Small business can dominate their market and take their income to entirely new levels in 2013.
I work almost entirely with small business and I work with them to leverage marketing and technology to achieve maximum results.
All small businesses are resource constrained, time, money, manpower, we’re all hustling to do more with less and I’ve found that it’s critical to get the maximum growth out of your business that you can. Small business owners have to take advantage of the marketing systems and technology that are out there that can allow each small business to leverage those resources to their fullest extent.
Now, unfortunately, I found that 95% of small businesses across just about any vertical industry are missing at least two out of the four marketing systems we’re going to cover in the next two posts that are critical for a smalll business to achieve maximum growth.
Now, why is that?
Well, the competitive landscape for business has changed dramatically. Particularly over the last 10 years we’ve seen dramatic changes in the way that we do business due to technology, the Internet and software.
The landscape has changed and so has the way your customers find and shop for your services or products.
Unfortunately, businesses, small businesses in particular, have been slow to adapt to these changes.What are these these major changes? And what important systems do you need to make sure that you have in place to capitalize on these changes?
So, what are the three big drivers of change that I mentioned?
Well, they are— 1- Search, 2- Social, and 3- Mobile I’m sure these are all terms that you’re familiar with; however, you may not be exactly familiar with how these things are impacting your business, your consumers’ desire to do business with you and the decisions you need to make at your business to make sure that you’re capitalizing on these changes.
1- Search – Search engines didn’t even exist 15 years ago, now they are just a part of the way that we operate every single day. It’s easier than ever to find information about products, services, companies, people, places or whatever it is that you’re looking for. Search engines now are accessible from multiple devices. We can access search from our computers, iPads or tablets and, of course, from our smartphones now when we’re walking or driving around. So, information really has become incredibly accessible and the search engines have become the predominant way that people now find information about those products and business. It’s no longer the yellow pages it’s search engines. In fact, 92% of consumers have more confidence in the information found online than they do in anything from a sales clerk or other source. In other words, what this is saying is not only are we finding our information online, but we actually trust it more than the information we get directly from businesses and that makes sense. When information is coming from a business directly we feel like they’re selling us or advertising to us, so we have more faith in the information that we find with search engines than we do from information directly from businesses. More on small business search marketing.
2- Social- is the second major factor and if search engines have grown fast, well then social media sites are just absolutely on fire. It’s unbelievable the growth in social. Connecting and sharing with others, sharing our opinions with others, has never been so easy and those opinions are highly visible. People spend a lot of time in the search engines each day, so what’s being shared with them is very, very visible and now very much a part of people’s everyday lives. Because of that the search engines are also paying attention, so Google, Bing, the MSN search engine and Yahoo are all trying to find ways to capture the information that’s being created and shared within the social media sites to make sure that it’s also being incorporated in the data you get from the search engines. The important thing you need to know about this is that it’s easier than ever for people to create and share information about how they feel about your business, products and services. The content about your business that’s out there on the Web is largely not being created by you anymore. It’s the consumers that are the publishers of that information and that’s a major, major impact on how we do business. More on social small business marketing.
In fact, look at this statistic. Seventy percent of consumers consult reviews or ratings online before purchasing. That comes from a document called Zero Moment of Truth that was published by Google in 2011. So, social is having a huge impact on how people make buying decisions.
3- Mobile- The third major factor is mobile and this may be the biggest game changer of all. Why is that? Well, it was one thing when we had access to all of this great information on our computers, but the reality is that most people are not sitting at their computers 24 hours a day. They’re up and about, traveling around town, going to meetings or whatever it is they’re doing, shopping. Now they have access to all of this information in the palm of their hands no matter where they’re at and they’re using it. Mobile search gives that immediate gratification people are looking for, so if you’re not present on mobile and if you don’t understand how mobile is changing people’s buying behavior, your competitors will eat your lunch.
In fact, look at the statistics. Mobile searches have quadrupled in the last year according to Google. One in seven searches are now mobile. So, you add all of this up and it’s easier than ever for consumer to quickly research and compare various products and services. Trip Advisor has become incredibly powerful in the hospitality industry because of all of the reviews and feedback that are posted on its site about the various hotels, restaurants and places to visit around the world that are out there. I know for me, personally, when we travel and plan a vacation Trip Advisor is the place I spend a lot of time doing my research and it really, really has an impact on the decisions I make about the places I want to stay. So, the hospitality industry has been dramatically impacted by Trip Advisor and some similar sites, but it’s not just the hospitality industry it’s all industries.
More on small business mobile marketing.
The companies that get it, the companies that understand this and know how to optimize the way they work with these three factors are crushing the companies that don’t.
So, the big question for you is how do you strategically work with these three big drivers of change to make sure you come out on top in your industry?
It means that now more than ever you need to have a marketing plan that works.
When I talk to small business they say man, there’s so much going on. There’s so much technology out there. There’s so much change happening so fast. It’s not like I have the time to sit around and study this stuff and work on this stuff all day every day. How do I keep up? How do I make decisions about what I should be doing at my business?
We will address those issues in my next posting. Click small business to learn more about this subject.