Happy New Year!
Yes, it is going to be a Happy New Year because the Georgia Bulldogs have won the 2022 CFP National Championship AND the Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series.
Unfortunately, with the good comes the not-so-good. Many of the issues we’ve all been dealing with the past two years are still with us along with some new challenges – COVID-19, inflation, supply chain problems, and labor market shortages. It’s easy to be optimistic when everything is going well. It builds character and resolve when times are tough – just ask the Braves or the Bulldogs.
It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. Dealing with changes and challenges is not easy. On one hand, you don’t want to overreact because of a single event or data point. Yet, when a few events or data points emerge, a trend line forms. As leaders, it’s our job to stay ahead of the curve. We need to make changes when the time is right – not too quickly and definitely not when it’s too late.
Besides the overall changes and challenges in the marketplace, we’ve seen a number of changes in the digital marketing landscape over the past two years. Here’s some of what we’re seeing:
- Clear Brand Identity: Having a consistent brand, logo, and style is more important than ever. In a crowded marketplace, the quality of your image is what stands out and you only have one chance to make that first impression or else someone just scrolls by.
- Websites Are Not Enough: Your website is necessary, but not sufficient to attract new customers or donors. An organization needs a defined strategy to attract attention and get your website noticed.
- Pay to Play: Social media “organic” posts do not garner the attention they once did. Everyone has a Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn account these days, which makes it hard to stand out. Paid social media advertising and sponsored posts are the only way to stand out and be seen by more people – that’s how the social media algorithms work.
- Content is King but Video is Queen: Video catches the attention of the marketplace much more effectively than static images. This is the age of Reels, TikTok, and other short forms of video. Longer form videos are good, but a catchy short-form video attracts more attention.
- Who’s on First? Metrics are great, but most businesses aren’t looking at them. Digital marketing allows one to fine-tune efforts by measuring the effectiveness of each stage of the marketing/sales funnel. Resist the temptation to measure marketing spend effectiveness by a single measure – be multi-dimensional. We’ve seen a lot of marketing campaigns on the verge of break-out success killed off too early without a full understanding of what’s going on.
- Map out Success: Too many organizations do not have a formal, written marketing plan. Because of that, money and energy is wasted on a number of isolated programs, advertising contracts, and one-off initiatives. A coordinated marketing plan is what’s needed in this complex marketing world.
- Got Staff? Marketing is complex and the age of a one-person marketing department is over. Marketing requires a team and most small organizations can’t afford an entire team, especially given the fact that labor rates are increasing.
So what is Country Fried Creative doing about all of that?
We’re changing the recipe.
Starting last summer, we began the process of updating our methodologies, plans, and recommendations. Internally, we call our methodologies – recipes. Like any good recipe, we keep working on it until it’s just right. Also, we know that most recipes need to be “tweaked” depending upon who’s being served. All of our marketing solutions are homemade and cooked to order for each of our customers. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all marketing. While the principles of great marketing are fairly universal, we know customers have unique needs and priorities. The advantage of being a small, local business is that we have the ability to change and adapt fairly quickly. Homemade recipes taste better and have more soul.
Starting this month, we will be rolling out some of our new recipes and services. Everything we do has been tested in our Country Fried “kitchen”. Not only that, but we take our own medicine. Some of these new recipes helped us become the 2021 Fayette Chamber Small Business of the Year (thanks again for helping us win that award). We’d like to know what you think about our new recipes, so we’ll be reaching out to ALL of our customers this year.
Are you ready for a new recipe right now? We’re here to help – just give me a call or text. Want to learn more about building an effective marketing strategy? Read this article!
Yours in success and great marketing,
Country Fried Joe