The New in 2014

Over the years I have noticed that most small business owners have their own process for accomplishing tasks to reach a goal.  Specifically in marketing.  Some prefer to still do advertising in newspapers, others prefer direct mail and some solely focus on word of mouth.  Although these are marketing avenues they are not ones that come with a high return on investment.  However, it does depend on your target audience.

The big new in 2014 will force small businesses into a higher level of marketing, making them understand the importance of knowledge and application.  Small businesses will be forced to know who their audience is so they can create and respond appropriately.  Small businesses will also be forced to adopt data as a must, and will be required to interpret that data. This is no easy task! 

This is why I wrote in my last blog post, “Combine new with trust and you will have an outstanding 2014.”

There is going to be two new developments in 2014 marketing.

1.  Mobile

Remember when cellphones were called brick phones and clamshells?  I remember my first cell phone was a Nokia bar phone, the one everyone had.  Now you will see mostly smartphones with Android or Apple operating systems.  Smartphones combined with tablets you have an everyday and everywhere user, a moving target.  These two devices have changed how marketing your business in 2014 will be all the more challenging.

Here is the challenge:

You have to market your business on both devices without it appearing like a typical ad while at the same time maintain a connection with your customer.

Fortunately the mobile ad space has been growing tremendously in 2013.  This has resulted in technological advancements most never thought we could have or would have.  How does this play into marketing your small business in 2014?  More than you know!

If you do not have a mobile presence on smartphones or tablets you do not exist to millions of people.  The key industries that must have a mobile presence will be services such as plumber, electrician, landscape, attorneys, computer repair, and retail to name a few.  No presence means you do not exist.

Your presence depends on two things.

1.  Mobile friendly website or a mobile web app.

2.  Connecting with customers socially, which means being on social networks.

The other big half of new in 2014 marketing is the pay to play mentality.

2. Pay to Play

Most business owners are truly upset about this adoption of the pay to play mentality, but you had to see this coming.  Over the last two years businesses have been getting more involved with online marketing and doing, honestly, a very BAD job at it.  So many things have gone wrong for small businesses online that most of the key online players are forcing small businesses into the pay to play era.

What is pay to play?  In order for your businesses voice to be heard you must pay.  If you want to use various online avenues for marketing you will have to pay to be seen.  If you want to play in someone else's yard because you like their playground then you have to pay!

All joking aside, budget for marketing in 2014 or get left behind.  If you have not set aside a budget for marketing in the past, you must change that.  If you are afraid to set money aside for marketing you shouldn’t.  Here is why you should never fear having a marketing budget.

1.  A marketing budget gives you a minimum return to shoot for.

2.  A marketing budget sets a limit on the money you can and will spend on marketing each month.

3.  A marketing budget is not a limitation but an expectation.

If your marketing is not giving you a minimum return then you are simply doing something wrong.  This is why data will be so important in 2014.
If you are not ready for 2014 then I highly suggest you begin to prepare now.  For assistance in preparing for marketing in 2014 contact us at 877-494-9668 so our professionals can assist you.