On Demand Advertising Solutions Blog: Seven Ways Your Business Can Change & Thrive Against The Competition, Podcast #34

When it comes to marketing your business, business is constantly changing. More so, in times of uncertainty–change is inevitable.

What can a business do to stay ahead of the game and grow?

Today, Podcast #34 discusses seven ways your business can overcome change and thrive against the competition.

The time is now to begin to prepare as the competition will waste no time.

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It’s all a part of our three-part strategy to drive SEO and web traffic and make your business exceed the profile and exposure of your competitors with an extended marketing platform–the perfect compliment to a Google Adwords campaign!

You may learn more about us and schedule a free appointment.

You may listen to all of our exclusive audio podcasts here.

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Now, enjoy the video podcast!

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Marketing Your Business; 6 Ways To Market Your Business Outside Of The Box, Podcast #34!

Host: John D. Verlin

Transcript:

Good afternoon. John Verlin once again with On Demand Advertising Solutions, podcast #34.

I want to start off today by talking to you briefly about a gentleman I talked to last week, who owns a business in the town I live in.

He said, “you know, John, we’ve been talking a little bit about what you do for your business, what you have to offer—and I’m interested”.

He said, “really, what you’re doing is complimentary to what I’m doing with Google Adwords.

“It reinforces what I’m trying to accomplish in search engine optimization, getting my name on lists, everything.”

And I said, “well, that’s a good point. Everything should be complimentary. Whatever you’re doing, radio, tv, print, email blasts, direct mail”. Whatever it is.

Particularly when it comes to content and your expertise—promoting that content and expertise. All of that should compliment one another, because that’s your marketing platform.

That’s the impressions that are formed when people visit your website or see you online. And when they bring up an ad in search in Google Adwords and get to your website. They’re going to see the different links, the different posts you’ve made on your blog.

The video’s, everything, all of that is going to agree with it and yes compliment the money you’re spending on Google.

Because now you have something to show them. It shows your value, shows your expertise. And shows how you’re in touch. And this all leads into what I want to talk about today.

A great post written by Martin Zwilling in Inc. Magazine at the end of September. Seven Ways Company’s Of Any Size Can Achieve Growth In Today’s Turbulent Market.

This could have been written twenty years ago—I mean when isn’t there a turbulent market?

He talks about some really great ideas that we have been talking about in these podcasts.

It goes right in line with what I’ve been trying to share with you about why these various elements about content and promotion are so important.

He’s basically saying that every opportunity today is global, and so is the competition.

How customer expectations are evolving and technology is changing, which is normal.

That has been the case, but it’s forcing companies from little ones to big ones to innovate quickly despite fear of change, uncertainty and doubt.

Evolving customer expectations and technology are forcing these changes.

There’s nothing we can do about it. We either lose customers or stay on top of things and gain them.

Basically we’ve got to capitalize on uncertainties in the market. Instread of letting these unknowns slow you down, get everybody on your team to make a commitment to respond quickly and effectively to these opportunities we’re now having.

He basically says seven things that are great.

Number one he says is embrace uncertainty and risk, rather than repeatibility.

Business have always been consistent to know their costs, their profits, everything.

They’re very consistent. But today, we have to have the ability to anticipate and adapt to change to beat competitors and excite customers.

Number two, he says is to get in sync with customers. How? By customer interaction. Seek direct customer feedback he says via social media and personal interactions rather than old market research.

Products and services should be updated continuously—not just a major annual upgrade. This is fast.

This is why all of this is so important. It’s why I’ve been emphasizing, if you’ve never done any content promotion or marketing or social media promotion—or social media interaction, you need to change with that and adapt.

Because, your methods of marketing have changed.

The print advertising you may have used to have done, or direct mail or email—all of that has changed.

Look at the postal service. You know, almost went out of business. What would that do to somebody who relied on direct mail? It forces you to change rapidly. Faster than your competitors, or they’re going to overtake you.

Number three—continually look outside for talent and technology.

We see that leveraging the capabilities outside of your organization can grow opportunities and reduce risk faster, rather than increasing risk.

Again, it’s keeping those antennas up and leveraging ideas and capabilities outside of your business. Because of these fast changes we’ve got to stay on top of things.

Number four he says, connect with and strengthen your customer ecosystem.

He suggests and talks about a lot of growth companies like Salesforce.com have leveraged value by hosting events and have their customers learn from each other, as well as channel partners and complementary host providers.

So, host events. Have, I guess—parties.

Whatever you feel to get your customers to share with one another.

To interact—and you’re hosting it.

You’re in front of your customers, which they’ll like—but you’re also providing a network—a means of education and learning. You’re the person behind it. And they’ll appreciate it. That’s part of the customer ecosystem.

Number five, create cross-functional teams to create opportunities.

This really is opening up the creativity of your employees. Enabling them to choose their own job, grant them leeway to get the work done.

They need that spark, particularly we’ve read a lot of stories about millennials and how to keep them involved.

This is part of the big thing. Giving them the tools to let their ideas jump out and expand, to get things done. To make them happy. It’s huge…it’s huge keeping your employees happy.

You can get learning, change—all of these things they can be involved with, and it gets them involved.

Number six, pursue growth opportunities outside of your comfort zone. Really, it’s learning new skills, make it a prime thing for every employee to learn a new skill.

Maybe it’s social media. Maybe it’s copywriting. Maybe it’s accounting. I don’t know, but whatever that is, let them cross-train, learn new skills, new talent. So they can be aware and on top of things to help you in this time of rapid change.

And finally he talks about, number seven—recognize the impact of trust on efficientcy and speed.

Take deliberate action to build trust. Be a personal role model. Encourage and develop healthy conflict, debate and dissent. The result is better discussions, more consensus and accelerated business growth.

And, show appreciation, on-going for each employees contributions. It’s huge.

They’ve got to trust you as a leader. But, how many times have you intervened in a brainstorming session? Or cut people off, not letting them finish their sentence?

Or not let them throw out their ideas? No idea is a bad idea. Not ridiculing what they say. Things like that?

You need to encourage debate. You need to encourage dissent and healthy conflict. That’s the only way to get new cutting edge ideas out and on the table. Because you’re allowing each individual persons’ values as well as their learning. And what they see.

It may only take one idea to change everything. And again, showing appreciation is huge. Whether it’s a weekly lunch, a gift card—whatever. That’s a huge thing. It’s a small price to pay to keep your employees happy.

And the objectives of these imperatives is to continuously stimulate fearless growth even in turbulent markets by staying more competitive, fostering innovation and dominating your space.

And…if you haven’t already done it, start.

That’s what I’ve been sharing with businesses I’ve talked to. People who have not only emailed me about these podcasts, but network events I’ve attended. It’s not too late to start, and it should’ve happened yesterday.

I had a prospect call me this week and I asked him, OK, what time frame are we talking about getting started and he said, “yesterday”.

I talked to him eight months ago and he didn’t have a website. This should have happened a year ago. Because of these turbulent times and how quick thiings can happen.

John Verlin, On Demand Advertising Solutions. Love to hear from you. Email: johnverlin12@att.net. Website: www.OnDemandAdvertisingSolutions.com.

 

All podcasts are recorded by Verlin Studios / Gardner, Kansas

Copyright, John D. Verlin 2017

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From the Blog: Digital Marketing Update Podcast #13, How To Advertise Your Small Business In Times of Uncertainty.

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With recent activity against Syria and unknown’s about tax reform and healthcare, small business owners may be facing anxiety about how to market their businesses going forward.

To that end, today’s podcast, How To Advertise Your Small Business In Times of Uncertainty will help address those issues.

While we can’t always know the future–knowing our history can help us adjust to current situations.

At On Demand Advertising Solutions–we specialize in innovative content that can take your advertising to the next level. But it all starts with our three-point strategy in forming and targeting that content.

Learn more about how our small business three-point strategy and services can grow your business–by signing up for our monthly newsletter and scheduling a FREE CONSULTATION!

You can listen to all of our strictly audio podcasts here!

Now, enjoy the video podcast!

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 All podcasts recorded and produced at Verlin Studios / Gardner, Kansas

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Advertising Your Small Business During Times of Uncertainty:
Podcast #3

Host: John D. Verlin

TRANSCRIPT:

Good afternoon, John Verlin of On Demand Advertising Solutions, Digital Marketing Update, this is podcast #13.

I was going to talk with you today about another subject, but due to recent events, I want to go ahead and share this with you as a point of knowledge, and education but also comfort.

This past week, the U.S. Bombed Syria. I know that’s caused a lot of unsettling feelings as well as worry if the President can pass tax reform. It affects small businesses. A lot of small business owners are sitting tight, not knowing what taxes may come down or not come down.

Let me give you some pointers here that actually come from Hartford Insurance. It’s a blogpost they have that’s very helpful.

I will also tell you some of my thoughts as well. It’s the idea of what to do…how can you market your business or advertise it during times of uncertainty.

Small business consistently has to be marketing themselves, as do most businesses because we rely so much on growth on a monthly basis.

And this can be affected by war, you lose a key employee, a disaster…all of these are kinds of uncertainty. Things that small businesses need to plan for.

During times like this—refine your small business plan. Take a look at your value proposition.

During times of uncertainty, it can give you a good opportunity to review everything. Research competitors, talk to your customers…make an inventory of your positives, your strengths and weaknesses…opportunities…

Update your business plan during a time of uncertainty helps you navigate and switch, refocus your goals to prioritize.

Prioritize your expense. Cut what you can. Expand programs that will gain business growth. Years ago, I had a client when the Gulf War started, who was nervous. We talked about this. The Wall Street Journal published an article that I quoted him.

It said that in times of uncertainty, like a war… Continue doing what you’re doing marketing-wise—and maybe expand on it!

And that’s what Harford is talking about in their blogpost. The reason for that is, most people are creatures of habit and will not cut back their spending unless there are prolonged times of uncertainty and fear.

We’re not just going to cut back automatically. People are creatures of habit. We have weathered storms before. We have weathered wars, recession…and it didn’t dramatically change the economy.

Yeah, there were some painful months. In essence, with your competitors, there first knee jerk reaction is to cut back. Quit spending. Stop the advertising. Cancel the insurance. Whatever.

You can step in and ramp it up some. And buy market share so to speak. When this crisis passes. You’ll be picking up market share and ramping it up

So competitors may drop off and you can just move right in. Anyway, consistently keep doing your plan in marketing. Cut your expenses. They actually say to focus on marketing. Get rid of expenses that are not business critical.

Improve your cash flow. Try to get payments as soon as possible. Delay making payments as long as you can. Invoice immediately. Let customers know you expect to get paid immediately.

Prospect for new clients. It can be a challenge. Promote your expertise, your service. Go where the customers are.

Join business associations, attend local or regional trade shows…speak at events. Start a newsletter. That’s what we do for our clients. This is one reason why. Write articles for industry publications. One reason that we do podcasts is to expand your expertise—it’s why we do these for our clients.

Getting your name out there consistently in front of your prospects by demonstrating that expertise and projecting that professional polish. That will set you apart. That’s another reason why we recommend doing things like these podcasts for our clients because you can showcase your expertise.

Consistently build relationships with your customers. Really important. Keeping them happy. Add value to your products or services.

Stay in touch. One reason we recommend monthly email blasts for your newsletter…consistently being in touch. Consistent with posting.

Consistently doing these things for social media. And of course if they have a brick and mortar store, going by and visit.

Keep yourself top of mind. That’s why these little reminders, the social media. The regular drip, drip, drip of a raindrop eventually can form a big puddle.

That’s what you want to do with your customers.

Build an online presence and i’m still amazed at how many businesses don’t have websites or blogs. It’s really economical now.

We help out with our clients but we really do the blog part of it because that’s consistent content on a regular basis.

Which will build a presence. And build a presence on social media. Like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter.

You need to hire a professional to do these services. But these are critical things that you should be doing, keep in mind, on-going anyway—but particularly in times of slowdown, war or anything really.

Look at your internal operations. Streamline the processes. Take a step back. Look for opportunities to do better.

Tap employees for their ideas. A lot of times we may forget that they could be our best idea generators.

And take care of your employees. This is really…let them know their value. Give them training opportunities for new skills to bring new value. Be honest with them. Let them know the finances.

Let them know what’s going on. They’ll reward you by including them in the decision-making processes.

And finally, plan for emergencies. If it’s a disaster—obviously you can get insurance for disasters and things like that…but plan for the unexpected.

The final point is to protect your investment. In some cases it may be to buy an insurance policy. Some sort of back up for your data for the unexpected.

Those are some of the thoughts I had during times of uncertainty.

Just remember what, 27 years ago when the Gulf War started…to the client I talked to then.

He was worried. You could see the fear in his face. Because we had just started bombing Iraq. He ended up doing extremely well in his business years later. He didn’t change his course of marketing. He kept doing it.

I had another client that sold high-end homes and typically wanted to cut off their advertising in the fall. This is radio advertising.

I told him no…keep it going year round. He said, “well no one is going to want to buy a home in the winter…” I said to him, you don’t know that. The problem is—you don’t know when your customer is in the market.

And this is true of anything. Find that niche…target it and be relentless. Consistent…within your budget of course.

Well, guess what? They said let’s go ahead and continue for this year through December.

On December 13th I got a phone call, and the client told me he had just sold a million dollar home to a customer and it was twenty below zero!

The customer had been thinking about it…heard their messages a month or two earlier. Finally decided to pull the switch.

This is why that consistency in marketing, regardless of what’s going on out there…that consistency is just like investing. Long term investing. Dollar cost averaging. You do the same thing with your marketing. Why?

Because you don’t know when your customer is in the market. You keep reminding your customers that you’re there and top of mind on a regular basis.

More importantly, and you see this over time…your competition may pull back. You get in there and you buy market share.

So…bit’s of wisdom here. I want to thank Hartford for that info from their blog. It’s very helpful.

We’ll see you next week…if you need to email me, jverlin1@yahoo.com. Website is www.OnDemandAdvertisingSolutions.com. Learn more about what we do if I can help you.

My number by the way is 816-223-2105…if you have questions/comments. Feel free to call. Have a great day and we’ll do another podcast next week!