There are some “givens” in business these days. You need a solid online presence, and had better have at least a reasonable social media strategy.
Yet in a world defined by smartphones and artificial intelligence technology, the businesses which really succeed (especially if they aren’t trying to be low price mass volume kings) connect, relate, inform, and serve their clients so well that the customers would not think of leaving for anyone else.
This isn’t “great customer service” — at least in a marketing sense. Somehow, the story goes deeper; to the relationships, trust, respect and community between the principals, employees (and sometimes the best way to build relationships and trust is by making it an employee-owned business) clients, suppliers and community.
We could write marketing textbooks, but the concepts here are simpler, and relate to foundational ethics, respect, and human skills. Simply put, if we do our business right, with empathy, and with humility, we have a significant leg-up on any of our competitors.
However, there is a catch here. If you think just being good is good enough, you are missing the point about the way the world changes around us, constantly. And if you aren’t ready to invest some time, resources and (cash) in smart marketing, you’ll ultimately begin to ossify and fail. You may think you are doing quite okay, but the changes outside your business will ultimately overtake and consume you.
In recent months, I’ve seen how the capacity to connect traditional values and forward thinking ideas has allowed the business behind this blog to survive a crisis and prepare for the future. It isn’t a bed of roses (competition can be tough). But if we remember the foundational values as we capture and embrace technology and social trends, we’ll thrive.