I was in office working with my team on strategy for various customers for the upcoming festival season.
Just then, my phone rang.
“Hi Amod, How are you doing?”, I immediately realized the voice of Mr. T (we had met in Lonavala 4 weeks ago)
“Doing great Mr. T. How are you doing?” I greeted.
“Doing good but need your help with my online business considering the festival season is round the corner”, he said.
“Sure, since yours is an online B2C business (Home Decor and Improvement) – this is indeed THE season for you.” I confirmed.
“Yes, but with this complex, crowded and competitive marketplace – its becoming difficult to position and market effectively. The last two years, our online campaigns actually lost money.” he wailed.
“I understand your concern. This is a general feeling all around the market and that’s why we need to be smarter with our promotions (applies to your offline marketing too)” I started, “did you check my article 5 Bits to Get Your Business Going Online This Festival Season?”
“Not really. Whats it about?” he questioned.
“I suggest you read it and then we can talk again.” I continued, “In the meanwhile, I’d like to review some of your marketing efforts from earlier. Do you some handy stats?”
“Can you send me an email with what you are looking for?” he questioned.
“Mr. T – sorry to say – but this question tells me your online tracking and measurement system is either not in place or unorganized” I raised my concern.
“What do you mean?” he retorted
“You have your sales and accounting stats on your finger tips? You have your inventory numbers at the click of a button? You can talk me through your balance sheet at 2:00 am in the morning when half asleep?”
(Laughter) “Yes, I breathe these … “ he said confidently.
“We’ll need to create the same culture and understanding when it comes to online business marketing. We need to have a system where we get answers to key questions at one place, at any given time. Make sense”, I stated.
“Certainly does. Actually, since I am not very sure how to look up these stats is where I feel uncomfortable or uncertain when marketing online… “ he mentioned his concern.
“Absolutely, this is the case with 80% SMBs. Once we build the right system to track, measure, evaluate and project goals – this would be an effective business system. You can take innovative and intelligent decisions based on the numbers and feel more in control…” I explained.
“So, lets build it.”
“Three areas – where there has to be readiness to build this system” I emphasized
- Believe that this thing works
- Know what works/doesn’t work for you
- Understand the long term game
Believe that this thing works
Online is generally looked upon as “just another channel” or “also rans” activity for most businesses.
This perception needs a change. Business owners need to believe that (if done the right way) online is the way forward for the industry.
If you don’t do it, some else will and disrupt your market big time. E.g. Amazon/Flipkart disrupted retail, Jio disrupted telecom through innovation and power of online.
If you do the same, you can lead your marketplace big time. Dont follow the herd mentality (60% businesses fall to this trap and suffer).
The beauty is that Online is the same for everyone. There is no bias between brands and start-ups here.
Take advantage of online to build your business online.
Know what works/doesn’t work for you
Another aspect that is grossly misunderstood that everything under the online sun is our playground for marketing.
Every business wants to have a website, blogs, social media, apps, forums, listings, etc.
Two problems with this approach:
- Positioning your brand incorrectly will lead to junk traffic, leads and sales disappointments
- Management of online profiles on a day-to-day basis is no mean task – let alone tracking and evaluating performance.
Question: How do you know your social or online management is problematic?
Hint: Check for the last published article/content piece date on your social media/blog, etc. You will get your answers.
Hence, understand and establish what is working for you online. Take the right path.
Don’t throw your weight everywhere. Throw where it counts. It will save you a fortune.
Understand the long term game
Just like you, we are receiving many requests for online campaigns/promotions for the coming festival season.
However, unless there is a sound footing, the results will be unsatisfactory and overburdening.
Therefore plan for the long term and you will see results.
Belief, Patience and Strategy are keywords here.” I concluded with a bang.
“Can we meet up to discuss this further?
I see value in your thoughts but would definitely need to know a few more things to plan this out for my business” Mr. T inquired.
“Yes of course, Mr. T, lets meetup this weekend at the Snooker Club? A few of our other business friends would be joining us too.” I suggested.
“Great. See you then.” Mr. T was happy
“You have some homework to do – watch the article and my FAQ videos on LinkedIn/YouTube plus get me stats from your campaign. I am going to ask you some questions there”, I made my point.
“Yes, Master ji .. will be ready” Mr. T with a hearty laugh….
“And the Ganesh Festival begins this week – so let’s take his blessings and get started.”
“Ganpati Bappa Moraya ….” both of us jointly chanted to seek the Lord’s blessings