Welcome to part 19 of Taking Your Business Digital For those afraid of Technology Series. If you have missed any of the previous posts you can catch up by clicking here.
The term CRM (Customer Relationship Management) implies that this is a tool for Customer Services Departments to monitor Customer Relations. However, customers are your business and affect every facet of the way you run your company - sales, marketing, finance, admin and IT. Each department wants different information about their customers to help them to be more effective.
There are more than 300 different CRM systems available, each offering different features or tailored to a particular industry.
Recently I attended a free half-day workshop on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) because I am always keen to learn more about technology which changes at the speed of light. Before you immediately think “geek speak” and click away please read a bit further.
The delegates were small business owners and 37 were women and only 3 were men. We were all there to learn how to improve our websites so that Google would put us on page 1 when anyone searched for the types of products and services that we offer.
The speaker was knowledgeable and entertaining and I picked up a number of tips that I am going to use. As a supplier of tech services I always learn from the other delegates too.
An enormous amount of information is shared at events like these and can be overwhelming. It is tempting to buy into the hype and open your wallet and imagine yourself on page 1 of Google Search next week.
Welcome to Day 5 of the Taking Your Business Digital for those afraid to Brave Technology. You can read the previous posts by clicking here.
Planning is the corner stone to any successful business and taking all areas of your business digital requires careful planning.
Don’t be tempted to go out and buy expensive computers, printers, tablets, phones or sign up for website hosting and website packages until you have spent a great deal of time thinking about what you need, doing the research and coming up with a budget and a timeline. It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement and get overwhelmed by all the advice that you leap in and fall flat on your face.
How do your Customers find you? Who are your customers? Why do they buy from you and not from your many competitors? Why are you getting the "wrong sort of customers"? Where do these customers come from? Are they businesses or are they individuals? Perhaps they are a combination.
These questions are hugely important when planning your marketing strategy. Whether you use print, tv, radio, a website or social media you need to understand your customers and the journey they take to buy from you .... or not!
There are something like 400 million blog sites out there in the ether clamouring for your attention. Then we have the news websites, company websites and all the Social Media channels. What chance does your company website or personal blog have of getting noticed?
Increasingly we have the attention span of fleas. If you are targeting those under 35 you have even greater problems. A study commissioned by Time Warner found that this age group changed media channels 27 times during a non-working hour. They flip from tv to tablet to phone at the speed of light. This is a nightmare for digital advertisers but equally so for content creators.
How are you going to get visitors to your site and then keep them there long enough to read one article let alone browse your other products and services?
I love the story of a magazine owner who employed a new editor and placed an elegantly dressed black mannequin in the corner of the editor’s office. “Look at this fellow when you decide what goes into your magazine. He is our target market.”
For small businesses, this can be very difficult. Everyone is a potential client. You want to reach as wide an audience as possible in the hope that someone will buy something from you.
A young man recently posted on a Facebook community site that he is struggling to find employment and all the Recruitment Agencies he had contacted wasted his time and no-one ever came back to him.
I know how hard it is to get a job especially when you don't have experience. This particular gentleman said he was looking for a job in "copywriting, editing, social media, marketing, IT, admin or HR work". He had studied Philosophy and English at University.
Having been in business for many years, I too have come across job applicants who arrive for interviews not even knowing what job they had applied for. All they wanted was a job so that they could earn a monthly salary. There is such fierce competition for jobs that recruiters and employers are looking for applicants who have specific skill sets. Yes, you need to be multi-skilled but you need to have a plan about where you are going and the route you want to take to get there.
How do you find the time to be on Social Media so much is a question I am frequently asked? When I reply that it is my job the next question is, “but what does sharing socially on Facebook and Twitter have to do with your job?”
Business is about building relationships. There are many ways of building relationships which can include, having a round of golf, attending networking meetings, holding or attending a conference or in the good old days being a door-to-door salesman.