by Ferdi Roberts
Too often, business owners make technology purchases to handle short-term problems, such as specific short-term business or operational goals, without considering how their business will evolve, or grow over time.
Technology decisions require you to look at applications that can help automate and scale your business. This approach allows you to build ‘persistence’ into your organization.
For example, maybe you want to do an email marketing campaign to generate leads and attract new customers. This seems like a straightforward task — so you purchase a tool for sending high-volume emails to your customers and prospects that automatically add that personal touch. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
But then what if your customer base grows and your email application cannot scale to match that growth? Even worse, perhaps your customers no longer respond to email marketing campaigns, and look to other online and social media channels for information to inform their purchase decision. Maybe they are now talking about your product or company on social networks, and you have no effective way to monitor what they say.
The truth is marketing and customer engagement is an ongoing process, not a one-time event and should not be looked at as a short-term solution to a long-term need. Furthermore, email is just one of many channels to engage prospects and buyers. Customers today – whether business customers or consumers – now look to emerging online resources and social media channels to obtain the information they need to make an informed purchase decision. This requires the new field of ‘Inbound Marketing’.
Put simply, this is a form of marketing that reaches out to your customers through email, social media, and other online channels to communicate with your customers. It observes and adapts to their interactions, ensuring that you are engaged with them in a meaningful and timely manner. By observing their interactions and recognizing changes in their interactions you can identify buying signals, and ensure you react at the appropriate time to secure their business. Some SaaS applications like PUBLITRAC, capture inbound marketing channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, email…) and lead activity in one central place, to make it easier to identify and communicate with customers giving off buying signals.
By managing this activity in central place, it’s also a more sustainable, scalable approach to personalized marketing that will help you grow in a sustainable way, over a long-term period.
The bottom line: whether you’re looking for a marketing solution, a communications solution or a financial management tool, you need to think beyond your short-term challenge and consider how your business is evolving, and how your needs will change, and then find and implement a solution that fits your long-term plans.