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Stay Afloat On The Seas Of Change

Posted on January 5, 2001

by Elizabeth Burnett

If you went around asking people how they would describe the computer and web industries, some of the most common answers would have to be fast-paced or rapidly changing. Indeed, never before has there been such a fast turnaround when it comes to innovation and discovery.

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Because of this fast pace, it has become more and more important to stay well informed. Being well informed about marketing is especially important. There are literally thousands of marketers out there who are competing with you for your customers' attention.

Because of this, any kind of flaw in your marketing plan can be a fatal one, and one of the most common flaws that can damage your business is a lack of information. So, how can you stay well informed in today's fast changing market? Here are some tips that may help you stay on that cutting edge:

1. Understand your audience.

It is important to remember that your customers' wants and need scan and will change over time. You must be able to understand what these changes are so that you can adapt to them.

You can try to understand your customers using reports, polls, demographics, and ratings, but really, the best way to understand your customers is simply to communicate with them.

Talk to (or in e-commerce, email) your customers to see if they are satisfied, and ask them what they are looking for in your product or service. Also, make sure that your customers can contact you with any problems, suggestions, or complements!

2. Understand your resources.

New marketing tools are becoming available to businesses all the time, so it is important to be aware of what new resources are at your disposal. You can keep aware of these new resources by routinely visiting sites that offer them, or by checking marketing e-zines.

3. Understand your competitors.

Any CEO will tell you that one of the best ways to see what is going on in the industry is to see what other people in the industry are doing. Actively look for your competitors and see what they are doing on their web sites.

You may come up with some ideas simply from seeing what is being done by others, and if you notice trends or changes cutting across most of your competitors' web sites, it might clue you into a possible change in the marketing situation.

If you see these changes, you might want to do additional research to see why they were made -- it may help you adapt more quickly to a changing market.

Just remember to NOT just jump on bandwagon -- make sure there is a good reason to change. In our fast-paced society, changes may come and go before we even realize it. As a marketer, you have to be aware of these changes so that you can offer your customers the best service and product possible.

With a little work and some good research, you can make sure that you are not left adrift on this sea of change!

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