Here’s a recent presentation I put together and the notes that went with it.

Crystal ball gazing

Now I’m not one for gazing into the crystal ball and predicting the future I’d prefer to have a look at some of the hard current facts and let the insight gleaned from these provide better strategic decisions for the future of the business.

Over the years

Technology has facilitated more accessible content, an always on attitude, broken many barriers to communication, enabled a back channel.
People have demanded:
  • More transparency and businesses to stop paying lip service to caring about their customers and to become genuine.
  • They don’t want to be interrupted in their day to day lives, they need to stay focused to the job in hand.
  • They want to find in the information when they need the information and they want they business to be where they are

Business have had to turn the bullhorn around because of this demand, most are still in the process.

  • In the old days business had the power of communication, telling their audience what they wanted them to here
  • With technology it has made it easier for customers to talk about brands without the businesses input, businesses have had to start listening to the conversation and finding methods to re-engage with it’s audience under it’s own terms.
I believe the web and SEO Services have created the groudswell for inbound strategy in business but it’s social that is giving it an injection of steroids and this is the fundamental shift we are seeing right nowSomething that has not changed is the need to plan, solve business objectives and measure success, whether that’s the fundamental financials or the fluffy awarenessData in every sense has become more and more accessible, it’s no longer just name and email address, it’s interests, job titles, locations and connections to name a few.

The future now is

The below will shape the future of marketing and while there are some business’s who “get” the now, very few (in my experience) are truly using it to their advantage.
Some may just say content strategy, I believe in valuable content strategy (although you’d think it obvious), many organisations still think about the message that they want to tell rather than the message their customers want to hear. Focus on the customer, their business issues and what will solve their problems first. Also this very much means turning the traditional marketing departments into publishing houses.Ok so from a business objective you are constantly trying to reduce the sales cycle, getting quicker sales so you can target the next audience and convert, from a marketing perspective this gives you more time to talk to your audience and spend time building the relationship, and can actually increase WOM amongst the audience.Social has brought around the opportunity for businesses to communicate with the audience at every level, from CEO’s tweeting and blogging thought leadership pieces, to marketing running campaigns and driving the business forward socially, HR crowd sourcing a resource pool, Customer service providing support, finance discussing company performance in closed channels.Using your online strategy to create offline face to face opportunity for your businessBecoming the conversation, by providing content, ideas, thoughts and experiences that have longevity that people want to talk aboutThe “I need a facebook page” conglomerate without understanding the why, building strategy around your audience and community first is key.90% of businesses and services are unexceptional (a sad fact), if you can provide experiences and communications that are exceptional to put you in that 10% you will naturally increase your word of mouth.