Kyle Oppenhuizen is the Business Record’s Sales & Marketing beat reporter.
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Will businesses become more LinkedIn?
Keep an eye on the changes happening on the website LinkedIn in 2013, said Josh Fleming, interactive marketing director at Lessing-Flynn Advertising Co.
One notable change is that LinkedIn’s premium accounts allow users to see who has viewed their profiles in the last 30 days. That can help professionals make connections with people they should know, and also give them insight into why people are looking at their profiles. For example, Fleming points out that he will see prospective employees look at the profile of the person who is about to interview them.
Endorsements are becoming more popular. That feature was unveiled in September and it allows others to endorse your skills or expertise.
“As far as building your personal brand from a business standpoint, I don’t think there’s anything better (than LinkedIn),” Fleming said. “LinkedIn, from a professional standpoint, allows you to keep (your profile) clean, keep it neat, keep it tidy and build your own professional brand ... ”
Few businesses are using a business page on LinkedIn, Fleming said, but they should, especially if the site adds the ability for individuals to endorse a business.
Time to spend?
Experts in Greater Des Moines disagreed on whether 2013 will bring more spending on marketing and advertising.
Assuming that the fiscal cliff is avoided, Mike Schreurs, CEO of Strategic America Inc., is expecting a positive year for advertisers and marketers.
He cites a forecast by British communications agency Carat that predicts 5.3 percent growth in global ad spending.
In the Midwest and Iowa, “I think we’re going to be in pretty good shape,” Schreurs said.
Paul Schlueter, vice president for research and interactive at Flynn Wright, said it’s hard to predict spending any year, but that he sees a “pent-up demand in the marketing industry.”
Scott Lewellen, co-founder of Saturday MFG Inc., isn’t so sure, saying most of the predictions he’s seen call for a “small, almost insignificant, increase in spending.” As such, more spending will probably go into digital marketing.
One thing that bodes well for advertisers: With the election over, there will not be the political ads this year, which will make consumers have a more positive reaction to advertising in general, Schreurs said.
How should your brand embrace new media?
Smartphones, tablet computers and technology in general continue to change the landscape of marketing and sales, but it’s important not to get too caught up in the medium, said Scott Lewellen, co-founder of Saturday MFG Inc., a Des Moines-based marketing company.
“Even if people are consuming media in different ways, those things are just tactics that people can use,” he said. “Everything is still in need of a strong brand and a good idea. It’s not just ‘Oh, now we need to be doing mobile marketing.’ Well, if it fits your brand, sure.”
A point to remember, Lewellen said, is that just because there are new media in which to reach an audience doesn’t mean that old ones will die off.
The trick is figuring out how old media and new media fit into your brand, Lewellen said.