Today’s message is a guest entry from my good friend, David G. Johnson, founder of Epiphany Marketing.“Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.” (Ecclesiastes 10:20 NKJV)
In today’s consumer-oriented, buyer-driven marketplace, many businesses still live under the illusion that they have control of their own marketing. What about yours? Don’t misunderstand me. If you (or someone in your company) doesn’t take the initiative to develop an understanding of your marketplace, hone an effective message, and actively get that message out, it’s not going to happen by itself.
But you’re still not in control… your customer is. Why? Because the world of today is heavily weighted in favor of the individual. Your customers and prospects choose when and where they will tolerate hearing from or about you and your business. Understanding them and their preferences and offering the right options is now more crucial than ever before.
But perhaps just as significantly: they are publishing their thoughts. And their thoughts are arguably just as likely to be heard as yours are, if not more so, particularly where it counts: where your other prospects and customers will hear about it. They “tweet,” write web-based reviews, update their “friends” on Facebook, and participate in online discussion forums.
This is why large corporations today employ teams of “brand management” people who monitor blogs and other Web 2.0 sites like YouTube, Twitter, and local search sites to proactively find out what’s being said about them so that they can address it. Of course this means that we — whether we serve consumers or other businesses — must be as on guard as ever about what kind of service we’re providing to our customers.
But it’s also why small businesses have a tremendous advantage over big companies: we can participate directly. If, that is, we know what to do, where to look, and what tools to use. To Be Continued…
Special Note from Michael Pink: Watch your inbox and mark your calendar for this Thursday evening, August 13th… I’ve invited David to join me in a special educational webinar to help all of us learn how social media can be used to grow your business, and advance your message! You won’t want to miss it… ÊI’ll be sending your invitation soon!