By: Samantha Scott, APR
Grand Poobah / Owner
If you live in Southwest Florida (aka Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, etc.) then you’ve probably seen the Florida Department of Transportation signs saying “Alert today. Alive tomorrow.” While their signs refer to paying attention to the road, I thought this could also apply to businesses and their marketing efforts.
Being alert today, in a business sense, means many things…
Competitive Advantage and Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
To start, it means being aware of what you offer (services products, etc.) and what your competitors offer. How do your services stack up? What can you add or research? Better yet, are you providing what your customers want/need? Addressing your competitive advantage is key. Take a little time this month to really think about what it is that sets your company apart then follow up with a plan to communicate that, as your UVP, to your consumers.
Trends, Fads and New Tech
It seems that with each new day new widgets, devices and tools are developed. Music stars are made, and crumble, over night. Trends come and go, but in the midst of all this chaos, we must pick out the changes that really shift (or should) our business model and/or our customers’ lives. Two great examples are social media and cell phones.
Many people, both the general public and business leaders. brushed off sites like Facebook and Twitter saying they were just fads and would pass. While the application or specific site might fall to the wayside (ever heard of a little site called MySpace?), the concept is here to stay.
People have evolved their communication styles and want instant, quick ways to communicate news and share information.
The cell phone – a similar situation. What used to be just a tool for vocal communication can now send text messages, operate apps, access the Internet and more. Smart phones have virtually taken over the cell phone market making it easier for consumers to find information about products or services on the go.
So the question is, are you paying attention, being alert today, to trends in your industry that will impact your business tomorrow?
One HUGE and often overlooked opportunity is reputation management. I’m not referring to high school days when you were protecting your “cool factor.” I’m talking about what your consumers are saying about your business, its product and/or services. Even before there were websites specifically designed for reviews there was word of mouth. People love to share their experiences with others, especially if they have a bad one. With the creation of sites like Yahoo! Local, Google Places, and Yelp it’s more important than ever to monitor your company or brand’s online reputation.
Other sites, predominately thought of as social media or social networking sites such as Foursquare, Facebook, and LinkedIn are also viable reputation management platforms. Specifically, LinkedIn has launched business pages where business owners can “own” their page and post updates while also receiving comments from visitors. There are also sites for specific industries too, such as medical field such as RateMDs.com.
Are you listening? If you are, are you responding and showing that you care about your customers opinions – good and bad? Consider setting up a weekly routine to monitor these sites. We provide this service for a number of clients who’ve seen drastic, positive changes in their online reputation just from monitoring and responding to reviews.
Let’s focus on being more alert today for a better tomorrow. If you need help focusing on the many marketing and communications tasks at hand or maybe want a little help managing your reputation, contact us. It’s what we do and we’d be glad to help.