Back to Business Basics
Business basics. How many times have we heard that term? It feels like a new strategy comes out every week that is the new “hot way to become successful”. So let’s settle this once and for all. What are business basics? The original basics were written in the sand on a beach a millennia ago and have been used up until the turn of the 21st century. These were focussed on creating a cheap product, spending as little money as possible, throwing it at a group of people, and hoping that some of them buy it. Now that just seems barbaric! We all understand that this strategy can’t and won’t work, so why does the majority of businesses today still stick to this process?
First, let’s wipe the electronic 21st-century-slate clean and create a new strategy. This time, let’s focus on the customer (Which would be the smart choice considering they will be the ones buying your product or service). How can we create a process that works for every customer, over and over again, without faltering and leaving anyone behind? To create this process, we have to understand our customer. We know what they want: They want to feel engaged and connected and they want to be reached out to on their own terms. Since we know this, we went about and created the last model that a business will ever need. We call this the Customer Engagement Platform Model (CEP Model) with four defined steps – Engage, Promote, Track, and Refine. By implementing the model, you will be able to create a lasting interaction where each customer feels you are talking directly to them! After taking a sigh of relief that that problem has finally been solved, let’s move on to explain what this so called “Customer Engagement Platform Model” really is.
Customer Engagement Platform Model – Fact or Fiction?
Do not fret, this is no “Get rich quick!” scheme or “Ab-Electr-o-fy” product, this is the real deal. These four steps can send you on your way to greatness. Let’s briefly go over the four steps of our CEP Model.
First, Engage. Engaging your customers can be approached many different ways, but one of them is to provide your customer with content that not only grabs their attention, but draws them in. Not many companies do this, because you can no longer buy the user’s attention. AJ Agrawal wrote in a recent Inc.com article, “3 Myths About inbound Marketing“, that you have to “engage consumers with relevant, intriguing information that educates or entertains, earning their interest instead of buying it”.
Second, Promote. To promote your business effectively to your customers, you have to go to them, they aren’t going to run to you! The best way to reach them is by having a mobile presence. A study conducted by Smart Insights found that 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Their study also showed that mobile users passed desktop users, further increasing the urgency for your company to go mobile. Furthermore, the largest publishing channels available today are the growing social media platforms on mobile devices. These channels have changed the playing field for interacting with your customers, because now you have the ability to reach a broad audience where each person can be marketed to personally for little to no cost. Can’t complain about that!
Third, Track. Gather all of the information that is available. Anything from how your customer feels about your business, to what you can’t see (the infamous Dark Data), should be collected to provide a robust set of data that you can then tap into in the Refine stage.
Fourth, Refine. All of the data in the world will not be of value if you cannot understand what it means. With the new technology surfacing today, the ability to discover trends and opportunities based on the data you are gathering from your customers, is extremely simple and easy if you find the right tool (shoot, we do it in our product!). IBM released a white paper, “Computing, cognition, and the future of knowing“, discussing this challenge. Within it, they provided the statistic that, “Gartner estimates that the world’s information will grow by 800 percent in the next five years, and that 80 percent of that data will be unstructured.” (let that sink in) They call this Dark Data. This will be one of the greatest challenges to overcome, but it is possible.
This is not a conclusion, this is the beginning. The Customer Engagement Platform Model coupled with the passion, goals, and determination of businesses can provide limitless results in the long run. In my next posts, I will dive deeper behind each of the four steps discussed to give you a better understanding of the new business basics.
Jump over to the forum page and let me know what your thoughts are, or share some things that you think should also be included in the new business basics! Until next time, farewell.