The great thing for businesses right now is the number of opportunities.
It's never been a better time to be in marketing. You can find just about any type of avenue for promoting your brand.
But the flip side is that it can be difficult to identify opportunities when there are so many. It's the opposite of seeing the forest for the trees. Instead, we often struggle to see a single tree when we're looking at the forest.
Anyway, here are a few steps for identifying opportunities and implementing the one(s) that fit the best.
Step #1. 3-5 Sources of Info
There are unlimited number of resources for new information. On any topic. Including marketing.
You have to limit your sources.
Now, what I mean is you want to limit the number of sources you have at any one time. I like to keep it to about 3-5. That might include blogs, podcast, YouTube channels, authors, Twitter accounts, email newsletters, etc.
I've found that the more sources you follow the less you're likely to notice things. That seems counterintuitive, but that's been my experience.
I focus deeply on 3-5 sources. I still look for new sources. If one piques my interest and I consider adding it to my regular stream of info then I need to push something else out.
Step #2. Too Early, Early, Late
Now that you have your sources limited, you can start better identifying marketing opportunities. Let's say that podcasting keeps popping up. You're intrigued.
I feel that right now, 2019, is "early" in the podcasting process. And that's a good thing. If this was 3-5 years ago, I think it would have been "too early" for most businesses to jump into podcasting.
When it's too early, you're an early adopter. That can be a good thing if you're really passionate. The tech is usually not there to make things easy. But if you can figure out a way to do it you can grab the early audiences.
Podcasting right now is still early. Not many businesses are doing it even though it can seem that way. The tech has also caught up. You can signup for Anchor and easily record, edit and publish episodes to all podcasting channels.
In about five years, podcasting might be late. There will still be opportunity, but it will be more difficult to succeed.
So this step is all about identifying what the opportunity is and determining where in its life cycle it is right now.
Step #3. Fit
This is the fit for your company and also for you. If you're the person in charge of identifying and implementing marketing efforts then you have to consider the fit.
Maybe podcasting seems like a great opportunity right now. But as you look at yourself you realize that maybe you don't have a great on-air personality. You could work on it. You could improve it. But you need the dedication to the craft and to the improvement. That usually takes a little passion and drive.
That's just one example of fit. Maybe you identify video as a great opportunity. But you work for a company that has a pretty tight knit culture. You're not sure if anybody will want to be on video and maybe the CEO is very guarded with all things related to the company. That likely means that video is out.
Step #4. Priority
The best companies almost always choose one or two priorities at a time.
Now, they might do little experiments all the time. They might have 20 little things going on at once. But when it comes to really going after something they put all their resources into one or maybe two things.
So for your marketing efforts you'll too want to have little experiments going on along with one or two big initiatives.
If podcasting is the new priority, it might not be a good time to also go fully into blogging. Maybe blogging can be a little side experiment. One post a month while podcasting is something you spend time on everyday while publishing multiple episodes each week.
Step #5. Capacity
Finally, assess your capacity to take on the new opportunity. Podcasting might make it through all the steps above. You really feel it's the big opportunity right now.
But as you look at the capacity of your company you realize that in order to do what you want you'll need more resources. Namely, you'll need more people in order to take on the podcasting effort.
For most marketing efforts you'll need to hire someone full time or outsource the opportunity. Even if you do outsource it you'll need to have the capacity to work with the vendor, especially early on.
If you have the capacity, great. If not, see what the options are for hiring. If that's not an option, it's time to start over looking for and identifying another opportunity.
The big first step to identifying marketing opportunities is to be able to see through all the noise. The noise is like looking at a large forest from the sky. You see the forest, but it's difficult to see individual trees.
Limit your sources of info. The world is all about having the discipline to limit your info today. That's different from how it used to be.
Start there. Then follow the other steps and you'll be in a good position to identify and implement the right marketing opportunities for your company.