Giving real value to customers is the best path to success.
As businesses, we have to think about what customers actually need and want. We are now in an age in which people are thinking about how to best use their resources to live their best life. There is a shift back to reality. There is a hunger for the truth. Hopefully your business fits into this ever changing landscape. If you feel that it does, you must communicate how.
Do not ignore reality. Change can be scary. The truth can be difficult to take. It seems upside down to say, but a solid foundation for long-term success depends on the ability to adapt. You may have to change, sometimes radically, your products and services. You may have to change your marketing strategies. You may even find yourself someday back at square one. It happens. Then you salvage what you can and keep going.
Regularly take the time to work on your business plan. It’s well known that it’s the single most important tool in your kit. If you don’t have one, this is a good time to write one. It will make you look at your business, market, target customers, resources, capabilities, and yourself more clearly, in black and white. Share it with trusted advisors and friends. Get a reality check.
Here at Great Peconic Communications, Inc., we firmly believe that solid businesses can practically advertise themselves. It’s the businesses that are all hype and bubbles that give business and advertising a bad name.
We’re proud to have worked with people whose businesses have more to offer customers than was known. They had untapped capacity. Still, businesses must be careful not to overtap their capacity, promising more than they can deliver. They should leave a margin. They should strive to deliver more than expected.
It’s time to revisit business fundamentals of product and service value, price, convenience, and the like. Changes in the economy and marketplace present both opportunities and challenges, but we can’t lose sight of the customer.
For example, many small businesses can’t compete on price these days for commodities, but they can compete on service, knowledge, hospitality, customization, specialization, personalization, and the human touch in general.
A nonprofit on a shoestring should be focusing on delivering the value inherent in its mission. Positive publicity and the appreciation of those served will go a long way. Make sure your mission is aligned with need, that activities are aligned with the mission, and that you’re communicating effectively.
With respect to communications, we strongly advise our clients to leverage the power of new media (also referred to as “computers”) as part of a multi-media plan. The internet is accessible, affordable, and provides a direct connection with customers and others in the community served. But in all communications, computerized or otherwise, none of us should get lost or lose sight of what matters. Pay attention to time spent, budget considerations, effectiveness, and satisfaction in your communications tasks. If you are not someone who enjoys communications, if you have no particular skills in writing, design, computers, or networking, etc., then you’d be well advised to delegate it to someone who does. As important as a solid business foundation is, there’s another important thing: business communications. If anything, it has become more specialized and more important in recent years.
Quotations, Fun & Games
We’ll have more for you in posts to come. For now, enjoy these parting thoughts, a silly but useful game, and a music video to take you back to reality.
Thanks for visiting!
“If people aren’t going to talk about your product, then it’s not good enough.” ~ Jeffrey Kalmikoff, Designing for Community with Zero-Advertising Brands, SXSW 2006
“Yes, our company is at risk because we cede control to the users, but that’s how we do our business. If the community decides to kill the business, maybe it deserves to die.” ~ Jeffrey Kalmikoff, Designing for Community with Zero-Advertising Brands, SXSW 2006
“Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.” ~ David M. Ogilvy
“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.” ~ David M. Ogilvy
Game: Burst Those Bubbles!
Here’s a game you can play to start fighting the bubbles out there while improving your typing skills so you can get more done on your keyboard faster. Go to the Bubbles Game!