The week between Christmas and New Year’s can be pretty quiet, with many people taking time off work, traveling, and otherwise being out of their usual routine. Not so the horse professional, whose charges need to be fed & exercised no matter what the calendar says!
Many in the horse industry are already well into their 2011 plans, strategizing for competition season, flipping through stallion directories, and getting ready for newborn foals to arrive. There’s always something to take the focus away from marketing, so it’s important to build in time to review the past and make plans for the future.
I find it useful to take some time and reflect on what happened the prior year. Here are a couple trends that will likely be important for equine industry professionals in the coming year:
- 2010 brought a phenomenal rise in the use of social media, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn and more. News often breaks first now via social media, and with the Facebook founder as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, we’re likely to see even more use of social media to create community and connection with customers.
- On the Internet, there are more options than ever to assist equine industry professionals in getting the job done. From EquestrianProfessional.com, to the Monday night #HorseChat and #HorseSoMe (for Horse Social Media) chats on Twitter, tech-y options are increasing day by day. The good news is that these options are frequently low-cost; the not-so-good news is that they still require time and effort on the computer, something many horse professionals are still reluctant to do.
For the past FIVE years (my, how the time does fly!), I’ve written about how horse business owners and managers can improve their marketing and PR, first in print and now via this blog. The horse industry has been through a lot in those five years, but this period of re-tooling and change gives us opportunities we didn’t have 20 years ago. The question becomes, what will we do with those opportunities, in 2011 and beyond?
I’m wishing each of you a healthy, happy & prosperous New Year – drive safely if you’re out traveling next weekend!
COMING NEXT WEEK: Last month I spoke at the Equestrian Lifestyle Expo in northern Illinois, on Fifty Ways (Yes, 50!) To Stretch Your Marketing Budget. For 2011, I’ll share one of those tips each week in a blog post, starting next week.