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Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Negative Effects of not Marketing

 

I think one of the things that annoys me to no end is when businesses market as a last resort, either out of desperation from competition, or as a quick jolt of electricity to their business when it is dying.

By now it should be beyond obvious why marketing is so important in today’s business environment. However, there are still businesses who choose to see it as a cost and not an investment.

1. Desperation from competition- things are going well, everyone knows your name and the locals come to you to satisfy their consumer wants and needs. There’s nothing special about your product or the service provided, but consumers are just content enough to purchase from you. Suddenly a bigger better product and business comes into your space, doing a lot more than you are, adding more value and suddenly you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to respond to the fierce competition. Even worse you try to throw money in TV, radio and newsprint ads thinking that will put you back at the top, even when you’re target market doesn’t even pay attention to these mediums

2. Quick jolt to prevent death- sales are slow, no one is buying or stopping at your store anymore, instead of taking a proactive approach to increasing sales, you decide to sit back and wait for things to get better. Finally it is evident that things are actually not getting better but worse, and as one final stand you throw out a few ads hoping that will keep the boat from sinking

If any of these sound like you then you’re in serious trouble. Why? Because today it’s not about the best product, but who consumers have a more intimate connection with i.e. your brand. While your living in the past with cassette players and vinyl records, we’re rocking I-pads and watching Youtube videos on our smartphones…get with it! How? Consistent and effective marketing.

Your marketing efforts don’t even have to be costly, and they don’t even have to be limited to Social Media. Your customers just need to hear from you regularly and potential customers just need to know you exist, and you should give them a reason why they should care that you exist…what is your value to them?

Develop the practice of having a yearly, documented marketing plan. As I said it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, just relevant to who you’re selling to.

1. Find out what they like, how they want to communicate with you and you with them. It may not be Facebook but rather e-mail, and there are free mail applications such as Mailchimp that allows you to execute beyond effective marketing campaigns…best part is it’s FREE.

2. Develop referral programs that gets current customers to get more customers for you then reward them for their efforts. Give something away to them free, and who doesn’t like free.

There are 3 important things to remember while doing these:

1. Find a way to capture and manage every piece of information of exisitng and potential customers

2. Have a schedule of when you will execute marketing campaigns for the year and stick to it (remember not money but time will make your marketing successful)

3. Find out what resonates with them, what mediums they respond the most to (Facebook, email, text message etc.) and use those mediums to consistently communicate what resonates

We live in a world where the playing field has been leveled in favour of the little guy, don’t waste it by ignoring the universal truth “Marketing makes businesses successful”.

Here’s a great article that supports my point perfectly: Attention Small Businesses: You’re ALL In The Marketing Business

Leave a comment below and let me know:

1. What would you say to businesses who do not market

2. What would you suggest to them

The Ranter.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Why the First Point of Contact in Your Business Could Be Your Customer’s Last

The heading is pretty self-explanatory what this rant is about…customer service right? In a sense yes but it goes much deeper than simply that; it could mean the destruction of your brand and business as you know it.

Recently (like literally yesterday) I had a run in with a sales rep. In a sense she is the first point of contact for a popular online CRM company (no I will not say which). “First point” meaning once I showed any level of interest in their product or service she would be the first person that contacts me at the beginning of my buying decision. She had requested a bit of information by email, which I gave her, to get a better understand of what I wanted out of the product. Okay fine, good job, find out the customer needs and such, good first approach. After which a follow up call was made to me to further discuss what is it I was looking for, for my business…okay. We started the conversation and I was content with it, until she began asking questions. I began answering the first, mid-way through I was interrupted, okay fine. The second third fourth and fifth I began realizing a common trend of interruptions with trying to finish answering each question. It was as if I was being rushed into answering each question under 5 seconds, as if the conversation was being timed by someone with a stop watch beside her. I began questioning if she was truly interested in what I wanted or was she just following a sales script trying to get through it as quickly as possible to move on to the next potential customer, which in the eyes of the current potential customer is not a good look. No customer wants to feel rushed when making a purchasing decision, whether to buy or to have questions asked answered. Which brings me to my point.

This is a clear example why businesses should carefully consider who they decide to put at the forefront to represent their business. As the person responsible for making the first impression it has to last, and not in a negative way. Something as seemingly harmless as a telephone conversation could severely damage or destroy one’s brand, whether the person realizes it or not. In this scenario the impression that was left in my mind was “For a company that is selling a sales CRM their staff really doesn’t know much about the practice.” Before then I was completely sold on the product. Now because of one negative interaction with the brand, I am strongly reconsidering my options.

This is a lesson that must be clear to all businesses. Whether you know it or not your business (product, service and people who make up your business) is your brand i.e. your reputation. If one person messes up, the entire business messes up, even more detrimental if it is the first point of contact.

My suggestion is carefully select who you employ. Skill and qualification is not enough today. Personality and tone of interaction with customers is far more important, since this will be the determining factor if a potential customer buys or not.

If you were the first point of contact how differently would you have handled the situation? Leave a comment and let me know.

The Ranter.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Brands

 

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