Leveling the Playing Field (Again)

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The arrival of ecommerce and other web technologies created a lot of talk about the leveling of the playing field between small / mid-sized businesses and large business. For a while, there was some truth to this. Today, scale and size are back in town. Big and well resourced firms can again spend their way to success supporting multi-channel, content-driven campaigns.

Channels

What started with a web site with some site analytics then advertising is now video, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc, etc, etc. Each channel has its own subtleties and each are rapidly evolving as all the players try to own the future. For the average small or mid-sized business – life in the fast lane is tough. Dizzying is probably the right word.

Content

Participating is a start but you are only really going to engage your target audience if you have some interesting to say. Not sure how many thought leaders there are in your business but inspiration is sometimes tough to find. Making sure the invoice goes out right gets the priority. Even collecting and distributing other people’s creative genius is hard work. How much credit do you really get for retweeting?

Support technology

This is a lot to manage. Staying on top of marketing automation, web analytics and social media monitoring tools etc, etc, etc is tough. Startups with great tools keep turning up but they are often focused on making their money by working with big companies so good luck getting a reply to your email. Otherwise, they are so busy developing their product that they don’t have time to actually sell it. So again, good luck getting a reply to your email. You can try signing up for a trial. Unfortunately, most providers have not taken the lessons of companies like 37 Signals. The monthly fee might be small but you have to donate half of one person’s week to figure out how to make it work. Multiple that by X for every platform that you want / need to try.

So…. What to do?

Don’t give up

Stay involved. Things will improve. Applications will get simpler. New solutions will emerge. Stake your claim on every new thing so you don’t have to come up with some convoluted user name / handle in the future.

Campaign in a box

A campaign in a box is coming. The obvious market opportunity is to wrap services around some good low cost technology applications to give small and mid-sized businesses what they need to compete. No learning curve, help with content and social media management in partnership with your existing team. More to come from us on this. We think that it is time to level the playing field (again).

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