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Multi-devices have enabled us to be the curators of our lives

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Marketing Automated Technology, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing | No Comments

We are a nation of multi-screeners. Most of our time is spent in front of a screen. 77% of us view TV with a device in our other hand. Google’s latest research uncovers our cross-platform behaviour as we use multi devices often at the same time to achieve our goals. With technology advances in online devices, we can now choose how, when, what and who to engage with 24 x7. We are the curators of our lives.

Key findings of Google’s Research includes:

Two types of screening behaviour:

  • Sequential screening where we move from one device to another to complete a single goal
  • Simultaneous screening where we use multiple devices at the same time
  • Google has found that nine out of ten people use multiple screens sequentially and that smartphones are by far the most common starting point for sequential activity.
  • 80% of searchers happen on smart phones as a spur of the moment
  • We spend on average over 4 hours in front of screens a day to communicate, Browsing the internet – 81%
    Social networking – 72%
    Online shopping – 67%
    Research/Search – 63%
    Managing Finances – 46%
    Planning a trip – 43%
  • The time spent on screen devices per day is broken down as follows:
  1. TV – 43 minutes
  2. PC/Laptop – 39
  3. Tablet – 30
  4. Smartphone – 17
 What does this mean for marketers?
Is our attention span getting shorter? Google’s research suggests that multiple screens make us feel more efficient. So we are multi-tasking and multi-screening! I know my attention is at least fragmented between all the devices I have. If I see something on TV and want to probe deeper, I go on my iPad. Even my seven-year old plays with his Super heroes or reads his comics and then Google games, download Apps and connects with other gamers online, all at the same time.
We are on-line more than ever before and because it is easy and available part of me does feel like I have the control to choose what I want to consume, perhaps for the first time.I know I am not alone in this feeling. Most of my peers now choose when and what to watch on their iPad not TV. Conversations revolve around the latest App someone has found for recipes or to help our children read online. We are seeking out our own unique interests and communities to enrich our lives, learn and just have fun. Our behaviour has changed markedly even over the last 18 months.

We are so connected and able to be responsive and “always on” or impulsive. This has huge implications for marketers as we aim to understand the environment that our customers live in. We need to understand this new multi-screen and multi-tasking behaviour to design the best experience for our customers. With around 10% of media interactions non-screen based, if you are not online and connected you are invisible. It is easy to predict with this changing landscape that new opportunities will and have be created for all sorts of businesses. As customers decide what to pay attention to and what to ignore,  it is more important than ever to understand your customers behaviour as part of your marketing strategy. This attention and empathy to customers creates opportunities from the  from the the smallest business which now can gain visibility by reaching a new audience.
The key for truly great marketing is to know your customers and this means their likely behaviour. Understanding this ever connected landscape is step 1. Step 2 is building a strategy to navigate through it to ensure you are in the right place, at the right time with the right resources.
 Google now has a great info graphic describing our new behaviour.

 

Customer Centric Marketing is the new competitive advantage for Small Businesses

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Customers mean a lot more to us as small business owners than large corporates. We know our clients names, we understand their businesses and we ask lots of questions. Well we should!

Customer-centric marketing means to fulfill all the needs and wants of each customer with a passion to succeed, and doing it with a smile. Customer centric marketing focuses on understanding the problems, concerns, needs and wants of your customer not yours.

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” – Kenneth B. Elliott, Vice President of Sales, Studebaker Motor Corp., 1941.

While large businesses battle with how to engage with customers across their large complicated systems and processes, small businesses can embrace technology and create meaningful touch points that create trust and transparency.

We can learn a lot about our customers quickly. As we learn about each customer we can fulfil their needs and wants and they will tell others how we made them happy. We can share ideas and create solutions that are tailored made easily. We can add value to our to clients with out adding cost. Customer centric marketing assumes nothing. It is based on understanding and insight from the customer perspective. It is about having an intimate relationship with your ideal customer and working together.

Customer centric marketing starts with the customer not the product or service.It focuses on the customer’s situation and how they do their job, their business needs, the pain they’re experiencing, the root causes of the pain from their perspective, and how they can solve the problem.

Every touch point: website, white paper, offer has the customer’s needs at the centre of it. How can we assist them in their search for the answer to their current concerns. How can we educate, provide support, entertain. If we do this with the right intent we will earn trust.  Unlike larger companies, we smaller companies don’t need to create buyer persona’s to understand our customers. We know them. However we do have to continue to engage them and ask how we can serve them better.

Being customer centric is a culture and based on priorities.The number one priority of a customer centric company is that the customer comes before revenue generation with the understanding that this focus will create great growth and profit over time. Everyone has to be onboard with this focus or it won’t work. Can everyone in your company list the customers top wish list? Customer centric is a core value and mission of these sort of companies. Everyone has how they contribute to the customer experience at the heart of everything they do.

To learn more about our customer centric workshop go here.

Is your content a commodity? Why you need to think like a producer.

By | Branding, Content Marketing, CRM and lead generation, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

“Marketing is broken. Social media won’t save it. Online ads won’t reinvent themselves. Google’s acquiring. Public relations is changing. The music industry is reinventing itself. The movie business is struggling. Newspapers are dying. Your email inbox is full. Your mobile device is always on. Your DVR is recording. Your iPad apps are updating. I don’t need to tell you that the media business is in flux.If you’re going to survive in a world where everything’s changing, you’re going to have to think differently.” Hard to argue, right?

As Andrew Davis book Brandscaping is a very interesting take on how we should approach marketing. Rather than the current fad of creating loads of content much of which is seen as a commodity he states we should all be acting more like producers and try to find the right content for our audience. “Brandscaping is bringing like-minded brands and their audiences together to create content that increases demand or drives new revenue for the products and services you sell.” I really like this approach because it is based on supporting those who actually create the content that your audience will love and support them.

There are four  great reasons why I love this approach. 

1. Most of us aren’t brilliant writers. Let’s face it we don’t run a copywriting business. So it makes sense to focus on what we do really well which is our product or service offering.

2. I don’t think outsourcing this to a marketing team or copywriter is the answer either because often they are good writers but don’t understand our business or don’t have the passion or creativity for sustained engaging content.

3. By aligning your business with a someone or an organisation that is already providing content for the audience that you serve. Support them. A perfect example of this is Ducttape Marketing support Hubspot because they create a lot of How too documents. The opportunity to build a brandscape is to position your business with a undiscovered talent that can create content to drive demand for the products or services you sell. Think like a producers not a marketer.

4. Just because you are creating content don’t assume your audience is consuming it! In fact if you create poor quality content it could have the opposite effect to consumption. The amount of information created is created at an unbelievable pace. The key is to find the most effective channels for reaching your own particular audience and to get them to consumer on a regular basis. You want a relationship, so focus on reach and quality and relevance.

I ask myself this question: If I stopped by blog today would anyone notice?

It would be fair to draw the comparison between films like the latest Bond Movie Skyfall and their obvious product placement to sell more of a brand but the distinction Davies makes is that the alignment needs to be authentic and have the same set of values for the audience to buy into the partnership and for the association to work as a marketing tool.

So if you want to leverage content as an asset rather than an expense. Creating content relationships and sharing audiences, tapping into multiple niches, pooling your resources with other brands that value the same audience makes sense.

Davis describes three elements to a successful brandscaper:

1. Confidence to back the content of others with a belief in them and their audience no matter how small, is valuable.

2. Show humility by understanding that your customers care more about just your products and services.

3.Willingness to pool resources and share your audiences will allow your marketing budget to go further.

I will add one more

4. Choose your partners carefully. Think “what would your customers also like.” Align around values.

Some potential partnerships:

Nespresso store in Chadstone and Apple. They both have the same audience and could work together around topics like convenience, design and quality.

Dan Murphy could have a wine TV show like Gary Vaynerchuk’s.

Business Bank with Marketing Critique of small businesses plan as a TV channel (just putting it out there!)

Lorna Jane fitness clothing  and chef Justine Schofield

How to make a start

1. Join a LinkedIn group that your audience is participating in and contribute frequently.

2. Seek out the best tools or resources share them with your audience. (name the source and get permission always)

3. Brainstorm a good hook. It could be critiquing something, creating interviews with industry experts, 10 top tips.

4. Identify and explore content holes in your market.

5. Look for a great idea to serve your market. Someone might have built and app your audience would love. Share it, promote it. Underwrite it. A start-up looking for a partnership?

6. Who already owns our audience?

7. Where does our audience live online?

8. What sort of talent can we work with to make our brand more relevant, more often?

9. What content does our audience already have a relationship with and how can we embrace it?

10. What products/ services do our customers buy before they have a need for us?

 

Think Like A Customer

By | Customer experience, Customer Insight, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

We believe there is no more important approach to your marketing than a customer centric one!

Analyst Anthony Mullen from Forrester explains it well,

“If you are delighting consumers then you have all the time in the world with them but if you are frustrating them then each second is torture they will want to pay you back for. Freedom of information and publishing means that customers know what standards can be expected and are tooled up to take a social hatchet to brands that abuse their privilege.  Getting the customer experience right and respecting consumers time is a survival imperative.”

Customer Centric Marketing is all about creating a brand and a culture that focuses on the customer. All decisions are made in light of what is best for the customer, but not just any customer, your ideal customer. You can only create a delightful, “wow” experience for the customer if you create touch points for the customer to feel your brand along their journey with you. These touch points should be deliberate, tweaked, measured and everyone in the companies responsibility.

To book a customer centric workshop here.

Thoughtleaders in Customer Centric methodology

Jeanne Bliss – Customer Bliss

Bill Self Customer 3D

Symplicit – customer mapping, personnas

Strativity – customer experience Wow brands e-book

The DiJulius Group – Customer experience

John Spence – building high performing teams

Innovation Management – creating innovations with customers

Co-creating foundation

ARO Systems Testimonial

By | Testimonials | No Comments

“Dan has worked with us over the last 24 months to build a strategic approach to sales and marketing. She has provided a soundboard and a hands on approach to our business and this has proved to be very valuable as we develop our team and marketing approach. Dan has helped us develop sales tools including, case studies, flyers, website and a CRM system. We now understand our value proposition and can confidently attract the right clients who want to work with us. There are always challenges in running a small business but Dan has provided us with the marketing savvy that continually improves our businesses. She continues to work with us as almost an intergral part of our team, her understanding of our company and value propostion is second to none. She is a valuable asset to whoever is fortunate enough to work with her.” December 3, 2012

Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity

1st Read Hedditch 
hired Danielle as a Business Consultant in 2010, and hired Danielle more than once

ARO Systems

Packaging is a key differentiator that creates success!

By | Branding, Packaging, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Small businesses can undersell themselves by not presenting a cohesive well thought through look and feel to their business and  just not packaging their offering very well. I am not just talking about the immediate branding, but also the way you present an idea so your client or customer can understand it, and feel that it is tailored solution just for them.

This packaging assists the sales process and leads to increased conversion rates, that means they buy more readily!

Packaging is something I have been investigating and am very passionate about. I love great packaging, because so few companies do it really well. Moo.com sent me some mini cards a few weeks go and I still sprout about their packaging. From the Yay! sticker on the outside to the beautiful presentation inside. It is so different and unexpected. A delightful experience.

Why don’t more service businesses package their offering to attract prospects and give a delightful experience?

Why don’t  more accountants package, hairdressers, in fact any service provider or professional service? And I don’t mean just list what is in the package but present it with personality. It takes such little effort, but can make a huge different to the uptake of your offering, especially if you create an introductory or free offering. I started using Wufoo as a free forms tool and upgraded because it provided value I couldn’t live without. Not only did they provide value but they did it in a fun way. How can you package your offering to make it more attractive and easier for your potential customers to buy?

 

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