As marketers, entrepreneurs and business leaders it is important to know who your competitors are!
There is no better place to start than by analysing the factors that contributed to the success of the world's biggest brand, Apple Inc.
So, what strategies did Apple use to build their brand and stock so high and what lessons can we learn from them?
I am continually amazed by the number of professional services, technology, manufacturing and logistics companies that fail to see the value in communicating via social media.
The question I pose to you is "how did you find this blog?" and "how do you now know the Marketing Eye brand?"
I know the answer - do you?
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
There is not a small business on the planet that hasn't heard of Twitter, yet many are still failing to execute a social media strategy that cleverly integrates Twitter as a social media platform designed to connect and communicate key messages.
Co-founder Jack Dorsey, a 36 year old tech titan, and now CEO of small business payment technology, Square, has built his billions on knowing what small businesses want and need. Square is the fastest growing small business payments technology in the world today, and through his small business meetings in Town Halls throughout the US, Canada and Japan, #letstalk, he is educating small business owners to talk and support each other, rather than work alone.
If one of my "normal" friends were sitting there, in that room, they would be terrified. They would have ran out as fast as they can, without looking back. Everyone was talking, almost all at once. They all had their ipads, iphones and pens and paper ready to hear - you are not going to be believe this - JACK DALY. Not that you wouldn't believe that someone would go and see Jack Daly, but because most of the people in the room had seen him speak on sales, not once, not twice, not even three times - but more than 5 or 6 times - BECAUSE he is that good and everyone in that room knows that to build their businesses, they need good management, strong marketing, and SALES. And, when it comes to SALES there is no-one more qualified or better at giving small businesses insight, than Jack Daly.
With all of this positive talk - anything can happen!
They say using positive affirmations to manifest change in your life works. Well, gosh I hope so!
It's Saturday and I am stuck in a hotel room in Atlanta working away on my computer. It's quite nice outside and certainly not what you would expect from Atlanta this time of year. It's warm, kind of TShirt type of day and the sun is trying really hard to stay out.
Getting through my first four days in Atlanta has been a breeze from a professional point of view. Yesterday I wrote on Marketing Eye's Atlanta blog how I had 13 strong leads by midday on Friday having only started on Tuesday. There has been no marketing, but we do have a decent website that delivers us with leads day-in day-out.
By the end of Friday, we had contracts signed and 14 strong leads. People are really ready to get started this year and make a difference to their business outcomes. With marketing changing so dramatically over the past few years, it is more prevelant than ever that small businesses need to outsource their marketing rather than try to do it all themselves. The skills required to be a modern marketing manager is now so diverse that you would need to be bordering on genius to be able to do everything - and as we know, marketers are not known for being rocket scientists.
Key to success this year is relationship management and connecting content with customers on multiple levels. Creativity is also key and if all of your competitors are walking one way, make sure you walk in the opposite direction.
For businesses focused on B2B marketing, don't be fooled that sales automation is just another buzz word. It's the smartest solution ever invented in sales and businesses that blink and miss it, will no doubt be on the bottom of the heap when it comes to competing against smarter more aware competitors.
Mobile is another area that businesses need to step up with and if you cannot read your website on a mobile phone, then you had better fix it immediately. As fast as they click on, they click off.
It's Saturday and time to sign out - but hope we have given you some things to consider.
Yesterday, I put in a phone call to Bond Street 180 business turnaround guru Daryl Wright and asked what he considered to be the most important things for small business owners to consider ahead of 2013. Here is what he had to say.