1. The economy IS going to improve. Keep the faith. Look for opportunities and focus on what you do best and make sure some form of advertising/marketing is in place this year!
2. Collect emails! Didn’t start collecting yet? Do it and then plan to touch base with your client base on a regular basis keeping in mind, that whatever you send has to be valuable for them.
3. Companies, small and large, need to create a social media strategy. What’s your plan? Make sure to have one in 2011. If you don’t know where to start, ask friends colleagues or a professional, some of the best advice I have gotten has come out of small study groups. Make sure to write it down, whatever you do, do it consistently, weekly, monthly or quarterly!
4. Manage Your On-line Rep- Set up a Google alert and make sure to manage any comments that you find directed at your business. Use the alerts to also check on what your competition is doing.
5. Face-to-face networks will continue to grow. Nothing beats networking in person. Go to a meeting, learn something new and bring home a potential client, then make sure to touch base with them on-line.
6. Go Green! Find a way to go green and then promote it! SWCRC has a green leaders program that will do just that. http://www.swcrc.com/chamber-home/green-leaders
7. Don’t have a web site yet? Guess what? One-way web sites are now OLD Fashioned! More and more, companies will create web sites that operate in two directions. They will not only provide information to their customers but will also seek feedback from their customers. Blogs, interactive newsletters, social network sites, consumer feedback groups: If you still don’t have a web site, make sure to at least establish a Face book business page this year!
8. Companies that succeed in 2011 will focus on relationships. Technology is a tool. Relationships are king when it comes to networking. Companies who are creative in using tools to enhance the relationship building process will be the leaders in their industry.
My marketing predictions for 2011 are that videos on You Tube will continue to dominate attention. Business who blog and participate in social media, especially Face book, will continue to get better search results and build their customer loyalty. Those businesses that partner with charitable groups will also succeed in public relations efforts and even though it’s considered, “old-fashioned”, direct mail is not going away, so part of the budget should still be considered for printed materials.
The real question every good business needs to ask its customers is what do YOU pay attention to? And how would you like to be marketed to? Are customers responding to the phone, television, radio, mail, email, social media or in person…. How do YOU get information before you buy a product or service? Your comments and opinions are always welcomed.
Market Insights, LLC