As reported by Steve Olenski of Forbes.com
With the new year every CMO and marketer is taking stock of what they did this year and new approaches they’d like to take in 2018. While we’re all sick of the coined phrase “out of the box thinking” — these folks have successfully built their companies using unique marketing tactics that may not be the typical fare CMO’s are used to.
These are entrepreneurs, hustlers, the guys that forged their own path in 2017 and beyond. Marketers and entrepreneurs should pay attention here because we all know that one tactic can move the needle in a positive direction.
Below are some words of advice from some brand marketers from brands that are not exactly household names but provide some very sound advice going into 2018. Each is followed by yours truly take.
Be A Connector – “Modern conveniences like smartphone apps and social media have made the world more efficient in many ways but also have pulled people apart and left them wanting more. This is true in both personal relationships and in business. In 2018 there will be tremendous opportunities for businesses that connect people and make it easier to do business around the world. Remove language barriers, scale globally while respecting and understanding local cultures and dialects, and genuinely connect with customers on their terms.” — Carl Yao, CEO, Stepes
My take: I have long been a proponent of more face to face dialogue and being less reliant on technology so I am hoping there’s more of this and the removing of barriers as Carl points out.
Keep Tabs On Legislation – “Laws are changing faster than ever. Politics plays a huge role in the business climate. Conservatives are pushing for deregulation, liberals are pushing for decriminalization. Regardless of what side of the political spectrum you are on, there are opportunities in being aware of legislative changes and the ability to benefit from how those changes affect consumers and businesses. Since legislation often is slower than innovation, the more technology is interwoven into modern society, the more entrepreneurs and businesses will be affected by laws that are put into place retroactively. Understanding the legislative process and how to stay on top of it will make or break many businesses in 2018.” — Chase Harmer, CEO, Pay Certify
My take: Now more than perhaps at any point in our country’s history the need to be politically diligent AKA up to speed on all that is changing and how it affects your brand is paramount for ultimate success.
Personal Opinions – “2017 was one of the most polarizing years that many people alive today have witnessed in their lifetimes. Many businesses found themselves paying the price for letting the personal opinions of their executives or employees be voiced through the image of their business. Exceptions to this rule may exist for businesses that cater to and profit from a polarized or specific audience, but the average business in 2018 will find that polarizing opinions and commentary will alienate more customers than they can afford to lose. Instead of using a business as a tool for personal expression, businesses should focus on building a great brand, reputation and following around the quality of the product or service.” — Eric Shafer, President, Terra Nova Enterprises
My take: This is a separation of church and state kind of topic here. I agree with Eric in that businesses need to know where the line is drawn when it comes to sharing personal opinions. It’s a different world kids and you need to realize that.
Do The Same Thing Only Better – “Startups and businesses have spent so much of their time trying to be the next big smartphone app, media sensation, or viral craze, that they lose sight of what the most important thing in business is; delivering value to the customer. Sometimes the best way to do that is to take a traditional product or an old school way of doing business a certain way, and use modern technology or a creative new perspective to improve it and give it a fresh approach for modern times. In 2018, there will be many opportunities to improve boring businesses that may not be glamorous, but that people need and love.” — Dan Lansman, President, Site Impact
My take: Love this from Dan. Why? Because it’s simple. And simple very often works. Simple very often sells. Those who know me I believe we humans tend to overcomplicate everything or close to it.
Dominate Your Industry – “The world is changing very quickly and the old saying ‘only the strong survive’ is more true than ever in business. Setting out with the goal of just getting by or being a small mom and pop store to pay the bills is not enough to gain the momentum and competitive advantage necessary to compete and survive. In 2018, businesses that are not prepared to be the authority or ultimate specialist in their field will very likely not be able to keep up with the world around them, but businesses with leadership that have the mindset of dominating their industry will continue to see record growth.” — Tom Guel, CEO, Lilu’s Garden
My take: Yes this sounds incredibly obvious and wishful thinking for every brand under the sun but there is something to be said for having the mindset that you are the best at what you do then going out and doing it.