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Digital Strategies and Marketing:
strategies you can adopt to win in 2021 and evolve your business
Any period of economic downturn in consumption or of "crisis" hides amidst many difficulties much food for thought. Now as ever the opportunities of digitisation and the internet have become common knowledge and a priority even for those entrepreneurs or professionals who were reluctant to accept them in their daily lives. Some did not feel ready, others simply did not need it: until now.
Most of the companies I deal with during the first meetings for the presentation of a digital marketing project tell me:
"I never thought that I would have to be the one looking for new customers, it used to be that there was no need for marketing or advertising, customers just came and bought without much fuss."
And this was undoubtedly true in the past, but with increasing competition and supply, not having an online business strategy for acquiring new customers or selling products and services can make the difference between the success or failure of your business. Why has Amazon radically changed the way we find and choose a product? Is the decline of 'physical' shops really attributable to e-commerce or rather to poorly differentiated products in a price war combined with poor service?
What is certain, no matter what your business is about, is that there are common points for every type of business:
- I target a particular type of customer
- I sell a product or services or both
- I have to constantly attract new customers by making sure that they find me first compared to my competitors when they are looking for a similar product or service to mine.
- I need a system as automated as possible to attract them systematically
- I need a method of contacting customers after they have expressed an interest in us and a system that will automatically have them contacted by one of my salespeople to close the contract.
- I need to have a system that takes into account and ranks the customers of my business in order to keep the old customers and continue to sell new products over time.
What are the strategies you can put in place for each point and meeting business challenges in 2021?
1. EXPAND CUSTOMERS:
If you have been in business for several years, it means that you already have a certain customer base that buys from you on a regular and recurring basis. Every existing customer can be stimulated with new products or services. Before looking for new customers the best thing to do is to get the existing ones to buy more, by making new offers, proposing additional services or product packages that complement the ones they are already using.
2. SELL RELATIONSHIPS NOT PRODUCTS
If you have a manufacturing business, in most cases your business is designed around selling physical products. Even if you sell services, in most cases you are offering services, technical support, development of something and then selling one or more products. The problem with any product is that it can easily be replaced or substituted by another product.
3. AMPLIFY YOUR IMPACT
If you appear on the internet as well as at a trade fair you exponentially increase your perception by customers who are meeting you for the first time. This is why any 'Awareness' strategy aimed at making you 'recognisable' can amplify your impact. A presence on your website and a widespread presence on the communication channels used by your customers (or potential customers) can exponentially increase your company's image and make you more attractive to new distributors or strategic partners.
4. AUTOMATES LEAD GENERATION
The customer acquisition process cannot be random, it is not enough for you to wait for them to come to your company by chance or because they are unhappy with a supplier they decide to opt for a replacement sale. You need to build an automated customer acquisition system that constantly brings you new leads to give to your salespeople for negotiation, only then can your business grow quickly. This is achieved first of all by controlling our website traffic and channelling it into a 'funnel', a guided path that prepares the potential customer for a negotiation with one of your salespeople.
5. WORK ON FOLLOW-UP
If you adopt a marketing strategy it will amplify what you are doing, the more impact you will have on your market, appearing more often with advertising campaigns, mailing materials and so on. Unless you have a BTB e-commerce where the potential customer can complete the order themselves, marketing will not lead directly to a sale. Therefore it is essential that your follow-up system includes the human component of a salesperson or customer service. Every marketing initiative must be negotiable. In the same way that when we were organising a trade fair people could enter our stand by identifying themselves with a business card or an invitation we need to know WHO, HOW and WHEN a potential customer comes into contact with us. Every action must be noted and measured so that we can keep track of all the times a customer loses motivation, changes priorities and decides not to act / not to buy.
6. MEASURE, ANALYSE, REPLICATE
We live in the age of data, the more information we are able to collect and interpret the more we can make considered choices based on rationality and less on our 'gut'. Who are our best customers? How many years have they been with us? What is the value of a customer over time? How often does a customer re-order from us? If a regular customer does not buy again, do I know? Do I have one or more offers ready to keep them buying from me? These are all good questions that can form your winning strategy for 2021. They seem obvious but they are not, as they are all based on clear, objective and interpretable numbers that are (or at least should be) in your database or CRM. Only with these numbers together with the margin per transaction can you study a digital marketing strategy. Without data and an analysis phase, anyone who wants to propose "campaigns" or "sponsorships" is just trying to rip you off. Both digital and traditional marketing is based on the study of the initial situation and acts as an "amplifier" of what is already working in your company.
What are the business challenges you will face in 2021?
Dealing with digitisation is a must and we just can't escape the change that has been taking place in the market for the past year.
Unfortunately, there is no magic wand or one-size-fits-all solution; every strategy must be tested in the field.
Let us help you in this process!
We will accompany you along this difficult path of business change that will make YOU and YOUR company ready to meet the business challenges of 2021 and the years to come.