Are you capturing your entire target audience, or are you selling yourself short?

Websites, social media, smartphone applications, and word-of-mouth are just a few channels to reach your target audience, but are you implementing them all? If so, are you utilising them to their maximum ability?

New interaction channels appearing every month, if not every week, offering the ability to connect with individuals both near and far, but which are the most effective and how can you best incorporate them into your marketing strategy? Let us look at some of the most common options and understand how to implement them. 

Your digital grounding is your company website, it is generally the first point of call to any potential customer, seeking information on who and what you are. Make the first impression count, be sure your website is optimised for today’s devices, with minimal loading time, and contains updated content.

Another website tool at your disposal is a blog, granted, visual graphics are more effective than text at reaching your audience, however, the inclusion of blog posts and articles reinforces your digital presence, through various algorithms directing data traffic in your favour. Blogs also allow you to connect with your audience in a more personal format, providing valuable insights based on topics relevant to your target market. 

Most businesses credit social media as the largest contributor to capturing their audience, however, it is not advised to focus solely on any single channel, but to include a variety of mediums in your marketing strategy, to ensure the greatest exposure and to maximise your reach.

Social media enables you to connect remotely and without time constraints, through a combination of images, videos, audio, and text, to fully engage with your target audience and communicate effectively.

Taking video marketing one step further, if you can deliver high-quality video’s, capturing your audience’s attention within the first seconds, then this fantastically captivating media enables you to deliver targeted information, securing a bond with your audience in a fraction of the time as other channels.

Influencer marketing has been on the rise in recent years, offering businesses the opportunity to effectively reach millions with a single social media post, if the influencer aligns with your target audience. Influencer marketing has become one of the leading ways to target niche markets, who are already interested in your product or service but have not yet been exposed to your brand. 

With paid social media adverts, you can improve your delivery efficiency using ‘targeting features’ on social platforms. Targeted advertising ensures your media reaches specifically targeted groups, based on factors including demographic, geographic, interests, and the search topics of your audience. 

With such a convenient device, readily available at your fingertips at any moment, it is no surprise that the majority of online browsing and social media interaction is performed via smartphones. So, as mentioned earlier, mobile-friendly website optimisation is important, but the introduction of smartphone applications can be another route to improving customer acquisition, in addition to customer retention as discussed in a previous article.

Organic referrals have, and will, continue to be a valuable method of reaching your target audience. This ‘primarily’ hand-off approach simply requires a consistent and high-quality service to customers, to share and promote your company, but you can push this strategy using referral codes and promotional incentives such as credit for the referee. 

Referrals are amongst the most powerful and accurate methods of capturing your target audience, originating from genuine first-hand customer recommendations, communicated to known and trusted, like-minded individuals aligned to your business. 

In short, capturing people’s attention is great, but capturing your actual target audience is even better. If you can incorporate the techniques discussed, to ensure your marketing is aligned for each channel, then you will be able to prime your marketing strategy, capture your entire market more effectively, and importantly, grow your business. 

If you would like any further information on any of the points discussed, or have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me directly.

An article by Gautam Gajjar.

3 Tools for Service Providers to Improve Efficiency

The arsenal of tools at our disposal determines the output deliverable to customers, without whom we have no purpose. Service providers are faced with countless tools such as A.I. technology, automation, and cloud-based networks, but which tools are simply fads, and which genuinely improve efficiency?

Unlike product orientated businesses which require tools for manufacturing and testing, service providers are orientated around intangible products, facilitating their network by delivering a trade, ranging from knowledge through to solutions, delivered by the likes of teachers, cleaners, or I.T. technicians to name a few.
A lack of physical product creates the challenge of tracking and managing a service, this is where the tools come into play.

Recommended tools

1) Customer Relation Management software (CRM)
A fundamental tool for improving efficiency is a solid customer relationship management tool. CRM software such as ‘Monday’, enables capturing and organisation of contacts, to build and nurture relationships through features including data tracking, remote connectivity, and automation, creating a deeper understanding to better serve their needs.

2) Project Management software
Digital task management is without a doubt, incomparable to traditional paperwork, save yourself time and money by tracking your business and employee’s data electronically.
With a plethora of management tools available online such as ‘Evernote’ and ‘Trello’, you are sure to find one suited to your needs, however basic or complex, whether free or expensive. So set yourself reminders, automate mundane tasks, analyse data for improvements, and assign tasks to individuals.

3) Social Media Scheduling software
Once your project tasks have been managed, you can divert your attention to social media and build your customer base, and as with project management software, automation can be applied through to social media scheduling tools such as ‘Mailchimp’ and ‘Hootsuite’.
A healthy social media presence won’t go unnoticed, with every post published, you are improving your odds of staying top of mind, if you’re not present, your absent, simple.
Social media interaction is a sure-fire way of converting your platform into an active discussion hub, your network collectively communicating will reveal insightful knowledge which can be used to improve customer service.

Other possibilities…

Smartphone Applications (if applicable)
Our smartphones dependency makes expansion into apps a great opportunity to improve efficiency. Apps, can establish a direct channel to customers, improve communication, and track real-time services. Based upon the complexity of the app, it can be basic, used simply to share information/promotions and create bookings, or it can be advanced, offering integrated tracking functions and management control. The added benefit of this tool is effective customer retention.

Web-Based Administration Portal
Service providers are required to juggle numerous customers at any given time, a tool to improve efficiency would be a portal to manage multiple unrelated services in real-time, with the ability to modify and reallocate tasks within a single dashboard.

To round up

The tools identified each play a considerable role in improving efficiency for service provider’s, so I suggest implementing these tools if not already in place.
There are plentiful tools out there, some serving specialist purposes, others catering to a buffet of tasks. There is no ‘best’ tool for the job, it is based on your requirements, but even then, it’s each to their own taste, so make use of free trials, that’s what they are there for.

It would be great to hear back from you on which software options you chose, how effective they were in improving your efficiency and would you suggest any additional tools not mentioned, so feel free to share your experiences.

An article by Gautam Gajjar.