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Dreamer, Doubter, or Doer – Time to Choose:

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Most are familiar with the ancient Chinese curse, “May You Live in Interesting Times,” which is usually credited to the great Chinese philosopher Confucius. Most don’t know that of all the wise sayings attributed to Confucius, this was not one of them – and in fact, there is no trace of this quote originating from China! That being clarified for the record, not that any of us are keeping one: The use of the word “interesting” in this quote is meant to negatively connotate a period fertile with turmoil, chaos, instability, and uncertainty. In that light, living in an “uninteresting time,” a time of serenity, discipline, steadiness, and surety, we would surely opt for the latter’s comfort & security. It might be somewhat dull to live in “uninteresting times.” Still, it’s also thought to be much safer as well, whereas living in the “interesting times” is anything but safe – but it does get the heart pumping, doesn’t it?
So: How about these super-interesting times we’re living in these days? For better or worse, the first half of 2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most “interesting” times to have lived through. Many suggest that this second half of the year, now just a few weeks old, could be even more “interesting.” From a business ownership standpoint, “interesting times” is not seen as positive. It makes charting a course forward towards a future rich with growth & prosperity tough to do. When leadership is in doubt about the best path to take, it makes the life of any digital marketing agency extra-challenging, be they here in the Philadelphia & Central New Jersey region like we are, or practically anywhere else in the world. 
“What should we do?” That question, or any derivative of it, is what we hear with frequency these days from many clients. They seek us to provide guidance as if we are fortune-tellers who can clearly see the future, and they are disappointed when we remind them that as good as we are, we’re not that good! Nonetheless, we can offer some “food for thought,” which may seem self-evident: No matter what line of work you are in, your business relies upon its customers. Those customers can be grouped into 2 basic categories: Those who have never done business with your company before, and those who have and still are. Depending upon your business’ exact nature, one of those groups may be more important than the other. Yet, for the purposes of today’s piece, and this week’s topic of guidance, we’re going to first focus on retaining & engaging with your previous & existing client base.
Have you reached out and touched them lately? With respect to the old phone company jingle, we mean for you to do this electronically, lest there be any confusion. If you’re not already sending out regular emails for direct marketing or relationship-securing purposes, now is the time to do so. Some may not be interested to hear from you after all this time, and others will not currently be in the market for your specific product or service but will appreciate the gesture just the same. However, a few might be appreciative of your care & concern and in immediate or near-future need of your company’s service, and your effort has reopened the door for them.
Are you an Optimist, a Pessimist, or a Realist? Yes, the current unemployment rate is hovering around 10%. The latest trends suggest that it could climb much higher, closer to (or dare we imagine, even past) the 20% of just a few months ago. The pessimistic mindset is fearing the short & long-term impacts this might have on their business. Be an optimist, while remaining realistic: Even 20% unemployment means that there’s at least 80% of your total market that is employed, which includes your current & previous customers; so statistically, you have a pretty good chance of shaking new business from the tree of old business!
Where can you find them? No matter the economic or world affairs situation in the “real world,” practically everybody is spending some portion of their days, and nights, on the internet. Many of them invest significant amounts of time on social media channels, so if you’re not already focusing a sizable part of your digital marketing efforts on social media advertising, now is the time to get on it. 

In the days ahead, we’ll be offering guidance on the<b> most common customer retention &amp; engagement mistakes</b> made within your business type. But for today, we’ll leave you with a quote that Confucius actually did say, which is repeatedly proven to be solid advice:  

It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.

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