The objective of any marketing strategy is to create an awareness of who we are, what we have to offer and why that specific segmentation of the market should want to do business with us. Today 2011 is moving quickly to 2012. However, technology moves much faster than time. Each year, each month and each day bring new opportunities for the Marketer to advance the products, services and ideas of his/her organization.

Everything is faster; technology is developing so rapidly that new changes are occurring before you can even start implementing the last. This means that our marketing strategies must be cutting edge, adaptable to the next change, targeted and flexible enough to be implemented quickly so that we can leverage ourselves.

So let’s make a quick list of the changes that we can observe on a daily basis.

1. Shrinking Globe

2. Electronic Evolution

3. Trends in Marketing

4. Social Media

5. Search Engine Optimization – SEO

The Shrinking Globe and What This Means to Marketing

This is one of the major changes affecting the concept and implementation of any and all marketing strategies in all markets, all industries and all businesses worldwide. The availability of resources, ease of use and removal of physical boundaries has changed both the attitudinal as wells as the practical application of marketing. These changes have happened because of the extreme developments in electronic communication, the educational advancement of people everywhere, and the technological advancements that make all this possible.

Electronic Evolution / Revolution

The electronic industry is changing at fast, alarming rate which means that if we are to market competitively, everyone involved in the process must update their skills constantly. Computer systems and communication have had major breakthroughs which affect all areas of business including markting.

Trends in Marketing

Another issue that must be considered and understood is change in the trends of marketing. The bottom line of any business plan is to improve the return on investments – ROI. The marketing world, like the technological world is experiencing a dramatic revolution resulting in new channels opening up before the practicing marketers can even grasp or use the existing channels.

However, regardless of our education, our experience it is normal to feel overwhelmed in trying to keep up, trying to identify where to focus our efforts to further our professional development and improve our own marketing skills to keep up with the demands of today and the future. So let’s see if we can put some of the trend changes into context.

1. Changes in Customer Service and the Benefit to Marketing

Today and yesterday and tomorrow, the priority for companies is to create and deliver great products and services. Being able to respond quickly and honestly to issues and problems identified by customers and of course, acquiring new customers.

However, customers today are different from yesterday and will continue to have increased expectations when dealing with their suppliers. Especially today when most everything can be done online, so customers today who get slow or poor responses from customer support departments or who don’t have their expectations met, will quickly get on the social media forums and relate the experience to all their network contacts – who then in turn can re-tweet and forward the same negative message to their own contact. And the negative information will travel through cyber space.

Customer must now become our core marketing department. Our ability to grow our business, to expand our customer base can now be achieved, in part, by using the social media. However, our message must be very clear, very concrete and be part of a well-designed marketing strategy so that the results recognized actually assist your organization in the achievement of the company vision.

2. Social Media

What is Social Media?

The term Social Media is referring to using web-based and mobile technologies to create an interactive dialogue or communication channel with a variety of people categories. The objective of any social media forum is to allow the users to create their own content. Humans have always networked, whether at parties, conferences, other social or business events. Now, through social media we can network without physically being present with the other parties involved in the network we are creating.

One of the fastest changes areas in marketing today is the social media. Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, blogs, various mobile devices and so on, continue to give us alternative means of connecting to a wide variety of people, customers, clients and potentials globally. However, it is also very important to remember that the way we take advantage of this is very important because once we place something online, that SOMETHING, whether positive or negative is there forever.

Social media is not a one-size-fits all it is a tool that must be customized to fit the specific situation and the desired outcome.

3. Mobile Marketing

Today, more and more people spend time using their portable devices for much more than just to make a telephone call. We no longer even need a laptop because we have iPad, BlackBerry, etc… and can check our emails, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook accounts, create and update blogs, everything we need to do to stay visible online.

However, when we considered mobile marketing, we also have to be very conscious of what we want to accomplish. Because once something, a message, is out there on the internet and cannot be recalled. So make sure the message you are sending is the message you want passed to everyone with internet connections on any forum available today.

4. Email Marketing

Email continues to deliver customer value, brand recognition, saves expense expenditure, and create a buzz. Email, while yesterday’s brain-child, is still getting stronger and still plays a vital role in all marketing strategies. Therefore, emails to individuals, mass emails and email campaigns need to be included in our marketing strategies.

Search Engine Optimization – SEO

With the new appearance of updated websites, mini websites and online promotions, search engine optimization – SEO is becoming a high demand competency for everyone working within the Marketing domain.

SEO refers to the use of specific keywords in the titles, abstracts and the body of any document, text or page found on the web. Keyword searches are recognized by search engines when any individual looks for information, products or service online.

Therefore, understanding the tools available, how to use these tools and how to optimize anything that will be published online is essential for the new area of marketing to be successfully implemented by you and your organization.

Geraldine Khoury currently holds the position of Senior Consultant and Business Development Manger for ICTN.

Training Programs (research, development and facilitation of training for mid to upper level management professionals) including but not limited to: Leadership, Management, Communication, Coaching & Counseling Business Development, Personal Development, Sales and Marketing.

Business Development including but not limited to: Departmental structuring, Marketing Plans, Sales Plans, Feasibility Studies, Business Plans, Policies & Procedures and Needs Analysis.