How do small businesses react to change?


I started evaluating my company’s performance, Marketing Communications Group, and my marketing strategy, right after the 1st of the year. I compared the results with the business economic landscape and what all the guru’s were discussing in the many forums, and soon thereafter, I realized it was time for a change.

This was nothing new for me. In fact, it felt like old school. I’ve previously accomplished this feat about six times since I became a small business owner in 1984.

I graduated with a BA in Marketing, and from that very day I dreamed of owning my own business. I always thought strategically about my business. Having a small family to support, the fear of failure can be a tremendous incentive and at times, may of controlled me. For example, I may have been too much on the academic side of business using college professors, from marketing to chemical engineering, as advisors. However, as I survived each change, I learned valuable lessons from my planning and gained a lot of first hand experience from my mentors.

This most recent economic debacle and the emergence of social media as new marketing tactical tools, is quite different. It is like trying to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar the size of a Remax hot air balloon. My mentors are gone, probably enjoying the life of retirement. Actually, I never felt I needed them anymore after the last change occurred about 6 years ago. I guess now, I’m more of a mentor.

My first assignment was gather research, attend webinars, speeches and seminars, and talk with customers and prospects. Next, I updated my marketing strategy, added a few social media tactics, rebranded myself back to MarketingDoc, and upgraded the Marketing Communications Group brand of products and services. I completed a new positioning statement and began to incorporate it into my present tactical communication channels.

Next, I assembled all of my marketing tactics, carefully updating each to my expectations of the tactical standards for 2010 – 2011. I started introducing some of the new tactics in August, such as this blog, and scheduled to complete my corporate realignment in December of this year.

I did learn quickly throughout this process that email is not dead. It’s a big part of social media. Traditional marketing is not dead either. Take direct mail for instance. I first coupled direct mail and email together about 9 years ago. You learn a lot about your customers and prospects when you simply analyze the email results and compare them to your web site stats. The two of them are a great one-two punch. LightBulbv1 copy

Now when you have the capability to enter into a dialogue with customers using the new social media, and to some extent with prospects, you are a better marketer. Let’s call it the one-two-three punch, leading to the knockout. It becomes easier to create relevant messages with more data capture tools. You can use frequency to fit the schedule of your customers. The things us marketers yelped about for years are now materializing in the current decade.

Soak in as much as you can and learn to take advantage of your new tools. It certainly looks like it can be a lot of fun and probably, make a hell of a lot more than spare change. Maybe enough to keep the light on.



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