Growth Blog

Knowledge That Builds Business

The Social Age - What Businesses Need to Know

Creating opportunities through cultural, technolgy and social changes

With the sudden explosion of Pokemon GO in the past week, we wanted to look at how marketing is currently changing, how it has changed over the last few years and what that means for your business right now.

Here's what we’re going to look at:
  • The SHIFT from the Internet age to the Social Age
  • What is Engaged Marketing and why you should be using it
  • The future of Augmented Marketing 

The SHIFT from the Internet age to the Social Age

Your customers and business are evolving rapidly, whether you like it or not. So it’s time to have a real hard look about where you want your business to be and more importantly understand where your audience is going to be in the next 3-5 years.

The problem we see every day with our clients, particular in Wales is some can be anywhere between 3-5 years behind. Not only from a marketing perspective but also across their entire business. Unfortunately, a stale culture in many businesses is the cause behind this and tends to protect their existence on a false illusion - if it's not broken why fix it. 

Consider this, though - If you could modify your car to give you a 200% increase in MPG would you do it? Or would you simply keep spending the same money, in the same old way because it gets you from A to B.

Now, radically changing your business model here would not be the answer. What is does mean though is there is a MONUMENTAL opportunity for your business to compliment (modify) how your already working, thinking, doing and reacting so you can create internal shifts that keep you ahead of the competition, and more importantly ahead of your customers!

The evolution of the internal age is now drawing to a close. A social age is taking the forefront of why and how people are not only thinking about products, services, and brands but more importantly how they are interacting, communicating and engaging with those products, services and brands overall.

 So what do you need to do to benefit from this shift?

Historically, businesses will inform their decision-making on its financials, and its financials alone (something we see businesses doing every day). But here’s the thing;

YOUR business is sat on a GOLDMINE of information that you can turn into GROWTH through your sales pipelines and customer-base that far exceeds what your financials will tell you.

Examples of this include:

  • Lead Sources
  • Sales Conversion Rates
  • Website Conversion Rates
  • Website Traffic Analytics
  • Time Logging
  • Average Sales Value (ASV)
  • Lifetime Value (LTV)
  • Customer Evolution
  • Social Media Engagements
  • Cost Per Acquisition
  • Cost Per Click (website traffic)
  • Call Metrics
  • Search & Social Metrics
To truly harness this shift of ages from internet to social you first need to know what information you are recording in your business and how your can interpret, analysis or feed this information back into your business to inform your decision-making and ultimately how your business grows.

This is Business Intelligence, which we’ll be discussing more of in the next few weeks.

From a social aspect, this intelligence will not only tell you a whole lot more about your business but will tell you EXACTLY how you can get more social. Knowing where your customers are and what makes them tick. Your job is then to reach them socially and package your products or services up to solve THEIR problems or issues - to help them.

How do you do this?

  • Produce written content that helps your audience / customers
  • Use video – Let your audience see the people behind your business
  • Photos – Harness the power of image and visual
  • Communicate – Start conversations, talk
Consider this as the facts behind what we are saying;

10 years ago, the rapidly evolving Internet age made it easy for anyone to find information, topics, products and services at the touch of a button through search. The emphasis here is YOU can find anything YOU want.

Fast forward to today;

Your customers are no longer taking it upon themselves to find what they are looking for - Social Media, friends, family, networks and work colleagues provide it on a plate for them, ready to digest through a range of platforms; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, WhatsApp, Pokemon GO!?

We now consume content and information; NOT find it. 

This is the shift from the Internet to the social age. 

Your challenge is using your business data, your business intelligence, to provide the route to harness this HUGE opportunity for your business.

What is Engaged Marketing and why you should be using it?

A principle of marketing is that your business should be talking and communicating all the time to your audience, in multiple ways (some call these touch points). Many businesses see this as just a pre-determined customer base or list of previous contacts, but in actual fact your business needs to talk to its audience, not just is direct customer base or contacts. The first question I’ll ask here is;

Do you know what your audience is? 

Seems simple right? But most businesses are so focused on a narrow customer profile that they’re missing out. This is where Engaged Marketing comes in and more or less revolves around the power of Social.

Don’t just keep putting your business image, its products and services in front of potential customers like a shop window, waiting for them to come through the door. Go out in the street, show them how you work, what makes you tick, your team tick, what’s going on behind the scenes, what’s working and what’s not.

Make your business more real. This is Engaged-marketing.

The businesses that are doing this already are changing the culture of consumer habits and expectation while also setting the standards your business should be exploiting.

Here’s a hard truth;

If your business is still relying on the shop window, and only the shop window (digitally speaking), your business (if it hasn’t already) will start to struggle and WILL NOT be able to survive in this new social age over the next 3-5 years.

In 2016, we’re already completely changing how this works for our own business. Watch out for lots of exciting things in the next few months from our team.

So get engaged, start with you, your team, discover what makes you and your business tick and go tell your AUDIENCE. Make your business human, make it real and give it emotion. Combine this with the social media platforms your audience is using and you’ll be engaging your audience.

Keep it consistent and you’ll achieve Engaged Marketing.

The Future of Augmented Marketing

Imagine a world where your customers and audiences were digesting and consuming your message, products, and services on a daily basis because they are genuinely interested in your business, products or services.

Already happening right? For the businesses capitalising on the social age - yes.

Now imagine, walking down the street and your favorite social media app telling you “if you can find it there’s an offer you can’t resist” from a brand or business you’re already engaged with. All based on location and interaction with your immediate environment.

Now, this is not a new concept. Augmented reality apps appeared a few years ago but lacked a consumer shift culturally to integrate such technology within our daily lives.

Pokemon Go has overnight changed this and the world brands are already lining up to get a piece of the action with planned advertising due to be integrated with Pokemon Go in the very near future.

So as your playing, you’ll receive offers from your favorite brands directly into the game you're engaging with, in real time, based on your location and proximity to a brand store, product or service.

This inevitably means over the next few years we’ll observe another shift towards real-time location marketing that aligns with real-time consumer social habits online. You only need to look at how SnapChat is evolving to see this happening today. Linking entertaining social habits with marketing.

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About The Author

Karlis Ozolins

Karlis Ozolins

A committed and inspired Father, Entrepreneur, Business Growth Specialist, Marketeer, Designer & founder of Venture Works.

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