I noticed three things this week, which have ‘come together’ to form a view about how we might need to change the way we think about our businesses.
The first was a post on my local Facebook page which asked other Mums ‘how to report a child’s absence at School’ as “there is nothing about how to do that on the School Web page’.
This got me thinking.
This Mum, when faced with a problem, has chosen Google as her first port of call to solve the problem. When that strategy was unsuccessful she has reached out to her respected peer group (Mums from the same School) for a suggestion to a solution before even considering contacting the School. By phone….
I have spent most of my career in Retail, and while multi channel retailing has and continues to change the face of the high street, and despite all the statistics that report on how people research what they want and need, I think this scenario made me really recognise how much change has been affected, and that a digital marketing strategy is now a vital requirement for all businesses of all sizes and types.
The second exposure I had was to a group of people who provide a ‘third party sales solution’ to technology companies wanting to start in the UK. They have a smart multi-platform approach to Lead Generation, and measure the number of touches that are typically required to book a meeting. They believe that this is around 10 individual touches before a prospect is ready to meet face to face. However, they told me, this can be vastly reduced if an introduction is made by a respected peer.
The third item to cross my horizon was a conversation with one of my members who was struggling to see how he could differentiate his service from his competitors, and why he needed to create a USP at all. After drilling down a little, he soon realized that there are elements of what he offers which, if not literally unique, really do set him aside from other businesses operating in the same space, and he soon recognised that this USP is a vital tool in being seen among the crowd.
Taking these three issues together, I have concluded that businesses must.
- Develop and maintain a digital presence which gives added value to their client base, and which encourages their client base to share this experience. (respected Peer Recommendations)
- Look at using all digital forms of communication in a joined up way, and invest in the skills needed to develop and maintain this communication.(creating a critical mass of touches)
- Work hard to identify, create and maintain their USP, using this to support communication to staff, customers and prospects. (Stand out from the Crowd)
Be proud of what makes you different, shout about it, and ask your friends to do the same.
By Tim Morris, TAB Ivel Valley