Happy New Year!
“Let’s get this party started with some mid-tempo rock!” —Jeff Tweedy, Wilco.
Okay…jokes out of the way, how are y’all holding up?
How did you manage the holidays?
So does everyone have resolutions, goals, ambitions, wishes, hopes for the new year?
Let me know.
I’ve approached the new year by doing a bit of marketing work and taking myself through the process of revisiting my marketing strategy to reflect the mid-pandemic world we are living in right now.
So I spent some time over the last few weeks looking around at the world and doing some research to see what the world we head into in 2021 looks like and how I can create value in that world.
I figured I’d share some of this with you so that you might gain some insights into your own thinking going forward.
First, I did a little research on the business environment heading into 2021.
Here are some strange statistics that I locked onto:
- Only 64% of businesses have any formal strategy to guide them. (I’ll focus on the marketing implications from here.)
- Of those businesses that do have a strategy, 73% of them are looking for ways to put their businesses into growth mode in the new year.
- Of that group, 53% of these folks want growth but really have no idea where to start.
What does this mean?
Well, it means that there is a huge percentage of the world that just operates by throwing things against the wall. That’s a good place to start.
But there is also a lot of folks looking to grow their businesses, bounce back from 2020, and they are struggling to figure out what to do.
From there, I did some segmentation.
There’s a tool I use called a meaningful/actionable grid to develop segmentations.
I won’t bore you with the entire details here, but there are twelve steps you go through to figure out what matters and how business or buyers act in the area you are working.
To cut to the chase here, the most important variables in my segmentation were whether or not a company sold B2B or B2C, the size of the business, whether or not they had a strategy or not, and their role in the business.
From that I found out that there were 8 specific segments of businesses to target.
This targeting was based on behaviors that these businesses take and in the case of what I’m looking at, I picked two target segments:
- Big, focused B2B businesses. These businesses have a plan and they know they want to grow. They may or may not know what it takes to grow, but they will invest to get there.
- Super sellers in B2C businesses. These are businesses that sell to customers and are also sitting with a plan, want and need to grow, and are looking to make sure that they have the tools to achieve growth.
Why these two?
Part of it is that you don’t have to explain to folks that you need a strategy, you need to focus, and you have to be willing to change. That helps a lot.
The second part is that there is significant spillover into other segments as well since other big companies in B2B are going to want to try and emulate the results of the successful B2B businesses.
The same goes for the B2C environment.
Now the fun part which is positioning the brand, me, for the new year.
I’d struggled with this a bit of late. I felt like my positioning was getting a little fuzzy towards the end of 2019 and that I was not always selling myself properly.
But this year, knowing I’ve gone through the research process where I saw that there is this huge group of businesses that have strategies, want to grow their business through their marketing, but don’t know how the positioning became easier.
Because in most cases, folks don’t know that their strategy and marketing should lead to growth because their marketing departments are talking about things that are fuzzy like “likes”, “engagement”, and “clicks”.
This drives folks to become tactified in their approach to strategy and marketing, leading them to not get the successes they need from their marketing, making folks feel like their marketing is a cost center, not a profit driver like it is in the best marketing businesses.
So the position going forward for the next 12 months is built on 3 brand ideals:
Which is in opposition to the alternative that too many businesses are dealing with which is unfocused and ineffective marketing built on BS and buzzwords.
But enough about me, what does this mean to you?
If you haven’t already, I’m going to give you some homework to start the year off and get you focused:
- Spend a few minutes digging around, doing some research in the market or area you work in or on. There is a lot of great secondary research that you can find by just doing a quick Google search. (Secondary research just being stuff you don’t have to commission or do yourself.)
- Take a few minutes to think about what variables are meaningful in your business or to the folks you are serving. Is it the market they serve? The location? The sector? Spend some time sitting with it and try to find commonalities based on their behaviors. (This is segmentation and we could spend a whole day on the topic, but just start here.)
- Pick a focus. (Target a type of business or a type of problem that you can have a big impact on.)
- Position your skills and ideas against the opposite side of that. It isn’t enough to be better, you also have to be different.
- From there, set yourself a few goals: 1-2.
Then go to work.
If you have any questions on any of these ideas, send me a note.
Happy New Year!
P.S. Help me out with some quick feedback on the newsletter!