What do you have to do as a small business in the business-to-business space to become as successful as possible?
The answer is quite simple.
First, improve data gathering and analysis. Second, improve your digital marketing. Third, improve your brand.
Let’s look at each one:
How to Improve Data Gathering and Analysis
All successful businesses, regardless of size or industry, have one thing in common: they are data-driven businesses.
What this basically means is that they make realistic decisions based on the information that they gather, analyze and put to use. There are no wild guesses, mystical hunches, or daring speculations. They look at the data, comprehend what customers like, notice market trends, and respond accordingly.
Although attaining this level of business prescience may sound like you need a Ph.D. in information gathering and analytics, it is actually remarkable easy to do it.
One example of how to do this would be to visit a site like http://www.primary-intel.com where they offer a system for gathering information on leading products, marketing and sales. They teach you how to get and keep more revenue using proven methodologies and cutting-edge analytical software.
In case, you’re not convinced about developing a data-driven business, thinking it’s a little too esoteric for your tastes or going a little overboard, here is an interesting study covered in CIO that explains how data driven companies outperform competitors.
“In October 2012, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 530 senior executives from North America, Asia Pacific, Western Europe and Latin America across a broad range of industries. The survey found that the most successful companies have adopted a data-driven culture in which they maximize the use of data by providing necessary training and promoting the sharing of data across all levels of employees and departments.”
How to Improve Your Digital Marketing
Unless you heavily rely on the Internet to build your brand, establish customer relationships, and automate many of your business processes, you are at an extreme disadvantage when compared to competitors who have befriended the idea of e-commerce.
Again, the issue may appear to be more complex than it actually is.
Here are 4 things you need to do to become a formidable digital marketing company.
- Increase awareness about your business.
You can do this by building a user-friendly professional website that offers customers a comprehensive idea of how your goods or services benefit them.
- Share your expertise with customers.
The way you win loyal customers for your business is by creating a content schedule. This will allow you to create dynamic content like infographics to explain complex ideas in a simple way, videos that explain things that they would like to learn, and blog posts that detail how things work. Essentially, you teach rather than sell to inform customers about your business.
- Drive traffic to your online real estate
How do you get people to visit your website, blogs, and YouTube channel? You use free and paid traffic methods.
Free traffic comes from using inbound marketing techniques like using the right keywords to improve organic search, offering helpful advice on forums, and writing guest posts to tap into other people’s audience.
Paid traffic can be done online and offline. Online, you can use Google PPC and Facebook Ads. Offline, you can use print advertising and radio spots.
- Develop a community around your brand.
Social media facilitates an opportunity for your company to talk directly to customers. By creating profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and Pinterest, you can offer customer’s helpful content and answer questions they may have. You can also build up strategic alliances with other complementary businesses.
Besides developing customer relationships, you will be able to gather crucial information about how customers think and feel about your brand. This feedback gives you a chance to correct misperceptions and enhance your products or services to align with customer expectations.
How to Improve Your Brand
Creating a data-driven business and building up your online presence will go a long way to improve your brand.
It’s inaccurate to talk about establishing your brand because this gives the impression that once you set up branding elements like name, logos, slogans, color scheme, and voice in all your marketing messages, you can rest on your laurels. It’s much more useful to think of branding as a dynamic process. Thus, it’s more accurate to talk about improving your brand—even when it’s already good.
In dynamic branding many elements change while still staying consistent with the company image. In other words, it’s the same, but also different. Here are two examples to make this clear.
- Keep on refreshing your first impressions.
For instance, website design continually evolves as technology improves. It was not too long ago when a good website consisted of small, neatly arranged images on the front page. Today, it’s more fashionable to have a huge image on your front page, almost like a roadside banner. As website designs change and improve, consumers begin to look on older designs as antiquated. By keeping up with the times, you will always be able to make a good first impression.
- Stay alert as to what emotions you are addressing.
Like website design, emotional hot buttons change with the times. In recent years, for example, a green business is looked on more favorably than one that continues to waste resources in its product development.
You can see a real life example of how Google continually uses dynamic branding for their search engine and logo (which they change on a daily basis) through the video below with Freddy Mercury.
If you want to build a successful business online, it’s no longer about just bringing in new sales and customers, it’s also about having a brand and digital marketing plan that continues to grow in all angles. Implement these three tips into your business and see improvement across the board.