“All calendar’s days are numbered” –A handwritten sign on a gas station window in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
In the Spring of 2017, I was pumping gas at a small station in Brevard, NC. I spied a handwritten sign in the window, “All calendar’s days are numbered.” Roll that around in your head. Embrace the double or even triple meaning.
Here is one meaning. The product, idea or service that you are currently launching has a shelf life. There is another entrepreneur or business development manager currently creating a new idea, a new product or a new service to compete. Trends change. You may see change on the horizon or you may wake up to change one morning.
Riding the Trend Wave is an enormous thrill. It’s the “Runner’s High” at work. It is so thrilling that some forget to plan for the future and to put an insurance policy in place. I’m not talking about purchasing an insurance rider or keeping your resume and Linkedin page up-to-date (although both are a good idea). I am talking about building an insurance policy for future sales and business into the Trend Wave.
When the wave comes crashing down, you cannot just grab a surfboard and jump back on the wave. You need to plan for the crash, while you are enjoying the awesome ride.
What keeps customers buying your product or service, even after a competitor hits the market? What makes them early-adopters of your next idea or product? Or how can you build an insurance policy to extend your Trend Wave?
I reached out to entrepreneurs and business leaders that I have known for years. I asked seasoned entrepreneurs and I asked new entrepreneurs. Themes emerged. Information worth sharing.
“Entrepreneurs are driven towards perfection. They’re not afraid. They never stop learning.”— Glen Arndt (Glen has a long history of launching new products)
Marketing by Educating: They never stop learning.
They are not afraid and they never stop learning. Successful entrepreneurs are always growing. Growing their product or idea and growing in new sales methods. They never stop learning—an insurance policy.
I heard, most often, about the importance of learning new applications for Social Marketing and now Social Advertising. Companies that are extending the Trend Wave for their products are not only investing in content, but they are investing in education.
With education comes the power and confidence to try new sales and marketing methods.
Content and Marketing Planning
Adam Dewitte created and manages Pisgah Field School in Brevard, NC. The entire Western North Carolina region is a mecca for tourists.
The competition for the tourist dollar is a sport. We discussed surveying customers and making tweaks to content and the marketing plan. Adam explained that just tweaking the tour names and descriptions in 2017 dramatically increased total company revenue.
The catalyst for changing the name and description of the tours came from surveying past customers. The launch of an updated website provided solid growth – www.PisgahFieldSchool.
The customer surveys revealed the need for more timely video content. So, updated videos were added to the web site. Pisgah Field School also launched an advanced tour booking engine and shopping cart, requested by customers.
A Positive and Consistent Customer Experience (UX) Conquers the Trend Wave
Tweaking your message is an insurance policy.
How can you hold onto your customer base and carry them to your next wave?
That is the question in the room. You know that the trend or the wave for your product will eventually wane. How do you carry your customers over to your new product or idea?
To find an answer, I interviewed DC Stokes. DC is not an entrepreneur. He is a customer. DC morphed from being a customer of Bold Rock Hard Cider to being a Brand Ambassador for the company.
What was the spark? What turned a customer into a Brand Ambassador? The Customer Experience. A consistent customer experience. Social Media and web content that embodied the southern hospitality and customer experience enjoyed while visiting a Bold Rock Hard Cider Tasting Room.
DC knew that every time he brought his family and friends to a Bold Rock Tasting Room or poured a cold cider, it was going to be the same consistent experience.
If you want to build an insurance policy into your product, you need to build a consistent customer experience. A consistent experience at your business location, a consistent experience with your product or service and that includes a consistent content experience.
This is UX (user experience) at its best: listen to customers and provide a consistent and valuable customer experience.
Consistent, Timely, and Useful Marketing Content
I interviewed ten entrepreneurs and business leaders. There was a consensus that the number one way to build an insurance policy into a Trend Wave is consistent and timely content.
- Updated web sites.
- Consistent Social Marketing and Social Advertising tied to product or event launch dates.
- Fresh photography, especially for seasonal promotions.
All of the business leaders agreed that content not only needed to be consistent in time, but in the message. A product or service message should be woven into the fabric of a total content plan.
- Blog themes should be tied to Social Marketing posts.
- Videos should be launched on several platforms.
- Content is released in a rhythm.
- All content assets are woven together.
- The web site becomes the home-base for the customer experience.
Create an insurance policy by creating a unified content plan.
“You may delay, but time will not”—Benjamin Franklin
Conquering the Trend Wave
Another meaning of All Calendar’s’ Days Are Numbered. One thing that we do know is that a Trend Wave doesn’t last forever. It is time to craft an insurance policy. It is time to ensure that you ride the wave and also carry your customers to your next great product or idea.
To conquer the trend wave, you must:
- Remain current on content and Social Marketing trends.
- Attend seminars, summits and maintain a library of content ideas.
- Do not be afraid to try new techniques, if they fit your brand and the desired customer experience.
- Remain current on Social Advertising guidelines and policy.
- Survey your customer base.
- Use feedback to tweak your product, your service and your content.
- Maintain a consistent Customer Experience and a consistent Content Experience.
- Weave your story into all aspects of your content. The theme of your blog post should match your social media feeds.
- Craft a Content Calendar and implement the plan. Schedule frequent reviews to ensure that all content is on-plan.
- Re-fresh your web site.
- Use your web site as the hub of your content marketing efforts.
Trend waves will come and go. They are fun to ride but painful if you crash and burn. Smart content marketing can keep you from being washed up on shore.