5 Important Marketing Trends for 2013

Audience Building Strategies for Content Businesses

Audience Building Strategies for Content BusinessesWelcome to the Marketing Show Podcast.

If there’s any one thing you can count on, it’s change – especially online.

Though we never recommend chasing after trends for their own sake, keeping up with what’s working and what’s not is essential for your business.

As some of the “classic” tactics begin to lose their effectiveness (for example, free ebooks), new ideas emerge to replace them (many of which we’ve discussed on previous podcast episodes).

Listen up as Clay and Andy discuss five important marketing trends you need to be aware of to remain competitive in 2013.

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Transcript:

[0:00:00]

Clay: Things are changing in 2013 in this episode of The Marketing Show Podcast. Andy Fossett and myself are going to be talking about 5 marketing trends for 2013. How are you doing, Andy?

Andy: I am doing pretty damn well, Clay.

Clay: Cool, cool. Yeah, so I was going to say that these are like the top 5 marketing trends of 2013. I have no idea these are the top marketing trends of 2013. I know that these are important trends. I know that they’re going to change a lot of businesses, but how do you know if something is a top marketing trend. I guess it’s just a judgment call you make. I feel strongly about these trends. I don’t know if these are like, seriously like the next thing we tell you that we’re about to get into is like the number one marketing trend of 2013, but I know these are pretty huge.

Andy: Yeah, absolutely. I think most of the times, I mean to be honest, we’re still in January. If there’s anybody who knows what the top trends for this year are, they better have a really shiny crystal ball.

Clay: Yeah, I know. maybe we should just totally market the hell out of this. It’d be like the top significant five game-changing biggest trends of 2013 that are irreversible and could put you out of business and…

Andy: Yeah, and if anybody has a temerity to come up with a sixth marketing trend, then they’re fired.

Clay: Seriously. No, these are the only five of 2013. These are just like the top. These are the only five.

Andy: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Clay: So the first trend is that traditional opt-in bribes are going to underperform in this year. This is a trend that we’ve seen develop for quite some time, but we’re really at a point in history where nobody cares that you’ve put together a free report in and of itself. Nobody cares that you have a free video to download. The facts that something is free is generally not enough. There are a gazillion videos on YouTube that we can watch for free. There are a gazillion articles on the internet that folks could read for free without opting in. So there are really two reasons why people will opt in for something in 2013. At least two reasons.

The first is that you have a reputation and you are trusted, and people feel like you are required reading in their industry, and they know that if they opt in, they will get value. So reason number one is simply because of your reputation in your marketplace and the reputation you have for delivering values. So reason number one is because of who you are they will opt in, okay.

Reason number two that someone opts-in in 2013 is that you are giving away something that is of such high perceived value that frankly, nobody else in your market is giving away and that is driving the opt in. so they don’t know who you are, then you need to work your tail end off to create a bribe that is perceived of being of immediate high value. Just because you’re giving away 100 pages in your free report does not mean someone is going to opt in, right. Increased value doesn’t mean increased opt in conversion rate. So really, what gets people to opt in is that you’re delivering something that is immediately of use. So for example, on The Marketing Show, we give away I believe it’s 8 free landing page templates and that is one unlike what other people are giving away in our space and that has a high-perceived utility value without much work, right. You don’t have to read an entire product on how to create a landing page. It’s just right there. It’s done for you. So it’s a done-for-you bribe.

So trend number one is unless you are well known, only high-perceived value bomb opt-in bribes are going to work in 2013. What’s the next trend, Andy?

Andy: The next trend is a move that as far as I know, you kind of coined the term on this is from one step to two-step opt-ins, and that’s where instead of just having a form when somebody comes on your homepage, instead of just saying, “Hey, put in your email here,” you actually make them take some action first, some sort of action to show that they’re interested. So instead of just enter your email, it could be, you know, click this link, click this banner, click this button, answer this question. There’s some extra step they have to take that allows them to take the first step. It’s not just walking up with your handout. It’s allowing them to register an interest in joining your list

[0:05:00]
and subscribing to what you do, and so this has worked really well for my company. I can’t remember specifically the stats on it, but when we switched from a regular opt-in box to a button-triggered pop-up on our site, on our homepage about 6 or 7 months ago, our email opt-ins did increase significantly, and by significantly, I mean probably upwards of 30%, which is great, and this kind of thing is – There’s a lot of creativity in how you can do this. The famous AppSumo quiz giveaway squeeze page worked astoundingly well, and there’s just a lot of ways that you can do this two-step or multi-step opt-in processes, and I think that you’re going to see a lot more creativity and a lot more adoption of this sort of process.

Clay: I absolutely agree, especially if I have anything to say about it. So yeah, there are a number of different ways to do this. One is kind of the tried-and-shoot pop up. So instead of showing an email opt-in form, you might say click this link or click here to join our list, and a pop-up appears with an email opt-in box, and someone opts in there, and they’re off the races. Another way to do this is with a tool like LeadPlayer where someone watches a portion of the video, and then they see the opt-in box. Another way to do this, and there’s an episode of The Marketing Show about this is by rather than having a traditional opt-in form using an order as well. So when someone goes to download your template, they see that the products that maybe you previously sold for $14 or that you’re pricing it $14 is available for free with a coupon code, and they fill out the order form for the free docs, and then it can download the free thing, and they’re downloading it that way.

Shoot Dazzle, you know. For those ladies out there, Shoe Dazzle is a shoe subscription service where every single month, you get a new pair of shoes. I believe it’s something like $30 a month or so. It’s reasonable for a lot of people, and they have you fill out a four-page survey about your preference in shoes. A lot of women find that survey enjoyable to fill out, and then at the very end, you opt in to see your shoe profile and to see the shoe recommendations that they’ve made for you. So they get you in a pattern, kind of they get your behavioral inertia going before you opt in. And I think you’re going to see more and more and more of this.

A poor man’s version of a two-step opt-in is merely a sidebar banner, for example, on your blog that says click here to join our newsletter. Click here to download this bribe. And when you click on that, you’re sent to a traditional squeeze page. So that’s still a two-step opt-in process because you aren’t showing the opt-in box initially.

Andy: Not until they ask for it.

Clay: Yeah, right. Not until they ask for it, right. So you’re done [0:08:06] [Indiscernible]. Right. I mean that’s sort of the essence of this is that you aren’t asking until they ask, and that in itself ups conversion rate because it’s disarming to go to a webpage that doesn’t have any opt-in boxes and doesn’t have any sales buttons, and that requires them to take some sort of action before they see those things.

Andy: Yeah. And actually, it reverses the expectation that the website or that the business is trying to extract something from you, and so that’s – You know, that’s why it’s good.

Clay: I think whenever we go to a webpage, we make this internal assessment about whether or not that is a taking website or a giving website, and what we see are ads and opt-in boxes and buy now buttons. We immediately make the judgment that this is a website that is trying to take rather than give in. When you can put those things one step away from that initial homepage, then you can not only, you know, increase or improve the perception of your company and your website, but you can also increase your opt-in rate. Someone said to me that they were putting order form for their product on their sales page. So not only were they not hiding their buy-now buttons, but they were putting the entire order form with the upsell, with the credit card input on the sales page believing that reducing the number of steps would increase conversion when that only has the opposite effect. It decreases conversion.

Andy: Yeah, because it’s daunting.

Clay: Right. Exactly. I mean it’s kind of like a sketchy dude going up to a bar and

[0:10:00]
Trying to get laid before he’s ever had a conversation, and we just took a left turn into inappropriateville, but you know, it’s kind of analogous to that.

Andy: Yeah, yeah, and you know, you want to be upfront with people. We’re not saying hide what your true intentions are, but don’t – Nobody wants to know – I mean if you take the relationship example, you don’t want to talk to somebody on the first date and be already having a conversation about all the fights you’re going to have and how you’re going to eventually break up.

Clay: Yeah. And you’re not going to propose on that first date neither.

Andy: No. No.

Clay: Yeah. Yeah. So this isn’t about hiding the button. This is about serving someone the option that they want after they’ve asked for it essentially, but not before. What’s the next trend?

Andy: Lowering of prices. Lowering of prices.

Clay: I think this is – So Andy and I mapped out this session before, and I think this is the one I was going to talk about. So I believe and I’m seeing this happen, seeing this trend play out, and it’s been playing out for 2012, and I believe it will continue to play out in 2013, and that is that the value bubble for information products will pop. There was a period of time when people were buying $2,000 information products, and that era is coming to an end. People realized that they can purchase products on sort of knowledge marketplaces, places like Yotomi, and through iPad apps, they’re realizing that there often isn’t more value in a $2,000 course than there is in maybe a $47 e-book that’s well written and long. People are realizing that hype doesn’t necessarily equal value, and I believe not – I do not believe that people should do price-based marketing. In other words, I don’t believe that folks should engage in a race-to-the-bottom and try to compete on price at the same time. I believe that the market for information products that are in the thousands of dollars is not going to sustain itself.

So there is a pricing methodology that people have followed for a while that’s based on what would it cost you to not have something, right? So for example, a salesperson might ask me, “What would it cost you to not have a vehicle?” And the answer to that would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but just because it would cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars to not have a vehicle does not mean that I’m willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a vehicle, right, the same with the cell phone and the same with my $50 internet connection. So there’s going to be a lot of price adjusting happening around information products. We saw this happen with iPhone apps that are $0.99. Window same apps on a desktop might sell for $15 or $27. We’re seeing them sell for $0.99, and it’s simply because Apple has capped it and regulated, set expectations around the cost of apps, and you know, as the marketplace for information turns from this Wild, Wild West filled with sort of, you know, cowboys that are plundering the space in a lot of ways to a more formalized place where there’s marketplaces and rating systems, and expectations about different kinds of information should cost, prices will lower. Again, I’m not saying you should go out right now and thus fairly lower your prices. I’m not saying that you should compete on price, but I am saying that the actions that you need to take in order to sell a $2,000 information product are probably killing your list.

You know, I’m hearing someone talk about this. I believe it was Danny Andrews. He was talking about how the facts that people are giving away 50% affiliate commissions on a $2,000 product is a clear indication that affiliate marketing in that instance is an inefficient marketing channel. The fact that if I’m buying a $2,000 information product and giving away $1,000 to the blogger who mentioned the product, that is a good sign that whatever marketing channel is being used

[0:15:00]
is inefficient. You know, you shouldn’t have to pay someone $1,000 per sale to say something good about your product, right, like when I tell someone about how great the iphone is, I don’t need to shoot them over in affiliate link. I’m not like hey, I’m only going to say good things about this if I get my cut. At some point, you’re providing enough value that what you’re doing is inherently remarkable and people will talk about it if that’s the case, you know. They won’t talk about it in some cases, and that’s why so many people need to incentivize tune of $1,000 per sale, but this all gets back to the point that I believe that we have been in an information value bubble, and then that value bubble either has popped, is in the process of popping or will pop this year.

Andy: Yeah, and it should also be said that, you know, that doesn’t mean like you mentioned that we should all just start dropping our prices. That’s not really the point. The point is that if we do want to charge higher prices, if we do want to charge premium prices for products, we’re going to have to provide a lot more value than just a ton of information to. What people will pay for is not just the information anymore. It’s knowing that they’ll have a help with the implementation. It’s knowing they’ll be part of a community. It’s knowing that they’ll have a tool that will help them in some way. There’s other parts of the value equation that we’re going to have to start focusing on more than just I will give you information that could be beneficial to you.

Clay: Correct. Yup. I think that’s spot on. What’s the next one?

Andy: The move from ugly to beautiful, and we talked about this in a previous podcast too, but just that design is becoming so much more important. We used to say, you know, if it’s ugly as hell, it will probably sell, and there are definitely instances where that’s still true, but across the board, people have been online longer now. People shopping online, purchasing anything online are a lot more savvy about what the web should and could look like. They’re a lot more savvy about what a reputable business looks like now, and they look for certain cues that are often found in the design of a website. They look for certain clues that they can trust your business. They look for professional design because if you care enough to put a professional design on your site, then it shows that you are a legitimate business in some respect, you know. And there’s a lot of different ways that you can give these visual cues that you’re trustworthy, but you know, your customers, your prospects want to see that you care enough to not just put up something ugly. They want to see that you care enough to respect them and to make the experience of learning about your business and learning about your products and interacting with you that you care enough to make that experience pleasurable, and useful for them, and not just kind of throw something up on the web that’s good enough.

Clay: Yeah, I completely agree. I think when people see your pages, they make a snap judgment about whether or not you are a professional organization, and if their gut says that you are not, that doesn’t work out well for conversions. In our episode about design being the new copyrighting, we talked about an instance in which someone was unable to increase their conversion by hiring this fancy $20,000 per sales that are copywriters, but they were able to increase their conversion by hiring a designer to improve the look and feel of their website. And I think that is a notable trend. It’s only going to continue. This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to become a design critic and that you should spend hours worrying about your logo. It does mean that you should have something that is pleasing to the eye, and you know, really what this means at the end of the day is not that you need a wind design words. It means that you shouldn’t have these ugly flashing arrows, these horrible, you know, yellow highlighted text, and that at a minimum, your design shouldn’t turn people away, you know, because it looks like an online version of the flashing lights of Vegas.

Andy: Yeah. I mean your design is just one more chance to show your customers that you respect and care about them.

Clay: I completely agree. The next transition or trend in 2013 is this transformation from real-time marketing to automated marketing, and sort of the classic version of real-time marketing is the launch. And I’m not saying launches are going away. I think there will always be launches, and I’m a huge fan of launching, and so, like don’t hear me

[0:20:00]
saying that launches are going away. What I am saying is that the launch is going to be one piece of an incredibly multi-faceted marketing campaign for a product that most businesses will do.

So traditionally, at least in the information market space, people have done a launch, and then they’ll close the cart, and then the cart is closed until 6 months later, you know, where they open the cart and they launch again. That’s not going to be happening. There’s a number of problems with that approach. The first problem is that it’s hard to constantly tweak and improve your marketing or your marketing campaign when your cart is only open a couple days per year, right. You can’t run split test. You can’t try different versions of a webinar to see which one converts better. You can’t constantly be tweaking your opt-in conversion pages or your opt-in landing pages to get 5% here and 10% there, and hone then in this incremental way.

Also, when you close your carts, you lose out on all the customers who are finding out about you, you know, during that period, and you’re losing all those sales. When you close a cart, again, it only shows that you have an inefficient marketing channel that is unable to deliver clients every single day, and it shows that you need to amp up the scarcity in order to make sales, and that certainly isn’t sustainable for a business that’s going to grow year after year after year after year. Those businesses that do want to sustain growth year after year need to find a way to make sales every single day, and that’s how we make, you know, measured increases in conversion rates, and that’s how we run daily split test again, it’s by doing automated marketing rather than event-based marketing where you do that marketing once, and you don’t have the opportunity to prove that exact campaign bit by bit over time.

Andy: Yeah, absolutely, and I’m a huge fan of automated marketing, and I actually have probably over a hundred email sequences running right now, which I just complete overkill, and it’s only because I’m a giant geek about this stuff, but I also want to say that, you know, when you automate things that doesn’t mean that you’re taking yourself out of the equation. Automated marketing can still be very, very human, and anyone who knows of my company knows that we work very hard at this too. We send out automated emails that ask for a personal responses, and we, you know, read and reply, you know, things like that.

There’s a lot of things that you can do with automated marketing that you can still get your hands on, so don’t think that it’s taking you away from your marketing. It’s giving you more opportunities to actually get your hands into it, and to see that the effect that that actually has on real people rather than just creating some false scarcity event and trying to cram it all into 140 period.

Clay: Yeah, I completely agree. You know, one example of what you’re talking about is an automated webinar that we did once where I was live on the, you know, the entire time, and I was answering every single person’s question in the text messaging environment. Now when I webinar, I don’t have the opportunity to answer every single person’s question in real time, so in that instance, automating the webinar allowed me to give customer responses and to make, I think, the experience more human because every single person got customized specific to them responses to their questions. So I think you’re absolutely right. Some of the ways to automate your marketing are by doing automated webinars, are by creating email follow-up sequences, so if someone joins a given list and they get a series of emails that are dripped out in a pre-programmed order over time, you know, ad campaigns, you know, things of that nature, and again, there’s nothing wrong, and it can be an even more human process because it’s automated. That’s an excellent point, Andy.

Andy: Yeah. Well, it’s something that, you know, I sort of struggled with it first. I was thinking, you know, well, I’ve got all this powerful tools and I love – You know, since I’m a geek kind of person, I love learning how they work, and at first, I was like, you know, is this taking me away from actually interacting with my clients? But the more I got better at using them and figuring out how I could sort of turn it around and put myself more into the process, then I realized that really was not the danger that I expected it to be.

Clay: Yeah, I completely agree. Well, those are our hour. Those are…

Andy: The only five marketing trends.

Clay: …only five marketing trends happening in 2013. I know this right now. Certainly, mobile is not one at all.

Andy: No.

Clay: I have R. My name is Clay Collins. I am joined by the brilliant Andy Fossett, who’s also our head coach. Thank you so much for listening to The Marketing Show Podcast. Take care.

[0:25:42] End of Audio

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  • I disagree with the prediction that prices will drop in information products. High ticket info products are aimed at newbies, and they don’t know enough to understand that 10 pieces of $99 plus $1000 ad budget on Adwords will get you more than any 2k info product.

    • FWIW, I disagree with your disagreement. You can’t make a blanket assertion that all high-ticket products are aimed at people who “don’t understand” arithmetic. Plus, I’ve seen very savvy companies with loads of experience get zero ROI on Adwords.

      Will expensive products disappear? No, they won’t. They’ll continue to exist and sell. But they’ll have to start getting better if they want to compete with less expensive (and often more focused) options and the “mentorship community” model that’s become much more popular lately.

  • nickykay

    Great episode, thank you. I’ve been catching up on past episodes and can’t believe how helpful they are. Well, I can believe it, I’m just blown away.

    Well SOMETHING is going with information products because the prices and corresponding quality and value are all over the map right now, and in the end that won’t be good for those who want to charge a higher price for in-depth content — or maybe they just have to wait it out.