While casting about on the beautiful Pacific Northwest waters of the Sunshine Coast recently I found myself reflecting on my personal “blue ocean strategy.” In marketing terms, a blue ocean strategy is when a business pursues a new product or new market, essentially playing in open water with few competitors, while others battle it out in the “red ocean” where competitive sharks are fighting for an already defined and mature market segment.
Beyond the immediate and obvious observation that indeed I was by myself, paddling on a peaceful stretch of glistening early morning water, I realized that while as a marketing consultant and educator, I was quick to give advice to others, perhaps it was time to take some of my own advice. What was my personal blue ocean strategy for positioning my business? It is usually only in those times of reflection away from work, that we are able to see the big picture and focus our efforts for when we return. I think that’s why I love our cottage escape up the coast so much. I can relax and step back, but also think and strategize.
I’ve been on Google+ for some time now. I am there largely because of the ability it seems to have to drive search results. That, and I’ve found some really interesting and intelligent people in my fields of interest that deliver information I couldn’t find elsewhere. And I’ve been able to connect with them globally. While it initially seemed largely a playground of techie guys, I have started to notice a few signs that make me think this is a blue ocean worth swimming in more. Perhaps it’s a bit of a backlash against Facebook and their Machiavellian approach to maximize market value for shareholders, while using their members and their associated profiles and connections, as pawns in their game. Or maybe it’s just some very unscientific anecdotal observations within my circle of contacts, but I have definitely experienced a growth in requests for both Google+ and LinkedIn lately. While I actively use Facebook for friends, and pursue the growth of my Facebook business page (www.facebook.com/fiveminutemarketing), for now Facebook content is not maximized for search. My Google+ content is. Google also recently linked up a “Local” button on G+ profiles that further pushes search results within a defined geographic area, tagged by search term categories of your own choosing. This teamed up with the growth of the mobile web, smart phones and tablets, makes it easy to see that being on Google+ is going to be a necessity for most small businesses. Interactivity for customer reviews is all built in, and Youtube videos that you may choose to link also become part of your profile.
I intend to actively build my presence on Google+ where the ocean is blue and inviting for business. I invite you take your business for a swim with me, and establish yourself as a big fish before the millions of minnows join us.
Five Minute Marketing page: https://plus.google.com/b/100708236906092664955/100708236906092664955/about
Mary Charleson personal page on Google: https://plus.google.com/118271779041714550003/posts