When I first started in marketing, I sometimes struggled to make the theories and academic marketing reasonings make sense in terms of actually doing marketing. As I’ve worked for longer in the field, things have become clearer and I’m now able to apply theories and ideas directly to the work I do and pass that on to others.
This is useful when it comes to developing a marketing strategy for a business. The tools that are taught at the start of any marketing course come in especially helpful for developing the marketing plans to start or grow a business. Anyone running a business should take the time to think about and draft SWOT and PESTEL analyses and think carefully about what they want to achieve and how this applies to the marketing mix. These will not only help you to work out where you stand in the marketplace and what you need to do to improve, grow and get to where you want to be, they’ll also help you to avoid the things that will distract you or send you off-course from your business aims.
All businesses are encouraged to write a business plan. Many banks won’t consider providing a business loan without one. It is worth remembering that a marketing strategy is just as important, as getting the word out about your business and attracting the level of customer that you need to continue and grow will be the next step to making sure you succeed.
There was an experiment done on British TV recently which looked at the speeds that complaints were resolved at in companies, using both traditional methods of complaining (i.e. letter or email) against making a complaint on Twitter. In all 5 cases, the complaint on Twitter was responded to personally and quickly (the longest taking just over an hour), whereas within 24 hours, only one response had been received to a complaint by email.
Before the take-off of social networking as an everyday public forum, 24 hours to reply to a complaint would have seemed like a rapid response. Now, however, it is deemed painfully slow as we expect a response instantly. Our impatience has been heightened by being part of our hyper-connected world. I have to admit to having made a complaint myself whilst still in the place I was complaining about – an action that was not possible before smartphones and social networking. Previously, by the time we’d reached our homes and got out paper and a pen, it seemed like too much effort to make a complaint.
Hopefully, the end result of this will be that all companies will recognise that their customer service has to improve across the board, regardless of their size or stature. The effect that a negative tweet can do to a company’s reputation is huge – there are plenty of horror stories to be found to back that up – but by having good customer service practices and someone available who can respond quickly to any complaints made, we can lessen the damage done.