There can be miles of mental and physical effort in the space between knowing you would be better off doing something and then actually adjusting your approach, changing your perspective to make it so. We tackle two such action items, marketing and cybersecurity, in the content of this final Premium issue of the year.
As it happens, I have been attempting to cultivate more gratitude in my daily routine. I had a not-so-gentle reminder of all there is to be grateful for after a recent doctor’s appointment prompted me to not take my vision for granted. You could say I’ve been seeing the world in a different light ever since.
The content in these pages presents a great opportunity to look at what many would call some of the most basic functions of distribution and see them from a new perspective — shedding light on how truly vital they are to sustaining and growing a healthy business.
As you will see in our annual State of Distributor Marketing survey, conducted in partnership with Real Results Marketing, leading distributors recognize the critical role of marketing their business to both existing and prospective customers. The results shared in this first half of the story (look for part two in the January 10, 2020 issue), provide a number of action items for distributors who may have been on autopilot with this essential function for too long.
For example, data over five years of the survey show successful marketing objectives will shift with the changing times. As digital natives in Gen Z make their way into the workforce — and there are more than 61 million of them — distributors are rightfully shifting more and more of their marketing efforts to online platforms. However, they are not losing sight of retaining existing customers, a not-insignificant 47% of which still shop frequently or very frequently using old-fashioned print.
Another key takeaway of the survey is the importance of incorporating social media. Once dismissed as frivolous and worth ignoring, it is now in the marketing crosshairs of 70% of distributors who call it important or very important. Just a few years ago, that threshold was less than half of respondents. [Looking for a place to start on social? Follow us on Twitter @mdmnews and join our group on LinkedIn.]
The other not-to-be-missed article in this issue centers around the rising threat of ransomware in distribution. It is the first in an ongoing series we will bring you on how to protect your business in this age of increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks. It is a mistake to think these incidents only happen to the most high-profile, Fortune 500-type companies. Read the article, “Inexpensive Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Company from Ransomware,” to know your risks and learn the best prevention tactics.
As we enter the New Year, the entire MDM team is grateful for the trust you place in us to bring you relevant and actionable guidance to strengthen your business into 2020 and well beyond. Thank you and happy holidays!
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