As I sit here and type this, we are well and truly into the final hours of this year (2010) and this decade. Quite monumental really and a perfect time to reflect on the last 12 months from a number of perspectives – trends and movements in the marketing profession, the consulting industry and business confidence.
Marketing was definitely back on the business agenda for many companies in 2010. A reflection of growing business confidence and a willingness by companies to invest in future growth.
Social media and online marketing was a top focus for many companies in 2010 as business comes to more widely acknowledge the importance of their online presence for not business growth anymore but actual business survival. The number of people and businesses using Twitter as part of their social media marketing platform grew significantly during 2010 – another indicator of the changing online landscape.
We have found that businesses continue to grapple, however, with how to apply social media platforms such as Twitter to their business. While they know they need to get on board with it, they simply don’t know how and need help to incorporate social media into their business and marketing planning. We think this will continue in 2011.
Branding and revised market positioning was also a popular theme in 2010. We saw many companies being proactive and deciding to re-evaluate where they are positioned in the market place and work out where they want to be and what they need to stand-for in order to support their positioning. Having a branding strategy is no longer something that is considered something only necessary for large companies. The SME market is now at the point of realising that they too need a clear, concise and appropriate branding strategy as a key business driver.
From a consulting perspective, we have seen our business grow significantly in 2010 as the need for marketing expertise increases. It appears that companies, despite growing business confidence, are not yet to a point of recruiting full time in-house marketers and so they look to involve marketing consultants, contractors or part-time staff instead.
We have signed up new SME customers this year as well as international, large corporates – an indication of a universal need for affordable marketing expertise and assistance. From developing a brand strategy for The Synergy Group, to continuing our thought leadership work with Newport Consulting, to helping Parrot – an international telecommunications company launch a new product in Australia – our work has been diverse, exciting and rewarding.
Part of our growth has been to set-up operations in Hong Kong which will be our base for Asia Pacific, and to add aditional capability to our business so we are best positioned to provide real integrated, end-to-end marketing solutions across Asia Pacific and the Trans Tasman. This is part of our focus for 2011. We also plan to launch a new service – Marketing Source. We will share more information on this soon.
2010 has been a great year for Manning & Co and we are excited about the future for the marketing profession and what has to offer companies in a dynamic and forever changing business environment.
Happy New Year from Gemma and the Manning & Co team.