This time of year brings two major challenges for those of us in business who also happen to be parents!
- End of year planning – what’s 2013 going to look like?
- Christmas presents – what should we get our kids this year?
As I’ve pondered both questions over the last month or so, I experienced a cross-over between the two. My youngest son, Ian, is a big fan of Skylanders. It’s a video game that involves several characters who fight everything from trolls and evil sheep to cyclopses and rock-giants with big stone hammers.
(Skylanders Giants is the current big thing, FYI. But, today’s post isn’t about selling the latest toy; there’s an actual lesson that will unfold, I promise! Hang with my as I explain…)
What is Skylanders?
What Ian was explaining to me, just this morning, is that depending on where you are in the game – what “world” you’re on, or even which part of a particular world – certain characters are better suited for different situations. Each character represents a defined “Element” – Water Element, Tech Element, Fire Element, Magic Element, Life Element, Air Element, etc. Depending on the Element, a character brings a certain strength into the situation.
The game includes an additional console where you can place your character (there are actual plastic versions of these characters that have some kind of chip in them so the console recognizes which character is there). So, you can remove and replace these characters any time during the game. This also comes in handy when your current character is running “low” on energy/life! The more characters you have in your arsenal, the better off you are, and ultimately, the longer you’ll stay in the game!
What does this have to do with business?
So, here’s where the connection to planning for 2013 comes in! As you look ahead, or as you’re implementing your plan daily, and even when you’re right in the middle of a challenge, you need to have a bunch of “characters” in your arsenal. This means, you have to diversify. You need to be able to respond based on the situation. If you depend solely on your website to be your engine for everything you communicate online, you’re missing out on those times when Facebook may provide a better/stronger result. If you just use paid advertising (print or online) to drive traffic to your website, you’re missing an opportunity to be seen by many, many more potential customers through natural search engine results. And, if Facebook is your only means of communicating with your prospects and customers, you may not be as well off as if you had Twitter to reach those who might not use Facebook.
In the Skylanders game, you get some help with knowing which character is strongest in which situation. A voice from nowhere says, “A Skylander from the Tech Element is strongest here.” and there’s a little icon that shows up in the top left corner that reminds you which Element you should be using.
Unfortunately, in real life, there is no loudspeaker overhead that calls out…”Use Facebook here.” or “A smartphone application would work best in this situation.” But, you can depend on a partner to help you navigate the crazy “worlds” of online marketing. Someone who can play the role of the voice in the sky. Whether it’s help up front with understanding the options and laying out a plan, or a partner for the long run who can actually help you implement the plan, knowing when and where and how a tactic should be put into practice. While I’d love for you to consider JoltCMS as that partner, there are many great companies out there. Find one that fits with what you’re looking for.
Make 2013 the year to break out of the fear that’s holding you back! There is so much opportunity out there for those willing to reach for it.