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3 Ways To Maintain Customer Connect And Long Term Biz Relationships?

Hello everyone.

In an ever changing complex business scenario, where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to retain customers. Here are three ways you can maintain customer connect and enjoy long term relationships for your business.

No 1: The E-mail Trail

Make sure your customers sign up to your emailers and newsletters. This is the easiest way to maintain customer connect. Keep sending the information, industry news, ideas innovations, your new product or service launches and even offerings. So that constant connect constant engagement remains in the minds of the customer. And when he is ready he is ready to connect you to do business.

No 2: The Online Trail

Social media is it’s so easy to follow what your customers are doing. What seminars they attending or hobbies they have or interests they follow users because it would be easy to track. What they are doing and if there’s interest or a hobby or any subject that is complementary. You can really connect with them and share your ideas share tasks and that can boost and create a very good customer connect. And lead to more opportunities isn’t it. So keep your eye on the social media for the right reasons.

No 3: The Personal Trail

Try and create a connect with your customer as a person. Look beyond contracts look beyond transactions look beyond business. Try and collaborate with him as a person. Try to understand his values his vision and what he wants to achieve as a business and as a person. See there are complementary strengths see there are supplementary strengths where you can really collaborate and create new ideas. Isn’t that powerful. So never ever miss out on any personal connect with your customer. Any company any kind of a leak. So those are my three methods of creating great customer connect and improving your business relationships. What are yours?

Please share your thoughts or if you have any questions please write to us on the e-mail shown on your screen. And we can get talking. Until then bye.

Share your feedback & queries in comments or email us @ business@zoomyourtraffic.com

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3 Reasons Why B2B Sales Happen? Know the three Ps …

Hi Everyone!

As a B2B marketer. We get all the three P’s right.

We have a great PRODUCT, our PRICE it very competitively and our PROMOTION is very excellent.

But we still struggle to make those sales breakthroughs right and the reason is we miss out on the fourth very important P, which drives B2B sales and that is PAIN.

So in today’s video, we are going to see three reasons why B2B Sales happen. And surprise, they are three Ps again. Let’s take a look.

P number one is: Existing PROVIDER issues.

Most B2B sales happen, when businesses have issues with existing providers, they are not happy overall. Their service may not be Ok, their communication may not be Okay, they may have integrity issues or they must not have love the service. This leads to businesses taking call on finding new partners or new providers. This could be your opportunity to establish where their issues in businesses in terms of existing providers are serving. That could be your gateway into that business.

P number two is: PATCHED solutions.

Most B2B businesses are very comfortable using their existing systems. So they are kind of averse to technology upgrades or new innovations coming to the market. However if you have learning to build solutions that patch with their existing systems. Then they will be more than happy to look at your product or service. If it’s an add-on to an existing system. It will be easy for them to learn and use it better. This could be your opportunity.

P number three is: PIECEMEAL solutions.

This is another area where business is really bored the fact that they have managed so many providers one for software one for the online one for hardware, one for logistics. It becomes too much for them. So if you can actually look out for an area in that business where you can provide a complete turnkey solution or a one stop approach that could become your opportunity.

Businesses would love to hear such solutions that they have managed only one provider which takes care of the entire problem as you see is three Ps are the key drivers and therefore as a B2B marketer you must really focus on them to drive B2B sales for your business.

I hope this video was useful. In the upcoming videos, we are also going to see how we grow businesses to generate B2B inquiries.

Share your feedback & queries in comments or email us @ amod@zoomyourtraffic.com or business@zoomyourtraffic.com

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3 Reasons You Could Be Getting Junk Leads From Your SEO Campaigns

Trying really hard but getting junk leads for your business using SEO?

Join me to understand 3 reasons why this could be happening?

Reason #1: Incorrect Audience Profiling

This generally happens when we target Google rankings and traffic as key metrics in our campaigns. The focus is on numbers rather than quality.

What would you prefer? Handling 15 targeted enquiries or 150 sales calls from all over the park? Imagine marketing a 500 ltr water cooler to an organization of over 5000 employees OR Marketing a 50 KVA UPS to companies with less than 25 computer systems? by optimizing terms like “best water coolers” or “UPS power for your business”.

Its not going to work right? Although you may receive enquiries, get into meetings, make presentations but there is big mismatch in your offering vs the requirement conceptually.

Remember: Get your audience right. Don’t go for traffic. Go for customers.

Reason #2: Are you Engaging your customer enough?

Most websites often carry “information” about themselves, their services and offerings, etc. The customer is frankly least interested in knowing about you (at this stage atleast). Instead he is looking for

1.What is in it for him?”

2.Should he spend a couple of minutes of his valuable time reading what you have to offer?

3.Is there something different to offer? Something that matches his requirements?

4.Can he ask questions to you? Does he feel confident about you? Does he feel safe dealing with you?

All this forms part of user engagement which is extremely critical to make that connect.

Please evaluate your online presence on these factors. Extremely crucial. There are a lot of sophisticated tools out there to help you with this analysis.

Remember: An engaged customer buys and stays with you.

Reason #3: Inconsistency in marketing and/or too much chop-n-change approach.

Just when your campaigns are about to deliver some meaningful responses, you feel this isn’t working well and decide to change approach or methodology.

Sounds familiar? Inconsistency is a big let-down in many marketing campaigns across the globe. If planned well, then make sure you stick to it and keep going.

You may ofcourse tweak and adjust according to your analytics, but don’t deviate too much or stop it completely.

Remember: Plan well and then be patient enough to see results coming in.

What are your reasons? Would you like to discuss?

Do send in your messages/comments to amod@zoomyourtraffic.com and I will touch base with you to discuss with you.

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The im”pending”​ death of SEO…

The day since Google’s content and link relevancy mapping algorithm (Panda) was introduced in late 2012, every year brings in a whole new set of theories about how “SEO is DEAD” or “RIP SEO” or “End of SEO”.

2019 is no different and there a ton of articles, videos and other material that explains that SEO is thing of the past for good.

Here are some questions to ponder about:

•Have you stopped using Google search (or any other search for that matter) to find things online?

•Are you the only business in your domain so there is no need to be searched online at all?

•You don’t use a mobile phone to locate shops or cafe nearby while travelling?

•You don’t use online media at all?

If your answer to all these questions is big YES, the article ends here for you. You are one of the most happiest guys on the planet (angelic really).
Please keep spreading that happiness.

If your answer is a big NO, then SEO not only survives, it thrives!

What does SEO mean?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – a method or concept by which you can optimize your websites technical data and content in such a way that search engines will rank your content high on their search consoles for visitors to reach you.

Old School Perception of SEO

Since all search engines are basically programs or bots (as they are popularly known today), smart techies found out a way to outthink these programs.

These counter programs and methodologies decoded the bot’ logic and manipulated chinks in their design to ensure content (implementing these smart programs) always stayed on top of search listings.

Needless to say, they received the highest traffic and hence best conversions.

Then it became rampant.

Then it led to abuse.

Then it led to visitors shying away from generic search and that’s when nice search based platforms took birth (Youtube for video, Amazon for products, LinkedIn for professional contacts, etc).

This jolted Google’s revenue model big time and thus awoke the sleeping giant …

The Big Change Comes In – the New Avatar of SEO

In 2012, they introduced a series of updates to their search algorithm (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and almost all flora and fauna versions over the coming years) to strengthen “QUALITY” of content that showed up when a particular search was punched in.

With Quality, content mapping became subjective (just what Google wanted).

They introduced parameters to “judge” user’s experience on your website to determine its quality when ranking it on their search engine. (Fair as long as they apply this uniformly across all domains and brands)

o How much time was a user spending on your webpage?

o How many pages did he check during one session on your website?

o Did he click on links or fill out forms or clicked phone actions on your website?

o How frequently did he visit your webpage?

o External factors like reviews, ratings and reputation forums

o and a lot more factors that were “difficult” to manipulate using smart-programs (although there are smart cookies doing even that .. it’s a race for domination)

SEO now became Search EXPERIENCE Optimization

The experience of the user’s engagement with your online presence became de-facto ranking and rating signals for search engines to place your website on top of their search results.

This is changing year after year as marketing companies and businesses vie for user attention, interaction and engagement.

As this evolves in 2019 and beyond, a lot of new factors will be incorporated to map relevancy, recency and urgency of the customer’s journey towards your online brand.

Imagine this scenario: You visit an online store to buy a mobile phone but don’t make a purchase. The next time you visit your facebook profile or gmail or other sites – do you see advertisements of the same model you were exploring a few days ago? Yes J. This is how powerful search engines are becoming. They are tracking your journey across the web and mapping your experience with marketing technology to enable you to make that buying decision. Isn’t that powerful ??

SEO is not dead, it has shed its skin and transformed into a resplendent new avatar !!

Use it to grow your business online….

Article coming up – Is The Blatant Misuse Of The Word SEO Across Community Giving It A Bad Name?

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3 Reasons Why Businesses AVOID Online Marketing. What’s Yours?

A new year dawns in with a lot of expectations and hope that my business will zoom to the next level this year using online marketing and SEO. I am super excited and decide to look out for help to grow my business online.

Being a traditional manufacturing business I have my questions (skepticism, really) about the media and hence reluctant to make a move. A lot of talk around me in friend circles, social media, WhatsApp messages and competition add to the fuel – using technical jargon like Google rankings, SEO, SMO and Online marketing but something inside keeps asking me, “Will this SEO thing work for me?. Then I make up my mind to go for it … yes 2019 is going to be my breakthrough year with an online version of my business (feeling very happy).

That’s when I hit the second hurdle – “I need help to do this. But, will I get the right help to execute my plans?” – the same friend circles, social media, messages and competition also wail about “money down the drain”, “this SEO is some mushy job that I have no clue about what’s happening?” or “get someone from my sales team to work on this for and see if it helps?”

“Shucks … now I am confused. What to do??”

As a business, do you see yourself getting caught in this yo-yo thought process?

Do Not Worry. You are not alone. 88% of SMEs across India face this every time they look at options to grow their business.

The three KEY reasons Why Businesses (SMEs) DO NOT trust online media to deliver for their business:

A. I am too SMALL to think online.

•I am a small trader or local manufacturer or a grocery shop owner. Either people walk into my business or I reach out to them by phone or visits. Mine is an offline model of business

•Who will find me online? Will it matter?

•Am doing good business with my established network. I don’t think I need to grow any further than this. Am happy with what’s on the plate!

•I can’t afford big bucks needed to “spend” for online marketing.

B. I don’t have TIME to even look at that stuff.

•Everyone I talk to tells me – I need to create content, provide time for developing online strategy. Am too busy handling client calls and meetings. Let’s talk later.

•There is too much to do. Website, blog, stores, Google, social media, video. Who has the time to do all that? Excuse me please ….

•My team is managing this for me. Let them handle the show. I don’t need to be involved. All I want to see is if whatever they do helps our business?

C. I don’t TRUST anyone would “really” help me.

•Have tried before with external agencies. They make their money and I am left in the lurch with nothing to gain.

•They say it will take time. How much time? LOL … I can’t wait for ages to see if this thing is working for me?

•Am not sure most of these agencies or freelancers we hired, had any knowledge about online marketing? I found them wanting on real business issues

•At the end of every month, I used to get complex PDF reports that are hardly understandable. Am left wondering what’s happening?

•Am really not sure how much I should invest in this because no one tells me what will be the ROI? Everyone just talks deliverables – postings, social media links, SEO, etc (aha … am atleast getting to learn the online jargon through these experiences now J)

IMPORTANT: We have listed these out based on our internal survey of the Indian market. We observed most businesses remarked atleast one of these three reasons in our first meeting with them. Please respond with a 1 or 2 or 3 or all 3 to establish your reason to avoid online marketing. OR if you have a different reason to avoid online marketing for your online business than the ones above? feel free to share them via email or comments below. We look forward to reading them and understand your perspective.

If you have any questions or need help creating successful online strategy for your business, do write to us at business@zoomyourtraffic.com

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Welcome 2019 – Can I Trust you? Can I Respect You?

Hey All,

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019

Last week, I had a peculiar conversation with one of my friends in the US over WhatsApp. He is leading a big team at an IT blue chip corporation. He ran me through an amazing article by Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business professor.

The 2 Things People Judge You On Immediately

She then goes on to explain the two questions people ask themselves when they meet you

  • Can I trust this person?
  • Can I respect this person?

Basically, warmth and competence is what they are trying to figure out. Pretty simple so far? Its gets interesting now.

The sequence is the first aspect. Warmth first, competence next.

We are living in a world where we go crazy showcasing our competence to look smart, intelligent and the boss!

Little do we know that all people are looking for in you initially is your warmth and trustworthiness. Can you be a trusted company is on top of their mind.

Competence follows Trust. Not the other way round (as widely believed).

We decided to investigate this further and ran a small experiment.

  1. We divided all external communications (existing customers and prospects) into control groups.
  2. For Group A – our interventions began with genuine “warmth” based interactions followed by the “competence” showcase
  3. For Group B – this was reversed.
  4. We started recording these meetings for insights and inputs.
  5. After 20 such interactions each, we decided to review the entire process.
  6. We were absolutely stunned to see the results.
  7. From Group A – we had 15 positive interventions where most customers showed inclination to associate in some form or the other
  8. From Group B – we had just 3 positive interventions where customers wanted to associate.
  9. We handpicked 3 from each group and I personally had a session with each one of them to establish reasons.
  10. Group A members said they felt an instant connect to know more about us because we came across as passionate and eager to help rather than as transactional. Interactions like “Tell me more about this?”, “How can we arrive at a win-win situation?” and “Can you implement this idea for me?” were prevalent here.
  11. Group B members said they felt awkward taking the discussion forward since it was talking about project goals and milestones. Some of them just snapped up discussions with statements like “We’ll let you know”, “Let me think it over and come back to you”, “Not interested at the moment”

Do you think this is powerful way to connect and engage with people? What has been your experience? Feel free to share your thoughts and inputs.

In this “tech” world, gadgets are already smart enough to take care of most of your things. The standout factor is your value system and we should look to strengthen that to the core in building a cohesive and connected global community.

Does that mean that mediocrity can prevail through warmth or being compassionate?

Absolutely not. Absolutely never. Competence is an absolute must but that alone will not ensure successful collaborations, associations and interventions.

Our message for 2019 – Spread warmth around the community and your competence will naturally shine through!

Happy New Year once again!!

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Evaluating “Reviews”​ vs “Remarks”​ When Buying Online/Instore

“Great Experience” / “Worst experience”

“Will visit again” / “Will never go to this place ever”

“Horrible. Don’t try this” / “Wonderful. Must buy”

Does that ring a bell? Do you see such comments (reviews) being posted by customers when they evaluate an experience at a hotel or a shop or any public place through Google Reviews, Facebook reviews and a whole lot of online review platforms. They do two things:

Rate a business on their performance (a feedback for improvement)

Become a guideline for other prospective customers to evaluate a business (influencing their buying decision)

That’s really neat. As a business, I really need both. A feedback for improving my business performance and then making my buyers, my influencers to help grow my business. Super.

Let’s look at these comments to see how they help me on those two counts.

e.g. “Great Experience” – at first am happy that this customer is very happy at my store/website. Brings a smile to my face.

Reality then sets in – great experience about what? – our customer service, pricing of product, quality of product or just the fact that the customer got what he wanted?

This statement is actually not telling me anything about it. It//s just a generic statement made by the customer in the heat of the moment – either happy or unhappy.

Such comments are REMARKS.

As a business, I would not take credit for so-called “happy” remarks nor would I take dis-credit for the “unhappy” ones because they never told me where the success/problem is?

It only makes me feel good/bad but not improve. As a business, my key goal is the keep repeating success, and prevent/improve failures.

Now, lets take a look at a different set of comments.

“This was a satisfying buying experience. I had plenty of options to choose from and found the right match for the right price. What’s more? The store gave me an added 5% loyalty discount and 3 coupons for future use. Highly recommend this store”

“This was a nightmare. I had to stay in a queue for over 15 min to checkout. At the counter, the cashier was very rude when I didn’t have change to offer. He then wasted another 10 min trying to get change from the other counter. People behind me were extremely unhappy too. Will think again about entering this store”

This is FEEDBACK at its best.

In the first case, the customer has appreciated a lot of things I can keep working on – having a good inventory of choices, right pricing, marketing policies that have recall value, etc. This is great feedback for my business to keep innovating and bettering this success.

In the second case, the customer is most unhappy with my customer service. This tells that long queues at the checkout counter (which is success in itself) need to be managed better (by having more counters or creating cash/credit based windows. My team needs training on handling irate customers diplomatically without losing temper or values and most importantly improve on our cash vending apparatus/model for faster transactions.

These are REVIEWS. And as a business, I value them the most. They teach me where I am doing well, where I am going wrong. They help me improve, they help me grow my business.

As a CUSTOMER, the next time you want to write a review online?

  • Express yourself about the exact areas you liked or disliked. Emotions are fine but do they add value?
  • Avoid emotional outbursts. They mean nothing to most people other than have a giggle about when they see it.
  • Try to be constructive in your criticism or praise. Remember you are an influencer for prospective buyers. Show them the right path.
  • Avoid being vindictive (it was your experience, someone else will have a different story)

Note: Its understood that being online (especially on mobile phones) – time will be scarce and you’d want to write a review as fast as possible. But if you prepare for a minute before writing the review, it will help you gather your thoughts, tone down emotions and word yourself better. After all, in this global marketplace, we are all in give-take relationships. The idea is to help each other improve.

As a BUSINESS, the next time you review your customer comments online?

  1. Sort into REMARKS and REVIEWS (as explained above)
  2. REVIEWS need to be understood carefully. Note down pluses and minuses being highlighted
  3. REMARKS will carry less weight but should not be ignored. Take it as a message from the market to pull up your socks or keep going.
  4. Respond constructively to reviews (especially the negative ones). Don’t refute charges made by customers bluntly, try to explain your case. People who read reviews are smart to understand who’s genuine?
  5. Make sure you and your team practice on the positives/negatives listed to improve business.

As they say, a CUSTOMER’S best feedback is their decision to revisit your business. Listen and Act.

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Why Managing Your Business’ Online Media Getting Tougher By The Day?

In the early 2000s, as early birds, all businesses that went online enjoyed benefits of positioning online through keywords on Google search. As new social media came in, it was easy to create and test various media in those early years.

Then 2012 came … and everything changed forever, for good.

Focus from volume moved to value… search engines started rating and ranking sites based on website content rather than keywords, social media introduced interactions to judge visitor reactions and with eCommerce – buying intent became real value. Things got REAL from the virtual days gone by. AI bots replaced linear software programs.

To add to that specialty websites, portals, online services started creating their own space in the markets e.g. Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Quora, etc..

With all this, businesses needed to adapt to this expanding (options) yet shrinking (value) marketplace. True value began to get counted.

Businesses spread their wings around and created their presence all over the web (whatever they could get their hands on or heard about). This was to opportunities weren’t missed. No one really knew who the next big winner was? least realizing that their business was suffering because of it? How?

• Businesses created content for all platforms – from websites to social to blogs to articles to videos to everything available.

• Every new avenue was scouted. New profiles created and content was distributed, shared or created.

• With multiple team members working on same business goals, ton of profiles were made for the same platform by all these individuals and kept managing them separately.

• As they traded jobs, these profiles were either lost in the oblivion or not attended too.

• As new media arrived, new skills were required. These included designers, developers, written content generators, social media managers, website managers and strategic SEO consultants.

• As a business, handling all these skilled resources meant extra time, extra money and extra effort. Many businesses didn’t bother and either scaled down their efforts or just dropped it altogether. Years of online value created by them was eroded.

• Reason – Instead of focusing on their core business, they needed to manage their online admin teams and work. All those investments and tireless effort devalued…

ARE YOU ONE SUCH ONLINE BUSINESS?

If yes, there are some quick tips for you:

a. Take stock and assemble data

• Find all your online profiles (can be simply done by searching in Google or using sophisticated online tools) and record in a spreadsheet.

• Log into the profile (if you have access information too)

• Evaluate the property and decide whether you need to keep it or toss it? Make a decision. Don’t hold it back for another day. It will make things even more complex.

• Try to restrict one official profile for one business per media. e.g. one FB official page (I remember a business that had 4 FB business pages created by different business team members. This dilutes your brand). Keep the best ones. Try to merge multiple into one (if possible or as per the media’s policies).

• Build your final list of all online entities (with full access) that you want to focus for the next 2 years. I.e. your entire strategy will revolve around this list.

Note: 2 years is a massive timeline in the online world. There will be new platforms coming in, old ones may get disrupted or closed, technology changes will come in. Hence, periodic review of this list needs to done and updated accordingly but in line with a longer term vision for your online business.

b. Manage It The Right Way

• Assign one manager or management firm to administer this list. Define strategy and goals with them and set accountability.

Note: Use this person/firm as administrators – not as all skill experts. Their job is to strategize the online promotion and ensure upkeep of this media list in line with set goals and objectives. This will reduce your load immensely.

• Jointly hire the right skills for various online goals. E.g. hire specialist writers for press releases and blogs, technical writers for SEO and copywriters for Ad copy and Web copy. Let the manager/firm administer them.

Remember – you need to build value and consistency for long term online success.

c. Measure And Grow

• Setup evaluation mechanism for all platforms and the management of your online activity. Ensure goals are being met or progress is happening. Dont shy away from taking tough decisions if needed (with correct safeguards ofcourse)

• Monthly review and Quarterly re-strategize would be a good approach. We don’t want to change too fast nor we want to wait too long.

• Invest the right money. This is why strategy is important. By trying everything and in generic manner, we tend to lose more money, effort and valuable time. An organized way may seem expensive but will more than pay for itself in the long run.

Hope this helps you put in you in control on your online business management? This is extremely important because we always say:

Your brand is not just online, it’s on the line….