Entrepreneurs are a unique breed. I know. I am one of them.
It use to be a word that was used to describe the unruly small business owner who spruiked their new businesses from the rooftops. Kind of uncool.
Now, its a word associated with billionaires, A-type personalities, game-changers and fairly much anyone who is "having a go" at business. This is cool - the innovative kind.
When lambasted with questions on what 2014 will look like for small business marketing through social media, I, an entrepreneur who does wear Prada, am as excited as ever. What really is in store for small businesses and how can they capitalize on new, innovative and customer-centric marketing techniques aimed at giving small businesses (and large if I am to honest) a greater insight to customer interaction and push-buying techniques.
Here is the 2014 Outlook for Small Business Marketing
It's Christmas time and without realising it, I have almost run out of time to buy gifts for my loved ones.
One of my team members in Sydney said that they had bought some things from Little Sale Birdy, a website designed to find all the sales for brand items online and provide one single marketplace where you get the best deal possible. After visiting the site, I was mesmerized by the quality options that the website has and quickly purchased a pair of shoes.
I then went off and started searching for different brand items for my nieces and nephews and was surprised that other sites had the same items at a much higher price. I like Little Sale Birdy because it stops me from wasting time looking up different websites to find the same thing, just at different prices. Instead, they give me access to all the sales online at once - saving time and money.
The name Little Sale Birdy is kind of cute. It's less corporate and feels a bit cheeky and more personal than the other brands online.
With many shoppers experiencing "checkout anxiety" with more than $1.79 trillion dollars worth of goods abandoned by shoppers online this year, its reassuring to know that if you go to Little Sale Birdy you will always get the best price because they actually bring together all the sale sites, providing the customer with full access to all sales in one market place without the worry that you may be ripped off or you have to fill in your details more than once.
Inundated with calls from friends, its refreshing to know that through my experience with business expansion, others are able to rethink their business strategies and look at their own business potential.
The US market for my business is 27 times bigger than Australia and as such, a lucrative opportunity exist for businesses like mine that have a strong product or service to capitalise on the market opportunity.
Marketing Eye provides a bespoke business solution for companies that do not have in-house marketing capabilities providing small to medium sized businesses with a complete outsourced marketing department for just $2,000 per month. This includes an experienced marketing manager backed by a team of graphic design, branding, public relations, web and online specialists, all under one brand - no freelancers or outsourcing.
They are not just revamping what exists already, but revolutionizing the way in which technology is used and powered to bring change. There isn't a developer here that hasn't caught on to something big, but perhaps, for some it won't happen because they are bringing the wrong product out at the wrong time, or they simply do not know how to market it.
December is upon us and in the marketing world, its a big month for writing marketing strategies for 2014. As we conduct one workshop after another, it amazes me at how out-of-touch people really are through no fault of their own.
At Marketing Eye, we work tirelessly on keeping our top marketers up-to-date with the latest in marketing, yet they still stay behind because there is always someone out there bringing out a new solution or new way in which to market, that may catch on and be the next big thing.
Marketing automation has been around for a few years, but it is not done and dusted. Instead, marketing automation is evolving and transforming the way in which we conduct marketing and process our prospects and clients into a more advanced customer relationship program. What is missing though is the biggest influencer in marketing today - and that's social media.
The way your business wins in the future is very different than the way it has won in the past
Just when we think we have got it 'sorted out' something else comes along and again, small businesses fall behind the eight ball.
If I look back on the past 20 years or so, business has changed dramatically.
- Globalization is changing the way we work, play and learn
- Technology affects every element of our lives and being
- Employees have become the single most important part of any business
- A person can no longer just blunder into business and expect to survive
- Old business models and paradigms have changed and will continue to do so
- Connecting with customers doesn't come just by word of mouth, a strong sales team or advertising in the local newspaper
- People have changed.
A week of discovery in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Argentina, has led to a new discovery of my own: that the world is full of surprises.
Caught up in the hustle and bustle of a city that boasts more than 14 million people, Buenos Aires is the hub for the world’s best polo players, Malbec wine, salsa dancers and beef.
You cannot live by normal rules if you travel to Buenos Aires, because the city simply won’t let you.
From the availability of buying the Argentine peso at a rate that is not less than half of what you would get buying it on the street, to the ability to eat at a reasonable hour – Buenos Aires asks you to take a risk, and that’s what the 400 entrepreneurs who graced an EO conference at Alvear Palace do every single day.
Before writing this, I thought long and hard. My first concern was the relevance of this to my journey that I share on this blog. The second is because you either love Angelina Jolie or you hate her. No one seems to be indifferent.
I don’t write about celebrity for the simple reason that I don’t think any celebrity, sports star, politician or business person is better than the person sitting next to them – they simply have chosen different jobs. I have never been in awe of anyone in particular, although there are quite a few people I respect immensely – but those people, I know well.
I never have my photograph taken with a person considered a “celebrity” at a party, event, dinner party or social gathering - I simply don’t see the point. I possibly will never see them again, so why would I want a reminder of someone I don’t know? Is it so I can show my children (if I ever have any) or friends that really matter, that I stood next to a celebrity for a photo?
So, to call one a role model feels kind of weird – but in this particular case it is justified – for me at least.
Angelina Jolie has it all. She was born into a pedigree Hollywood family, growing up in Hollywood with wealth and influence. She attended her first Oscars as her father’s date when she was just 13 – her first real taste of light bulbs flashing and photographers yelling “look here”, “look at me”, “Angelina”. It must have been daunting, but today, I am sure it is like water of a ducks back.
She started modeling and acting quite young starring alongside her father in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982), but it wasn’t until her first major film role in Hackers and television films George Wallace and Gia (both award winning roles for Jolie) that she started to become known.
By her Oscar winning performance in Girl, Interrupted in 1999, she had the public mesmerized. This film was followed by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life, Mr and Mrs Smith, Wanted, Salt, The Tourist, A Mighty Heart, Changeling and her directorial debut in In the Land of Blood and Honey.
Your bounce rate may come second in your book to other metrics such as number of visits or page views on your website, but it is something that many small businesses can leverage if they put it to the forefront.
After checking the Marketing Eye google analytics account yesterday, as I do every day, I paid special attention to how the website bounce rate was going. I had just been to a number of my client's google analytics accounts and noticed that theirs ranged from 35 percent to 80 percent - depending on whether they allow Marketing Eye to do their SEO and invest in creating content to drive connections.
For those who are uncertain what a bounce rate is, it simply is a record of the "bounce" that occurs when a visitor goes to your website, reads a page or looks at a page, then leaves your website. A "bounce rate" is the percentage of total visitors that come to your website that then bounce off of it.
Theoretically, the lower your website's bounce rate, the better your conversion rate, or at least the higher the potential conversions, because more of the people who visit your website like what they see, and click around on your content.
According to Weidert Group, 'a good bounce rate would be anything under 50-60 percent. A large factor influencing bounce rate is what kind of page you're looking at and what the content is on that page. If a page links to other pages, say, products you make or services , then a bounce rate of above 60 percent wouldn't be out of the norm.'
Last night I had the opportunity to attend an event at JWT Atlanta, the best experiential marketing company in Atlanta and one of the most experienced and creative agencies in all of the US.
They put together events every other month, bringing together people from the marketing and advertising industry.
I really enjoy going to their events as they have quality speakers and as a company, JWT Atlanta is as inspiring as any of the people that they have present. Their office space is uber creative and their people, so much fun, that even I want to go and work there.
Yesterday's speaker was Kevin Carroll, the founder of Katalyst. To say that he is inspirational, passionate and above all, a game-changer is an understatement.
Humbled by an employee discussion in our US office, I was pleasantly surprised that given the hypothetical situation of winning the lotto, all employees said that after a brief holiday, they would want to come back to work at Marketing Eye.
As an international business owner, I have come to the realisation that my company culture is different in each country in which we have offices. The engagement level on a day-to-day basis in our Atlanta office is very high – not to say, other offices are not the same. Company culture is everything and there are many reasons why it has a direct impact on bottom line.
There are a number of lessons learnt from having a start-up in Atlanta that is inherently different from other offices we have.
The first being that all employees have chosen each other
Usually, a senior manager or myself makes the ultimate choice on who is going to join the team and in what capacity. Instead, in Atlanta, I have been over-ruled twice, and both times, I had to put my hand up and say that my choice would have been wrong for the team.