Imagine that you've just met a treasure hunter. All right, let's make it more serious - a reputable archaeologist. What are his chances of finding the Holy Grail? Certainly greater than yours, but also so very small that almost non-existent. Why is this guy so respected by others from his industry? There are certainly many reasons: knowledge, experience, conducted research, techniques, methodology, numerous publications. Although he still hasn't found the famous relic nor any signs of a previously unknown civilisation, for us, he is still an authority figure. He does his job very well. According to "the art" and with determination.
CONTEMPORARY TREASURE HUNTERS
I often have the feeling that companies are looking for innovations that would trigger social changes, thanks to which they would go down in history, without any grounds to do so. However, from their point of view, this is their only chance and starting point. Why? They do not have any other arguments, as they do not run their marketing scheme effectively and consistently. They neglect the basics. They are not as well-rounded as the previously mentioned archaeologist, whom the history will not remember, but who still has no problem deriving profits from his honest work.
INNOVATION IS BACKED UP BY RELIABILITY
I know that competitive advantage, searching for new functionalities, target markets, products etc. is important. Yes, revolutionary products are tempting. When an organisation ceases to be vigilant, it may not be able to stand back on its feet (as in the well-known case of Kodak and many similar companies). I'm not saying that the search for innovations will not bring benefits to the organisation. However, we should bear in mind that companies that were the first to achieve such breakthroughs and, at the same time, gain most, have a well thought-out and consistently pursued marketing strategy. The "basics" are well-developed and the gears are turning smoothly.
THE LAST RESORT
Those who count on making revolutionary discoveries without having optimised basic marketing activities more and more often succumb to the pressure of achieving a result that's nowhere to be seen, whereas the time and competitors don't stay still.
DON'T HATE ON INNOVATION
Does this mean that the search for innovative solutions is pointless? Absolutely not. A company should grow, and even if we fail to develop a solution that could be called a true innovation, we can create - as a result of the undertaken activities - some decent ideas that will help our business grow in an organic manner. We won't be commemorated in marketing textbooks (or will we?), but we will still move forward. However, it is worth taking care of the most important things, without which money will be drained from our organisation.
Thanks to them, we'll "squeeze" more benefits out of what we already have. If we belong to this group of phenomenal visionaries, who will introduce an innovative product to the market in the future, it is also worth taking care of the basics. They will help us earn several million more on our innovation. :)
What should you pay attention to? Here are several things that are most often neglected in companies, and which - with a low budget - can be brought to a state that will yield specific benefits from this investment:
1. Consistency of the image in all communication channels with the client
Check whether communication in all channels is coherent and reflects the characteristics of a particular medium. Example: Many customer fan pages conduct communication in a way ill-adjusted to the social media, translating corporate news 1:1 e.g. to a Facebook profile. It is similar in the case of web portals. When walking into a company, I see modern offices, large staff, modern equipment worth millions.
However, when entering a website, I get the impression that the company is small and that it could be already gone in 3 weeks. Unfortunately, particularly in the B2B sector, prospective customers, whose first encounter with the company is through digital media, form the image of that company only using the materials they come into contact with. Considering that they value credibility of a business partner highly, some of them will abandon any negotiations already at this stage.
2. Measurable factors
Despite it being an era of digital media, often nobody analyses the collected data, and thus nobody draws conclusions. Companies often do not even know how many users their website attracts, how many of them are prospective customers that can be acquired through the tools implemented on the website. Thus, it is worth checking what we have at our disposal, and if the numbers are already satisfying - whether we utilise the potential of this entire multitude of users. Have we determined at all what they are to do on this website (e.g. complete a form, download a PDF file containing the offer) and are they truly doing it?
3. The effective range
Sometimes the situation is of yet another nature, where the company produces high-budget materials (movies, webinars), whereas traffic on the website is so low that ROI (return on investment) is worse than just bad. Companies usually focus on producing good materials that absorb part of the budget, without planning for its promotion. It results in our target group not having an opportunity to familiarise with this product. Thus, it is not reflected in sales.
4. Mailing base
The company has matured enough to generate high-quality content, which is highly appreciated by the target group. It even invested its budgets in the mass media, and so effectively in fact that it managed to attract a valuable user to the website. Materials (reports) are so good that the users download them gladly. We want nothing in return from them … We believe that they'll appreciate it, since we are so cool. But they won't …
If we generated something really valuable, requiring a lot of work, then the mechanism should be designed to make them "pay" at least by leaving a lead in the form of their e-mail address. Let us remember that it is thanks to building a mailing base that we will soon spend less on media budgets. Imagine the luxury of being able to - when you need to notify of a new product - first use over ten thousand verified/active e-mails of your potential customers and only pay for the shipment.
Another, additional form of the user's "payment" is through e.g. a "tweet", or a post on FB in exchange for downloading some material or accessing the knowledge zone. In such a case, we don't have a lead, but as a result, we extend our reach in the social media, which is also invaluable in many industries.
THE WORKMAN'S TRIUMPH
Finally, I offer you a small consolation. If you introduce the above or similar solutions and are consequently using them, you will find yourself in the small group of the chosen ones. Really. This will make you feel special. Additionally, let your day be made by the view of an Excel file with the sales results, which - thanks to your hard work - have shot high up.