Marketing isn’t something you only take on when business is stale, and ignore when business is booming.
The best marketing strategies requires consistency and regular maintenance in order to see the best results over time. You wouldn’t brush your teeth only once a month before an important dinner, would you? For the same reason – don’t expect marketing to magically solve all your issues when executed in a rush.
Many people confuse marketing with sales. A common opinion is that marketing can be “turned off” when sales are coming in, and “turned back on” when sales are slow. Unfortunately, the field of marketing doesn’t work that way.
If sales are the fuel powering your business, marketing is the navigation helping you reach strategic goals
With the digital landscape constantly changing across multiple industries, we’re seeing a shift in how consumers make purchasing decisions (this might be the understatement of the year). Businesses must adapt or lose their competitive advantage.
The worst part is, as obvious as this may sound to our marketing agency, it’s not immediately obvious to players in certain industries. A B2B business, for example, is simply a B2C business that caters to wholesale buyers and decision makers as their end customer. You still need to reach them the same way – through word of mouth, online visibility, physical branding, etc.
The biggest danger that faces your business isn’t a market shift – it’s complacency. Once you loosen your grip on the market, you can be sure that someone else will be there to grasp the opportunities you’ve let go.
The biggest driver of complacency is success. A decade ago, Blockbuster never expected Netflix to overtake them. They actually had the opportunity to adapt – by buying Netflix for $50 million in the year 2000 (Netflix is currently worth $152 billion at time of posting).
On the micro-level, we see businesses in every industry – from B2B or B2C, retail or service-based, update their digital strategies in order to not lag behind.
Here are five real dangers of staying complacent in any competitive industry:
1. Your Competitors Will Outperform You
Even if your competitors have a strictly inferior product or service to yours, they may outstrip your business’ performance just by their website or sales funnel alone.
Consumers rely on online information in order to make decisions. When your website is outdated or dysfunctional, they will choose not to consider your business even though you may have a superior product.
2. The Market Will Leave You Behind
Sometimes, entire markets fall to changing consumer trends. When this happens, all players in the market – both you and your competitors – fall victim to the change. But, savvy businesses choose to adopt different strategies in order to stay afloat in changing circumstances.
Just because one method of business served you well for over decade, doesn’t mean that it will continue to serve you well for the next.
3. You’ll Stop Growing – Secretly
The unfortunate truth is that confirmation bias curbs logical behaviour into making you think you’re safe and doing well, when you actually aren’t. To bring up Blockbuster as an example again – they thought they were in a fine place, right up until they weren’t.
The tricky thing with numbers is that they tend to not show the whole truth. Even if business is growing, a slight change in your clients’ demographic can raise red flags that often go unnoticed.
Perhaps you’ve experienced another quarter of growth. That’s great! But, where did the numbers come from? If they all came from repeat clients, why is it that you’re not onboarding anyone new? What happens when your repeat clients start to move away? What will you do then?
4. You’ll Focus On The Wrong Things
When things go well, your top priority is to invest in options that will help your business continue to perform well and grow. Success is fickle, don’t treat it lightly. Learn why you are succeeding, and take those learnings to the next level by executing a consistent strategy backed by your insights.
We’ve seen businesses choose to invest their money incorrectly on endeavours that don’t actually help grow their business – every dollar spent on something that doesn’t help you grow, is a dollar poorly invested.
5. Nothing Will Go Your Way
Destiny isn’t coincidental. When a market changes, all players will adapt to fit the changing trends. It was just two years ago that Google started penalizing websites for not being mobile friendly, and now Google is starting to penalize websites for slow speed (as of July 2018, Google declared that they will now penalize the search rankings of the slowest sites in a search).
When customers choose other options, the industry is shifting away from what used to work for you, and even platforms themselves are penalizing you for not staying up-to-date, it may feel like nothing will go your way.
That’s why marketing agencies like us work with businesses like yours, to ensure that you’re safeguarded against market changes by keeping a close eye on your performance, clients and competitors. By staying up-to-date on changes in digital marketing, a proper marketing agency can help you correct your business and stay afloat in this volatile business environment.
If you’d like to learn more about our digital marketing services, contact us or drop by our agency on Robson Street! We always have chocolate 🙂