I just got back from a business trip in which I had to drive through a complete white out from the snow fall that was falling.
As I caught up this morning on the hundreds of e-mails from the week that I had not been able to review and the variety of marketing messages and sales pitches people are sending me to help me launch my business I started to feel like I was back in that blizzard.
Thousands of ideas each unique in its own right just flying at me in the headlights, most not really intended for me but just any random eyeball that would give it the courtesy of paying attention. Is that what marketing a business has become? Just staring out into the future at the thousands of options, none particularly meant for you but willing to stick to you if you want to listen?
While pondering this today I thought why not offer up a few sensible points for business people to follow as they stare straight out at the blizzard of information that is attacking them like a snow storm on a black Nevada night.
How do you filter and learn what is right for your business in this new information age?
1) Know what your goals and targets are for your company. A friend of mine reminded me of this while we shared a dinner and few beers. Focus, is the key to growth. If you have a clear vision of your goal and desired direction or outcome the storm of information will magically start to filter itself and you will key in on only the relevant news and information. Remember the movie The Matrix? When Neo could all of a sudden see all the code that was around him, and was able to focus in on the bullet heading straight for him? He had Focus, the focus we will all need in this new age of information sharing and information pushing.
2) Remember why your core customers buy from you, and how that relates to your marketing efforts. It is very easy in todays information surge to just ride the wave and get caught up in the direction you are being pushed, but often we need to realize that our current core customer is not on that wave, and is watching us move on without them. If you currently have a customer base that is 45+ in age and that core is still engaged with you are your current practices, then moving suddenly to a media platform which is predominately used by those under 35 may not be the smartest move a this point. Not that you can ignore the future marketplace and the new tools but you don’t have to change dramatically and shift focus when the world is screaming that change is a must. Example is this Blog, I started it knowing that it was helping build a future base of business and followers, but I still go out and meet clients face to face and sell traditional products to my clients the same way I have for years.
3)Control your time – Don’t be afraid to hit delete. How ridiculous is it that you open your e-mail in the morning and their hundreds of e-mails that are calling for your attention. I tried something new this week while away on business, I opened my e-mail and deleted all e-mails that were from companies,that traditionally are just offering to sell me something, all linked in group reports and any e-mails that were not from contacts that I routinely have conversations with, before opening them. I found that about 12% of my e-mails had any relevance to my days work. Funny thing is I received just as many e-mails the next day, many form the same people I deleted the day before, I was not even behind.
4) Find Guidance – During that snow storm and virtual white out along hwy 395 last night I had to find the simplest guidance possible so that I could continue n my trip, I used the groves on the road that usually tell you that you are crossing the line and going off the road. What made them so trust worthy , is that I could not see them but I could always feel them and hear them. In a storm sometimes our eyes will deceive us, and our minds will play tricks on us. In Business we have to find our guides, mentors or groups of colleagues which help us see through the information surge, and we have to listen to that internal voice that tells us to be cautious. In todays information surge too good to be true is getting harder and harder to tell, your colleagues and groups can be a great source of helping see value, and find references to all these offers.
5) Keep moving forward – At times the information will seem unbearable, but if you stop it will only bury you. Keep you r goals in front of you and your mission steadfast. Remember in todays of information surge, that it is always available when you actually need it. I love the e-mail offers from companies now a days that promise you that this is only available for the next few days and will be gone forever. It is called the internet, nothing is ever gone, a quick search and all the information you want on a subject is right there, or of course they will just send it to you again in four days….
So if you are driving your business through this information surge and feel a little over whelmed at what you see in front of you remember to just focus in, keep moving, find a guide and control your speed, you will be through this in no time and cruising in the right direction before you know it.