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“When we think about the future of marketing it’s easy to slip into the trap of thinking purely about technological challenges. However, the truth is that marketing isn’t changing because of technology. Marketing is changing because consumers’ expectations are evolving.”

This quote by Hannah Smith is taken from her post on Moz titled, “Bacon, Burritos, and the Future of Marketing.” It’s an interesting stroll down memory lane if you have been in marketing for any length of time. She moves from keyword density and anchor texts through the various names Google dubbed its tweaks (Vince, Caffeine, Panda, Venice, Penguin, Hummingbird) and the goals of those tweaks. Then there are ads, always an interesting topic.

The predictions made at the end are insightful. It is safe to say we will see more devices being used, which will result in challenges as marketers try to create messages that work across all channels. Analysis becomes even more important since we need to know what is happening during a session and figure out what people are actually doing. This analysis will help with the flexibility that is key to staying strategic, instead of being locked in to one plan of action.

The “out there” prediction in the article, that only brands that stand for something will survive, is accompanied by several illustrations and a challenge: consumers are able to find information and discuss brands on a level that is unprecedented in human history. They are savvy enough to research the brands their friends suggest and expect a seamless experience when they look you up. They also expect a response when they speak and wield great influence on their friends.

What should brands do?

 

A brand must meet the customer’s expectations or they will go somewhere else. And what do customers expect of a brand? A consistent story, a mission and goal, that the brand “stands for something” worth joining. The challenge is that it’s so easy to have that “something” be tarnished as unfavorable information goes viral. With smartphones, friends can find all the dirt while they are in the restaurant talking about it.

This is why reputation management is more than an afterthought. Good online reputation management practice keeps your brand “standing for something” in the eyes of your customers through all marketing changes. 

For more information on online reputation management, visit reciprocalconsulting.com/online-reputation-management.php#2

 

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