I spent large parts of the 1980s rocking around in an aqua tracksuit and jelly shooz. I thought I was really cool.
Guess what? THEY’RE BACK IN FASHION!
That doesn’t mean I’m going to turn up to meetings in brightly coloured plastic footwear. Well, maybe.
But it’s interesting how fashions and ideas change and go away and come back again. It happens in business too. Methods of marketing. Ways to deal with customers. For a while it was all about automation and processes and making EVERYTHING as efficient as possible. Now businesses are focusing more on delighting the customer.
In the 90’s direct mail was in fashion and was the most effective method by which to target tailored messages to specific groups and individuals. Technology has revolutionised the way we communicate and interact with our markets. We can reach significantly bigger audiences with more targeted and personalised messages, considerably quicker and at a fraction of the cost of direct mail. Websites, email, blogs, online forums, social media are all fantastic tools to promote our businesses, develop contacts, network online, communicate, share our knowledge, update our knowledge, research …. the list goes on. And it can be fun too with social media being an ideal platform to develop your brand personality.
But with everyone focusing efforts online, it is quite lovely to receive a well thought out direct mail piece in the post. And doing something a little bit different can be very effective too.
Following fashions and trends too closely can be expensive. Work out what people want and deliver it to them in the best way you possibly can. Find out what works for your business and your customers, and do more of it.
Also think about what’s changing. Is it just a style or an industry: shoe styles change all the time, and if you sell shoes then you should probably keep-up. But hardly anyone uses typewriters any more and it seems unlikely that’s going to come back into fashion any time soon. So if you sell typewriters you should probably think about making some pretty big changes. But then again … who would’ve thought that I would would be rockin’ jelly shooz 30 year later.
Set out your goals, be clear about what you want to achieve, plan your activities and be consistent with your message across all media.
And remember to enjoy yourself and be proud of who you are and the business you have created.
I’m off to buy some more groovy shooz …