Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, you are right.”
The start of the new year provides every business leader with the opportunity to focus on achieving greater business success than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted businesses, but after two years of a changing business environment, we are now seeing organizations succeed where there was once a terrifying potential for failure.
This new year presents many ways for managers and organizations to succeed in unexpected ways. As a strategic communications and brand marketing consultant, I am constantly tasked with helping clients uncover their best path forward to success with clients. Now is the time to plan and test ways to sell more, engage more, and become more relevant to stakeholders than ever before.
The business outlook for this year is good. Yes, the economic environment is complex. Was it not complicated before? I encourage all companies to think of the many ways in which, as Henry Ford said, they “believe you can.” Take advantage of communications and marketing trends and opportunities to be more relevant and successful.
• Balancing digital and analog approaches to marketing. By this I mean, consider the ways that digital and analog marketing relate to your strategy. You can use email to invite customers to shop more, but do you also send them a well-designed and well-written postcard, letter, or catalog?
• You are an expert in your field. Let the media know your expertise. Connect with local or national journalists and entice them to focus on a story that interests you and content you know best. Others will benefit from your insight. Your business will benefit from high-quality exposure.
• Consider your customer’s experience with your product or service. Are they pleased with their interactions with your work? If they are not happy, there is a strong marketing opportunity to improve the experience.
• Put people first. It is easy to use many digital marketing tactics, but you must remember that there is no substitute for a great human experience. Offer your customers opportunities to connect with your business in ways that aren’t entirely digital.
• Consider the value of local marketing. If your business is local, be sure to consider neighborhoods, towns, or communities with common interests that will be most interested in your offer. Come up with ideas about how you can reach these groups and deepen your sense of connection with them.
• Remember that successful marketing now includes many touch points. Consider a role focused on direct mail, social media strategy, email campaigns, print marketing collateral, advertising, and comprehensive customer service as you work to satisfy demanding consumers.
• What would you say at a cocktail party about your products or services? The stories you share are perfect content seedlings for the marketing messages you have to offer right now. Storytelling, in the form of light conversation, offers a practical source of what you can say to promote your business.
An accomplished business manager knows that adopting a testing mindset that focuses on marketing efforts will reveal previously unknown paths to customer success and increased revenue.
In 2022, I encourage business leaders to continue with the marketing approaches that have worked in the past. Add to your existing efforts some new techniques and reap the benefits. Your customers and clients will thank you for this.
• Rebecca Hoffman is the founder and director of Good Egg Concepts, a strategic communications and brand marketing consultancy based in Glencoe that serves clients throughout Chicagoland and nationally.