The ever changing and evolving marketing best practices continues to show us that the right mix and blend of traditional and new media is the best approach to branding you and your business. Almost half of consumers welcome social media marketing messages from brands they follow, according to a newly-released survey conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Pitney Bowes Software. The study, “ Social Media: Contrasting the Marketing and Consumer Perspectives ,” surveyed 300 B2C senior marketing decision-makers globally as well as 3,000 adult consumers. Marketing Charts reports that social media has not replaced more classic methods of brand interaction , yet: “19% of consumers report using social media to contact companies they use, while 67% report preferring email, 31% calling and 30% providing feedback via the company’s website.” Thirty six percent of consumers report being interested in messages about upcoming sales, just 9% of marketers say they create such messages and 36% of consumers are interested in hearing about new products or services, while only about 19% of marketers have created such messages. There is clear evidence that we are still watching TV, reading magazines and newspapers (more online) and listening to the radio. Add to that, the parallel world of content marketing with blogs, podcasts, e-marketing, mobile, text and social media platforms and we can and do get overwhelmed with all the choices. Here’s what’s most important to figure out: The marketing vehicles that are best for you and your customers. A clear brand and marketing message about you, what you offer, why you. Being consistent, looking professional and staying fresh. Marketing yourself and your business is the most important aspect of your business plan and can greatly impact your success or failure. More focus on your brand authenticity, engagement and transparency is, however, more important to consumers and will continue to be. Prove you’re honest, earn trust and you will be rewarded. As we all try to cut through the clutter, choices and options, here are 13 marketing musts for 2013: 1. A clean, current, engaging, easy to navigate website. 2. A WordPress Blog where you can share your expertise and the expertise of others you admire. 3. A Fully developed professional, active Linked In Profile, with recommendations. 4. A Facebook page that you use strategically, respectfully and carefully. 5. Smart use of Twitter for branding yourself and others. 6. Podcasting and listening are hot. Feature quality content from yourself and others. 7. An e-marketing campaign to regularly engage with your permission based A list. 8. A local chamber membership or professional organization to engage in your community. 9. Going to key conferences to meet key people, in person, in your industry. 10. Seminars and workshops to enhance your professional advancement and knowledge. 11. Brand makeover to keep yourself fresh and relevant. 12. Choose smart, strategic partnerships and alliances to add more value and reach. 13. Give back, pay forward, help others, pro bono. If you want to be taken seriously, then you have to act serious about adapting and adopting the new best practices. Get some help, hire a consultant, take a class, invest in your own professional education. This is not an expense, it is an investment in yourself and your business. Check out Forbes , TrendWatching and MarketingCharts to find great ideas and resources. Are you ready to “make a serious stand with your brand” in 2013? Must Have Photo via Shutterstock The post 13 Marketing Musts For 2013 appeared first on Small Business Trends .
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