by Jayne Burch
In Part I of this two-part series we explored the threat of big disruptors that are changing the business landscape forever. Amazon, for one, has become a surprisingly disruptive competing force in many industries, forcing small business to compete with Amazon on price or service delivery or go out of business.
Disruptors, like extreme weather, are here to stay.
Your business doesn’t have to be forced into a corner by the big gorillas like Amazon. What’s the solution? How do you compete with the likes of Amazon? The answer is: Don’t compete, Differentiate!
Here are the five actions your company needs to be taking to avoid commoditization and rise above the competition.
Five Actions You Must Take to Rise Above the Competition
The key to eliminating your competition is to differentiate, specialize and personalize your approach to your customers. Here are five actions to help you do just that. Take these actions to be sure your company is visible, attractive and accessible to your ideal customers so you can grow.
- Have a content marketing strategy. Your customers are doing their research online before they buy. Help them find the information they need by publishing online - they’ll love you for it. Your content will bring the right traffic to your website, help your website rank higher in the search engines, and position your company as the expert who can best help them.
- Know who your customers are. No, really. Get really specific about the people who are perfect for your product or service and why they are perfect. Create every piece of content - articles, product information, email etc. - to speak directly to your customers’ real needs and concerns. No more mass, generic email marketing campaigns!
- Capture leads on your website. Attracting your target customer to your website is only the first step. To grow, you’ll need a lead generation system that converts your website visitors (strangers) into qualified, warm leads. Do this by offering valuable information (designed specifically to meet your ideal clients’ needs) in return for their contact information.
When you capture leads, two things will occur. Your customers get information they want and need. You’ll get their permission and the means to contact them and help them further. Fail to take this step and you will be stunting your potential for growth. Less than 0.5 percent of website visitors take action on a typical website when no relevant content-offers are available.
- Follow up, nurture leads, and sell the inbound way. Differentiate your company from the traditional hard-sell approach to sales. Buyers are in control now. Everyone wants to buy, but no one wants to be sold. The Inbound sales approach is built on individualized and personalized sales interactions.
Organize your company’s sales behaviors around helping the customer make the best buying decision for them. Having the right systems in place enables your marketing and sales teams to work together to build relationships, nurture leads, and close deals - while scaling the process as you grow.
- Delight your customers. How your customers feel about your company is the third leg of a three-legged stool: Marketing - Sales - Customer Service. To grow, you need your customers to be your raving fans. Responsiveness and customer service recovery (fast resolution of problems and complaints) creates strong bonds between the company and customers. Customer delight does not mean being perfect all the time. Here’s a definition from HubSpot.
“Customer delight is exceeding a customer's expectations to create a positive customer experience with a product or brand. By going above and beyond to create a memorable customer experience ...to foster an emotional connection and sense of good-will that will make them more likely to be loyal to your brand long-term.” - HubSpot
Happy, loyal customers turn into your company’s biggest promoters through repeat purchases, referrals, and reviews - fueling growth. Put systems in place that help you understand the needs of your customers and make it easy for them to get support. Nurture and build on the relationship built so carefully by marketing and sales.
While these are universal strategies for growing nearly any kind of business, Marketing Monsoon tailors maximum-impact growth plans for particular industries. Request our Case Studies for examples of how we have refined these strategies for different types of industries.
Want to know if your company is poised to grow? Get the Pre-Flight Business Growth Checklist to learn whether your marketing, sales and customer service teams are hitting all the notes.
Entrepreneur | CEO | Lead Generation Systems Expert | Inbound Marketing Expert Through Marketing Monsoon she has helped hundreds of business owners to develop automated marketing systems with their website. Ms. Burch has a background in organizational development and leadership development in large healthcare organizations. She is a Graduate Master Business Coach.