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If You Can't Keep Up Now, Where Will Your Digital Marketing Be In Five Years?
Each morning as I start my day, I am compelled to grab a bullhorn and become a digital marketing soothsayer. Like the guy with the crazy look in his eyes, wearing the sandwich board that says "The End Is Near". It is a feeling I don't want to embrace. What can I tell you that hasn't already been said about being prepared for the changes taking place? Automation, predictive and location based marketing, powerful analytics, AR (augmented reality) AI (artificial intelligence), and voice search are here. Legacy Businesses: Your static, not mobile friendly, 2010 website with no social media integration is now obsolete. There are no easy answers, but clearly, strategy and action by business owners and stakeholders is needed now.
Why Take My Word For It?
As a Marketing Professional who embraces digital strategy and technology, I continue to learn new things every day. The Internet is kind of in my blood. You see, back in the late 90's, I was elbow to elbow with ISP Network Engineers building the Internet. We were one of the first businesses to use IoT technology (a.k.a. the Internet of Things - today's buzzword for devices that stream live data back that is collected and measured). Our Network ran POTS lines (Plain Old Telephone Service) to modems, connected to equipment that was self-diagnostic. We knew before our customers knew of service quality issues and events of outages. We were the future and it felt amazing to be part of it.
So do I know how digital internet technology and websites and the Cloud work? You bet I do. But then you didn't go to "build the Internet" school with me, so I know you need a great coach. It's my responsibility as your trusted business advisor to be sure I give you the very best quality information with which to base your digital marketing and spending decisions on.
Entrepreneurs Get Business to "Destination Profit" Sooner With a Great Map
You: "Are we there yet?" Me: "No." You: "Now?" Me: "No." You: "When will we be there?"
These are not questions you want to be asking from the back seat of your vehicle to no one in the driver's seat. You don't need me to tell you what that's gonna look like. You want to be in the driver's seat completely aware of where you are going, how long it will take to get there and how much gas you'll need for the journey.
But, you'll know all of these things because:
- You'll have both hands on the steering wheel
- You'll have a kick-ass map
- Your wallet has lots of gas money
- You have roadside assistance at the push of a button
- I'm in the front passenger seat with my eyes on the road along with you
As I interview prospective clients with new businesses I find very few that will be successful. How can I tell anyone that? It's more along the lines of "You're not ready", "You don't have a viable plan", "You don't have a budget". I stop myself from saying what I'm really thinking and that is, "You haven't done your homework", "You have no strategy", "You're product or service is not marketable as-is", "What they hell are you thinking?"
I ask a lot of questions. I have to. I have learned a lot about entrepreneurs.
Business Plan and Digital Marketing Strategy Go Hand In Hand
If you haven't created a business plan, stop the madness now and create one. It's not as hard as you may expect and the rewards are great. As a professional invested in your business, I want to see where you're going. So will anyone who invests time and money to your company and your brand.
Founders Love Interns For All the Wrong Reasons
I run into start-up founders all the time who tout their use of marketing interns. Interns can be a great asset to supporting day in and day out activities that don't require a lot of critical thinking, planning and forecasting. And for god's sakes, pay them. What this really says to me is that you are using free or inexpensive underdeveloped marketing help to drive your marketing vehicle. It's wise to keep spending in check, but it's pretty much transparent to others when you don't have a budget.
Turn Collateral Damage Into Collateral Beauty
There is collateral damage out there for the "fly by the seat of your pants" entrepreneurs. Few (very few) companies that started business in the garage or on the living room coffee table, stay in business. I have a portfolio of clients who sadly, have shuttered their doors. Is that because they had bad marketing? No. They didn't plan, they didn't change when technology changed and they didn't have operating money when they came to me. I had to learn the hard way to make sure I get paid first in this business. I want more than anything to help new businesses thrive, but not being paid sucks. I now do my homework on prospective clients and I expect you to do yours. My New Client Interview and Social Media Footprint Survey was developed to ask all the questions you need to be asking and answering before you start marketing your business. It's an eye-opener for many of my prospects.
It's Not Over
This year isn't over and it's not too soon to plan for the coming year. Everyone loves a fresh start. If nothing else, have a conversation with me. I don't want any self-fulfilling prophecies, so bring your business plan and know realistically what you can spend to have professional help with your marketing - for a year. If you're starting fresh with zero followers on your media channels, a year is what you'll need to get things humming. You'll be glad that we go through this tough love stuff up front. There won't be any surprises from me. That's a promise.
Schedule a free Needs Analysis Interview and get your strategy started. Be prepared to win!
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