We all know it’s a changing business world. The digitisation of business offers benefits and advantages we could hitherto have only dreamt about. Indeed one of the recurring themes of the Accelerate 2013 conference on business growth that we attended in Liverpool last week was that, big or small, companies need to ensure that they are ready for the changing business landscape and adapting to it. Ignoring it because you don’t understand it or can’t see how it can work for you will soon render your business as a dinosaur – and we all know what happened to them. Digital platforms must become an integral part of how your business engages with its markets and made to work for them – not be a crude bolt-on to them.
And along with that there needs to be a change in outlook to marketing. We are as guilty as everyone – we call ourselves a PR agency because it is a term people understand; but in doing so we focus solely on just one of the disciplines that we use (PR) and not what we are actually about, which is helping our clients engage with existing and potential customers and grow their businesses. How we do that, in a sense, is irrelevant.
People are fixated on the fact that online and mass media can help them reach the world. The reality, of course, is that most businesses don’t want or need to reach the world. They need to reach a carefully targeted community most likely to buy their products. You can still use online and PR to do this but it requires a mind shift from many clients to get it right. Don’t focus on the many, focus on the comparative few that can actually make a tangible difference to your bottom line. By adopting a surgical approach to social platforms, using data to target down to individual potential customers and ensuring that your media work is specific and relevant to these groups you will achieve far more than if you try and take on the world and simply get lost in the crowd.
We know it can work because we’ve done it for others. We think it’s an astute approach to marketing in 2013. Now, if we could only find a way of summing it up in a few words…