Forget Predictions, Here are Some Suggestions for 2020

Suggestions
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For the last month, I’ve seen many articles that have focused on predictions for 2020. I’ve even attended a couple of webinars with this theme.

Most of the predictions I saw were pretty well thought out.

The best “predictions” I have seen were based on trends that have been happening through 2019. It makes them less of a prediction and more of an observation.

Though the temptation is great because this is my last post of the year to give you a list of predictions, what good does that do you?

At the end of the day, a prediction is really a guess. As good of a guess as it might be, it’s still a guess.

Instead, I’d rather give you some suggestions that will provide you with something more tangible that you can work with.

Change is a Constant

Ok, I do have one prediction: expect change. My suggestion is that you embrace it and not run from it.

Change never stops. It’s the one thing we can be sure of. What we can’t be sure of is how it will impact us and that can be scary.

In the last few weeks, I have talked about a trend in which organic traffic is dropping from two key sites.

Facebook has all but killed organic traffic for business pages and made it a paid first site.

Google has also made decisions that have resulted in it sending less traffic to websites.

I talked about Public Relations and it’s battle to remain relevant. Believe me when I say the first draft of that article was much darker and more indifferent. Thank goodness I tempered it.

I didn’t write anything about digital marketing but it’s also facing change.

I was in a webinar with Andrea Vahl, an expert on Facebook ads. Of course, Facebook ads fall under Paid Media in the PESO model and I have frequently told people that if you are going to be anywhere on social it should be Facebook. My reasoning was heavily based around the large user base and the fact you can reach so many people with ads there but I digress…

Much to my surprise, Andrea said that the Facebook ad she ran for the webinar we were in performed poorly. Most of us registered, not because of a Facebook ad, but because of something else. Quite a few of us, myself included, found out about it because we are on her mailing list.

I’m not going to call this a trend yet (although my gut tells me it is) but its something we should watch and another good reason to invest in yourself.

Invest in Owned Media

When I say invest in yourself I mean you need to invest in Owned Media which is where you own both the content and the channel.

It seems like I mention this often but the only thing you really have control over is your website and your email list.

You simply can’t count on Facebook or any other social media site to drive traffic. Google can’t be counted on as much either.

When they make changes, more often than not it will be based on what’s best for their business, not ours. I’m not telling you to ignore them only to be aware that the rug can be pulled from under your feet without any warning.

If your business relies heavily on Facebook, you are giving them power over you. Do you really want Facebook to be the primary reason why your business succeeds or fails?

Move your followers, regardless of the social media platform, to your email list. This way if Facebook or Twitter or Instagram decide to make a change, the impact won’t devastate your business.

Spend your time this year investing in yourself. You will thank me later.

Don’t Ignore the Basics

As much as things might change the basics still apply. You can embrace change but if you aren’t doing the basics it won’t matter.

You should always keep these items in mind:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • Where do they go to get information?
  • Who influences them?
  • It’s not about you, it’s about your customer
  • Understand the value of your product or service
  • Create SMART goals
  • Measure everything
  • Test. Evaluate. Test Again.

If you don’t know who your customers are how are you going to market to them?

If you don’t know where they go to get information how are you going to reach them?

I guarantee somebody influences them. I could write a long of people who influence me.

I know you’re running a business and need to make money. I do too but if customers feel they are just a dollar sign, the chances are good that they won’t buy from you. Focus on your customer’s needs and the money will follow.

If you don’t know the value your product or service brings, all the marketing and public relations in the world won’t help you sell it.

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timebound

You will never know what’s working if you’re not measuring so measure everything.

Nothing is a certainty. Every good marketer tests. It helps you find what works and what doesn’t. Test one idea at a time. Evaluate and test again.

When your money is on the line you want the most efficient results. If you’re not testing you may be throwing your money away.

If you really want to throw your money away, contact me. I’ll be happy to take it (that’s a joke).

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. One prediction and a few suggestions that I think could help you in 2020.

Do you think I missed something? Tell me in the comments below.

Shane Carpenter
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