I know that in the first couple of years of business, other than some hands on training from moi, my team received little if any outside training to develop their skills and capabilities as marketing consultants.
They were expected (sadly, this was the case) to research and find their own path to developing their careers as marketing consultants and were expected to use market research and the Internet as resources to learn about small businesses and the challenges they go through on a day to day basis.
It's a problem that many small business owners face time and time again. I am no different.
My view yesterday was pretty fantastic if you ask me. I was sitting on the couch overlooking one of Australia's most breathtaking views of Palm Beach pondering Marketing Eye's 2012 overarching marketing strategy.
Others might think that if you were sitting looking at the view (as in the picture) you might not be thinking about marketing, and more about how stunningly beautiful the view is, but when you are a small business owner and your business is 'your life', it makes perfect sense to take the opportunity to not only absorb your surroundings, but also, think clearly about your small business.
We are about to hit February - already! Time is flying and there is no time like the present to make sure your small business is in order. The cricket is mid-way. The tennis is over. Australia Day has been and gone. Everyone is back in the office. Now, there are no excuses to not have your small business marketing program in order.
If you have not already done it - have a 'think tank' or 'marketing workshop' with your team and key stakeholders. Speak to your suppliers and ask them how they would improve your business in today's everchanging market.
Put a marketing strategy in place and get buy-in from your entire team. Video yourself talking about the company vision for everyone to see. Set up an intranet that has 'everything that is marketing' on it from what your brand stands for, your company culture, 2012 marketing activities, press releases and media stories and lead generation campaigns. Be more transparent and engage all your team on a level that they have not experienced before.
Change your view and I am sure your team and clients will change theirs too! It's business critical to your success in 2012.
I am ever the optimist and refuse to be told that something I have engaged in is doomed before it has even began, so like most things, I give it 100 percent and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, this would be wishful thinking.
QR Codes are here to stay and in 2012 small businesses will find everything from advertisements through to resumes featuring QR Codes alongside brand names sending consumers and customers to websites, video, advertisements, catalogues, contact information, product suggestions and so on.
Only limited by your imagination or that of your creative departments, it is imperative that marketers don't fall prey to this form of marketing without carefully considering their target audience.
It disturbs me how many people trawl through facebook and request 'friendships' with people they have never met or have met for 20 minutes in a bar (and are married or in a relationship). Is Facebook a platform for people to become sleeze bags and try and pick up women/men or is it a platform for friendship. Sure, some people don't have a life and spend every waking hour checking if someone has made a comment on their facebook pages in hope that it will make them feel better than they did the minute before.
According to Psychologytoday.com, so many people spend time on facebook because;
1. They are bored at work
2. They are unhappy with their lovelife
3. There are a narcissist (and/or voyeur)
4. They desire to 'get along' with people
5. Their motive is to 'get ahead'
I think facebook has a place and it is to keep in touch with friends and relatives and to touch base with that person who was your best friend in year 7, but a friend is not someone who you don't invite to your house for dinner or pick up the phone to. A friend is someone you really know, not someone that is a distant acquaintance.
In business there certainly is a place for facebook particularly for consumer based marketing where facebook is fantastic or even for events - but that is NOT on your personal facebook account. It is on a business facebook page that clearly communicates what the objective is for the use of this platform.
More than 100 million users access facebook through their cell phones and those who do, access it double the amount of times as someone who accesses it through a computer. There is a real addiction going on to facebook and without doubt there is and always will be social repercussions.
I personally prefer someone to pick up the phone and call me rather than facebook me a message and face-to-face beats everything hands down for those who I care about.
It's what girls do. There is no holds bar on any topic when you are sitting in a restaurant or in this case, an authentic Japanese hole in the wall in Atlanta with delicious food.
With so much happening in both of our lives, we had lots to talk about and 5 hours later, after saying goodbye, I still don't think we were done.
She is a stunning woman, inside and out. A former model and television presenter, she is married to a charismatic, interesting and equally good looking husband. They are very in love and are embarking on the next stage in their lives.
Throughout the day, she constantly referred to her husband and whenever making a purchase or doing pretty much anything - her husband and his likes and dislikes were never far from her mind. It kept a smile on her face all day and after 8 years together, I have to say, that's fantastic.
Most of us have been in love at one stage in our lives and the feeling of putting someone else first is quite special. I love it when you think about that person, your children or animal as it may be, and instantly a smile is firmly planted on your face. It's instant gratification and always puts your whole body at ease immediately. I love this feeling and completely understand why so many of us look to find someone in our lives (or something) to love.
In business, if you love what you do and love your brand... the same goes. When you think about what your brand does for others and it puts a smile on your face - it's a remarkable feeling. Putting your business first and its health and wellbeing is all part of the parcel of being in LOVE with your business.
When you talk about your business, just like when you talk about a person that you love - if a smile immediately overcomes your state, then it must be love. Try it. See if it works!
If you think that as a small business owner that only you are going through tough times, employees leaving, cash flow issues, stress and sleepless nights - you are fooling yourself.
While you may be going through these things, so too are millions of other small businesses around the globe.
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