Recent employments figures from the Department of Labor indicate that jobs had a surge of growth from the private-sector in January, 2017 vs. December, 2016.
By all appearances–it seems that wages would follow in a tight job market. But that hasn’t happened.
At the same time, we’re seeing more folks starting new gigs or side businesses. Recent articles in Inc. and Bloomberg have indicated freelancing and outsourcing are becoming more common with multiple jobs becoming a the norm, particularly for Millennials.
With this increase in small business or micro business owners–Podcast #5 provides some insight into the realities of marketing a business–and why On Demand Advertising Solutions came up with a sure-fire three-point strategy to produce measurable results, real fast!
You can listen to all of our podcasts here!
Enjoy the video podcast!
The Blunt Truth About Marketing
Host: John D. Verlin
Welcome back to another podcast from On Demand Advertising Solutions—Digital Marketing Update, podcast number 5.John Verlin here—and it’s good to have you back.
I kind of had a disturbing article I read in Inc. magazine by Kevin Riley. I say it’s disturbing because it’s talking about artificial intelligence replacing jobs.
We’ve been hearing about this. I talked a little bit about this last week—the Millennial shift. How a lot of these things are shifting now with new technologies.
He refers to a Japanese insurance company that replaced thirty-four claims adjusters with an IBM Watson type of artificial intelligence to do the random tasks of claims adjusting.
And for their customers—quick payments and resolutions to the claims for customer service. And the question is—is this going to be something good for the end result for the customer.
The article focused on this. It talked about those types of jobs where there’s random interaction with customers on a surface level which you can replace those things. Which is disturbing because people can get laid off.
Like in banking where they have ATM’s that start replacing tellers. Like the new ITM inter-teller video conference where a customer goes through a drive through and talks to a teller at another branch. It’s a machine doing things—even though there’s a live teller at the other branch.
So, these are things that we’re facing. You may or may not have lost a job—but your hours have been cut back…maybe you’re looking for other ways to make income since you’re not making as much.
The end result is—you started a business. Or you’re attempting to start a small business, like house cleaning or maybe you’re cutting hair out of your home…whatever that is—this is kind of where we may be headed.
Today I wanted to talk about, if that sounds like you—and you’re starting up a new business. Or you have a small business and you’re kind of between a rock and a hard place between traditional media you’ve used and the new digital media and it’s so confusing, etc. And you’re hearing about all these new things and not sure what to do and what to invest in.
Well, I want to kind of give you my take on a lot of this just so you can have some take-aways.
Most of the small businesses I have worked with over the years were trying to find a mix of media to use. A mix that would be cost-effective and and also produce results.
And of course, you had radio, magazine, TV, cable, print…new digital platforms were just starting. And many of them would ask me to assist—what is the best mix, what kind of creative to use, things of that nature.
Here’s some take-aways I want to give you with not only traditional media but the new digital media. Some are common sense and some you need to know about.
Before you splurge in spending marketing money—obviously the best thing to do is marketing research for your product or service. I know that can be hard. Maybe you’ve had people in the past that you’ve done things for. Maybe you’ve cut their hair and they’re willing to pay you.
You can use gut instinct…you can do survey’s…things of this nature. I personally queried people I met at social media functions—as to what needs there might be with someone like a background like I had as well as digital media…
And I kind of got response based on in-direct questions I asked them. What kind of needs they had in marketing. And these are typically people over 35 that maybe had a website—but didn’t use social media or they didn’t know how. That kind of gave me an open as to what I can do tp dovetail into helping small businesses with their marketing and social media.
You can do a type of test once you determine what type of marketing you’re going to do—whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, traditional media—whatever.
Give it a three-month test. You kind of tip-toe in before you spend a lot of money.
Obviously these things have track ability. You can use analytics to see what kind of results you’re getting. Again, kind of determine what results you’ll need. Don’t be misled by the thousands of downloads you see people get that you read about online. As far as success other people have had.
Determine your own success—as far as what you need to be successful. Maybe it’s just going to a trade show twice a year with a booth. And you’ll create some buzz and people talk about you, your brand and your product or service. And you’ll get enough sales to justify doing it.
Remember, marketing is a combination of testing, luck, art, science. Being at the right place at the right time. I do know that getting referrals and that’s the best way to do it, testimonials—things like that.
Like I say, doing this with an objective and getting the results when it comes to a point is really important because—a lot of small businesses particularly if you’ve been squeezed out of a job are running by the seat of their pants—and they don’t really think about this. But this is important to kind of judge this.
This really should be a part of a business plan. How many results do you need to be profitable? How many sales do you need?
A lot of people are starting micro businesses. They may only need three clients per month. In addition—and I mentioned this earlier—consider networking at a local chamber of commerce. I do that. Think about—I have a logo on a shirt. I wear it as a part of my “uniform” so to speak. It engages people asking me about my business because they see the logo on my shirt when I’m at chamber coffees—and things like that.
I can give them my business card that has the pain bullets on it—key benefits of what small businesses are looking for. And that engages a conversation. Maybe you have a mini-brochure you hand out.
Maybe you join a Rotary club, a sales business club. Keep the messaging consistent on all of these different items and platforms. Because if the get your business card and go to your website—and they see it looks good—this forms the perception that I’ve been talking about in another podcast—which is really important because that’s what this is all about.
Getting that impact and image for the prospect that you need.
And then of course their public relations. Send a quarterly press release out to the local media. Post it on your blog—link it and send it out. Maybe it’s a new customer you got or a new invention you made, etc. Media is always looking for new stories. Take advantage of that because that is more content for your blog.
You can also email it to your customers, the media and you might get it picked up in a story somewhere. Or at least a mention somewhere. Any of this exposure—and it’s free. And that’s why a lot of personalities say outrageous things because they know they’re going to get extended exposure.
Like Kim Kardashian is now coming out to a social media event and she gets all of these people mentioning her on different platforms and things like that.
So you’re regurgitating messaging for the media to get exposure. And for any marketing to succeed-you need a strategy. We have a three part strategy customer feedback, message development and message implementation that we like to do for our clients. It’s on our website .
We like to be able to put together a program for you that makes sense and is cost-effective.
We’ll see you next week and talk more about digital content marketing.