/ February 24th, 2014
When you ask why should my company blog? Does anyone read these blogs? Just think of this mind blowing fact : 105,000,000 visitors a month go to the Huffington Post site currently the most popular blogging site. 150 million visitors a month and they go there voluntarily and read the content!
No one can tell your companies story better that you. You can help your customers, entice prospects, muse about the industry you are in, point out important developments or events, highlight new technology and products and just generally share interesting and helpful tidbits. Blogging.org indicated that 60% of companies surveyed have a company blog, but of that group 65% haven’t blogged in a year. As with any marketing effort or campaign if you aren’t consistent and you don’t follow-through and have a plan then your efforts are pretty much wasted. Have you ever seen a customer or a co worker eating their lunch at their desk and reading a blog, researching information , looking for the next new thing or trying to find out what happened at the event that they couldn’t attend last week? That is where blogs play an important marketing role. In our company, blogs bring traffic to our web site and they generate leads. I have had customers tell me that they have used my blogs to help them do a better job. More leads, more customers, happier customers, prospects that you probably would never have found if they didn’t find you through your blog all equals more conversion, more sales and higher profits. All this from a consistent stream of material that you are sharing via your company blog. So why doesn’t everyone blog?
Blogging is hard work. Being consistent in your blogging is hard work . It takes time, commitment, research and skill in writing. Still since it can significantly add to your bottom line for a minimal investment so why not start? Remember this is not a term paper, no one expects perfect grammar or copious foot notes, but good fresh ideas in a casual style will make a blog appealing, often entertaining and very readable. The visitors to your blog want to learn something. No one is a better authority on what you do than you and you probably are pretty well connected in your industry too. You hear things and know things – this is your chance to share them with friends you know and friends that you have yet to meet.
You can begin a blog with an anecdote, a statistic, anything that you think would interest your reader. Let them know how to do something, give them a list of important things, tell them about an important upcoming industry trend or event, establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by weighting in on trends or technology and where it is currently being applied and if it is working. Create a schedule, create a content marketing plan, start writing and optimize the exposure of your blog. Real benefits and profits can come from a solid company blog.
/ February 24th, 2014
While visiting a friend this weekend I saw her move her bike out of the way in the garage and grumble about having it. She said she never uses it. Then when her son took her car to get to a basketball game and she needed some milk for tea she told her daughter to hop on the bike and go to the store to pick up a quart of milk. Suddenly the bike became a useful tool. CRM software can and often does suffer the same fate , something that just takes up space or it can be a useful tool.
Most sales and customer service people who are forced to use CRM software view it as a drain on their time, just one more chore to fill their already too busy day. These systems are designed to give managers a look into sales and marketing and to generate reports. The worst of these systems simply generate mailing lists and reports for management and waste time for all who are forced to use them. They create data that is not of value to the majority of people who use them. The best of the CRMs are designed with benefits for all the users. Employees become more productive, marketing gets lots of real time data, sales can access it from outside the office and receive valuable insight into their customers. These CRMs work on mobile devices, desktops, laptops and tablets. Customers benefit from these systems as well, because they get better information from customer service representatives on their accounts and from their sale people. They suddenly feel more valued since they are treated as unique individuals where they receive exemplary service from people who really know the details for their account.
A well designed CRW will be well used and up to date because people will want to use it but only if it contains data that will make their jobs easier. It’s just human nature. If you can enter data about a customer once, repurpose it, update it and access it in every step of the sales cycle and have a record of the relevant information on a page or 2 without having to navigate through a myriad of screens then the CRM becomes a valuable tool for the user and it will also generate collaboration between users. If it is mobile and uniform across a multitude of platforms and devices then it becomes even more valuable.
Well designed CRMs allow sales, marketing and customer service ( as well as support departments) functionality and access to data on a need to know basis from estimating a project ,to the details of its manufacturing, though project completion to a payment history. This allows management and marketing access to a wealth of information, sales more help in closing a deal, customer service more information at their fingertips. Best of all customers receive an unprecedented level of personalized support, with quicker problem resolution which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and retention. This means greater profit.
CRM software if poorly designed can be a great time waster and a source of frustration for all who use it or a boon to the company overall and a profit center . Choose wisely though because the cost of a bad decision goes beyond the initial price tag.