How Important is Responsive Design, Visual And Content Marketing?

Mobile websites, content and visual marketing.

Mobile websites, content and visual marketing.

Knowledge of prevailing marketing trends will help built environment companies design their lead generation strategies for effectiveness. Marketing tactics change quickly. It is important to keep an eye on your goals, develop a plan, understand your challenges and have a timeline in place that allows you to implement marketing that works. How fast is marketing changing? Houzz as an example is only a few years old and has 46 million users. If you want to take advantage of this new group of prospective customers, you'd better have a strategy and a budget for taking photographs and posting them. It is important to realize that what was important just a few short years ago, is no longer applicable in today's marketing strategies.

In the last few years, several marketing trends are already established, and businesses need to start adjusting their marketing tactics to take full advantage.

What are the current marketing trends?

Here is a list of some of the marketing trends that are currently in action:

Content marketing talent is in more demand

The value of marketers with inbound/content marketing skills is becoming a top priority for recruiters. In the past two years, the demand for content marketing jobs has increased by 52%. What does this mean for interior designers, architects, landscape designers and design-build professionals? Hiring is a leading indicator of what is working in marketing. Advertising in print media, on the other hand, is flat. Magazines have become event companies that give periodicals away for free and supplement profits with increased ad rates. I'm not saying that advertising is dead, but it is less valuable and has a lower ROI than other forms of built environment marketing.

Real-time marketing is becoming the primary model

Having a campaign that is rigid and unable to adjust to changes in home improvement buying trends are becoming less profitable. Instead, companies are focusing on running campaigns that can improve or take advantage of technology to drive customer interactions and attract leads.

Mobile Technology - Organizations’ marketing efforts need to become mobile compatible

More people are using Smart Phones in their lives to connect with people and organizations, in 2012 the figure was just below 50%, in 2013, it rose to 55%. Businesses need to take advantage and ensure that their websites are mobile compatible and built on a responsive design platform.

E-mail is still an essential part of the marketing process

11% of all online transactions still originate from e-mail marketing campaigns, despite the move towards more social marketing methods. E-mail must be part of any businesses marketing plans with the question moved from what makes an effective e-mail marketing campaign. Automated email marketing allows built environment firms to create messages in advance and has them sent upon an action a visitor takes on a website.  It means less work and more powerful promotional materials because they are sent in a series and delivered when a prospect signs up on a particular page on your website.

Big data is becoming an integral part of marketing efforts

Data use to be the domain of engineers and accountants. Now marketers are integrating data into their marketing efforts as consumers are demanding to know more. Questions like what pages are viewed, how long is the sales process and how many contacts does it take before a sale is made are answered through proper website structure, email workflows and analytics.

Businesses are getting more familiar with their customer base

To create marketing material that will invoke an emotional response with their audience; organizations are now becoming intimately familiar with their target audience. Knowing exactly what a customer would like to hear is essential to deliver content in which they will respond and interact with in a positive way.

Marketing is becoming more interactive

Consumers are now becoming more involved in the marketing efforts of a brand. Whether this is in the form of creating content, sharing the message across social media or through ‘gamificiation’ methods - the audience is becoming an integral part of the sharing of a brand’s message.

Images are becoming more important in marketing

With written text, the primary focus of most marketing teams - mostly driven by Google search- sometimes visuals (photographs, illustrations, infographics, and videos) are forgotten. Houzz, Pinterest and Instagram have proven; the visual marketing arena is important. This content rich medium allows businesses to post information that is easily digestible at speed to the audience.

There is a clear indication that the marketing trends are being directed to more social, and audience orientated content. That has fueled a growth in the demand for inbound marketing experts, big data and more information on the target consumer.

In a marketing world where 'content is king', content must not only speak to the audience but emotionally connect with them to convince them to make a purchase. If businesses wish to continue to grow in the last financial quarter of 2016 and beyond, they need to adjust their marketing so that is taking advantage of the current marketing trends.


About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.