As one year comes to the finish line and another gets ready to launch, reviewing our process, what key trends emerged and where they are going are essential for planning a sustainable strategy for success.
Some of the business and career trends that emerged and developed this year were focused around new technologies and platforms(mobile, coupons, apps, text-marketing), using social media more for business and job search (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin), integrated smart networking (blending the in person and online).
As with all trends following them through their movement and cycles is super important in knowing how you can best leverage and use them.
Here are a few key statistics and trends that emerged this year that stood out for me.
- “80% of jobs are not posted on job boards and are in the hidden job market accessed only through networking.” (NACE, National Association of Colleges and Employers)
- “52% of US companies say that job applicants are not qualified” (Manpower Talent Shortage Repoort)
- “76% use Facebook, 53% use Twitter and 48% use LinkedIn to screen candidates.” (CareerEnlightenment.com)
- Top 11 consumer trends and top business and marketing trends are reviewed at Trendwatching.com
- Customer experience is no longer just about the “4Ps” of price, production, promotion, and place. Neuroscience Helps Marketers Harness Consumers’ “Gut Feel” in Decision-Making, according to The American Marketing Association.
Are you prepared, ready and armed to play?
Ask yourself: What’s working? What’s not?
Am I willing to shake myself up?
Here are 5 areas to review and renew to help you “raise your business metabolism.”
1) An Attitude of Gratitude and A Positivity Mindset
An attitude of gratitude, kindness and positivity can be highly magnetic. Demonstrate how you process through challenge and difficulty and be a power of example. Better to spread good will, solutions and hope, rather than wine and complain. It’s actually better to be authentic about how you are processes through “one of those days” than to just complain about it. Share the problem but more importantly share your solutions. A good example of this was the Netflix situation and how they responded to their public.
2) Make a Stand with Your Brand and Branding Image and Message
A clear, defined brand statement and promise that is very focused on what you do and all the branding activities you use to put yourself out there is much more important now than ever before. Invest in the visual marketing tools: logo, website, branded business cards, company materials, unified image and message across all platforms. Refresh, renew and rejuvenate what you currently have to keep pace with current technologies and web platforms. This tells people you are relevant, current and ready to do business.
3) Puttering Products and Stuttering Services?
A thorough review of how relevant all of your products and services are to your customer, the market and how they are performing and working is essential. If something isn’t working be realistic about how you can improve it, reinvent it or let go of it.
4) Smooth, Fast Delivery Platforms and Strategies
Evaluate how you deliver your products and services, based on the best ways your customers want to receive them. Survey your customers regularly and find out directly from them how they want to be served: web, mail, social media, in person, mobile, QR? Creating the experience you want your customers or community to have with you assures their retention and longevity. Check all your delivery platforms and strategies and keep them very up to date. Are there better approaches you can be using and implementing to raise customer service expectations for faster, smarter, better, more referrals?
5) An Integrated and Blended Networking Approach
Live in and blend the two worlds: in person and online networking activities. Join, engage, accelerate being out in front of your company in person and with your social media marketing activity especially on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Incorporate blogging and email marketing into your plan immediately. Getting very serious and active with this blended approach will be the key to smart networking and connections, not to mention helping your personal brand to stand out. These are the “tools of the trade” that are a must today.
Reviews and resolutions are not reserved anymore for the end of the year. They are opportunities to make your plan for what lies ahead at any point in the year. Years come and go and along with them we must look more frequently during, at how our plans and goals are unfolding and working. Being flexible and able to stop and change directions or tweak whenever needed is a coveted business skill.
Be smart, prepared and armed to welcome and harvest opportunity, navigate challenge and flow with change. In today’s world opportunity, challenge and change are our way of life. We should be bringing ourselves into harmony with that process with all the resources, weapons and best practices that are out there and available to us FREE and low cost NOW.
What areas do you need to reinvent, re-imagine and reinvigorate to insure your continued success?
Deborah Shane is an author, media host, speaker, writer and branding strategist. She hosts her Toolbox Blog and is in her third year of hosting a weekly business radio show called Deborah Shane’s Metropolis that has over 32K downloads! She is a regular contributor to several national business, career and marketing blogs and websites. Her new book Career Transition-make the shift is available on Amazon.com and all major book sellers. Deborah delivers smart, no-nonsense ideas and solutions, which make her a popular go-to resource for clients, national media and influential blogs. Visit her at www.deborahshane.com.