Dec 06, 2013 Written by 

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

2014 Outlook For Small Business Marketing

1.  Online: If you have ignored your website up until now, than you may find yourself in dire straits. Every person is shopping online in one way or another. B2B buying decisions are always reinforced by online engagement outside of word-of-mouth marketing. If you have failed to change your SEO strategy with Google algorithm changes, then you may find that sneaky, small competitor take your prospect from right under your nose, without you even realising it. Content Marketing will continue to drive B2B marketing efforts as singularly the most important and instrumental digital marketing trend for 2014.

2.  Social: Get social and start connecting with your clients, prospects, influencers, media and fairly much anyone that may be key to getting your brand out there and connecting you with your future clients. To the forefront, as you can expect is Google +. I want to ignore it, but I know if you type in a search phrase in Google + that relates to Marketing Eye or myself, that it is highly likely that this account, which is grossly neglected will come up in the first few searches - much to my embarrassment. But that, my friend, is the power Google now has over us mere mortals, trying to make a dollar. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest also will play a major role in 2014 and with new features and ways for greater connectivity, marketers and small business owners will find that they are able to better utilize their time and know what works and what does not. 

3.  Mobile: Companies are still slow to get mobile and this is going to make or break many businesses in 2014. According to Forbes, 87% of sales will be completed on connected devices through tablets and smartphones. Every small businesses needs a responsive web design that talks to the mobile market.

4.  Marketing automation: Multi-level marketing campaigns that deliver the best possible customer experiences and highest return on investment is the main goal for marketers in 2014. Improving targeting, engagement, conversions and analysis by capturing customers digital body language - is just part of the parcel as to why marketing automation is so critical to sales and business performance. It's no secret that marketing automation has experienced the fastest growth of any CRM related segment in the past 5 years. The only issue with marketing automation software solutions is costs and how they integrate into CRM systems. Small businesses are still finding their feet with mobile CRM solutions so to move to a more advanced platform is costly and may fall into the "too hard basket". My suggestion is that a person champions this in each organisation or it is outsourced to an outfit like Marketing Eye to manage from end-to-end.

5.  Innovative, creative, outside the box: More creativity is needed in marketing campaigns and the use of less cookie cutter approach-style campaigns. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and if everyone in your industry is going one way, go the other - fast.

If you are a small business and you take onboard these areas of marketing in 2014, you will find your business moves forward, purposefully and with greater engagement all round.

 

 

Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

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