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Have you walked into a local McDonald’s lately?

In the last month or so I’ve walked into a local McDonalds a few times – hey, don’t judge me.  What I’ve been struck by is how few customers were eating at the venerable kingpin of the fast food industry.  While a quick visit to any Starbucks or Panera Bread typically requires waiting in a long line.

McDonald’s recent lack of year-over-year store sales growth and its turnaround plans are well documented.  McDonald’s represents can happen when a company that doesn’t stay in sync with new consumer or market trends.

In the case of McDonalds, as medical science has increasingly researched and chronicled the importance of healthier foods and healthy living, the trend toward healthy diets has been inexorably growing.  However McDonald’s has for the most part decided to ‘stand pat’ and pretty much continue offering their long-standing menu items.

As a result the market, aka customers, have started to pass the company by, in lieu of healthier or more innovative, or more ethnically diverse, on-the-go food options.

A similar thing has happened to Microsoft in certain areas of its business.  For example, for 10+ years, it’s been clear that mobile phones/PDAs would be a key next generation computing and software platform.  However since Microsoft’s revenue was growing nicely on the business side, the company didn’t stay in sync with this evolving consumer market trend.  Now as a result, Microsoft’s Windows OS-based phones have less than 3% market share. Quite a difference from its once dominant share (roughly 90%) of the PC operating system market.

While I fully expect these iconic companies will regain their footing and make up lost ground, the moral of this story is that it’s critical for any size business, large or small, to stay in touch with and ideally at the leading edge of key market trends.

Similar to the healthier eating and the mobile communications trends, there has been an inescapable trend of businesses moving their marketing dollars from offline marketing to online marketing.  Online marketing includes online advertising, email marketing, search engine marketing, social media publishing, content marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), social selling, and SMS mobile marketing.

However the sheer number of marketing channels (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) and the myriad of marketing mechanisms (email, social publishing, SEM, mobile marketing, etc.) and associated complexity, can often be a bit daunting for many small or mid-size business.

Therein lies the challenge for small businesses.  Virtually all businesses need to stay in-sync with current marketing best practices in order to grow their sales and to survive competitively.  However the complexity of modern online marketing presents real challenges (and opportunities) for small businesses.

This is the reason we’ve developed IntellaSphere. IntellaSphere’s all-in-one marketing system make it easy and affordable for small businesses to have access to the full suite of state-of-the-art digital marketing tools needed to power your business.

Regardless of what marketing system or tools you use, make sure that you stay in sync with key market trends, and don’t let your business be left behind.

by Bruce Worrall, Sep-1-2015

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