Three Small Ideas for 2011

Greg VerdinoBy Greg Verdino, Vice President, Strategy & Solutions, Powered, Inc.

It’s that time of year again, and I don’t mean the time for holiday shopping and quality time with your families. I’m talking about the end-of-year spate of business and marketing predictions.

As I think about the new year and put it within the context of the concepts in my book micromarketing: Get Big Results by Thinking and Acting Small (McGraw-Hill, 2010), I would like to share three trends that I believe will play key roles in helping you do the right small things to connect deeply with the right people who can help move your business forward:

Kill All Your Microsites

There isn’t much micro about the microsite, with the possible exception of its effectiveness. Companies invest big budgets to build them, then bigger budgets to drive consumers to visit them – all to support a short term campaign before going dark just a few weeks later.

In the coming year we’ll see more and more marketers ditching their microsites and turning to custom Facebook tabs as their primary hubs for content and conversation related to current campaigns.

Deliver Just-In-Time Deals

This time last year, I issued a series of predictions for 2010, and highlighted location-based mobile social services as a key opportunity. While services like Foursquare, Gowalla and SCVNGR haven’t quite become mainstream just yet, 2010 certainly saw quite a few companies experimenting with these platforms to deliver offers and incentives to customers who “checked in” to retail locations in their cities and towns.

Now, the rollout of Facebook Places brings the notion of check-ins to the mainstream masses and Facebook Deals lets companies piggyback on top of those check-ins with relevant local offers and interactions. A far cry from the Sunday circular and clipand- save coupons that – let’s be honest – as often as not collect dust in drawers, this is all about one-to-one delivery of the right offer to drive individual purchase behavior at exactly the right place and time.

Super-Serve Your Social Nicheworks

What's Next for 2011 - McGraw-Hill ProfessionalIt’s easy to be impressed by Facebook’s half-a-billion member count, when the reality is now and has always been Facebook isn’t one single network with 500 million members; it’s 500 million distinct, personal, niche networks – defined differently for each individual member based on the people (and to some extent the companies) in your circle of connections.

In other words, if you’re into fly fishing, and your closest friends spend their weekends fly fishing by your side, and your favorite brands offer great fly fishing products, the odds are high that your Facebook social graph looks less like a general interest network and more like a highly focused fly fishing community. With the introduction of Groups in late 2010, Facebook made it even easier for these types of niche networks to come together and interact.

For that matter, why limit yourself to Facebook? Maybe the fly fishermen among you are connecting on or With hundreds upon hundreds of highly focused social nicheworks, the real action may not be with the big boys but with the small sites that super-serve the specialized interests of highly passionate communities – especially if you want to promote your products to these audiences.

I hope you’ll consider how one or all of these ideas can positively impact your business in the near-term future. And that, when you look back at the things you did to market your business over the coming 12-months, you’ll see that taking even a few small steps toward micromarketing have made 2011 your best year yet.

This article was reprinted with permission from What’s Next 2011: Leading Minds in Business on the People, Trends, and Challenges Ahead, a free ebook from McGraw-Hill Professional.

Greg Verdino is senior vice president of strategy and solutions at Powered, Inc., a full-service social media agency. He has 20 years of experience in marketing and related fields and has advised such clients as American Airlines, American Express, Coca-Cola, Ford, and Panasonic. Verdino is the author of microMARKETING: Get Big Results by Thinking and Acting Small. He lives in Huntington, NY.

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