The Altus Branding team has been back from the Marketing United Conference in Nashville for some time now. After reading The Top 10 Takeaways from Marketing United and still being mind-blown from industry leaders, we here at Altus Branding wanted to compile our own little list of key takeaways from the conference more fitting for St. Maarten. Because what good is knowledge if you can’t share it with the goal of total progression, right? Here goes.
1. Authenticity is the new marketing tool
It’s 2017, and you better believe that once you’ve wronged one customer (or dragged them….get it? It’s a United joke, which will be a timeless joke!) your other customers will know, and it’s a high probability that this number is higher than it was a decade ago. Things are getting transparent, we might even dub it super transparent at this point when referring to a small market as St. Maarten.
All businesses have suffered hiccups at some point, and sometimes it’s inevitable. But because a business fails a customer, doesn’t make it a definite negative experience, it’s how the company deals with the situation. As managers we need to analyse interactions between the company and customers at all points. How do we treat and compensate customers after a bad situation and are these interactions being perceived as authentic and honest?
And this shouldn’t merely be integrated when a negative transactions occurs. As a manager the key is to decrease the chance of negative word-of-mouth and increase the chance of positive word-of-mouth. Authenticity translates to loyalty, and there is no better advertisement than happy loyal customers.
2. Data is King
No matter what its size is, data is king. A lot of us view it as a volume thing that offers little value when working with small amounts. But we’re here to tell you to throw that mind-set away, or at least try.
Data helps businesses base business decisions on the reality of the market, rather than making an educated guess. If utilised well, it allows us to make less risky investments. Know who you’re customers are and what they value from your company. Try to deduct why they are buying from you and use this information to produce future product offerings, promotions, or even changes to your business model. Obtain information on which kind of customers buy less frequently from you, and what their buying behaviour is, and figure out how to improve your value proposition to these clients.
You’ll need to implement a data collection method, depending on what data you want to collect. This can be as simple as a data-collecting loyalty cards, and online surveys, or as complex as you need it to be.
3. (Paid) online tools won’t bite.
We all know that sometimes in the management department, or even at lower-levels, we can get all the help we need. Yet, often we are reluctant to transfer some of this workload onto digital-based tools. Sometimes this can be a learning barrier (having to train employees how to use said tools) or even a price barrier. But this article is here to tell you that these barriers are less of a hurdle than you think.
If you could have an online tool facilitate a portion of the workload effectively, (1) the investment will be worth it and (2) your employees will adapt if the tools are relevant for your company and its industry. There are countless tools for all types of industries, to manage, report and evaluate projects; facilitate better communication within the company; digitalise administrative tasks; simplify e-mail campaign building; provide industries with databases and customer research tools; and the list goes on.
The key is to know what your business needs; research the available online tool options; know your selected tool and how it can actually make the workplace more effective; and finally integrate.