Time to Stand Out…

I have written quite a bit in the past few months about the need for businesses to increase their marketing efforts in this coming year. But will that be enough?

The last couple of years have been tough for most of us. And while not always the best strategy, it is pretty typical for companies to cut back on their marketing budgets. It is usually an easy area to reduce costs and not uncommon to be one of the last budget lines to be reinstated. After a period of time though, most companies do realize it is time to get started – however many figure they will just pick up where they left off. Maybe update the copy a little on a brochure – take some new photos to insert in their website – even take a look at updating their brand image.

But again, is that enough?

During the last two years when many of us just “hung on,” it is important to note that technology and social trends did not! In fact the shifts we have seen are pretty remarkable – social media, mobile marketing, QR codes, and video are just some of what we are seeing on a daily basis. They are becoming not only trends, but in fact the new norm of marketing.

So if your idea of getting back in the marketing game is just to update your current materials, think again! You really need to start embracing some of these new trends. This does not mean all at once necessarily, but do plan out over the course of the next few months to make it a priority to add in a QR code for your website and include the Facebook logo or YouTube logo on the brochure reprint. Providing of course that you already created the Facebook page or filmed a video or two. This is actually easier than you might think and there are many resources available to help you, including CL Graphics.

I would also suggest though, that adding in new technology or embracing social media trends is not all that you should consider. Now more than ever it is critical that you begin to differentiate yourself from the competition. Be creative – both in your message and your graphics. Personalize your communication too – write in a way that engages  your audience – include their name or images that they will recognize. Want to get a real response? Try doing not only a video introduction for your business, but include a brief personalized message to your key prospects. Send this out in an e-mail, or in a DVD as part of a “lumpy” mail package that will attract real attention.

There is a real opportunity right now for the smart business to stand out in a crowd  to gain market share while your competition is contemplating what to do. But the key is to not wait – get started now!

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