Many focus on using marketing techniques that people don't pay attention to anymore, themselves included
The biggest opportunity is to market according to peoples' real behavior
When marketing, consider what people are actually doing before focusing on getting good numbers.
What if you could get email open rates or social media post engagements of more than 90%? That kind of result is almost unheard of but Wine Library, one of the world's first e-commerce wine shops achieved just that in the 90's. Why? Because they marketed according to peoples' actual behavior before others did.
Company marketers tend to do this: Consider the existing marketing platforms where they can run ads and figure out how to best use them, then focus on the numbers achieved. What was the cost per click on our banner ad? How many views did our YouTube pre-roll get? What was the open rate of the last email? While they're all important, the goal is actually to get peoples' attention so they can then be marketed to. To do that, it's necessary to remember that they're not just "numbered targets," they're humans first, just like us.
You should question a marketing tactic that wouldn't work well on yourself.
How often do you yourself actually click on a banner ad? While they can be useful at reminding someone about a product, more than a third of us find them intolerable and more than half of us don't trust them. They may get clicked on, but half are likely to be by accident.
Do you watch pre-roll ads on YouTube or do you get ready to hit 'skip' when the button pops up? Or maybe you open another browser tab and wait until it ends (while delighting marketers with that "view")? If you're like 84% of Millennials, you basically never watch, so we shouldn't think that our targets will either.
People overseas in countries like the US are fast-forwarding every cable TV commercial, preferring DVR or Netflix, or using commercial time to swipe left to delete some 90% of the email newsletters in their inbox. While TV is still big in Japan, I'm sure some of us behave similarly.
These channels still have a place in marketing today, but with more competitors playing and people dismissing them on autopilot, we should allocate some of our resources to trying out fresher methods. After all, if we personally wouldn't be impacted by our own methods that we market with, why should we remain fully dedicated to them?
To ignore new marketing channels and human behavioral trends is the biggest risk.
Focusing on what's now and next is an investment in the future, just like stocks and real estate where you try to buy early while it's still cheap.
Take Instagram. Many companies first heard about it when it was bought by Facebook in 2012 (when it had around 30 million users and growing really rapidly) but waited a few years for an ad platform to open up to begin considering using it. By then the competition increased, making it harder and more expensive to amass a follower-base and get content seen.
People are spending a lot of time watching video now on Facebook, and its algorithm is pushing it (especially live video). Despite this, many continue to only post links to their website because that tactic has been the norm. Meanwhile, their competitors are creating content for the situation today, branding themselves the way Facebook and its users want, and thus closing the gap. The Dodo, a site for animal welfare, for example, is only 2 years old but averages 2 million views per post on Facebook.
Many are now also spending time on Snapchat. In fact, more people now use it daily than Twitter and it has become the most important social network for teens. This opportunity for Japanese companies is 2010 Facebook and 2012 Instagram: Growing amount of users searching for someone to follow, and not many competitors, if any...yet.
Wine Library was able to achieve incredible email open rates that helped them multiply their revenue not because of dazzling graphics, amazing copy and pinpoint targeting. They got it because of a lack of competition at a time when everyone still loved spending time with email. Wherever us as people go, we should strongly consider adding into our marketing channel mix.