This is part 1 from a series of 2 blog posts regarding "Improve your small business by doing ONE thing - Personalized Marketing Experience".
Part 2: How did a customer find about you? Customer Database, Feedback and Vouchers.
What's the one thing that you could do to improve your small business? The ONE thing that has the most impact?
This is one of the questions many successful entrepreneurs and small business owners continually challenge themselves to discover.
The information you are about to read in this article is rated at a few thousand dollars 's/euro's from a marketing expert. By simply reading and implementing the knowledge you gain unstoppable knowledge and power for free.
Most consultants spend their time telling you life-changing stories and anecdotes. Are you ready to apply them? Keep reading!
You might expect a plethora of answers all being quite different containing bits of wisdom yet converging into a common truth. Each person views his/her own business from a different perspective.
However, they all have one thing in common geared towards success. A personalized marketing experience.
One of the things many people stumble upon is going to conferences, going to specialized courses, reading tons of books and having all of these ideas that seem great. The practical aspects kill many small businesses. You are going to learn how easy it is to implement a personalized marketing experience.
The definitions that should guide you
Small companies can increase their market share and avoid being swallowed by multinational corporations by reimplementing their systems from the ground up.
Creating a Personalized Marketing Experience is a very powerful way to gain and keep customers satisfied.
Before we move on let's get some definitions out of the way to better understand what I mean. These definitions all have part of what a personalized marketing experience really is. Let's discover them.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is a mix of two different words. Market and Getting, which are both two verbs. Or a place and a verb, depending on definitions and personal perception.
Marketing is defined as " the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising."
Marketing can also be defined as "the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer."
Including the coordination of the 6 P's: Product, People, Process, Price, Promotional Strategy, Place
What's interesting to note is that marketing is an action. This means it has to be done by someone and it's not something passive. It's quite simple to do it on a daily basis as you will soon find out how.
Marketing is also a continuous management process. We can understand the implied message that good management implies good marketing and vice versa. But wait, there's more!
What is Management?
So now that we know what marketing is let's ask ourselves. What is management?
Management is the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.
Management is also The organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives.
According to Peter Drucker, "the basic task of management includes both marketing and innovation".
Now those 3 definitions tell us many things and are vital in any business, namely:
- Management deals with "things" which can be services, products and any other "thing" which needs managing
- Management deals with people. Wow, so does marketing in a way. Those people can be prospects, employees, customers.. effectively anyone that enters in contact with your products and company.
- Organization and coordination are crucial. A personalized marketing experience must be planned and acted on to achieve any objectives.
- Peter Drucker makes a wonderful definition that management is a basic task which includes marketing and innovation.
Thus from the above definitions and statements, we can insinuate that Marketing, Innovation and Management are all interconnected
Marketing needs to be managed in order for it to succeed, just like your company. This means that YOU as a small business owner are also responsible for the wellbeing of your company through management and marketing. Your employees need to be taken into account for it to succeed. They're the front-line of all your marketing experiments. Make them happy and your customers will be happy.
Customer Service, Satisfaction and Feedback?
The one thing that all companies need in order to survive is not a product. Not a promotional strategy. NOT a board of directors. Neither any extensive process for defining reality.
It's a customer that buys a product or service. Simple as that.
Customers buy products if they trust what they see. Customers buy on emotions, not logic. They use logic to justify the purchase afterwards and to protect themselves from buyers remorse.
If a customer is satisfied then be sure you will do business for years.
Now, how do you get a customer to be satisfied?
You need Customer Service for that. Your personalized marketing experience requires it.
Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer's needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high-quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer's requirements are met.
Customer satisfaction is the degree of satisfaction provided by the goods or services of a company as measured by the number of repeat customers.
Customer Service and Satisfaction cannot be built in a lab devoid of direct access to the real world. Most managers of big companies forget this. Constant feedback is required, we'll talk more about feedback later.
Customer Service can also NOT be externalized to 3rd party companies or to a specific department. Each and every employee works in customer service. From the desk clerk to the accountant to the CEO.
Great, we still have to define "personalized" and "experience".
To personalize is a verb which implies action. To design or produce (something) to meet someone's individual requirements.
You might say: "Great Andrei, personalized means that I have to something different for each and every customer!"
Nope. You have one general grand offering which you then personalize for each customer.
Take for example a clothes store that is specialized in T-Shirts. It can personalize them with a Logo/image of its client's choosing! This is personalized.
If the customer doesn't know what she wants you can take her personality into account to suggest a personalized service.
Experience is an event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone.
We all have daily experiences. We remember those experiences which leave a mark on us emotionally. Those can be either positive or negative.
For our purpose, we'll focus on the positive ones.
Great experiences are relived and retold leading to word of mouth which is the most powerful form of marketing there is.
Welcome to Personalized Marketing Experience
Let's find out the common wisdom governing around the question "What's the one thing that someone could do to improve their small business?"
And the answer is... The pursuit of a Personalized Marketing Experience.
Businesses that succeed thrive for perfection and execution every day, all day long. This is reached with the small actions which anyone can take.
We're still talking about small businesses here. Where flexibility is something that allows each employee to implement the best management, marketing and customer service.
Many entrepreneurs or small business owner are overwhelmed with administrative tasks and they forget to personalize their offerings. To market and to leave an experience.
Entrepreneurs don't need to do everything themselves. They just need a push in the right direction.
You can always get in touch with extraordinary consultants like me who can help. This is why I've created the 12-week program called Marketing Experience.
Required: A personalized marketing experience for each customer.
As you think that you've heard this before you begin to realize that it's extremely simple yet overlooked.
A leap of faith
I will give you the powerful yet simple reasons, the WHY. Then some simple tips to improve your personalized marketing experience which will boost your small business.
Most of the customers I've worked with throughout the years are exceptional people who have made the leap into the unknown by building a business. I always encourage anyone I know to do this step. I believe that small businesses are the way of the future.
Entrepreneurship is a great way to learn who you are. Providing the opportunity to sharpen your communication and leadership skills.
Throughout the years I've helped many people by developing great software and providing superior automation solutions that increased profits.
Even with all the increases, my help has generated I needed to remember them constantly that automation alone is only of multiple steps towards success.
Each customer needs to have a personalized marketing experience. It doesn't need to be an extremely complicated marketing plan. It's can be simple and efficient.
I'm not talking about "could have" or "may have" neither am I implying that she "should have". No. Everyone needs to have a personalized marketing experience.
This is the one thing you could to improve your small business.
Gathering Data Entering into the world of Data Science
A great marketing experience can only start the moment we start to gather data. Data Science and statistics are a determining factor in the success of any business.
Gathering and analyzing data can be done by any business. Even a one-man shop. Data Science is just a lavish word for gathering data and analyzing it. Sure, finding Data Science experts is not that easy. Once you have one you've struck gold.
Take out a pad of paper and write down the basic ideas which I suggest in this article. Execution is the path to success.
Remember, the definitions of marketing earlier and how we got to management. It's a continuous action of innovation!
To create a personalized Marketing Experience you only need a computer connected to the Internet. Gathering data requires both of them. In the end, if you have the data you only need a computer to analyze it. It will become apparent soon that all businesses need to gather data
Some Statistical Terms and calculations
Before we go and start gathering data to analyze it later we need to get some other terms straight. I'm sure as a business owner you're already familiar with these. However, you will view them through a new light.
It's necessary to know exactly which channels generate how much traffic and where your leads are coming from.
The very first thing you need to do is build a database of all your customers. All the calculations can and will be done automatically. You can use Open Office Calc, Excel or even a simple e-commerce website for this purpose.
Or by using the specific tools I provide my customers during my Marketing Experience 12-week program.
The following should be done per month and per year. This way you'll get to see some very interesting things about your business.
Traffic and Leads
Leads are the number of potential buyers you contacted or they contacted you. Leads also mean prospects.
In other terms, we could describe leads as traffic to your store, online website, blog, youtube channel etc.
The more traffic the better. The traffic for each channel should be separated for individual analysis. Generalized traffic is also helpful..
The conversion rate is the percentage (%) of people who bought from you. They're prospects/leads who became customers.
There are 2 basic formula's which we'll use.
Conversion rate = number of customers that buy / the total number of people that visit
Number of customers = total prospects * conversion rate.
This percentage is significant. A low number can mean different things depending on the context. It can mean that you're not targeting your services well enough. Or that there is something else wrong which you can find out by doing a survey.
A high number can mean that you're targeting your customers wisely or that you have a great personalized marketing experience.
Number of Transactions
You need to know the number of transactions, the usage of a database is extremely important.
The number of transactions is all the purchases done in one year by all the customers.
You may also want to do it per customer to know which customers are more valuable than others and see how you can replicate that behavior!
number of transactions = average buys from 1 customer in one year
Average sale value
The average sale value is the sum of all purchases divided by the total number of customers you've had in one year.
average sale value = sum of all purchases / total number of customers
At this point, it's vital to also to create per customer averages and plot them. Know the minimum, know the maximum and know the average.
An interquartile range will give you great details. Again, the value of statistics is apparent
At last, approaching the turnover sales! The one that everyone is looking for.
Calculate the total sales sum divided by the total number of sales.
Sales Turnover = sum of total sales / total number of sales
This number will give you a average "sale" value.
What do you do with all of these?
All the "variables" I've talked about the need to be taken into account in order to know your position in the market.
There are even more variables and calculations which may be interesting and will give you an overview of how your business is going. Each statistic provides insights so you can make better choices.
You'll probably say that your bookkeeper knows the details. This is NOT the same thing and it's certainly NOT enough.
Know the minimum numbers and the maximum numbers. Research what the averages are in your industry and you'll know how you stack and what you can improve.
You can plot all data and have nice graphics which you can use to remind yourself or employees how to grow.
Each point needs to be improved. Follow this article to the end and start implementing your personalized marketing experience now.
Don't know how to gather this data or can't figure out how to start? Contact me and I'll help you set it up.
All those variables need to be reviewed monthly and annually. This means that YOU need to work on increasing each area every day.
This brings us to part 2: How did a customer find about you? Customer Database, Feedback and Vouchers.