Hello Hello! Happy New Year! Happy Valentine’s Day!
I recently came across an article from my friends at the CT Better Business Bureau (which I have excerpted from), written by Vickie Robertson, on marketing challenges financial services businesses face. It got me thinking that many small businesses...we define small business as those with 39 and less employees..face many of the same challenges. And as we at WMGNA hurtle ahead into the “Great Wide Open” we definitely don’t want to be a “rebel without a clue”!
Consumers not only want, but now expect companies to market to them on ALL social platforms. Today modern businesses must do more and more to live up to expectations of the customers’ wants and needs. Business must have a mindset of..”make it easy for folks to write checks to you!”..I know, I know who writes checks?!..make it easy for folks to pay you!! Consumers are less loyal and trusting of brands…it has become a necessity to engage more with content and ideas that are personalized to fit individual lifestyles.
All small businesses want to succeed in 2018 and forward! A key - maybe the key - to achieving great success is harnessing technology… of course many will immediately think of their sales and marketing…but we would also like to remind you to think of how are we harnessing technology in our operations and finance as well..as companies that are using “cutting edge technologies” are perceived to be experts in their space!
“Stop thinking mobile-first and start thinking mobile-only”
Mobile devices are one of the top technologies used, bringing the biggest challenges, due to the impact it has on every aspect of digital marketing, as consumers are relying more and more on their smart phones, it’s crucial that your business is mobile friendly….can folks do business with you from their phone?
What comes with this is the challenge of moving these barriers between businesses and the device that is constantly in your clients’ hands. To do this a company’s website should be optimized to fit the screen of a mobile device and look as nice as it does on a computer screen. It must be done by integrating mobile accessibly into your customers experience, such as having a mobile app for customers to download on to their phone.
Facts to pay attention to:
- 69% of all digital media time is spent on a mobile device. (comScore 2017)
- 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. (Nectafy, 2014)
- 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (socPub 2015)
Gaining and Keeping the Attention of Generation Z
“Millennials on steroids”
As “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky—shout out to Winter Olympics - Go USA! - said “Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.” Generation Z, individuals born 1997-2015 , sometimes referred to as “millennials on steroids”, are now the largest portion of the U.S population, edging out Millennials 26% to 24.5%. Every business will face the challenge of figuring out what makes these new-age workers-shoppers tick!
Pay attention to:
- Gen Z is the first and only generation who has never experienced a time without the internet or technology. (Business Insider, 2017)
- 89% of teens 12-17 own a smartphone with that number projected to grow to 91% in 2018. (eMarketer, 2016)
- Social media also plays a big part. 40% of Gen Z’ers cite social media as a popular source for product inspiration, and 37% have increased their use of social media for purchase decision-making in the last year. (Chain Store Age, 2017)
Using Marketing Automation to Create Personalized Experiences
“24/7 all encompassing process”
Businesses in 2018 are going to have to consider that the relationship between consumers and business is no longer the same and isn’t a one-and-done experience. It has now become a 24/7 all encompassing process that includes consumer touch points that can be personalized as the customer goes through the sales funnel. Studies have shown that 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a product or service that provides a personalized experience. (Customer Communications Insights, 2015)
If you are already using some form of marketing automation, the challenge around this technology in 2018 will be in using it to further personalize your messaging. If you’re not familiar with automated marketing and technologies, you’re faced with the challenge of learning how to integrate this valuable tool into your marketing plan. In fact, companies that use marketing automation to help nurture relationships see a 451% increase in qualified interest. (Business 2 Community, 2012)
Facts to pay attention to:
- Over 78% of consumers will only engage with offers if they have been personalized to their previous touches with the business. (Loyalty360, 2016)
- Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. (Campaign Monitor, 2016)
Positioning Your Business as One People Can Trust
Who can you trust? Are we in a “trust crisis”?
This past year 2017 could be summarized with three words “trust in crisis” – think government scandals…a rise in fake news…accusations throughout the media world have all fueled a feeling of distrust among society. What are you doing to promote trust amongst both businesses and consumers alike? Are you able to maximize the opportunities that exist as a trusted business/person? Are your own values clear…thus making decisions easy?
Facts and ideas to pay attention to:
- 56% of consumers say they would be loyal to a company for life if it provided complete transparency. (Label Insight, 2016)
- 81% of consumers say they would be willing to sample a company’s entire range of products if they were comfortable with its degree of transparency. (Label Insight, 2016)
- Foster (more) consumer reviews.
- Place emphasis on customer trust and use it as a unique element for your business.
- Give back to your local community through volunteering, donating to a charity..or even holding an event to raise funds for a great cause…all while doing so in your own “voice”.
So where’s the financial advisor stuff???...well if you are working with someone: Ms Small Business owner…Executive type…Dentist…a CPA-Financial Planner..Broker etc…who is not providing advice on your largest investment- “position” your human capital…the ability to make money!! Then either it’s someone who doesn’t know…or doesn’t care!! Ughhh.
Any questions? Want to find out how to work your “True Success Plan”? Contact us!
Keep the Faith! Talk soon--