“I believe that conventional marketing techniques are increasingly ineffective. Customers are hyped out. They have been ‘over-marketed’. They are becoming more cynical about the whole advertising and marketing process.” – Anita Roddick
The title of the article proves to be a scary truth for some businesses, and a lingering fear for most. Only when customers know your business exists, would they venture to know you and buy from you – obvious. The fact is unless people know about your company and products, there would soon be no business. In the current cutthroat business environment, many companies seem to be going into oblivion simply because they are unable to stand out despite spend a huge amount of resources on promoting their business, and still not gaining customers. Hence, now it is not only about whether customers know your business exists, but also about whether they deem it fit enough to associate. What are some of the reasons for any company to remain unnoticed? Let us discuss this as we move along.
In today’s business world, every business and company needs a website. It has become the ‘face’ and window of a company, and yet research shows that amongst small businesses today, only 51% of them have a website. It would seem obvious why the remaining 49% are probably struggling even for survival, and if your business is part of this portion, it will not be surprising if customers do not know your business exists. Creating a website is neither hard nor expensive today – even a simple yet effective website would help your business a great deal by placing you on a platform that is visible and available for all to view. With time, it is possible to continually upgrade and put in strategies to gain traction and more visitors, which in turn would translate to enhanced opportunities for conversions. The good news is that there are several tools and DIY methods to create a website, and once it is ‘out there’, it would shoot up the visibility of your business, and not leave you guessing that whether customers know your business exists.
The fact is that running a company and managing a business can be very challenging and time consuming. In the rush and frenzy, several companies make the mistake of putting things to run on ‘auto pilot’ – that is once they make marketing efforts, they forget to follow up or do not have the time or resources to follow up. They do not use analytics to ascertain what may or may not be working, and what they should completely get rid of. Without measuring results and tracking effectiveness, it would be tough to optimize efforts and resources to forward the cause of business. Your company could be sticking with processes and strategies that could be completely ineffective, while losing the ones that could actually make a significant positive difference. With so many tools available to track and analyse progress, it would seem imprudent for your company not utilize them, and constantly wondering whether customers know your business exists.
Every business operates in a marketplace and not in a vacuum. This means that every business has its share of competitors, and it would be in the best interest of a company to keep track of what its competition is doing. Knowing who your competitors are, what they are doing differently, why customers choose them, and what their weaknesses are, is a great way to keep ahead of them. If your competitors outshine your business, it would not be long before customers would forget that your business exists, and getting back lost customers and reputation is possibly one of toughest tasks in today’s world. It would be much better to keep a close watch on the activities and strategies of your competitors, such that your business can proactively size up its competitors, and constantly strive to outrun them. In order to be sure that customers know your business exists, ensure that your company keeps a close watch on their website, social media pages, promotional and marketing activities, advertisements, and any other strategies they may use to get ahead. Look at their efforts, and make some significant improvements to forge ahead. It is also beneficial for your company to monitor the activities of competitors, as it keeps your company on ‘its toes’, ensuring that problems are remedied and the great aspects stay highlighted for all to see. Consistent improvement is what makes any company great and ensures that customers know your business exists, and attracts them to it.
If you want to ensure that customers know your business exists, make it distinctive and unique. Companies that are unable to stand out are very easily obliterated. It is essential for a company to show potential customers why it would be in their best interest to engage in business with it, and what the company offers that no one else in the market is able to. It is important to show customers that your company’s offerings are truly one of a kind, that they provide better value, address the needs of the customer much more effectively, and the quality of the products is superlative. This should not be lip service, but should actually be the truth about your business. The customer of today is extremely discerning – they can easily separate the wheat from the chaff, and will not even glance in the direction of companies that come across as second grade or substandard. To ensure that customers know your business exists and is a lot better than other market players, make concerted and consistent efforts to rise above the ordinary and provide the best in class products and service excellence.
Before trying to ascertain whether customers know your business exists, a business must know for sure whom it wants as customers, who those customers are, what they want and need, and what would be required to attract and retain them. Without this basic information, a company cannot even begin to go out and get the attention of its desired customer base. The worst mistake a company can make is to assume they know who their customers are, and what those customers need. Any company’s offerings would most likely be attractive to many different kinds of customers, but a business would not know this without first making a proper analysis of those customers. Knowing one’s ‘audience’ is imperative and should an on-going activity for any business. Customer segmentation is now a buzzword in business circles. Breaking down a large prospective customer base into segments based on different factors, would enable a company to get better at identifying the needs and pain areas of many different kinds of customers. This would allow the company to come up with solutions and products customized to meet the needs of many different kinds of customers, ensuring that it becomes attractive to a larger base. It would not be too tough to answer in the affirmative, the question of whether customers know your business exists.
Whatever your company does to ensure that customers know the business exists – the approach used should be unique, consistent, integrated, and should be one that adopts a variety of techniques. Everyone in the company should be aligned to make positive differences, and to provide every customer the best service they could get. Customers may take time to become interested in a company, but when they do and receive all that they expect, customers reciprocate with loyalty, profitability, and advocacy. A business must use the variety of channels available today to keep in touch with its customers, and allow customers the flexibility of connecting through any channel and whenever they deem convenient. Getting to the point where customers know your business exists, may be a long and tough road, but when customers begin to see value, all the effort is worthwhile.