Many businesses are not certain which path to take in our new digital world. They have grown their business in a traditional world of newspaper ads, radio spots and yellow pages and new online marketing has thrown them off course.
Worse yet, some businesses are mentally unaffected by the changes. They either believe this new "online world" won't have any impact on their business or they don't have a clue that it even exists. Either way…they're in big trouble.
Consumers are making a massive shift, whether you like it or not. This isn't some small change…it's larger than anything we have seen in business before. So large, that many will be put out of business, if they don't keep up.
You see, the consumer now has the ability to pick and choose products and services.
- Information: They can search for information about a product or service with a clink of the mouse, whether you're open or not
- Reviews: The consumer can learn about the experiences of others who have used you before. They can compare you to your competition
- Relationships: Consumers can learn about you and develop relationships with your business in different ways now.
I believe that these changes benefit both consumers and the business. It makes the business say to themselves, "Am I giving my customers everything that they want?" It makes the business owner take another look at what's good and what's bad about his business.
Those business owners that understand their customer, and make the changes that the customers want will have a growing and successful business. But, those that fail to understand the importance of it will watch their business die a death by one thousand cuts. Failure won't happen over night, but it will happen.
So, what should you do now?
Well, here are a few suggestions for you that can help your business to turn itself around.
1. Listen to your customers. If you continue to hear chatter about something, make the change. If they are unhappy about wait times…fix it. If they want more information about products…make it more available. Whatever they are asking for, give it to them. Provide them with value.
2. Move your business into the digital world. Even if you don't know a thing about online marketing, mobile websites or "the Google", it doesn't matter. Hire someone that does. This can make a huge difference in your sales.
3. Don't be afraid to learn and change. The world is changing quickly (like it or not). You can bury your head in the sand and wish it would all go away, but good luck on that. Instead, accept that your customers want to watch videos, that they want to stay connected to you in different ways and that they are eager to tell their friends about you…when you do good.
It's time that you, as a business, step up to the plate and swing the bat. You need to move forward with a strategic marketing plan, including those scary things like mobile marketing, video testimonials and automated lead generation and follow up. Do it and you give yourself a shot to hit a home run.