A couple of months ago, author Sebastian Junger compared Super Storm Sandi to the 1991 Nor’Easter which pounded New England and which he documented in his book The Perfect Storm.
It was a powerful concoction consisting of a hurricane, a high pressure system and a low pressure system. When meteorology experts tried to explain the magnitude of the conditions that created the ’91 storm, they said “All the variables were maxed out.” It was a storm on steroids.
What’s a perfect storm have to do with small business marketing?
We’re witnessing a perfect storm for small business right this moment. If I could, like a meteorologist I would be gesturing frantically in front of a map and a camera to get you to see this extraordinary event.
But instead of something frightening and ominous, think positive. This storm is a good thing, a confluence of factors that will make it very easy for you to connect with your ideal paying customers.
It’s going allow you to burst through the gates of marketing channels previously owned only by “big business.” And you don’t have to be Amazon, Nordstrom, eBay or Zappos to ride this super wave to crazy profits for your company. You can do this right from your home office.
I’m going to be putting all this together for you very soon. The pieces are easy to assemble; you don’t need a special programmer and IT department. You just have to be focused in your approach. I’m really excited about this because it’s the tipping point that email marketers, content creators and small business have been waiting for all these years.
And it just came together this Christmas.
Like a molotov cocktail, like fireworks, like the storm of the century. Are you getting my drift?
The ingredients: Mobile + email + great content + tons of creative talent
2013 is the year of the mobile device. People have been saying for years that mobile was going to take off…soon and very soon…and this time it’s true.
Today I think we’re really here. If you haven’t heard the news yet, Christmas 2012 broke monster records for the number of devices activated on Christmas day. Higher than any other day in the history of the world. Maybe those crazy pot-smoking Mayans were just off by a few days: this historic boom in mobile devices really is the “end of the world” as we (marketers) know it.
Take an average day in December and look at the number of devices activated. Then look at the 25th. Boom! 330% more! That’s 17.4 million mobile devices compared to 4 million every other day. By the way, that number is 2.5 times more than Christmas 2011. And Christmas day apps purchases were through the roof, too!
The piece de la resistance? Over half of those devices were tablets. Tablets like the Kindle Fire (my son got one), Apple iPad (and the mini), Google Nexus, Nook HD. I’ll tell you what that means for email marketers in a few days…I have a very different opinion on the relationship between email marketing and tablets compared to almost everyone else.
The second ingredient of the perfect storm: Email is big. Bigger than ever. According to a Strongmail, 56% of companies surveyed will be increasing email budgets next year. They know that social media is awesome for boosting engagement with customers. But in terms of ROI email breaks the tape, outperforming social media returns 3 to 1.
Granted, though everyone knows social engagement ultimately plays a part in sales it can’t be measured as easily as email. And it’s all happening on websites where our content and followers are not our own. Newsflash: Facebook and Twitter accounts don’t belong to you. I don’t care how much you’ve spent in Facebook ads, those demographically rich nuggets of ‘Like-y” sweetness.
When managers and business owners decide where to invest marketing dollars they pick the horse that delivers direct results. That’s email. Don’t believe anyone who says email is dead. It’s a marketing channel that’s easy to implement by small business and the cost is negligible.
Wonder why big companies send daily emails and have teams of people tweaking, testing and deciphering results? Because it works. Even without endless creative resources, it works. Regarding the survey, yes, Strongmail surveys companies who are already heavy hitters in email marketing (Travelocity, Macy’s), but small businesses should take note. Do you know how easy and cheap it is to send email these days? You’re crazy not to be using it to reach your customers.
Tomorrow I’ll show you how it’s easier than ever to create content due to the armies of creative people you have at your fingertips. Yes, they really are that accessible. And many are even competent.
By the way, did you get a new tablet this Christmas? What kind? And have you set up your email accounts yet? Please add your comment below.