How terrific to see our whole country is back Alert Level 1 just in time for the America’s Cup action, which is looking very exciting indeed!
Funnily enough, there is a strong correlation between success in America’s Cup racing and the subject of ‘over-managing’, which we have been discussing over the past few weeks. Yes, the fastest boat matters, but, as all of us who have been glued to this 36th America’s Cup regatta have witnessed, the way these teams ‘over-manage’ the start, when to gybe and when to tack can also make or break a race. Hopefully Team NZ continues to demonstrate superior skills with over-managing here to secure a memorable win for the country. Today could be the day!
Before we continue our dive into the concept of over-managing, I want to remind you we have opened up additional capacity to cater to the overwhelming demand for our Grow NZ marketing intern programme. We have opportunities for another six businesses needing cost-effective marketing support with basic activities including content creation, social media management and the like. If you are interested in taking advantage of this support, act quickly. You can find out more on our website.
Now back to the all-important topic of over-managing.
The importance of over-managing what you over-manage
For the next few weeks, we are going to continue to unpack the concept of over-managing, which we first introduced to you in our blog at the end of February. But before we do that, I want to refresh your memory on three crucial points when it comes to over-managing:
1/ You must be very deliberate in what you choose to over-manage. It will require a heap of energy and focus and should align directly to the achievement of your business goals.
2/ Always, always walk in your customers’ shoes – understand their purchasing journeys, their needs and wants, what they are willing to pay and what delights them (fast delivery or excellent customer service are two examples). Over-managing something that doesn’t interest your customer is frankly a waste of time, money and growth opportunity.
3/ Remember that digital is not the solution, it is the enabler. Yes, the stats we shared earlier in the month are compelling, but these insights are complicated and you must walk in your customers’ shoes first before considering any form of a digital strategy. The right experts will guide you through this process.
Brothers, sisters, cousins and strangers
No, I haven’t changed the subject, but you could be forgiven for wondering what on earth this has to do with managing business decisions. Allow me to explain. The concept of brothers, sisters, cousins and strangers is one I have used many times over in my previous corporate life as a way to turn around, or accelerate, growth. It’s all about the way you consider your target market; your potential customers, ex-customers and current customers.
To help determine the approach for each of these segments, I find it useful to liken these groups to various real-life relationships.
Brothers and Sisters:
We generally know our brothers and sisters very well and they tend to know us better than anyone else. Often, this means trust is at its highest with these people and the way we communicate with each other is quite different to the way we communicate with others in our social circles.
In business terms, your brothers and sisters are your paying customers. They don’t need to be convinced of your worth, but there are always ways to get them to love you more. To do this, retention, upsell and cross-sell strategies are key. Often email campaigns, social media content that your followers read and good ol’ one-on-one conversations, either face-to-face or over the phone, are the most effective strategies here.
Our brothers and sisters are also a valuable source of insight – why do they buy from us? What other products or services do they need or source from competitors? And of course, they can be great for testimonials and word-of-mouth referrals.
Your brother from another mother. Your sister from a different mister. You mightn’t be as tight with your cousins as you are with your immediate siblings, but you still share a distinct bond. When you apply this relationship to your customer base, these are the potential customers who know something about your business, your products and services but are not yet paying customers.
Communication with this group should be about informing, building knowledge and trust to enable these individuals to make a fully-informed decision about whether to purchase your goods and services. Often re-marketing campaigns, website content, email campaigns, social media content, plus one-on-one conversations are the most effective methods.
Leveraging testimonials and case studies can also be extremely powerful with this group.
Someone you know nothing about and wouldn’t dare invite to a family dinner, because – weird. But, in business as in life, it takes just one good first impression to turn a stranger into a friend. Digital is a critical enabler to making that good first impression. We know from the stats that many kiwis use search and social networks to gather information before purchasing. One of my favourite sayings is “you can’t sell a secret”, so being discoverable and available to make that first impression is the critical first step. The next step is using data to understand whether you are better off ‘Capturing Demand’ via search campaigns, or facilitating ‘Demand Creation, via display advertising, social media, or telemarketing, for example.
And again, leveraging testimonials and case studies can be extremely powerful, especially when a stranger gets the ‘that’s just like me’ or ‘I have that problem too’ feeling.
The next big question is how good is your first impression? Does your website load fast and is it secure? Does the content convey command trust and a sense of value?
Digital as the enabler
All of the above ties back to how well you are over-managing digital as an enabler for your business growth. The complexity lies in being able to communicate effectively and appropriately to each of the above target groups in much the same way you would communicate differently with a complete stranger versus an established family member. Your website needs to be able to do this for you. How? By using targeted landing pages to communicate specifically to each segment – we will expand on this in upcoming editions.
We’ve plenty more to share next week – stay tuned fam!