Dear 10-years-younger me,

Buckle up.

The world as you know it is about to change, drastically and at speed.

I’m writing this letter to you from 2017 (please, for your sake rethink the ‘new year, new me’ haircut circa 2009, it’ll save you hours of grief.)

Have you heard of the term ‘inbound marketing’ yet? Maybe not. It’s a term that was coined in 2005 and will, over the next decade, become the most effective marketing method in business.

Inbound marketing is an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful — not interruptive. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media. (Source: Hubspot)

 

But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.

As you know, on the 29th of June Apple released the first iPhone. From here, the use of smartphones will grow exponentially.

By the end of the year, there will be 295 million subscribers on 3G networks worldwide (Source: Hubspot). People will no longer have to sit down in front of the TV or at their computer to receive information.

In fact, by 2017 they’ll receive information straight to their cellphones in real-time.

At current, you’re probably focusing your marketing efforts on print advertising, television and email blasts. In other words, interruptive marketing.

A word of advice? Read up on inbound marketing and start implementing it into your marketing strategy. In 10 years time, interruptive marketing methods will take a back seat.

Here in 2017, people use their cellphones as their main information source. And with the world of information at their fingertips, they are far more selective with what and who they engage with.

Interruptive marketing is now seen as an invasion of privacy, and consumers resist it wherever possible. Instead, they prefer to do their own online research about products and services that they are interested in.

This has caused a shift in the way businesses present information to consumers.

Rather than trying to get as much information as possible out there, you now have to create a story for prospects that encourages them to learn more about your service.

It’s all about coaxing your audience ‘in’ – hence the term ‘inbound marketing’.

As a result, an online presence is now one of your biggest assets. A website isn’t just a ‘thing you do to seem modern’ anymore. It’s a storefront, a reputation builder (or breaker) and a place for your audience to get to know you.

Another tidbit from the future? People will become obsessed with social media. So obsessed that if a business isn’t using it in 2017, they’ll fall behind their competition.

If I remember correctly, in 2007 Myspace is the ‘it’ channel, although new-kid-on-the-block, Facebook, is quickly catching up.

By 2017, the scope and use of social media channels will increase dramatically.

The average internet user now has 7 social media accounts, and spends a third of their time on the internet on a social media platform. (Source: Social Sprout)

 

These platforms have become highly sophisticated, creating their own algorithms that dictate what users see and when.

Getting noticed on these platforms has become an arms race for attention, forcing businesses to invest in people, time and resources to ensure their content gets seen.

In fact, inbound marketing has become such a vital process that businesses in every industry now have dedicated marketing departments and budgets. 

Which brings me to the crux of this letter, younger self. You may be less wrinkled and better looking, but I am definitely wiser!

There’ll come a time when a seed of doubt is planted in your stubborn alliance to interruptive marketing methods. Don’t ignore it!

I’m lucky to have found the online marketing agency ‘JTN’ when I did. After flat income for a number of years, they helped double business revenue within nine months of working with the firm.

But imagine you’d elicited their help sooner? Think of where the firm could be now!

In a time when technology and the internet are in a constant state of flux, you need to not only be aware of the different digital marketing strategies available to you, but also how to leverage them. 

So here’s my final bit of advice; get in touch with JTN sooner rather than later. They will help to get the firm noticed by creating and implementing a clearly defined competitive marketing strategy that pulls you into the now and saves the day.

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

(Unlike the haircut… seriously it’s a bad idea.)

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