By Leon Gettler >>
IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE of social distancing and lockdowns, businesses need to upgrade their marketing.
Josh Meah, a celebrated New Jersey based marketing specialist, says it might mean reinventing the business model.
For a start, it doesn’t matter what industry it is, whether it’s pub or restaurant, or a shop, or even a law practice, companies need to remodel themselves as e-commerce businesses.
He said recession and depression environments create a need for companies to understand the market drivers of their business and what drives consumer behaviour.
“Usually that comes down to data, and right now from a digital marketing standpoint, because I do think that’s specially relevant because of social distancing.” Mr Meah told Talking Business.
“In my opinion, all organisations should understand the e-commerce model. That is a novel perspective for a lot of organisations that are used to brick and mortar style relationships, in person-meeting and so on and so forth.
“However, the e-commerce model is based on the premise that if you spend money, you can trace it to its impact.
“The e-commerce model is premised on the ability that you can take a single product and actually identify if you spent X advertising dollars, you will receive Y revenue, not just on a product basis. You’ll be able to trace it back to the all the campaigns that yielded that product outcome.”
TRACKING IS THE KEY
Mr Meah said the e-commerce model gives all companies, whether they’re an accounting practice or a restaurant, the capability to track leads.
What generates phone calls, what generates emails or some point of contact, and giving them the ability to evaluate the cost of generating that contact, means they can evaluate the effectiveness of, say, a Google ad campaign.
“That’s what more sophisticated service organisations are doing,” Mr Meah said. “They’re analysing their client base, bringing it all back to their advertising so they can say the amount of revenue generated from this campaign was this.”
He said with lockdowns, many restaurants and food services, had online menus for people to order food and get it delivered. Potentially, it would allow them to increase the conversion rate.
“In fact, you could argue that restaurants are local e-commerce for food,” he said.
TRACING ‘BEST’ CUSTOMERS
Another strategy is for companies to focus on customers in their client base and figure out who their best customers are, either by surveying them or talking to them directly.
“There is a good chance they have something in common with each other,” Mr Meah said.
“There’s some reason why this demographic of your customer base is resilient in this environment, and once you figure that out, now you have a persona … a concept from which you can develop future campaigns to find similar people,” he said.
Another strategy is email marketing which he says is far more valuable than people realise as the size of a company’s email list can directly translate into revenue.
The key point however is that the cost of increasing an email list is so nominal that if companies can find ways to increase the size and improve the attractiveness of their message, they can find profitable growth regardless of the kind of organisation they are.
This means companies need to look carefully at whatever email toolkits they are using.
Mr Meah said organisations also needed to understand their brand. As opposed to sales, which are purely transactional, branding, on the other hand, is in the service of relationships.
“Companies that invest in brand, are investing in becoming clearer to the market place, becoming more visually coherent, and more trustworthy,” Mr Meah said.
“It’s easier to refer a brand that’s clear and compelling. A brand that has a point of view one you think about more often.”
Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.