Nine Big Things in ’09

Just like everyone else I am planning my goals for 2009. I think there are several things that are going to be big differences in the coming year:

    1. Social Networking for businesses will continue to expand and develop as a leading resource for brand management and replace many traditional marketing efforts. Social networking is inexpensive. It builds credibility and trust with your existing and potential customers. People are talking about you and your business right now, you should probably join the conversation.

    2. The Blog will shed its nasty reputation as for ubergeeks only. There was (and still is) a notion that bloggers are sitting in their moms houses at their computers wearing black t-shirts and playing video games all night long. Not anymore. This year has shown many successful business and personal blogs – everyday people who share their experiences with other people like them and amazing folks who people want to learn from.

    3. Cloud Computing and SaaS will become dinner table conversation terms. No longer whispered about. Cloud Computing is the term given to internet based technologies that store your information on servers versus on your personal computer.

      SaaS (Software as a Service) is when an application is hosted as a service provided to customers on the Internet so it can be remotely accessed.

      More and more companies are offering these updated technologies and it is getting quite competitive.

    4. Mobile Applications, mobile applications and more mobile applications. With the internet at our fingertips (on our cellular phones) websites need to keep up to date with how their website holds up on my Blackberry or iPhones. Readers are getting your newsletters while they are at the grocery store. When marketing your products and services you must keep it in mind that you are talking to people in more ways than you ever did before.

    5. Facebook will explode. Sorry, but its about time isn’t it? There are more than 130 million active users on Facebook. All of my friends who protested and protested have now signed up. My alerts are full of applications that I will never respond to. The site is only four years old. How many users are too many? What will be the next big social networking site?

    6. The Economy will be a major driver of what is happening on the internet. Sorry to even bring it up but things are tight and getting tighter. People have the resources to price shop online before making big decisions. Man hours aren’t free but perhaps just your time could save you some dollars. Blogging is an excellent resource for driving traffic to your site. Social Networking sites are (usually) free and a connection to millions of prospects and your current clients.

    7. Your personal online profiles will be used for business. Sure you are the industry leading person in your field but who are you. The third most viewed page on our website is the Meet Our Crew page. Does my hair color and shirt matter to people who are looking to get their site redesigned? No, but consumers want to know who you are and what credentials you have. Many companies are researching prospective hires and clients by their Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, and Twitter account information. You might want to take down that picture of you and the bartender in Cabo before you send in your resume.

    8. Customer Service makes a comeback! Gone are the days where Mr. Expert gets to talk down to you because he can. Because he can’t anymore. Blogs, online articles and social networks put all the experts at your fingertips. Your clients may not need you. If you need them, treat them well. Efforts building your current relationships will most likely be more beneficial than the efforts of looking for new clients to replace them.

    9. Everyones favorite color is Green! Are you afraid the Going Green message is going to get stale? It’s not. It’s just starting. It took long enough, but it’s here. The bottled water I am drinking right now is a Carbon Neutral Product ®. Carbon Neutral water, it’s true. Our very own web hosting partner Rackspace is going green. Everyone is doing it? Are you?

I am excited about 2009! Now I need to work on my list of resolutions. I am taking suggestions.