“What?! We’re in the middle of the holiday season… Christmas is still weeks away!”
Yeah… I know. And you’re probably not quite too late to begin thinking about what your 2011 strategy looks like, but you can’t afford to wait any further.
Begin at the Very Beginning
So… speaking of strategy, you do have one of those right? You know… a written plan that will produce growth in your business. One that identifies:
- precisely the person(s) to whom you are focusing your message
- your identity (or that of your products and services), and
- the message itself
…along with specific steps you’re going to take to attract those people, get their attention, and plug them into your sales process.
If not, this is where you must start. Otherwise, you’re going to be overwhelmed by all the stuff you could be doing. Strategy is as much about knowing what not to do as it is about knowing what to do.
2010: Monumental Shifts
And speaking of what you could be doing… looking back on 2010, I can’t recall a year ever in which so much has changed in marketing.
- Google rankings mean more and less than they used to… on the one hand, more businesses have shed their offline advertising and marketing expenses and are looking to online search to help bring in new customers. But on the other hand, the online mix must now be much more robust than ever — engaging customers (present and future) in a conversation through social media outlets
- Mobile devices continue to change the rules… and are now inventing new ones. Text messaging, Twitter, mobile browsers, maps and navigation, social media apps on the go… all of these affect how your buyers receive your messages, and this year has brought some amazing changes to this space with new devices, maturing platforms (particularly Android and iOS), and high adoption rates. People spend more time “connected” on the go than even I ever dreamed… and it’s going to increase.
- Local businesses have an amazing (and dizzying) array of options to reach out to customers with geo-location services like Foursquare, Google Places, Facebook places, and Gowalla. Which ones are effective? Which ones are a waste of time? Consumers are using location-based services from mobile devices in record numbers. Are you missing out on the opportunity?
These are just a few of the major shifts we’re watching from 2010. How do they affect your business in 2011? What else should you be paying attention to? We’ll be tackling these questions and showing off some pretty nifty stuff over our next few posts.