January 21, 2019

THIS WEEK – Took a break from blogging to re-design and launch a new 2019 blog format. Welcome to PowerShift Marketing Notes – This Week.

PowerShift Marketing is the name of my marketing book and workshops I conducted for small businesses.  I thought it was a good name for my weekly blog update. My blog will still focus on marketing trends and research. It won’t necessarily come out every Monday, but it will appear weekly, starting this week.

Thought I would start off with some 2019 predictions.

BUSINESSES WILL TAKE A FRESH LOOK AT CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING – In December 2018 a Hilton Hotel (Doubletree in Portland) made headlines by kicking out a black guest because he was loitering in the lobby while calling his mom. Most customer service training programs are decades behind in understanding the challenge of today’s diverse customer bases. This is even more true in Oregon where rural communities do not have the diversity you find in urban areas. Today’s customers – Hispanics, Blacks, old and young, Muslims, women – they all must be treated with similar respect. That’s why we have added a dynamic new “They Don’t Look Like Us” segment to our 2019 customer service training. Here’s a link to all our current programs. Email me if you are interested in doing some training prior to the start of your season (Mark@dennettgroup.com).

BUSINESSES WILL RETHINK FACEBOOK MARKETING – We still believe that Facebook, if used correctly, is a solid marketing tool. But Facebook has been sailing through troubled waters and a growing number of consumers are not pleased with their use of personal data and how it is uses it to categorizes them. So, Facebook growth is slowing and there is a growing backlash to it. That’s why you need to redefine your Facebook strategy. Our research shows that not all social media generates traffic to websites. Contact us if you want to learn more about changes in social media for 2019 and our ability to help you.

MARKET RESEARCH WILL BE MORE CRITICAL FOR SMALL BUSINESSES – Sure the big guys have always believed in research. But many small businesses think even a modest investment is unaffordable. This will change. Today’s consumer holds all the power. They have already researched your business online before deciding to buy (or visit) what you have. So, you need to know them better than ever. Consider these recent statistics reported by Hubspot.com (their newsletter is excellent):

• 80% of Instagram users currently follow a business account, according to 2017 data from Instagram.

• 75% of smartphone owners turn to a search engine first to address immediate needs, according to 2018 data from Google.

• Emails that don’t display clearly or correctly on mobile devices may be deleted within 3 seconds, according to 2018 data reported by HubSpot.

What can you do to make sure your customers find you early and often? You must understand where your customer is doing their research and what is influencing their decisions. Researching your product/service, target audience, and how you fare in your industry, is not a luxury. It is essential. Our new 2019 research guide outlines the easy and affordable steps you can take to make research a part of your future. Email me for a copy.

BUSINESSES NEED TO GET READY FOR GENERATION Z – Just when you thought you might be getting a handle on marketing to Millennials (now the largest market in America), here comes Generation Z – those ages 13 to 21. To keep the Millennial generation analytically meaningful, and to begin looking at what might be unique about the next group, Pew Research Center (PEW) decided last year to use 1996 as the last birth year for Millennials. Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial. Anyone born from 1997 onward is now part of a new generation. PEW hesitated to give this new generation a name and looked at a variety of names: Generation Z, the iGeneration and Homelanders. But now Gen Z has taken hold in popular culture and journalism. Sources ranging from Merriam-Webster and Oxford to the Urban Dictionary now include this name for the generation that follows Millennials. This year we will be exploring how this generation will make Baby Boomers and Seniors even more uncomfortable with their view of the world.

NEW SERVICE – Just finished proofing and editing a major new website for a highly successful website designer. We have been doing proofing and copy editing for others too. That’s why we decided to officially launch a new service for 2019. Check it out here.

Until next week, thanks for reading. We started this blog three years ago. Since then, more than 10,000 people have read our blog. Thank you. I appreciate it. Always enjoy hearing comments or suggestions for topics.

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