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Marketing Strategy in a Rapidly Changing World

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Internet Marketing Can Make Your Head Spin

How Middle Market Firms Can Strategize in a Vortex of Variables

To say the web marketing world is changing rapidly is an understatement. Over the last year or so, we’ve seen a number of really significant developments that are reshaping the entire landscape. Below are the biggest ones that come to mind, but I’ve left any out, please leave a comment.

Panda Update

Google’s so-called “Panda Update” was a change in its algorithm that has the effect of penalizing spam content and rewarding quality content. For effective SEO (search engine optimization), many companies must completely rethink their content strategy.

Google+

Google+ is Google’s latest attempt to do two very significant things: compete with Facebook and expand its role from search engine to a full-service Internet destination. Google+ will change the relationship between SEO and social marketing and may have profound impact on where and how people spend time online.

Sweeping Facebook Changes

Partly in response to Google+, and partly to fulfill its own vision of a totally personalized online experience, Facebook is rolling out substantial changes to its platform. Besides bringing to a head the battle between privacy and personalization, Facebook’s upgrades will force companies to rethink advertising and social strategies and investments on the platform.

Google SSL Search

Very recently Google announced that it will now hide search data from individuals when they are logged into Google. Although this is advertised to affect only 10% of all search data, one wonders how quickly that figure will grow as Google continues to entice people to log in, via Google+ or some other application. SEO strategies will be sorely challenged to find new approaches to analytics to retain precision and drive continuous improvement.

Explosion of New Devices

Welcome to the mobile Internet: buyers are researching and purchasing products and services from their phones. Are most companies ready for this? Not by a longshot. In 2012, my guess is marketing strategies will fall further behind because of tablets and readers – the next battlefield for digital advertising, social community building and organic search.

A New Apple

With the tragic passing of Steve Jobs, the future of Apple is up for grabs, particularly in the area of new product development. While nobody can predict the outcome, my guess is the uncertainty will lead to more R&D and fiercer competition among the rivals. We may well end up with better iPhones, better Androids, better PCs, and who knows what else. Whatever the outcome, rapid hardware innovation will make online behaviors even more difficult to predict … and market to.

How Can Companies Plan Effectively?

  • Reach out. This is going to sound self serving, and I guess it is, but I don’t see how any middle market firm can keep up with all this without the assistance of an agency. Strategic missteps are easy to make, and costly. In-house personnel will be challenged to keep up with changes in best practices.
  • Tighten timetables. In the mid-2000′s, it was fairly routine to hammer out a 12-month marketing plan. These days, a 90-day plan followed by intense review wouldn’t be overdoing it, especially for firms in competitive online environments.
  • Expect imperfection. Firms with rigid cultures that discourage experimentation and have difficulty operating when things aren’t precisely buttoned down will have major headaches on the marketing front. Conversely, firms that embrace uncertainty and try different marketing approaches will gain a substantial and long lasting advantage over less agile competitors.
  • Start now. Cobbling out a new marketing strategy is a lot of work, and easily gets thrown on the back burner. If you haven’t reviewed your program in the last few months, it could be woefully out of date already. And as the speed of change accelerates, it becomes ever harder to catch up. Like they say, there’s no time like the present.

OVER TO YOU
How are you keeping up with the rapid pace of change?

 

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5 Responses to Marketing Strategy in a Rapidly Changing World

  1. Brad, like many small business owners I am handling it with a fair amount of head spinning and temple rubbing to offset the resulting migraine! Agility is essential and I agree that 90 day plans with intense review are the smart choice. In the early days I could easily manage multiple platforms and stay the course for much longer than 90 days but in the new days the balance of how resources are allocated may shift monthly. With other developments, I don’t have the resources or bandwidth to jump in so I try to watch the trend, stay educated until I can add it to the mix.

    • Hi Karen, It’s getting harder to be on cutting edge, as you say. A few years ago it was easy to jump into any social media platform and experiment. Not any more!

  2. Thanks for this thought-provoking article. The online market is indeed rapidly changing and evolving that small business who depend much on this market had to keep with the pace.

  3. Hey Brad,

    Thanks for sharing these insights & strategies in Marketing. A lot of these rapid changes will surely effect the marketing strategy. Your’e right, these developments from social media will change the SEO techniques & approaches.
    Thanks for sharing

  4. Hey Brad,

    Thank you for such an informative article. You are correct. Google algorithm changes from time to time, so we have to constantly upgrade our SEO strategies to keep pace with the highly competitive world online.

    Thanks

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