As I was out for my morning walk with the family dog this morning I was taking in the beauty of the autumn landscape. The air was crisp and cool which was a huge departure from the warm, humid summer air that I had grown accustomed to, Squirrels were frolicking and dashing about gathering and hiding food for a mid-winter meal. The maples, oaks and poplars have burst into their amazing autumn palette. Warm tones of reds and oranges sprinkled with splashes of yellow are a sharp contrast when compared to the rich and deeps shades of green they were only weeks previous. I turn the corner and I am just amazed by the colors, layers and depth of the lane driving through the scene in front of me.
On this same walk, this same corner, on this same lane only 20 days or so ago I was taking in a different picture. A warm breeze, crystal sky and green canopies with golden rays of sunshine piercing the mass to light the space below. A lot has changed in such a short amount of time. It would be nice if it could just stay warm and green but that is not how things work. Things change. We change and yes everything that we create changes. Business and marketing that business does not escape this fundamental law.
Some will resist change and some will demand it to cease. Change is stubborn and will persist. The best we can do is to work with change and from my experience and observations, those who work with, influence or can adapt to change are the successful ones. The champions of life, of business or whatever. Some say that change is happening are such an exacerbating pace these days it’s impossible to keep up. I believe that we are exposed to so much more compared to the past that if we attempt to monitor, educate ourselves or keep up with ALL of the change we will collapse of intake overload.
I repeat; Things change. We change and yes everything that “we” create changes. We created business and means to market that business and all of that has changed quite a bit in the last decade. One of the biggest changes that I have observed is the shift of ‘power’ in business. Especially in consumer business. This shift has brought us a new endangered species. “The Sales Person” Yes, the Sales Person was that individual whom you sought to gather information on the product or service you required. The Sales Person was all knowing. They knew all of the ins-and-outs on their product or service as well as all of their competitors and thus they held the power and the consumer was for the most part, at their mercy. Now with the “Information Super Highway” consumers at both the personal and business level can research product and service information and get more that what they need. They can also read reviews and connect with others for referrals without contacting a sales person at all. Sometime the consumer holds more information about a product, service and competitors that the Sales Person. The power has in fact, shifted and the consumer holds it. I have intently watched a seasoned sales professional make every attempt to educate a potential client on a service and the consumer listened patiently to the pitch and then rebutted with the research that she had done on the service to the extent of providing some references. It was crazy.
Whatever the causes, a Sales Person in this environment is typically at the service of the highly informed customer. The roles have, for the most part, reversed. This is a significant change in the business model that is very real. Customers do their research on the internet to find ‘the best’ product or service at the best price that meets their needs. They are looking at product pages and review pages. Yes they are reading through product and service reviews and the information they are finding is guiding them through the decision making process.
Now the next big question is; “What is your internet persona?” I’m sure you have a website or at least a page on a social media platform. What is your website modeled after? Or, what information are you providing on your website? Are you in the ‘2000’ model of providing your business name, hours of operation, contact information and a general description of your products and services? If so, there is more your website can be doing for you. Or are you in the ‘2010’ model that provides product/service details along with videos demonstrating user experience and customer interaction partnered with a vivid photo library? Do you have online and direct sales through your web site? Do you have a blog? Do you have a strategy that captures a user's attention and funnels them into a sales cycle? If you do; then Congratulations!, you are taking full advantage of the opportunities in front of you. If you do not; no worries, many do not and it would be in your best interest to learn a little more about today’s marketing strategies.
Implementing a digital media strategy is not difficult. Naturally it does take some work and time. There is a very good chance that you are already working on bits and parts of a digital marketing strategy and you will only need to shift your vision slightly and repurpose your work. Some may need to start from scratch and that’s OK. You can seek help or you can take on this campaign yourself. Either way you really need to get started. If not will a full, game plan - strategy, then at least a partial game plan to get acclimated. Once acclimated do a little more and with some time and perciverance you will harvest the fruits of your hard work.