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Greetings From Eureka, California

The highways and byways of America have changed in a big way since the Interstate system was established by President Eisenhower (waaaaay back in 1956). New buildings have gone up, new attractions have been opened near major exit ramps, and popular routes have been expanded from coast to coast. It’s not your granddaddy’s turnpike anymore.

More recently, a new information superhighway (y’know, the Internet) has made similar changes to the marketing landscape. Simply put, the way your B2B buyers get from Point A (“Hey, we need something here!”) to Point B (read: buying it from you) has changed big time in just the last five years or less.

So this year we invite you to join us for a little “Road Trip” through the new landscape of marketing. Each month we’ll visit a “state” that’s changing in response to the new reality of how B2B buyers make purchasing choices. Some of these states will look familiar — doing old things in new ways — while others have only just been admitted to the union.

Now we know you’re busy and don’t have much time to get away, so we promise to keep this trip fun, fast, and easy. We’ll just stick to the highlights as we stop at all the most popular attractions on our route. And we’ll keep in touch by sending you postcards along the way.

But before you get behind the wheel, you’ll want to…

Strategy is your road map.Grab Your Road Map

Trying to get somewhere using a map that’s decades out of date is a quick way to get nowhere (and lost into the bargain). Yet strangely, that’s what many businesses are doing today — using marketing plans that haven’t worked since Ike was still in the White House.

In fact, the only thing less productive for today’s businesses is getting on the road with no map at all. (Don’t worry, we won’t make you stop and ask for directions.)

So this month we’re starting our journey in the State of Strategy — one of the oldest and most respected regions of the marketing landscape. You’ve probably visited here before, though you might not recognize some of the recent changes. For one thing, that smoky old restaurant with Naugahyde-covered booths where the Rotary Club used to meet has been replaced by an Internet café. That may Explore The State of Strategynot feel like progress, but there are a lot of people in there —  and they look like they’re making a lot of money.

Strategy is your road map, not only to the business growth you want, but to the places you’ll need to stop along the way. That’s why the first thing you need to do is…

If you want your business to hit a goal, you need to know what it is.Know Where You’re Going

Okay, this may sound like a no-brainer, but if you want your business to hit a goal, you need to know what it is.

Sounds simple, right? Yet you might be amazed how many businesses aren’t doing it.

What does your destination look like? Is it more new customers? Stronger loyalty that generates more repeat business? Encouraging innovation in your organization? Some combination of stuff? Whatever it is, you need to clearly define your goals.

Next, take an honest look at where you are, and use the two points to make your strategic road map. You’ll need to figure out how far away your destination is and what milestones you’ll have to pass. And don’t let that GPS fool you when it says you’ll get there overnight. You’ll need a few square meals and rest stops, and there’s always the chance of a breakdown or unexpected weather. (You packed your AAA card and a spare change of underwear, right?)

Is more always more?Know When To Stop

Some of us are from the “more is more” school of thought. We’d love to get 500 miles a day in, but when you’re behind the wheel it’s important to know when to stop.

There are a zillion billboards in today’s marketing landscape. They’re flashier, more colorful — some of them even have animation and stereo soundtracks that can drown out your car radio. Communication is so much more common these days that more isn’t always better. If your message doesn’t stand out, drivers will ignore it and keep their eyes on the road.

Knowing when to stop is about being aware of the environment and terrain. You don’t need a sign to avoid driving over a cliff. You can see the cliff. That cute hitchhiker, now — that’s a more complicated choice, but a good road map will keep you on track.

Stopping is part of every trip. There will always be places where you’ll need to decide to stop on your own, without being told to. It’s up to you. How soon do you want to get where you’re going, and what kind of a driver do you want to be?

Get there faster with a native guideGet There Faster With A Native Guide

Want to know more about how to get the most from a visit to the State of Strategy? The FELT team is here to help. After all, we live here — so it’s easy for us to help you find your way around. Click here to learn more about how you can get a custom road map designed just for you, complete with up-to-date information on possible hazards and roadside attractions you won’t want to miss as you grow your business.

Stay tuned each month for more destinations on our Road Trip — including hidden gems off the beaten path the tourists don’t know about, plus a few special “souvenirs” we’ll be picking up just for you!

See you down the road,

Your friends at FELT

p.s. DIY-ing your 2016 Marketing Strategy? Here’s a free download, EXPLORE THE STATE OF STRATEGY. It’s a one-page map with the best places to go for effective strategy.

 

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