Small biz digital marketing leadership will be a powerful lever for business growth in 2021 and beyond if it’s used effectively.

Ironically, the uncertainty and disruption we currently face is part of the reason why it can be so powerful. In this post we’ll talk about how.

Regarding uncertain times: successful leader and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, liked to say that he could predict the future with pinpoint accuracy. Whenever he sat in a board meeting, and someone asked him what he expected in the years ahead, his answer was always the same:

Expect there to be opportunity mixed with difficulty.

Given that insight, it’s likely this new study by Pew Research Center is credible and accurate. Of the 915 experts surveyed, 47% predicted the future would be worse because of tech.  41% said it would be better.

Regardless of which of those two camps you fall into, you have to ask yourself how to best prepare.

Some of the issues brought to light in the Pew study are not encouraging. It’s a reminder that when it comes to choosing between optimism and pessimism, the best choice may be neither – be a realist. Though some of the threats are real, so are the opportunities that will undoubtedly emerge.

We recommend three areas of focus

To achieve small biz marketing leadership, narrow in on these areas:

  1. Digital lifestyle enhancements
  2. Security concerns
  3. Digital information and misinformation sources

Side note: The tone you create as a trusted resource is foundational. Consider it like the set of your sail as you navigate the calm/choppy waters ahead. It all begins and ends with trust.

Get ready for a ‘tele-everything’ world

No need to explain this one, right? ZOOM is a front runner in this new digital-everything world.

COVID-19 has been a pivotal driver of society’s acceptance of online resources. Healthcare providers quickly adjusted by offering tele-visits for patients and doctors. For many, this alleviated a huge concern almost immediately.

For example, someone who struggles with Auto-immune Disease cannot afford the risk of a crowded doctor’s office for their monthly visits. For them, tele-visits is a Godsend.

You may be wondering what this has to do with you and your small biz digital marketing leadership. Here’s what: be prepared to offer the convenience of a digital experience on the fly. For example, if you’re a construction contractor who builds pergolas, you can do a tele-visit by asking your client to switch to a video call and have them show you around the area where they think it would fit best.

To do this effectively, you’ll have to practice and get comfortable with the tech. It’s worth it if you consider it from the client’s perspective (which we always should, right?). The customer gets touchless contact and quick answers to their questions.

From your point of view, it means you spend less time driving and more time selling.

And what does Tom Cruise have to do with it?

Security is a major theme in the Pew study.

It’s hard not to be a little spooked by the “deepfake” Tom Cruise videos generated via Artificial Intelligence. They are a stark reminder of tech’s ever-growing capability and misuse. The reality is it’s become naive to ignore digital security or simply provide the minimum.

So, how do you address this uneasy undercurrent around security?

While, it’s a no-brainer that you protect your customer’s online security, building trust by the way you do business with them can be every bit as powerful.

For example, be a risk absorber. Think through your sales process – again from the customer’s perspective – and see where you can reduce the risk. Little things can make a big difference. Consider guarantees – everyone offers them, but not everyone takes the time to emphasize them. And fewer still develop guarantees that are unique and generous.

Here’s a great example from a company that sells information products:

I recommend that you NEVER buy anything that isn’t 100% guaranteed. And with this homestudy you get our ‘Smiley Guarantee’. Which means that if you decide all this information is rubbish, you can literally email us and we’ll give you all your money back. With no questions asked. Email me within 30 days for a complete refund. And I’ll be happy to refund your money with a smile.

Can you see how this minimizes the risk and increases the prospect’s sense of security about doing business? Securing the relationship, not just the technology, is how you will differentiate yourself in the future and create predictable success.

 

Only fools and foreigners try to predict the Texas weather

One could say something similar about this unpredictable tele-everything, deepfake world we now live in.

However, you can be predictable for your prospects and customers by providing a transparent, reliable, and unique experience. Do it with empathy, and clients will see you as far more than a service provider. You’ll become a TRUE partner.

The future will continue to unfold with its difficulties and opportunities. Why not make others’ difficulty your opportunity to lead with trust?

By the way, we recommend you spend some time reading the PEW study and would love to know your reactions to it.

And pay no attention to those deepfake Tom Cruise videos.