It’s fall, the turning of the seasons. This time of year is always bitter sweet for me. Being a warm weather lover, it’s difficult to pack away the sun dresses and heels and accept the impending 60 degree shift that will soon be heading our way. This time of year also represents the nearing of the year’s end. There’s so much anticipation for what the new-year can bring. Some experiences I’m sad to leave behind, and there were some tough times I’ll be grateful to move on from. It’s the bitter sweet changing of the seasons and journey of life. And with this time of change also comes opportunity.

Opportunity for a killer New Year’s Party! An opportunity for a new adventure, to push myself further personally and professionally, to challenge myself to truly excel in my profession. To not be afraid and to forge the path that I know is the way. There are so many changes in how businesses can market to their customers. As I sit here writing, I think to myself…if only I could connect with the clients out there who are ready for change, but don’t yet know the best approach.

I want to do more than embrace the change in life and in my profession, I want to be a leader in the change. I’m going to turn a new leaf, I’m going to lead my own charge and I’m going to seek out clients who are ready to turn their leaves toward something better as well.

Just as the leaves are shedding from the trees, it’s time for many businesses to consider shedding their outdated marketing strategies. Maybe it’s time to hunker down and get real about what your marketing is DOING for your business. It may be time for you to lead your change.

In the Midwest, we move from fall to winter, spring to summer. It’s expected and it just happens. It’s routine. Maybe this is like your marketing. A mailer in the spring, make some tweaks to your website in the fall, maybe you try some TV or a really cool billboard to put your mug on display, because it sounded cool. Posting to social media when you remember, and blasting your email list when something is on sale. If this sounds like your marketing tactics, ask yourself, what brand are you building? What story are you sharing and what relationships are you cultivating?

Maybe this is the year for your business’ brand strategy revival? Shedding the old and emerging with something fresh, new and bold may feel scary, because it’s a new approach. But being a forward thinker, and the first to the starting line of the changing marketing tides, may yield big advances. Just think, where would you be now if you started blogging in 2007, or REALLY USING social media to build relationships starting back in 2006 or 07 or 08? How large would your network be, and what would those relationships be worth in revenue, if you started building those connections nearly 10 years ago when blogging and social media were first emerging?

Do you have a marketing plan for revival?

Technology is the fastest changing industry, and with it comes the changes in how people consume media. With the proliferation of digital media devices and platforms to engage with, the ways in which consumers are now reached goes well beyond newspaper, TV and radio ads. What is your plan to engage with consumers in the digital media world?

If you are continuing to blast your message with ads, ads, ads, what relationships are you cultivating? If your creative is done well, you might be telling your brand story. Too often, we see businesses running ads all about special offers and discount prices. That business must ask themselves, is that the brand story that they intend to tell?

If you don’t have a revival plan, could you create one? I’m not suggesting to throw caution to the wind and try a bunch of “cool new things.” Actually, I’m recommending the opposite. I’m suggesting coming to the table for an honest assessment about where things have been, and where you’d like to go. Take time to really evaluate your brand story and how you want to be perceived by your customers. Think about how to engage with that audience, then choose the avenues.

So what are the emerging marketing strategies?

Many business owners we work with advocate for the importance of relationship building. Networking and relationship building is a not a new concept, however, the ways in which you build that relationship with new potential customers may have changed depending on your business.

Many customers seek information through online resources. Even if they connect with you in person, there are opportunities to reinforce your value through email marketing, social media or helpful blog posts. Do you have a strategy for being found and developing a relationship through online avenues?

Here are some angles to consider for turning a new leaf this year…while they may not be considered emerging in the market, they may be emerging ideas or strategies for your business to consider:

  • Can you create a guarantee that nobody else in your field is/can do?
  • What is your content marketing strategy?
  • Do you have a goal and purpose with social media?
  • Are you nurturing your former and existing client base?
  • Could you be booked as a guest speaker at area events, breakfasts or a key industry conference?
  • Offer a fun, creative contest
  • Team up with a local charity on project
  • Offer your services/expertise on an area board of directors
  • Use Periscope
  • Start a web video series
  • Develop your own press tour and be seen on TV/heard on radio?
  • Write an eBook that appeals to your target consumer

Don’t be tempted by the “package ad deal.” Throwing a few things out there and hoping something sticks is not a brand strategy…or at least not one that we recommend.

There are a lot of ways to turn a new leaf toward a refreshed and brighter future. Just think on it. And if you need help, give me a call, I love strategizing, or a good drink, or a New Year’s Eve party, possibly all at the same time.