Change is inevitable holds many truths, whether its from the quote from author John Maxwell, “Change is inevitable, Growth is optional,” or from Sheldon Cooper to Penny from the Big Bang Theory, “So you’re saying the inevitability of change might be a universal constant,” we all know change is a part of live, and for businesses and marketing.
As things change, where to advertise is also changing. It changed before the internet, but for many, the internet seems like it has been around forever. The millennials grew up with the internet as a part of their lives, with the first websites for businesses coming out the late 1990’s, but before this, we had AOL, which started in 1985. So for many, we have always known the internet. But before the internet, there were, and still are today, other ways to market a business. Finding the right media to have a business place advertisement is key to success with marketing.
Changes in Different Media
As different types of media entered the marketplace, early adopters (advertisers/businesses,) tend to do well as the media grows in popularity, both in the user base and in the options for media. In the early stages, media companies work to find the best way to monetize their companies, while helping to ensure success for their customers and the consumers who use their media.
Some of the earlier media, like newspapers & magazines, radio and tv, and phone books have all gone through major transition over the years. In some cases, consumer usage is down (less people read newspapers today as the ease of getting the news, and quickly, has shifted to radio/television back in the early 1900’s, and the internet in the 21st century. The same is true for the phone book, where once, many local businesses relied on the phone book, as consumers used it as a reference to local businesses, and just about everyone received a free copy of the phone book. The industry evolved and towards the end of the 20th century, there was more than one phone book being delivered to homes, and in some cases, there were four or more phone books being delivered to the same home. As the internet changed the way we find information, phone book usage is down big time, with most millennials never really ever using a phone book. Much like the way camera’s, pay phones, and typewriters, things change.
Evolution of Companies
When looking at how consumers are influenced by media and how media has changed, so have many businesses. And local businesses must pay attention – “Change is Inevitable,” as it is the only constant today. Local businesses which sell products must be aware of the same products being sold on the internet and typically will not be able to offer better pricing than what one may find online. They have to win in other ways – service, service, service. If the item you are selling is a commodity, then the key selling factor for local businesses must be service, service, service. Know it, own it, and differentiate your company to win.
Though social media is a part of the internet, the internet, more specifically, internet marketing, really has diversified, and now there are different media within the media – pay for click ads (Google Adwords,) marketing to people who have visited your website (remarketing advertising,) social media, mobile and desktop ads, etc. There are so many places a local business could advertise, it certainly understandable why many companies trust Louvre Media for help here. Local businesses may be able to capitalize on social media, but winning social media is really about having a voice people want to hear and content which is engaging to a wide audience. A business can win locally with a local voice, and this topic is many blogs in and of itself. The point is, as things evolve, there are micro evolutions happening, as once social media may have been the likes of MySpace, Friendster, AOL Chat, today most know the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, with TikTok coming on strong and some may say Reddit, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are also in this space – different, but similar – ways for people to connect and get information.
Local Businesses and Change
Local businesses must change as well to keep up with the changes as competition changes and consumers change. As these changes occur, what changes do you need to make to stay competitive and continue to grow. If you are a service-oriented company, do you need to provide more services, change your service offering, or maybe eliminate some services you are currently providing. If you are a product-oriented company, what products should you add, what products do you need to eliminate, and what products can you look to renegotiate with your vendors, since as you spend more with a vendor, maybe you can get better pricing.
What does a local business need to do to stay ahead of the change factor?
• Listen – Listen to your customers. Listen to your team. Listen to your industry and stay
connected with industry trends. Do not think you know it all.
• Connect – Connect with your customers. Connect with your team. Connect with your
industry. Do not think you know it all.
• Evolve – Evolve with your customers. Evolve with your team. Evolve with your industry.
Do not think you know all the answers.
• Make mistakes – as you change, test, test, test. Is this the right change. Did this change do
what you expected it to go. Adapt and continue to change. The more mistakes you make,
the more wins you may find.
Who Are Your Customers – Who Will They Be
Are the changing too? If your target customer is in their 20’s, will you continue to market to them in their 30’s or will you be marketing to the next group of 20-year old’s. Is your target customer in their 70’s. The fact this group will not be your customer a long time after, forces your company to look to the next group of people in their 70’s. This will force change. Your future customer may react differently to your products or service and the way you would communicate to them (message/marketing,) will also be different. Their expectations will change and so must your business. Think of McDonald Happy Meals – we all have seen Happy Meals at some point in our live – either as parents or as kids. Even if we didn’t go to McDonalds as a consumer, we still probably know about it. Happy Meals started in the late 1970’s, as a way to attract children (and their parents,) and many of these children give the Happy Meal experience to their children today. The Happy Meal has evolved, from the food choices (fries or fruit,) and options for the drink. They have added more choices to all their menu over the years and are still the number one Fast Food chain in the US by a big amount, and number one in the world. What McDonalds looked like in 1950’s is very different from what it looks like today in 2021 – both in offerings, service, and overall look. Service is still very important to them, but service today looks very, very different today, as people can order via delivery apps, apps for pick up, and from ordering from kiosks in the physical locations.
Seek out change before change seeks you out! Planning for change must be a part of the business plan you do every year. Being proactive with change will help you stay ahead of the competition and a leader in your industry in your local market. Got get them tiger! And if you have marketing questions, contact us and we can see if we can answer them for you!