Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Peter Drucker, commonly referred to as the Father Of Management, said that a business that does not innovate will eventually fade away — which still applies in today’s digital era. How does a business evolve with the times and pivot their marketing and branding strategies to not just stay relevant, but to thrive in today’s economy?
aLooking at this same question from another perspective — what mistakes are business owners and entrepreneurs committing that keep them from reaching their true potential, irrelevant to how the market and economy is performing?
Mistake 1: Not modifying, adjusting, pivoting, or catering to today’s tech-savvy customers
The global pandemic has forced businesses to adapt and pivot their customer acquisition and delivery processes without notice. Businesses around the world were forced to close their doors and serve customers virtually, except in a few essential industries. A study showed that over 30% of businesses were shut down during the quarantine in 2020, and many of them will likely not operate again.
The companies that have adapted and pivoted their business models and client acquisition systems have survived, and in many cases, even thrived. On the other hand, those that did not pivot and adapt have either suffered massive financial losses or have disappeared altogether.
Here are some examples of how a business can pivot, modify, adjust, and cater to today’s digital customer:
Incorporating a strong social media presence using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok
Developing an online marketing funnel that engages with potential customers or offers digital educational resources
Incorporating virtual events, workshops, meetings, or conferences
Accepting online payments using software tools such as Paypal, Stripe or even wire transfer
Leveraging digital marketing platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Business Manager
Incorporating digital checkout pages that are easy to navigate and can accept payments and process the backend notifications related to the fulfillment of the order
The writing is on the wall: Innovate and adapt, or remain the same and fade away, especially if your competitors have already incorporated more digital and modernized ways of attracting, acquiring and delivering to customers.
Related: 5 Ways to Avoid Common CEO Mistakes
Mistake 2: Not integrating mobile strategies into your advertising and conversion channels
Statistics show that more than half of all website traffic comes from mobile usage, and not considering that into your strategy could be a costly mistake for your business.
For example, If you conduct a quick Google search for local law firms, chiropractic clinics, or dental offices in your city and scan through a handful of websites, you will notice that a good percentage of them may not have mobile-friendly websites or landing pages. They are either too outdated, too complex to navigate, offer too much information, or worse — are not even compatible to be viewed on a mobile device.
As a business owner, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the customers to understand their psychology and walk through their eyes. An easy way to do this is to observe your own purchasing habits:
How often do you check your smartphone?
What kind of content do you consume on your phone?
Do you purchase goods or services from your phone?
What kind of websites do you find to be intuitive versus cumbersome?
Investing in developing and deploying a robust mobile strategy could drastically increase market share, increase profits margins, and perhaps open new revenue channels that you might have been missing out on.
Mistake 3: Not conducting market research or using data to drive decisions
If you want to grow your business in a strategic and calculated manner, it is a good idea to spend time developing an analytical and data-driven approach that allows you to create solutions that the market actually needs, as opposed to guessing what consumers are looking for and hoping they buy what your business is selling.
Corporations, small and large, spend over $70 billion dollars a year on market research, which enables them to understand more about their customers, market trends, spending habits, emotional triggering patterns and overall digital behavior. This kind of data empowers business owners with the knowledge and information to devise and deploy strategies that are based on real data, giving them the ability to create content, workflows, offers, websits, mobile pages, offers and presentations that are specifically tailored to what consumers are actively searching for on sites like Google, LinkedIn and Facebook.
With access to billion-dollar technologies, research tools, browser extensions and analytical software products, most of which are free or cost only a few hundred dollars a year, your business should invest its time and resources into developing cognitive research techniques and methodologies that can help you make better decisions that positively impact your bottom-line in the short and long-run.
Adapt or perish
Darwin’s theory of evolution narrows down the key to survival as the ability to pivot, adapt and evolve as the conditions around us change. Drucker calls this innovate or die in a business context.
If you are looking to lead and manage a business that can withstand any changes in the economy and can adapt to changing social and consumer behavior, following these three strategies can help you avoid losing market share and profits.