Stop stressing over details! Some marketing tasks are time consuming and mundane. The work has to get done.
You don't have the time or tolerance to do it yourself and you can't pull staff members away from their regular duties. What do you do? OUTSOURCE IT!
If you have "grunt work" that needs to get done, call 2Q Solutions for help.
EXAMPLES OF MARKETING GRUNT WORK
Trade show prep or follow-up: Many companies face the dilemma of trying to follow up on leads with existing staff, but their people are already tied up with regular tasks. They soon get overwhelmed and the leads grow cold.
Database updating: Mailing product literature and other marketing materials to people who are no longer there gets expensive. Why not get your database up to date and perform a customer survey while you're at it?
Research: Getting prices on a number of options and coordinating many sources can be a poor use of your valuable time.
CALL TODAY to find out how you can get help with your marketing grunt work - 636-699-8772
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Have you ever heard this coming from the back seat of your car? Mom! He's touching me!
When I was a kid I remember that back seat getting pretty crowded, especially on a long trip. We Smart brothers would become very sensitive to space and touch. Mom would normally do the smart thing and simply ignore our irritating complaints.
Now I want to talk with you about something you DON'T want to ignore; customer touch points.
What are touch points, why do they matter and how do they fit in with your marketing efforts?
I define a touch point as any time someone comes into contact with something related to your business. At each of those points perceptions about your company are either being formed, modified or reinforced. So touch points matter because those impressions influence buying decisions and referrals.
Think about this. Your customers form impressions from all sorts of things that you might not think of as being part of the marketing sphere. And people often make buying decisions for reasons that have little to do with pricing or features. That's one of the reasons I like to say that marketing and operations are connected.
So how do you incorporate this idea of touch points into your marketing and operational efforts?
Here's a four step action plan:
Step 1: List every touch point you can think of.
Some will be obvious, like marketing communications and interactions with salespeople or customer service. Some points are not obvious. Here are some examples:
Think about packaging and shipping. One of my favorite fountain pens was shipped with a lollipop lovingly packed in the box. I'm now looking forward to my next purchase from that company.
Consider incoming calls. How do people answer your phone? Is it answered with a smile or a frown? Those facial expressions are transmitted through their tone. And that leaves an impression.
Honor time commitments. I worked with a doctor's office that consistently ran behind schedule with their appointments. When they made improvements in that area their referrals quickly increased.
Those are just a few examples, but you get the idea. Get people from several departments to help you make an exhaustive list of the touch points in your company.
Step 2: Prioritize your list.
Which touch points are likely to influence buying decisions the most? Put those at the top. And then factor in the "low-hanging fruit," the things you can easily improve, even if they’re not high impact. Getting some quick wins under your belt will help your team become committed to excellence.
I worked with a law office on their touch points. They then made it a priority to clean up their cluttered reception area and arrange it to be more welcoming. It simply took a little planning and weekend elbow grease to make it better. The staff were pretty jazzed with all the positive comments they got from clients.
Step 3: Commit to improvement.
Make your touch points part of your operational standards. Show your staff how their performance relates to the touch points and how that effects profitability. Make your expectations clear and hold your staff accountable for their performance.
Step 4: Get customer feedback.
Incorporate the touch points into your surveys and feedback forms. Of course, your list is going to be a lot longer than any survey you'd want to give out. Simply make sure you get your customers' perspective on the most basic points. You'll have to monitor your own performance on many items. It will help you to get good at self-assessment.
I want to leave you with two thoughts: First, It's not about YOUR perceptions and priorities, it's all about your customers. Second, this isn’t a short term project. It's about making customer satisfaction a priority and being committed to incremental improvement.
Well, I'm Steve Smart and I hope that helps you.
Steve Smart works with entrepreneurs who want to improve their marketing efforts. He lives in St. Louis and can be reached at srsmart@2Qsolutions.net or 636-699-8772.
Social Media Marketing isn't just about broadcasting your message. There are important benefits to the listening part.
I'm overcoming my skepticism about Social Media, since I went to a seminar hosted by my friends at Unidev. The subject matter was Social Listening. A Microsoft representative talked about their product that helps companies get the maximum benefit from social media.
I've been skeptical because small and very small businesses get attracted to social media and its promise to help them grow their business. So they set up their Facebook page and Twitter account but execute poorly. And it shows in the results.
If, however, you have the proper tools and spend the necessary time, you can gain from using social media for marketing. But it's not just about broadcasting your message. Much of social media's power is in the listening.
I'll share some of my notes from last night's seminar.
The World Has Changed
Society in general is far more empowered than it was a generation ago. And advances in electronic communications has especially empowered buyers.
People no longer get all their information from the salesperson. People do lots of research before they start a sales conversation. They check out the company website and maybe view them from another angle on their Facebook page and they ask around. They find out how other people solve the problem, meet their need and what product they used.
This gives you an opportunity to reach influencers through social media.
The Listening Side is Important
Social media and its related tools give you the power to listen in some important ways.
Solve problems: We know that people complain. It happens a lot online.IF your ear is to the ground you can discover a problem someone has with your product and work with them to solve it. People will, of course, see how you resolve it. It may be that you actually discover a bigger problem you didn't know existed.
Expand your footprint: If you want to do business in a new part of the country or the world, social listening can help you find out of people are talking about your product or a similar product. You'll find out if there's much interest.
Think about the possibility of new distribution channels. Maybe you want to open something up but don't yet have the relationships you want. A relationship could be developed on a social site.
Expand your product line: Social listening might help you discover needs you didn't know existed. By responding to those needs with new products you might be first to market.
Scope out your competitors: Is your competitor launching a new product? Listening on social might help you discover sooner rather than later. And if people are complaining about your competitor, you can certainly step u to the plate and shine the light on how you can meet their need.
It's About the Time and the Tools
I'm still not convinced that social media is right for every single business. But I do see more clearly the opportunity that exists for those who get the right tools and put the time and effort into it.
Steve Smart works with busy entrepreneurs who want to improve their marketing efforts. He lives in St. Louis and can be reached at srsmart@2Qsolutions.net or 636-699-8772.