Small biz digital marketing leadership will be a powerful differentiator for business growth in 2021.

Ironically, the uncertainty and disruption we currently face are part of the reason why it will be so powerful. In this post, we’ll talk about how to navigate it effectively.

Regarding uncertain times: the 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 reads as 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 be asking 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.

The threats are real, but so are the opportunities that will undoubtedly emerge.

We recommend three areas of focus

To achieve small biz digital marketing leadership, narrow in on:

  1. Digital lifestyle enhancements
  2. Security concerns
  3. Trustworthy digital information 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.

1. 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.

And COVID-19 has been a pivotal driver of society’s acceptance of online resources – or digital lifestyle enhancements. Healthcare providers have adjusted quickly by offering tele-visits for patients and doctors. For many, this eliminated their biggest 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.

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 arrange a tele-visit and do it as you’re speaking to the client, by asking them to switch to a video call and show you around the planned pergola site.

To do this effectively, you’ll have to practice and get comfortable with the tech. But 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 less time driving and more time selling.

2. What does Tom Cruise have to do with this?

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 the security concerns that grow along with the ever-growing capability of technology. 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 implement the processes that protect your customer’s online security, building trust by the way you do business 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.


3. 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.

Business realities can change in an instant, but you can be a trustworthy source of digital information 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.