Strategy is an interesting word. By definition it means a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. A major or overall aim? The question often becomes more about “the aim” as we get into wrapping up December strategy meetings. It’s always good to look back with a few questions when you are revisiting your aim.

1. Are your goals the same now as they were at the end of 2017?

2. What has changed and what hasn’t?

3. Have you updated your marketing and sales messaging to match those changes?

4. Does your story resonate with your clients or customers BECAUSE it shares what makes you different and gives them an experience?

5. Are you happy? (This one is always interesting because it can take us down a completely different path, but I am a huge believer that happiness is everything. If you are miserable in your business, or you are an unhappy marketer; that negative energy can trump even the best laid plans and most lucrative budgets).

6. Have you analyzed your data to include feedback? Are you making changes for that reason?

7. Are you using what’s new in strategy from a more universal perspective? This means what is changing or being recommended in digital strategy –across all industries.

Number 7 is a fun one. While you may not be able to implement everything today, it’s important to be prepared. To take a look at what’s coming in 2019 and how much it will impact your business. For example, if your business is a destination – a retail shop, a restaurant, a boutique hotel; it may be more important for you to work hard to meet certain local SEO strategies and voice search recommendations than it is for another business. However, most certainly, everyone will be impacted at some point. So what are these strategies and recommendations? That definitely depends on who you follow, what research you trust, and quite honestly, who you believe. But, if you are smart – you will find the recommendations that exist across all research and focus on those. Before I list the top strategy recommendations that YaZo is focusing on to start 2019, let’s just say that none of this matters if you aren’t comfortable with number 3 and 4 above.

So, here goes – what we expect to expect in 2019 in marketing.

1. Voice search

As an SEO concern, where do you start? Make sure you have a knowledgeable digital partner who can set the foundation for where this may be going. Things like mobile friendly and local search engine optimization are important now to make sure you are ready in the future. Spend your time and money on these things and find out what they know about voice search.

2. Video Video Video.

If you aren’t doing video, and aren’t at least considering going live – you are missing the boat. There is no denying the research, consumers are responding to video. Get a plan, find your personality and start to engage through video. The need for overdone expensive video in small businesses is being replaced with homemade and iPhone video. I am not suggesting that you be sloppy –but I am suggesting that lack budget should not stop you.

3. Content remains king.

When you jump ahead to number 4, data suggests that content now must go beyond key words to be engaging, trustworthy and authoritative. You cannot write quick content based solely on your key words in the future. Why do you think consumers are responding to video? It’s real. Get real in your content too.

4. Artificial Intelligence and algorithms.

I am deep in vetting mode with this one. I will continue to see demos and learn about these tools. One such recent demo suggested that the future will allow small companies to create complete marketing campaigns with these tools – eliminating the need to engage designers, and people to post and monitor budgets. The AI will “find” what works…the message you need to deliver, the places you need to post, and the budget you need to spend; and in some cases will gather the pieces and create the campaigns for you. While this may be the future – some analysts are suggesting that no matter how successful the in-bound lead campaigns, REAL PEOPLE still need to do follow-up reach-outs to take the leads further into sale mode (especially in the B2B world). So while, digital will become somewhat an AI process- unless the sale is being made there-creating a real business development experience will still be needed.

Despite implementation of all the strategies above, you will still need to look at being part of your local community – especially if you are a small business. Small communities are thriving on shop local and use local campaigns. We love this trend above all!!!

To find out more or to schedule a free YaZo discovery call, get in touch today!!