Business and marketing are both sides of the same coin, the one cannot be without the other. In business, you require consumers, and the entirety of attracting your clientele in a way that leads to conversion is what marketing means. It is what it was created for, and if you are using an effective marketing strategy, is what will grow your business.
But marketing is not what it used to be, this is where the importance of adaptability in your business model plays a crucial role in overcoming a business slump.
Your business does have the ability to thrive, but you have to be willing to look at your business from an outside perspective. Yes, there may be more entrepreneurs on the scene and an intimidating saturated market can lead you to question “will my business idea work?” after you’ve attempted to get your business up and running. Don’t let the doubt diminish your business idea, the key is to adapt your approach. To do this, we need to understand how marketing has changed.
Where marketing started.
In the 1800s the world was dominated by white males, which formed the basis of most businesses back then. Not only were business ideas male-centric and eager to uphold the “Wolf-of-Wallstreet” facade, but networking consisted of the white dominant males chatting around a men’s only country club, playing golf, or happened on a ‘hunting’ trip. This way of doing business did not allow for many people outside the inner circles to convey their ideas or to be heard and seen.
But the most alarming aspect of what marketing used to be is that it was based on comparative advertising. With agencies like Ogilvy & Mather being one of the very few well-known advertising agencies at the time, they were able to control the desired effect for advertising on a regional scale. There was an appointed ‘board’ for admitting your advertising campaigns to, which enabled a handful of people to decide what the public would be exposed to.
Apart from this selective exposure, the media also manipulated the masses with the emergence of photoshop and only showcasing one-sided viewpoints. Women were fat-shamed for being ‘normal’ in comparison to the extremely thin and unrealistic images of women that the fashion industry thrived on. The marketing industry was dominated by publishing houses, and the marketing campaigns were all emotionally manipulated and consisted mainly of direct mailing and inconvenient telephone calls.
Being in marketing was only for the elite degree graduates, and having a business was reserved for the MBA graduates. There was no short course on how to build a business and no room for innovation, especially not if you were a woman who wanted to run her own company or a college dropout who believed in wanting to create a career out of what they love.
Businesses were built on the grounds of making money and profiting at any cost, never on the idea of building a brand because it is something you love. Being a heart-centered entrepreneur who’s ‘woke’ or referred to as a ‘Lazy Bitch Business Coach’ or ‘Sex-Goddess Coach’ was all snake oil. Creating a business and brand ‘from the soul’ wasn’t ever considered, until now. This singular voice that advertising portrayed has transformed and been replaced by giving each individual a voice of their own, as it should always have been.
What marketing is now.
The knowledge that we have today in terms of setting up a business is a lot different when you look at patents, copyrighting, networking, branding, communities, social media, digital marketing, etc. But it has also changed in terms of what is deemed an acceptable business idea, and this is where you and your business model come in.
When you look at where marketing started, you can appreciate the endless possibilities it can offer you today. Businesses are thriving because they have embraced being more than solely a business, they’ve become something personal; a persona for the consumer to interact with.
We have gone from a single magazine spread printed once a month to content being produced by the seconds, scheduled weeks in advance, aimed at not just that one person who decided to buy a magazine that one day.
The emergence of social media has changed what marketing means in terms of the value that your business provides to the everyday consumer. Yes, It is easy to be intimidated by competitors when you look at their social media accounts and their crazy amount of followers. For example, wanting to be the best male action-hero and having to compete against Dwayne the Rock Johnson who has over 200 million followers, or wanting to be a business whizz and comparing your start to the 10 million followers of Gary Vaynerchuck. But this does not diminish your business idea. They are in your niche, they are advanced, have a great following, so how does your business model stand a chance in the market?
This is where the importance of being adaptable and “soul-driven” comes in. The authenticity of your brand comes from you embracing your business model wholeheartedly. Yes, they are successful, but they also started somewhere, they also had to persist and adapt. The world has almost 8 billion people, and despite someone having a social media following of 10 million, there are still billions out there who could use your business model.
“So, how do I adapt my business to be more profitable?”
Once you have your business model in place you need to be willing to adapt it, to take the impact it has had, and to analyze it. Luckily, businesses no longer need to rely on surveys that are filled in when the customer is already halfway out the door. Technology has made it easier for people to review at their own pace. This, in turn, has made it easier for you and your company to interact after they have left your business. It’s not good enough to receive a 5-star review any more, you need to reply to the review to make the customer feel heard and seen- that’s what customers want. And as far as making the consumer feel like they have all the power, you can make them believe that they do by running a poll on LinkedIn or asking questions on Instagram.
As the CEO of a marketing communications company, I have had to adapt to the ever-changing sphere of business models. As I’ve mentioned, the industry has changed drastically. When I started my company in 2008 the business model I used was different from the one I am using today in a lot of ways. One big change that I faced was the shift from offline to online, when the development of technology meant that we could have a website. But that meant the website had to be coded. It seemed such a lengthy (and costly) process at the time, but I invested. After handing over the complicated CMS systems to developers and spending the money on getting a simple flash animation (which can now be considered something like a gif in modern-day, but an absolute gem back then) I made my business available on the great wide interweb.
Now the adaptability comes into play at a faster pace, with Instagram updates seeming to roll out weekly and Facebook constantly updating the look of its newsfeed. It can seem like an endless uphill battle to try and adapt to all the latest trends and market spikes. Always remember that just because you’re adapting your approach does not mean you’re adapting your brand. As someone who has been there and adapted to that, I thought I could share some ways in which you can implement business model adaptability.
Best adaptability hacks in marketing?
The biggest hack is this: your network is your net worth.
The importance of a team besides you, of colleagues to drive you and motivational figures in your life is immeasurable. You need a team around you that will support your vision and mission. Especially when you’re constantly moving and adapting to a market that is always changing! Sir Richard Branson said, “say yes now and figure it out later!” take his advice, build your network and take the opportunity to engage when it comes your way. Never underestimate the connections you make.
Embrace Social Media: It is a platform that is ever-changing, but it is here to stay. Choose which platform is most aligned with your business needs and take the time to engage in it. You cannot just post what your heart desires and leave your impact up to chance, no- you need to understand how content is consumed on the platform. As an example: Instagram and TikTok have the social media platform ablaze with short-form videos. At the moment this is how the majority of consumers are consuming content in big gulps. But just because you spent the past 4 hours creating the perfect reel doesn’t mean it will reach a wide audience. You need to know your audience, how they interact and what they tend to interact with. If they want to see a dancing dog instead of another story on your “morning coffee routine” then it is time you change things up. Be creative, but also stay in line with your target audience.
Give your customer a voice: This is an important adaptability feature because it helps you connect to your audience. By giving them a voice I mean to get them involved! Create Q&A sessions on social media, make them choose the name of a new product/service with a poll, or showcase some of their reviews in your feed. People love to be recognized, so give them the recognition they deserve.
Repurpose Content: You already wrote that detailed blog post describing every aspect of your business, so why not use it? Take what you have written down and allocate it to different mediums, visual impact is key. But keep in mind, as your business grows so should your content. You cannot repurpose a post from two years ago without adjusting it, luckily I can help you repurpose it. Book a free 30-minute growth session and find out how we can repurpose your content strategically.
Make use of google analytics: Keeping track of how your approach and changes in the business model are affecting your target market is key, and that is where we are fortunate enough to live in the 21st century. Google Analytics means we do not have to track things manually.
Recently I saw a spike of interest on my website from Asia. I know this through tracking who is visiting my website, the landing page of their visit, the keywords used, and how long the bounce rate is. By doing this I can get an accurate view of what my audience wants, and what they don’t want. Don’t underestimate the power of analytics, numbers don’t lie! Apart from Google, every social platform gives you as a business the opportunity to track your impact. Use it! Keep track of which hashtag had the most impressions. Regard your user’s most active time of day as a strong indicator of when to post. Take the knowledge that you are given and use it.
Are you ready to adapt your business model?
As easy as it is to say “be adaptable” I understand that it takes trial and error, a lot of focus, and insight into how the market perceives your business. My big change was going from being simply an offline “business consulting and ad agency” to an online worldwide brand and communications marketing agency that has its own podcast & also operates as an events company. I mean come on, it doesn’t get more adaptable than that!
BrandSashka offers a service that focuses on repurposing your content that will optimize lead generation. We will meet and discuss your current marketing strategy and desired outcome. These two factors will help to align the repurposed content with your current business needs. This way of transforming content to be value-driven will lead to optimal ROI.
Repurpose your content with BrandSashka
Think you need more than content repurposing? A growth hacking session might be just what you need. This option allows you 90 minutes dedicated to discussing what you want from your business. It will give you a strategy for your desired outcome as well as help you understand in what direction you want to go.
Book your Growth Hacking Session to adapt your business for a more successful outcome!