become more prepared for whatever trends or changes lie ahead is to create future-proof marketing.

1. Find out where your audience spends their time.

Sometimes it can feel like social media trends are coming and going faster than a single person can keep track. Knowing what is cutting edge and what has become dated can seem impossible.

While there are dozens of platforms to be active on, the phrase "Less is more" rings true. Instead of spreading your resources thin by maintaining accounts on every conceivable site, consider condensing your effort into only the most relevant channels to reach your client base.

To create future-proof marketing, try running low-risk marketing tests to determine what performs well. You can then invest more heavily in what works.

You can run regular surveys to determine what websites your regular customers spend time on. You might start your morning on LinkedIn, but your younger audience may prefer Twitter. Consider sending discount codes to customers who share their most frequented social media platform and peak hours. This can help you reach your target audience. If tastes suddenly change and Twitter becomes less relevant, you can identify and quickly respond to the shift.

2. Solve your customers' problems before your competitors do.

Another way to create future-proof marketing is by solving complaints before they become major problems. At the end of the day, your goal is to be adaptive and responsive to the needs of your clientele. If you can address their complaints in marketing while they're still only grumbles, you may be able to retain more customers and avoid dissatisfaction down the line.

But how do you prepare for challenges that you can't foresee? As the individuals who interact with your brand, product and field on a regular basis, your customers are likely to be familiar with flaws in the system. By running focus groups and live chats, you can discover what issues they are encountering repeatedly. If you respond now, you can help create a more positive user experience now and avoid long-term marketing errors.

3. Test before you invest.

Sinking your company's time and resources into one marketing campaign can be a high risk. It can put you in a vulnerable position if it proves unsuccessful, as you may be left with an empty budget.

To create future-proof marketing, try running low-risk marketing tests to determine what performs well. You can then invest more heavily in what works.

This can also allow you to dabble in experimental techniques that could put you ahead of your competitors.

4. Realize future-proof marketing starts with your staff.

Your marketing isn't the only thing that should be future-proofed. So should your marketing team.

Ideally, your marketing team members will be resilient, adaptable and out-of-the-box thinkers. This can help them be ready to respond to surprises and challenges with problem-solving.

One way to build this type of team is to hire from a variety of skillsets. If one of your marketers is experienced in data and statistical analysis and another is a graphic designer, together they may be more prepared to tackle difficult dilemmas.

Marketing is a very fast-paced component of your business. How adaptable your company is to the times can dictate its public perception. But by working to create future-proof marketing strategies and techniques, your team could help keep your business at the cutting edge.

Read more articles on social media strategy.

Photo: Getty Images
Author, Profit First