As a wily solopreneur, I like to do more than think outside the box. I aspire to think outside the state, region, and continent. Marketing inspiration from other mindsets and paradigms is easily accessible online – why shouldn’t we all benefit from what’s hot and trendy beyond our local borders?
To save you the time of trolling for out-of-state and international drips of secret sauce, I went ahead and did some due diligence. Just in time, before we welcome 2014, here are some thought-provoking resources for your marketing tool kit:
Pour Some (Bubbly) Digital Marketing Insight from the SoDA Report: The Global Society for Digital Marketing Innovators has a new report out, available for free via SlideShare download. The report offers a wide variety of case studies and articles meant to stimulate improvement to your digital marketing efforts.
One article I think applicable to businesses of all sizes is “The Personalization of Everything” (by Stephen Foxworthy of Reactive, slides 68 – 71). Enjoy digging through this excellent resource!
Sustainability Is Here to Stay (So Join the Revolution): Kermit the Frog told us years ago that “It’s not easy being green.” But these days, so many industries (architecture and construction, education, consumer goods manufacturing, cleaning services, you name it) now ride the sustainability train. Being green/sustainably responsible is HOT – corporate recycling and repurposing of product packaging is a key marketing trend.
Texas A&M Has Top Notes of Italian Lemon and Bergamot – How About You?: One of the next frontiers in marketing and promotional items is custom fragrances (aka scent marketing). No, I’m not joking. A company called Masik Collegiate Fragrances in New York has developed signature fragrances for at least 17 colleges. Their clients include Texas A&M, the University of Kentucky, and Clemson University. We’re not talking “eau de” day-after-partying warm beer and food-truck grease runs – we’re talking dollars and scents!
According to the Wall Street Journal, when a fragrance company such as Masik works with a collegiate client, “The school’s colors, mascot and flora all serve as inspirations.” Other fragrance companies for your consideration: International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. and Fragrance Resources.
Read the article, then do some multi-sensory brainstorming for your 2014 marketing plan. (Bonus mention: Louisiana State University’s repertoire of licensed products includes garden gnomes, fishing lures, and musical bottle openers.)
Bottled Health (Via Cold-Pressed Juices) Is Hot: Okay, so you’re not a food manufacturer. But this “pourable” trend should motivate you regarding how to position your business as a contributing factor in your customers’ healthier lifestyle. The juicing industry isn’t hiding behind closed doors anymore with its liquid cleanses. A bottle of juiced greens (made from organic produce) in hand is the new, portable cup of Starbucks Hazelnut Macchiato.
Healthy is hot, but time is limited – here’s another WSJ article to help you gather ideas for hitching your business wagon to this current lifestyle craze. Newer companies currently juicing their way into Whole Foods (and other national supermarkets and specialty stores) include Suja, BluePrint Cleanse, and Evolution Fresh (this one is a subsidiary of Starbucks).
Local South Jersey alert: Suja will open a manufacturing facility in the Philadelphia area sometime next year. So think about adding some healthy “juiciness” to your marketing plan…
Walt Disney Was Right – It’s a Small (Marketing) World, After All: This trend isn’t startlingly new, but it’s going strong and is easy for a business of any size to implement. Symbols, traditions, and flavors from your cultural heritage can be put to good use as part of your promotional efforts. (Per the Census Bureau and news sources, the U.S. is on its way to becoming a majority of minorities by 2043.)
Whether your family’s descendants are Swedish, Dutch, Asian-Indian, Mexican or Vietnamese, a little cultural flavor can add personality to your corporate branding. Consider these ideas: a smorgasbord sale, planting tulips at a school or park, a curry-tasting happy hour, a promotional tie-in with the Day of the Dead in the fall, or a Vietnamese New Year celebration (Tet Nguyen Dan). The marketing possibilities are endless!
While it’s fun for me to curate this type of information for you, I can’t possibly fit every irresistible marketing trend into one blog post. What innovative ideas will you experiment with in 2014 as part of your strategic plan?
Are you considering an event or promotion that will tap into the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil or the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? As long as you’re not about to reveal a proprietary concept, please join the marketing conversation…
Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business-to-business (B2B) writing, editing, and research company in Marlton, New Jersey. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a no-obligation project quote today!