To be truly successful in the long term, it helps to be able to predict the future! If I look at the changes in my lifetime – it really is amazing how everyday items like home phones and VHS players and fax machines are becoming obsolete. These items only a decade or so ago were state of the art and in every home or office.

Businesses like Blockbuster and Borders have felt the sting of the changing times and suffered the consequences of not staying up with trends of online books or downloadable movies. There is a lesson to be learned here for marketing folks too! The approach “Well that’s just how we do it” or “That’s how we’ve always done it and it seems to be ok” could be a recipe for disaster. If you haven’t looked at or changed your marketing approach in the last five or ten years, you may be wasting money and not getting the results you want. The DVR and now the Hopper have made commercials less visible. The cost of commercial production paired with the decreased impressions have driven many marketers to choose other means of reaching their audiences. Just about everyone seems to have a smartphone these days which means they have the ability to google your company in their hand at all times. Online marketing can be a more affordable and relevant means today of getting your message seen.

Direct mail is being replaced more and more by email campaigns. Not only is the expense less, email campaigns bring along analytics. Marketeers love ‘open rates’ and click through statistics! I believe there is still a place for direct mail but the audience should be really targeted versus the blanket the city approach of the past. More and more businesses are creating blogs because this offers an excellent showcase of their smart leaders and a chance to share thought- provoking ideas in the moment that might not make sense in an ad. The beauty of a blog is customers and clients can respond and interactive giving the writer direct, actionable feedback. Words and powerful writing skills are becoming more important now that advertising is not just a headline.

And then there is social media! Once thought of as a means for teens and twenty-somethings to communicate, now social media is used for marketing, political campaigns, promotions and so much more. If you are afraid to dip your toe in this pool – you may really be missing out because social media is in your customers faces all day making impressions and informing decisions.

If you want to remain relevant and successful in the marketing world – it would be helpful to be able to predict the future! Barring this – choose a smart partner who will challenge you and push you to try new things, consider new areas and question the standard process. This doesn’t mean you need to throw out everything you are currently doing – but take a hard look and see if you are getting the results you want. Consider some new alternatives and partner with a skilled communicator. At Crunch Consulting, we are always happy to meet, talk about your goals and give an honest opinion. Maybe it’s time you ‘crunch’ the numbers and give a consultant a try!