Digital Marketing Insights

Even though this blog is primarily about online marketing resources and strategies, I felt the dire need to communicate my experiences in dealing with struggling businesses. I don’t claim to be an expert in business consulting but being in the industry for 7 years helping businesses get the most out of their online presence, I certainly hope to add value to this article.

Often when a company comes to us for a website design or any online marketing solution per say, usually the primary goal is to jumpstart the awareness of their business using online marketing strategies. However when dealing with startups and businesses facing a decline in market share, it is important to derive as many factors as possible that might be responsible for the shift in business.

Business owners tend to keep certain things in hindsight when it might require immediate attention at times. So based on our experience and research, following are 3 sure ways to murder your business: 

1. Working harder, but not smarter

Ask any entrepreneur whose passionate about their business. Their soul is dedicated in making their business a success even at the cost of their blood, sweat and tears. A strong work ethic is crucial in achieving your proposed goals, but as the business experiences growth, 24 hours in a day seem much too short to accomplish all the necessary tasks in a timely manner. With tasks piling up, working harder just doesn’t cut it.

It is important to understand that money comes and goes, but time once gone is gone. Based on this formula you need to be smarter about investing time than money. When you evaluate your return on investment on any venture, don’t just take the amount of dollars in to account, include your time, sweat equity and teeth grinding experiences that you have had.

Some strategies to work smarter that I have found useful are:

  • Systemize – Use industry standard CRM and ERP systems that streamline production, track progress, eliminate repetitive tasks and unnecessary paperwork. Depending on your business requirements there might be an off the shelf system that you could use to manage your work flow, production or customer service. Some businesses would require specialize systems, others might require a customized one, but many systems are designed to plug and play from the get go.
  • Automation – By automating repetitive tasks, not only do you save time but you increase efficiency and responsiveness.
  • Time management – This can be very difficult if you are used to working in a certain way. Most of us by nature are procrastinators and it is a hard habit to get out of. Prioritize your tasks effectively and learn to rely on your team members when required.
  • Outsource lacking skill-sets – A jack of all trades is a master of none. Nobody knows everything so find out what your weaknesses are and employ or outsource the skill-sets needed to run your business. Work with specialists and invest the time to become a specialist in your trade.
  • Make effective use of technology, please. Do not lag behind times, learn and come on board with how technology can affect your business.

2. Being narrow minded and having thick skin that doesn’t shed

Don’t take this the wrong way, but your market is defined by your customers, not you. If there is indication that the marketplace is evolving, you need to adapt quickly. Be open to change. I am sure that some businesses have been conducting business a certain way for the past several decades and its been going fine. However if there is a change in how customers are now researching and buying your product, you need to be on top of that change. In fact if your competitors are doing it, you are already too late.

Take the scenario of the thick skinned BLOCKBUSTER business. They were at their peak in 2009, and bankrupt in 2010. One of their biggest mistake was that they were too late in responding to the market gobbling online streaming service, NETFLIX. The key lesson to learn here is to stay on top of your customers buying behaviour and reaching out to them where ever possible. Evolve, adapt and even change your business model if you have to. Following are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Stay on top of trends in the marketplace
  • Quickly adapt to shifting markets
  • Regularly connect with your customers and prospects using social media and customer relationship management systems. Staying connected is proven to increase customer retention.

3. A love affair with yellow page ads

The reality is that print advertising is in decline. Printed newspapers, yellow pages and directories are becoming extinct. The only place these marketing mediums will shine in the next few years is in museums. We tend to get comfortable advertising our business a certain way, yet we fail to realize that we can make use of interactive promotions online that not only drive qualified leads, but can be also be tracked in terms of dollars invested. Investigating these means and being smart about it can define the success of our business. You need to:

  • Understand the value of your website and how it can be used as an interactive lead generation tool rather than a brochure online.
  • Make effective use of search engines to market your website, this is still the most common way on how people search for websites.
  • Discover the power of social media platforms and experiment with campaigns to drive targeted traffic to your website.

If you would like to discover how an online marketing strategy can help your business, please get in touch with us. I hope you found this article useful, please share your thoughts and comments.

Mouneeb is an experienced digital marketing strategist with a passion for helping clients achieve their goals online. With over 15 years of experience in designing, developing, and managing a team that develops top-notch web projects, he brings a wealth of information to the teams that he leads and the leaders that he follows.

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