Are You Asking the Right Marketing Questions?

In business, none of us have all the answers.  If we did, we’d be putting our feet up on some tropical island by now or writing best-selling ‘how to’ guides to success. The reason that even the best business minds don’t have all the answers is because those answers keep changing… our focus instead needs to be on asking the right questions and continuing to ask them even when we think we’ve answered them before. It’s a simple principle and it’s based on an inexorable truth: nothing stands still.  Your business sector is not static, neither is your marketplace, the factors influencing your customers’ buying decisions or the channels they prefer to use to buy from you. What’s more, change does not need to be massive or sudden to be significant – incremental change over time can have a serious impact on your company’s success if you do not recognise it and adapt to address it.

So what kind of change is likely to impact on business success?  In this technology driven age, the sphere of communication is key.  Not only are customers changing their preferred methods of buying from suppliers but they are also changing the channels and frequency of communication with suppliers, so successful businesses need to tailor their offer and approach to meet those preferences.  The problem is that the pace of change not only differs from sector to sector and market to market, it differs from customer to customer – making it essential to manage customer relationships on an individual basis and tailor marketing communications activities to fit a multi-channel, multi-tactic approach.

If this all seems a bit daunting, don’t despair. While technology has widened the capacity for communicating with customers and increased the possible tactical approaches for marketing your business’s value proposition, it has also made it possible to manage customer relationships more effectively with tailored CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools.  It is worth investing in a CRM system to help you manage the individual preferences of each customer. Once you can do that, every customer will feel like they are being prioritised, understood and nurtured; which will fast track you to better customer retention and word of mouth recommendation.

Despite this week’s announcement of above expected growth in Q1, we all know that the reality is still a very tough, competitive and price-driven commercial environment. But against that backdrop there are still contracts to be won and customers that are willing to pay for value rather than risk poor product quality or project delays for short term cost benefits. The way to win those contracts and attract those customers is to know where your proposition can add value and what is driving those customers to buy. Insights like that do not fall from the sky through pure guess work – they require a strategic approach to asking the right questions and communicating effectively with your marketplace once equipped with the answers.

If you’d like to know more about understanding your market, why not take a look at our recent Webinar on the subject.  You can register to view here.