A year of new possibilities

By: Richard Michie

The origin of The Marketing Optimist comes from a conversation many years before the business existed.

I was a Marketing Director at the time, discussing a project with the head of sales, when he referred to my SEO team and I as “marketing optimists”. I registered the URL right away, having no idea what I’d eventually do with it.

Years later in 2016, when I launched the business, it was immediately obvious to me that I should name is The Marketing Optimist. There are a few reasons why.

  • First of all, it sums up my own outlook. I always approach a marketing strategy with the belief that it will lead to results, and the understanding that with a good strategy and effective planning, it has a far better chance of working. Blind optimism isn’t what we do here!
  • Secondly, the name includes the word “marketing”, which provided us clear optimisation opportunities from the off.

Those good at maths will have worked out that 2021 will be our fifth year as an agency.

I’m not going to dwell too much on 2020. It was a tough year for so many reasons which don’t need explaining here.

However, there were some victories!

For The Marketing Optimist it was the year we expanded, with Sophie Fryett joining us at the beginning of the year, and spending just three months in the office before we all went to work from home and stayed there.

Late in the year Lucy Pimblott joined as business development executive as we looked to grow again.

For many businesses, choosing to expand during a pandemic might seem like madness, but in the challenges presented, I saw an opportunity to grow.

Navigating these difficult waters has given me hope for a better future, one I want The Marketing Optimist, our clients, and our future clients, to benefit from.

Changes in home working, new technologies, the fall of old industries, Brexit, a change in the global economy, and a green revolution (at last), offer lots of opportunities for businesses who grasp them and innovate.

Seismic changes, while unsettling and tough, create new opportunities.

A glaring example is video conferencing vs facemasks. Take a look at the Google Trends graph for the term and you can see the spike in interest. It’s hard to quantify, but there is speculation that the adaptation of technology like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have been brought forward by 5 to 10 years. Also notice how searches for facemasks lagged behind!

Of course, lots of people talked about video meetings being the future, and there was a slow move to adoption, but no one could have predicted its speed.

It’s been the same for so many ideas and technologies, just look at the speed a COVID-19 vaccine has been developed. There’s no way that would have been possible even 5 years ago!

This boom has led to a change in the office environment too. If you’d have asked me in January if we could work 100% remotely, I’d have said no way. Yet here we are nine months later, working in exactly this way, and it’s working well!

I still miss the full office experience, where you can have off-the-cuff conversations, and I’m sure that will return, but will it be the old Monday to Friday 9 to 5? I doubt it, there’s no real need.

The office of the future will be hybrid, with teams coming together for specific purposes when there’s no substitute for it.

We’re already planning for 2021, with a set of ambitious targets for us and our clients. Our portfolio of services will grow from Website development, SEO, Social Media and Digital PR, to include Paid Ads, Video, and creative solutions.

Building on the success of our Social Media Masterclasses, the number of online courses we offer will increase to cover lots of other marketing strategies, from Video Marketing to SEO, to Copywriting and Event Planning.

The series of Marketing Sandwich Courses we began in lockdown will also be extended, with the first three webinars of 2021 already lined up and ready to go. We have some very interesting guests planned!

All in all, I’m very optimistic about 2021. Would you expect anything else?

Richard Michie

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