210 million web users in China. Nearly 70% penetration of broadband in UK – catching up with internet itself Facebook – 120 million active users (in the last 30 days), 175,000 blogs created every day (according to Technorati). This all offers to change the scope of you business – not just more customers but more opportunities. Multipreneurship.
I wanted to tell you about a freidn of mine, Ina Stanley who helped me with part of the book - especially the part about social networking for a small business and video. She runs a business helping estate agents ut together video tours of properties. But her vision of business has grown beyond that, because the expertise she has developed is also part of her offering - hence her involvement in i-brand-building . You’ll find her on Linked-In, Youtube and many many other sites - including those put together at next to no cost on freewebs.com
There are millions of people doing likewise. But they are not just out there (as potential competitors of yours) they are also potential customers. It’s not just about numbers though 175,000 blogs created every day, we’re not just interested in a big, mass audience. Because people are participating
Imaging this on a web that works a thousand times quicker? You could click on any of these dots and get whatever detailed information, including pictures, the user had agreed to release to you.
With this mass of connections, you might feel “well, I don’t know these people” but in fact, the power of the web is well known in network theory. The people you most connect with, you live with, eat with, dance with are already strongly bonded to you. It’s not easy to build friendship like these. In any case, even if you could , would you want to? And if you did, what would they add to your business? Open networks are just more…open. To new ideas, new contacts and new opportunities. Far better to connect with millions of people ‘weakly’ because they might just be able to use your services or add to them. And if one-tenth of 1% of a million can…that’s a thousand people.
The web is clearly changing the way we work and the way we interact, but web 2.0 is changing it even further. All those millions are choosing to interact and becoming the authors of content.
It’s not just blogging – as convergence really takes hold…there will be increased opportunities to select your own schedule. From time shift viewing now – to completely ‘a la carte’ viewing. Maybe there won’t be schedules, just scheduling software to control downloads – so no channels, just channel makers selecting and, maybe sharing, their selections. Future customers won’t see the difference between a TV, a computer, a DVD player, a videogame player, a phone or an MP4 player
How do you keep up with developments?
I wondered for a while why I’d chosen this picture. But then I remembered my son Dan. Whenever he’s taken to McD’s he always has a Big Mac…without salad…without onions…without ketchup or mayonnaise…without cheese… so we have to carefully explain this every time [no we don’t get a discount from McD’s] What’s the value to us of the restaurant remembering his preferences??
The tools for you and customers are out there to be found and played with. Each represents an audience
The way business is done there is different…
It’s not rocket science because you can try things and if they don’t work…nothing much happens.
But, you have to practice. The story here is the one about the pottery teacher telling the class at the beginning that one half of the class would be judged on the quality of one big pot; the rest would be judged by the number of pots they made. At the end of the term those who were trying to make the perfect pot had either failed or run out of time, those who tried to make many pots also made the best.
But you don’t want to fail in a recession do you?
You still have to keep making pots – investing – PIMS shows that those companies that keep investing in their brand throughout a recession do just as well as those who don’t…but they do far better when the recovery comes.
Studies agree – you have to invest in promoting yourself, getting new customers, reinforcing your brand, developing new offerings to meet needs and…keeping customers! But if you’re a small business; invest time.
So much for the truth. I lied. That table wasn’t contrasting the old web with the new, but old marketing with the new. New technology has had a major impact though
Increasingly big brands are confined to their brand image. Although they may have fans, they are not seen as worthy of discovery or advocacy. More and more buying decisions are being checked and scrutinised online. Even Coke can buy perpetual good PR, Heinz and McDonalds can’t be on every forum, in every blog or personal page on Bebo or MySpace or Facebook or Orkhut. To which we could ad Motrin Mums – ads withdrawn because of twitter activity http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2008/11/motrin-faces-twitter-headache-over-new-video-campaign.html (hidden link bottom left)
So , on the assumption that you are going to go away and try everything once – twice if you like it. Here are some watchwords to develop your online strategy and to keep it on track.
Insight is what makes you realise there is an opportunity out there; your customers and potential customers tell you what they want and you’re there when they say it.
You can ally your vision for your business and your life to the opportunities you see. Strike a balance between what you want to achieve for yourself and your customers – if you know and like them, they may be the same and this is a good story to tell (discuss) in your blog.
You already know you can’t dominate the web – or any other channel – but you can be closer and truer to your customers. If you have your insight and purpose in balance, then you only need speak the truth. Lies will always be found out online. Incidentally, your truth, consistently told is your brand and your positioning.
Beauty isn’t skin deep. Products and services that appeal are those that are both functional and attractive. It’s okay to make your customers feel good (after all you’re telling the truth). You should be constantly improving and making your product and service work better and better.
Webwisewomen Nov 2009 updated
Simple steps to be taken to grow your business online, at low cost. The dos and don’ts during a recession … …or…
Give it away free… www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com
The power of weak ties <ul><li>Small tight networks </li></ul><ul><li>Strong connections </li></ul><ul><li>v </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive open networks </li></ul><ul><li>Weak connections </li></ul>Scott, John. 1991. Social Network Analysis. London: Sage. See also Wikipedia entry on ‘Social Networks’ Photo from Woodsy, Stock.Xchge http://www.sxc.hu/photo/745155 www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com
Old web New web <ul><li>Static </li></ul><ul><li>One way </li></ul><ul><li>Specialised skills </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Impact </li></ul><ul><li>Spend </li></ul><ul><li>Bull**** </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic </li></ul><ul><li>Two way </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone does it </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Friend </li></ul><ul><li>Truth </li></ul>
You have to be in there … to know how it works Photo from Ight at www.flickr.com www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com A fundamental truth of new media…
Live the life of your customer Photo from J0mammma at www.flickr.com
Not: “ how can I make you buy?” But: “ how can we achieve this together?” Jedi salesman www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com
It’s not rocket-science Photo from Quadrophonic Wingnut at www.flickr.com … you don’t just get one shot
35lbs of clay http://www.lifeclever.com/what-50-pounds-of-clay-can-teach-you-about-design/ Photo from Samyra Serin at www.flickr.com You’re allowed to fail… … in fact it’s quite a good idea www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com
Marketing in a recession Photo from Bilbao58 at www.flickr.com
“ In a recession, dare to invest aggressively in marketing, innovation and customer quality”, is the clear message to be drawn from PIMS (Profit Impact of Market Strategy) What strategic investments should you make during a recession to gain competitive advantage in the recovery? Roberts K. Strategy and Leadership , Volume 31, Number 4, 2003 , pp. 31-39(9)
Invest in … Using… <ul><li>Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Branding </li></ul><ul><li>Product development </li></ul><ul><li>Customers </li></ul>www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com Picture from Saavem at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1086908
Old web New web <ul><li>Static </li></ul><ul><li>One way </li></ul><ul><li>Specialised skills </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Impact </li></ul><ul><li>Spend </li></ul><ul><li>Bull**** </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic </li></ul><ul><li>Two way </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone does it </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Friend </li></ul><ul><li>Truth </li></ul>marketing marketing Adapted from Neo-marketing v old-school marketing, Kathy Sierra http:// headrush.typepad.com /creating _passionate_users/
Big business is no longer in charge <ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration & sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Co-production </li></ul><ul><li>Richer/faster </li></ul><ul><li>Weightless </li></ul>www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2008/11/motrin-faces-twitter-headache-over-new-video-campaign.html
It all adds up <ul><li>Value of networks </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>Investing in customers (especially in a recession) </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of free stuff </li></ul><ul><li>= </li></ul><ul><li>SME opportunity </li></ul>
What you can do now… <ul><li>Start a blog </li></ul><ul><li>Get a simple website </li></ul><ul><li>Start networking – Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, LinkedIn etc </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to all these offline </li></ul><ul><li>Connect them all </li></ul><ul><li>Promote yourself – Squidoo, twitter, slideshare, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Read, Listen, Learn </li></ul>Virtually Free
Keeping on the right track… Photo from Bilbao58 at www.flickr.com (Simple principles …and possibly the next book! ) Photo from lusi at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1101337
insight what customers really want because you live with them (online) you talk to them and listen to them www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com
purpose because you know why you’re in business + therefore what you can do for those customers (that no-one else can) www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com
truth The truth is out there (whether you like it or not) so tell it + Your own, unique, compelling truth (integrated and consistent) www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com
beauty Looking good isn’t optional + The best products and services just work better www.pleasewalkonthegrass.com