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prospective customers Archives - Syneka Marketing

We’ve defined customer experience – now connect it to the customer journey

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News, Resources | No Comments

We recently discussed the need for marketing to move beyond buzzwords and to instead re-claim the definition of customer experience, which forms the very core of marketing theory. Our thoughts have now been viewed organically by over 5000 people in just 48 hours via LinkedIn, and continues to be actively being shared across key social media channels.

Interest in this article has demonstrated why marketing needs to reclaim its core remit, so today we are going to exploring another buzzword: customer journey.

In defining the customer experience, we returned to the core of marketing theory through the marketing mix. The overall customer experience is going to be defined by the impact of the impressions that are made across each of these elements.

We need to return to fundamentals to explore the customer journey, as we explore the steps that are taken for someone to become a customer and ideally remain so on an ongoing basis.

Phases in the Customer Journey

There are three interconnected phases within the customer journey:

  • Pre-purchase – where the aim is to raise awareness with your target markets and ensure that your brand is actively considered by these prospective customers.
  • The Purchase phase – where the prospect becomes a customer. This is where they commit to purchasing your product or service and the perceptions of its brand.
  • The Post-purchase phase – where your customer considers the outcomes and value they received, based on their perceptions and the outcomes that were achieved.

The three phases of the customer journey as mapped to the decision making process
The three phases of the customer journey as mapped to the decision making process.

 

The Decision Making Process has its origins in consumer behaviour stemming from the 1960s. We have adapted this model to explore each phase in the customer journey, as viewed through the decision making process. It explores both the rational (such as pricing and function) and perceptual (attitudes and subjective impressions) aspects that influence the decision.

The customer journey is not linear and this particularly true if there is a desire to build loyalty and repeat purchases. The experience you are creating through the marketing mix will impact on the ability to successfully transition your target market through the customer journey. The customer experience relates to their interaction with your business or brand, while the customer journey views this from the customer perspective as they identify the best fit for their needs.

Like other buzzwords in marketing there is a need to return to core principles, a Marketing Manager should have the ability to influence factors that assist in transitioning customers through the journey.  We will be continuing this series as we turn our attention to measuring both the customer experience and journey.

Marketing and Budgets – the two can co-exist!

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government | 4 Comments

Marketing, unfortunately, has a perception of being largely esoteric and unmeasurable and as such is often viewed as a cost centre.

It is imperative that metrics are developed for marketing activities. Consideration needs to be given to short-term initiatives, like sales campaigns, as well as activities that generate a return over a longer term, such as hosting events or attending exhibitions.

What should I set for my budget?

Research studies and surveys tend to indicate that a business will allocate around 5% to 10% of its revenue to marketing activities. These figures are a guide and would depend on the level of competition, the attributes of your products and services and the potential target markets.

Understanding how customers reach you, lets you prioritise how you invest in marketing.

Understanding how customers reach you, lets you prioritise how you invest in marketing.

Consider how customers reach you

When setting a marketing budget you should begin by understanding how customers currently reach you.

If your website is a critical entry point, then consider how you can bolster traffic to your site, through search engine optimisation and online advertisements. Key metrics, include the conversion ratio, between visitors and people that make online purchases or an enquiry. If the conversion rate is low, you need to explore how people navigate through your website, whether the sales process is easy to undertake and whether the offer is compelling.

If you operate a retail presence, you need to ensure that your store encourages customers to enter, and that sales staff are able to encourage purchases. Measure how many people visit your store and how many become customers. If the conversion rate is low, you could undertake sales training for staff, or potentially revitalise stock, or the store layout.

If you rely heavily on word of mouth recommendations, explore initiatives that can bolster referrals. Would a regular newsletter remind people of your services? Or could you undertake refer a friend initiative or other competitions? Provide a method of acknowledging key customers and the support they have provided.

Understanding how customers are reaching you, allows you to prioritise your marketing budget so you can consider where you can best allocate your resources.

Ensure you can measure outcomes

You also need to consider the outcomes you want to achieve, and then the activities that are likely to generate this return.

For example, conference presentations can be useful in reinforcing expertise, but are likely to generate return over the longer term. How many enquiries would you want from this activity and how do you capture the details of prospective customers?

Other initiatives such as promotions and specials are likely to result in shorter-term gains. You should consider the required number of customers you need to ensure that these specials remain economical.

If you utilise brochures and off-line marketing, then it is important to be able to measure the success rate of these tools.

There is an incorrect assumption that off-line advertising is less measurable than online. While it may be easier to automate online metrics, through the use of Google Analytics and website tracking, you can also measure off-line advertising.

Investing in a unique telephone number can allow to measure enquiries, or alternatively you could include a unique website address that lets you track responses. Referral and discount codes can also provide a method of tracking the effectiveness of off-line advertising.

Be aware of other costs

While budgets are primarily concerned with financial expenditure, it is imperative that you consider the people that are required to undertake the identified activities. Does your staff have the right mix of skills and are the right people allocated to these tasks?

Training may be required to provide the skills required, or you may need to introduce external expertise to complement these initiatives. Furthermore, you need to ensure that staff have sufficient time to undertake the required tasks, particularly if they are not part of their core duties.

There is an opportunity cost when requiring staff to perform activities outside of their core duties. it is important to consider how this will be managed, or whether external support would be required.

You also need to consider whether equipment or supplies are required to perform the required activities. For example, trade shows will require marketing materials and it is imperative that printing costs are factored into this activity.

Marketing can be measured - enabling you evaluate performance and results.

Marketing can be measured – enabling you evaluate performance and results.

Marketing can be measurable

Marketing, when it is undertaken effectively, can be measured, enabling the ability to set targets and to evaluate performance. Start by considering how customers reach you and the activities that can be undertaken to increase effectiveness within these channels.

Also consider, staff time and the other resources that are required for implementation, so that you can have an accurate understanding of the value you are receiving from your marketing activities.

Creating a Successful Sales Team – seven things every sales person needs to know

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Generating sales is essential for any business and it is important to have the right approach with prospective customers and clients.  We’ve compiled seven tips that we believe are essential for anyone involved in generating sales for your business.

  1. Successful sales people put their customers/prospects at ease by conversing in a relaxed style, asking quality questions and genuinely listening to what the other person says.
  2. Successful sales people appreciate that customers would rather talk about their needs (and not the need of the salesperson). They do not interrupt nor do they overwhelm customers/prospects with a load of verbose waffle.
  3. Successful sales people actually have a PURPOSE for being there! Customers/prospects appreciate that the call is well planned and well structured, thus saving them time and effort.
  4. Successful sales people are skilled at identifying NEEDS, creating SOLUTIONS to satisfy those needs and wrapping VALUE around the solution.
  5. Successful sales people possess flexibility as opposed to rigidity. They work within a structure and do the right thing for their customer and their company.
  6. Successful sales people work with their customer’s favorite buying strategy, rather than their favorite selling strategy. They adapt their sales style to the person’s buying style.
  7. Successful sales people seek OPPORTUNITIES every single time they visit a customer – internal and external opportunities to grow their customer’s business and the business of their company.

Sales is an interactive, two-way process. Sales is about understanding the needs of your customers and identifying the right solutions that solve these requirements through delivering tangible value.

 

Candlebark Nursery Annual General Meeting

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations | No Comments

Candlebark is a community nursery situated in Mooroolbark that sells local indigenous plants across Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

As a community organisation, Candlebark is supported by volunteers, including a voluntary committee of management.  This afternoon I was invited to the Candelbark Nursery AGM to discuss marketing and social media.

Unfortunately there was a power outage earlier in the day, meaning I was unable to provide live demonstrations of social media tools.  As a result I re-framed the discussions to deliver a marketing workshop, providing opportunity to discuss the aims of Candlebark and its key stakeholders.

As a community nursery, Candlebark seeks to achieve a number of aims, including community education on the importance of locally indigenous plants, encouraging sales and recruiting volunteers.

We worked through the key messages that should be developed by Candlebark, including the importance of educating the community on the importance of locally indigenous plants to protect biodiversity and to support local flora and fauna.

The focus on indigenous plants and the role of the nursery in strengthening the local environment is unique to Candlebark and distinguishes the nursery from its competitors. This key message should frame Candlebark’s discussions with prospective customers and in seeking volunteers who wish to provide a positive impact on the environment.

Social media can assist in reinforcing this message and promoting the nursery through networks.  In addition, social media can assist in conveying volunteer stories to reinforce the importance of volunteering for the organisation.

It is important however to use a combination of marketing tools to support these key messages.  For example websites, brochures and content at information stalls should reinforce this message as it differentiates Candlebark from its competitors.

Candlebark Nursery is supported by a strong team of volunteers who are passionate about the environment.  Reinforcing the key messages and strengthening its points of difference will assist in reaching further volunteers and raising the profile of the organisation.

Today’s presentation highlighted the importance of being able to improvise, due to the power outages  Fortunately a whiteboard was available and participants readily volunteered their thoughts on marketing Candlebark Nursery.