Have you been questioning why innovation isn't occurring in your business? Have you ever experienced…
Is Sexy Innovation Distracting You From the Fundamentals?
Is your attraction to innovation distracting you from the fundamentals needed to build your business?
Innovation doesn’t have to be sexy in order for it to significantly improve your business performance. While the word innovation is very simply defined as a new method or idea, it tends to get washed around with perceptions of fancy-pants, tech-related and machine-led progressions. When you mention innovation in relation to marketing, all the buzzwords (and acronyms) start to fly; automation, AI, VR, AR, chatbots, voice activation, and the list goes on.
Put the fundamentals first.
All of that tech innovation definitely promises to deliver a pretty exciting future for the world of small business marketing. However, I recommend that you forget about any of it. Put it aside until you have the fundamental methods of marketing instilled in your business.
And by the fundamentals I mean solid methods in place for;
- setting marketing goals that tie into your overall business objectives,
- understanding who your customer is,
- making sure all of your staff know what you stand for and what makes you different and
- a humming little measurement process that keeps track of the dollars you spend and tells you if that investment is delivering a return.
It’s easy to get distracted.
There’s nothing quite like a shiny new thing to distract us from the slightly less galvanising reality of a plan. And it’s possible this attraction to innovation is distracting you from the fundamentals needed to grow your business performance.
And let’s face it, the innovative tech that is now so readily available to any size business is pretty damn mind-blowing. It’s hard not to get caught up in the hype about how much information and data we can now collect about our customers, how stimulating we can make our content with virtual and augmented reality and how streamlined our marketing processes can become with machine learning and automation.
However, these hi-tech tools are only as effective as the plan that directs them. Without knowing why we are using these tools and what we plan to achieve with them, we stand to fritter away valuable time and money, that as small business owners, we simply don’t have.
Case in point – Social Media Marketing.
Social media revolutionised the way small businesses could communicate with their customers.
In the very beginning, this nimble and innovative tech was incredibly sexy to use as a communication tool. Not only did it allow you to publish content that you had produced yourself (no media buyer, graphic designer or copywriter necessary thank you very much) but it was free to use!
For those business owners who lacked the marketing planning to direct their social media efforts, it didn’t take very long to realise that while social media marketing didn’t cost a lot of money, publishing all that content sure took up a lot of time.
Then, as Facebook started to roll out innovations of their own, that time-consuming content production seemed to yield less and less response.
Return on Investment.
Distracting and trending innovation aside, if any activity is costing us precious time and money, then we want to see a return on that invested time and money.
Newsflash: posting on social media for the sake of posting on social media does not dint a business’s bottom line as much as focused and targeted content driven by a masterful plan.
A masterful plan will ensure that your social media activity is created to achieve specific objectives, that it drives engagement from the perfect type of customer for your business, that it helps position your brand in a particular spot within your consumers mind, that it complements your other marketing efforts and that it is measured and optimised regularly to ensure that it drives significant returns.
Is sexy innovation distracting you from the fundamentals?
So if you are a small business who is satiating your desire to innovate by darting experimentally from one avant-garde marketing technique to the next and you are not actually seeing any of this innovative activity impact your businesses bottom line, stop.
Take a step back and redirect the application of your innovation to ensure that you incorporate the new (and relatively unsexy) planning methods.
This will help guide the sexier innovative marketing ideas to deliver you successful outcomes for your business.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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