We’ve all heard the popular adage, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." There are many reasons why we sometimes fail to plan for success, and consequently, succeed only in failing! But even when we do take the time and spend the resources on developing a success plan, obstacles often arise in both the planning and execution phases.
Let’s take a closer look at some obstacles to planning and executing a successful strategy!
The Business Environment
Business landscapes are constantly shifting according to the whims of a free market and the impulses of customer behavior. Understanding this reality and creating a plan that is agile and responsive will ensure that your business plan survives the mercurial shifts of an ever-changing environment...
Eighty percent of small business ventures fail. Any book written to provide business advice will begin with this statistical fact. Few explain exactly why.
Many businesspeople who went on to grow their small venture into an empire began by failing. And though failure can be the most effective teacher, it also carries with it great expense.
So, why do 80% of small business ventures fail and how can valuable lessons be learned, apart from the costly toll of failure?
Most businesses fail because a small business owner needs to be three experts in one in order to succeed!
A great product or service is not enough to ensure success. That product or service must also be strategically and effectively brought to market and the business managed adeptly if success is to be achieved.
The reverse is also true. Marketing and business acumen alone is not a recipe for success. The product or service offered must also be of value.
Most small businesses fail because, although in possession of a valuable product or service, the business owner may not have the business or marketing experience needed to find success.
Although time, trial and error can bring experience, there is no need to go it alone! There is no need to pay the heavy toll of time or failure to obtain the business and marketing expertise necessary to be successful!
Being able to benefit from the expertise of others can give business owners the competitive edge needed to take their business to the next level; break out of paralyzing ruts; or simply gain greater clarity of vision.
Business coaches or group sessions often lack the focus and breadth of expertise to make an investment in what others have to say about your business model worthwhile.
This is where Collaborative Consulting really delivers and time-worn “coaching” falls short.
Collaborative Consulting may be defined as an interactive process for finding creative and constructive ways to share and benefit from a diversity of expertise. Collaborative Consulting results in the interactive pooling of experience and insight for the formulation of creative, comprehensive and effective solutions for your business… for your business!
Collaborative Consulting focuses the expertise of diverse disciplines and experience on your specific situation. Together with the specialist; in collaborative format; with all creative energies bent upon the same specific challenge; real progress is made and true creativity blossoms!
This proven approach is a modern implementation of the genius of the ancient Socratic Method; comparable to having a private tutor vs. being one of many students in a class.
We’ve spent the last 12 months blogging about the various aspects of a Comprehensive Marketing Plan and the many digital tools available to you for the execution of that plan.
Here, we will pull it all together!
The Comprehensive Marketing Plan
The key to a comprehensive marketing plan is the process by which it is developed. Additionally, the key is the applicability of the resulting strategy. Your comprehensive marketing plan should be applicable - like a touchstone - to every operational, sales and service question that arises; giving continuity and focus to your entire way of doing business.
The Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of your business should be hard-wired into an actionable marketing plan that keeps business on track - true to your vision - at every turn.
In our last blog post, we defined operational efficiency as a minimal waste of time, talent and treasure. Reduction of menial, repetitive and redundant tasks increases efficiency by freeing employees to use their gifts for higher purposes. We discussed how the right software package can accomplish all of this while reducing frustration.
Market Momentum has extensive experience implementing custom software solutions, realizing drastic and marked improvement in client operational efficiency. Here, we present a brief case study in custom software development and implementation.
Our client’s operations were entirely paper-based. Requests for service would be phoned in and captured on paper forms, which would then be distributed within the company either manually or by being scanned and emailed to the respective recipients...
With so much data residing “in the cloud,” is it any wonder we are constantly showered with information? After all, the cloud makes accessibility so easy and convenient that we can download, upload, reference, browse, tweet, like and follow with virtually no limitations.
The looming storm of cloud-based application development is rendering legacy systems inadequate to the task of scalability, accessibility and functionality that makes cloud-based custom software solutions inherently superior.
So, what makes cloud-based custom software solutions so scalable and agile?
Off-the-shelf software solutions are increasingly unable to meet the demands of business being conducted on Internet. As the Internet continues to develop, business must keep pace and custom software is the key! Below are some growing trends in software development which both conform to and determine the shape of business being transacted online.
1. Business Development Software
If business owners and leaders hope to find the perspective necessary for strategic planning and business development, business processes must be automated in order to liberate decision-makers from reactive roles and permit proactive planning.
Functions ranging from data capture to client management; sales cycle monitoring to forecasting; and strategic marketing to billing and collections can all be automated with the right custom solution.
The Next Generation of Social Networking
Social networks have deeply impacted the ways in which we connect with others, gather news, form opinions, spend our money and interact with the wider world. Yet, in the glut of incessant tweets and selfies; amid the vying for likes and shares; many people are experiencing social media fatigue and walking away (sometimes with great difficulty) from social media.
Taylor Casti of the Huffington Post says, “Facebook is the cigarette, the “bad habit” many are trying to kick.” The same can be said of other social media platforms. And yet, there is an inherent value in social networking, even if often obscured by the din. The Next Generation of Social Networking will – and, indeed, must – focus on drawing value from the chaos; value for everyone involved.
Measuring Social Media Results
Social Media Marketing, like any marketing campaign, requires a strategic approach, sharpened by specific goals and tempered by careful measurement of ROI. Depending on what your specific Social Media Marketing goals are, your definition of ROI will change.
Regardless, it’s important to know exactly what your Social Media Marketing dollars are accomplishing in terms of valuable traffic-to-customer conversion.
Now that you’ve injected life into your website, tearing down the digital billboard and crafting a dynamic, interactive marketing hub…
Now that you’ve spruced up your Social Media accounts, curated engaging content and cultivated a loyal following…
Now it’s time to convert your web traffic into sales leads and customers! The following are five high-impact ways to do just that!
Social Media Trends
Social Media moves and changes at the speed of society! Information is power and education is the key to acquiring a workable understanding of how to put this power to work for your business. Below are eight growing trends in Social Media that we’ve identified and defined so that you can better understand and leverage this dynamic marketing tool.
#1 – Live Video
As smartphone usage continues to increase, more and more people are streaming live video through their social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all offer live feeds now; competing with the video-sharing giant, YouTube.
Live Video will be a growing trend to watch!
When executed effectively, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results in an increase of organic traffic. Organic Search traffic is generated as a result of Google ranking a website high in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and is therefore considered to be more trustworthy.
Since Google subjects websites to rigorous algorithms, awarding first page results to those who meet stringent and ever-changing criteria, these high-ranking websites generally provide valuable and fresh content.
But it takes time to achieve such rankings. It can take 6 months or more to see any significant movement in SEO rankings at all. As a result, patience is a key ingredient in the Organic approach to driving traffic to your website.
But what about Paid Search? Is it worth the investment?
SEO, SERPs, Back Linking, Metatags, Keywords, Black Hat – what does it all mean? What exactly is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how can I guarantee top ranking in Google search results?
Let’s take a deeper look at SEO…
Think of the Internet as a global neighborhood and Google as the zoning committee. Google and other search engines are interested in improving the quality of development taking place within this global neighborhood. They have many tools at their disposal to ensure that fresh, valuable and useful sites rise to the top. At the same time, sites considered to be stale, stagnant, or of little value are easily buried in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Search engines such as Google use algorithms to understand and rank sites. These same tools are used (with alarming accuracy) to root out those websites employing Black Hat tactics in the hope of gaming the system. Once identified, these sites are penalized. It never pays to try and beat Google at its own game. Playing by the rules is the only viable option.
According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans own a smartphone. This number is on the rise. Americans and, indeed, smartphone users worldwide, expect websites to be easily viewable on their mobile devices. But what does it mean to optimize your website for mobile devices?
Three terms need to be defined: mobile friendly, mobile optimized and mobile responsive.
A mobile friendly website is a site that retains its structure and layout, regardless of the device on which it is being viewed. Often, this means the website appears half the size it would normally appear on a PC. This can be frustrating, as it requires constant zooming and resizing in order to view the webpage on a smartphone...
With so many free or low-cost website options like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Wix available, why would anyone choose to hire a web designer?
What are the benefits of having a professional website and do these benefits outweigh the cost?
With the social networking power of Facebook, why not simply spruce-up your Facebook business page and avoid the cost of website design, domain name registration and hosting? In short, if I can avoid the cost and still retain all the benefits, why should I go with a professional website, when I can get the same thing for free?
The answer: You get what you pay for. And, in the words of Dave Matthews… You pay for what you get.
15 May 2017
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25 November 2016
70% of B2B marketers expect their organizations to produce more content next year, according to the latest annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research. With so much B2B content out there competing for your target audience’s attention, what can you do to make sure your content will stand out, connect with them and convert? http://bit.ly/2fwAeBmContinue reading