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One of the most important lessons we’ve learned in our years of marketing experience is that things change and they can change quickly. Technology, consumers, and marketing platforms are developing faster than ever, and often in unprecedented ways. In order to maintain an efficient strategy you must be able to research, implement, test, and analyse evolving methodologies. 

Here are 5 of the most significant marketing trends that you should be adding to your digital strategies this year:

1. Reputation & Review Management

A reputation management plan that encompasses review management, a proactive web presence, and engaging social media profiles is the best way to build a reputable and trustworthy brand. Actively using your owned, shared, and earned assets will help you control the narrative of your brand story. 

In many industries, your reviews can make or break your company. Without a proper strategy in place, you have little influence over who is assessing your products or services. Developing a proactive approach that encourages your buyers to leave positive reviews, along with a review response procedure will set you apart from your competition and keep your ratings high.

2. Live Chats

Live chats have become one of the most preferred ways of communication for consumers. Instead of waiting on hold for who-knows-how-long, or hoping that the email they sent finds the right inbox, a live chat quickly connects them to a real person, who can answer their questions or solve their problem in one easy interaction. Conversations can be saved and sent to the client and also stored away for analysis. Live chat software is affordable, mobile friendly, and provides a number of benefits for both your customers and your business.

3. Storytelling

Everyone is talking about it. When HubSpot, Forbes, and Google are all encouraging individuals, brands, and businesses to utilise a certain practice, it’s time to listen. Storytelling marketing is the new way to connect with your customers, promote your brand, and grow your business. As consumers become increasingly aware of their buying power and the effects of their purchases, they are less susceptible to traditional sales promises and banner advertisements. They are looking for honesty, transparency, and responsiveness. You need creative and dynamic team members to help tell your story and engage with your buyers. This is a particularly useful strategy for any professional services business.  

4. People over Brands

With an increased emphasis on transparency and honesty, consumers are beginning to trust individuals over companies and corporations. Just look at the amount of money spent and social action taken daily that is inspired by social media influencers. Millennials (who have the largest spending power) and Gen Z want to know as much as they can about a company before investing in it, and they’ll find out one way or another. Putting a face and name to your company shows that you're ready to interact with this new wave of curious consumers.

5. Personalisation/Intimacy

Along with the need for transparency, the new generation of consumers will nearly always choose a customer-centric business to give their money to. Companies that take the time to understand their buyers and provide them with valuable perks, resources, and simply show them a bit of gratitude will benefit by turning their customers into advocates. Creating buyer personas, email marketing, and providing related content are three key strategies to create an intimate customer experience.

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Tagged business owners, customer reviews, digital marketing, Marketing trends, latest trends, reputation management