The business world can be wild at times. But if your marketing prowess had to be compared to a shark or a rooster, what would you be? And how will this shape and influence your business in 2017?

2016 was arguably one of the most unpredictable years in the last decade. We witnessed Britain vote to leave the EU, Donald Trump’s electoral triumph, Leicester City F.C. defy the odds, and too many of our pop and sporting icons sadly pass away.

With that said, there’s several reasons why I believe 2017 could be the best yet for UK businesses. And the good news is that it’s down to one very unusual choice you make today…

The lessons of the shark and the rooster

In a recent research experiment by a marine biologist, they tested the behaviour of a great white shark. After placing the six-foot predator into a large holding tank, they released several small fish as bait into the tank. As you’d expect, the shark attacked and devoured the fish.

The marine biologist then divided the holding tank in half by placing a transparent fiberglass wall in the middle. Releasing some more bait fish into the opposite side of the tank, the shark naturally tried to attack, but kept hitting the wall. After a few hours, the shark gave up trying to break down the barrier.

The experiment was repeated again and again over the space of a few weeks. As time went on, the great white shark started to lose interest more quickly. Eventually, the marine biologist removed the fiberglass divider, and the shark didn’t attack.

You see, the shark was trained to believe that there was a barrier between him and the fish. As marketers, business owners and entrepreneurs, we all experience setbacks and disappointments. However, just because we’ve been unsuccessful in the past or you have previous misconceptions on something, it doesn’t mean you should stop trying.

2017 is the year of the rooster in China. Its main traits are to be observant and hardworking. The key word here is ‘observant’. I’m sure you could go on using the same marketing strategies and channels as before, and still make a profit. But greatness was never achieved by doing the same things over and over.

Give your marketing strategy wings

Most businesses use Facebook paid ads and email campaigns to generate more leads. However, there’s an invisible barrier between many businesses and the UK’s fastest growing marketing channel. This channel is mobile marketing.

SMS boasts an open rate of 98%, with 90% of those messages being read within the first three minutes. On average, it also enables businesses to enjoy a 32% response rate.

Just last year, a marketing campaign from one of the top five UK motor vehicle retailers, Lookers, utilised SMS to achieve a 4,000% return on investment. The campaign also beat the likes of John Lewis, Heineken, and Audi to win in two categories at the highly prestigious Effective Mobile Marketing Awards in 2016.

With text messaging, you can instantly send tickets, confirmations, vouchers, surveys, and loyalty cards. Another plus point is that most people keep their phones on them at all times, whereas there’s no knowing when people will log in to their Facebook and email accounts.

In fact, email open rates for SMEs peak at just 22.87% and nearly half of consumers receive upwards of 21 of them per week. SMS instantly cuts through the noise.

So, the question is: will your marketing reflect the shark – a predator by nature, predictable in your strategies, and often allow preconceptions to influence and block your decisions? Or will you be the Chinese rooster; an observant, willing character, ready to break down the invisible barrier and triumph this year using SMS?

Start 2017 by trying something new

Implement SMS into your marketing mix today. Sign up for a free Textlocal account below and we’ll even throw in 10 credits to help you get started with your first campaign. There are no strings or contracts, just an award-winning platform waiting to be explored.

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Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.