Listen up! I'm selling!
Theoretically, an investment in the media is an important marketing strategy to build and grow a business. Advertisements in print media and electronic media are without a doubt could grow a business in the shortest amount of time possible; it has been proven time and time again. The only problem with that theory is budget, which many new startups and SMEs do not have to splurge on such luxurious marketing activities. A few insertions in the national newspaper could be your margin for a few months and without tactfully planning for the media coverage, a company could end up spending more money than earning it. Renting a billboard could put your products out there but at the same time location is the most important factor for outdoor advertisement and the prime locations translate to even more money.
The more pressing matter for small companies is how to grow a business without spending a fortune on advertisements?
The username to success is hard working and the password is writing. A business couldn’t grow if your resellers and customers didn’t have clear understanding of your products, of what you do and didn’t receive sufficient support. The business is judged by the way you run it. Every time a customer deals with you is an experience. As a metaphor, when choosing a restaurant, the priority is good food and good service. The rests are trifling. Obviously, the good food is your product. On top of the non-negotiable good product, customers are often impressed and sustained by good service, which in FingerTec business means pre and pro sales support.
We do business internationally and for us, the best way to let our customers enjoying good service without having to meet them face-to-face is to make everything they need available at all times without much hassle. In short, giving them what they want, online. Local resellers do come to the office once in a while, but most of the time information is obtained online.
While driving home I saw a huge billboard with an interesting advertisement. I typed in the URL and hit return to find out that nothing’s offered online for me, their prospective customer. And the interest level was reduced to zero starting that day. The point I’m getting at is that, customers nowadays are inquisitive. They no longer believe in messages thrown at them blindly and always looking for answers from various channels. The best way to obtain information is through the website because it’s anonymous, borderless, cheap and fast. Information must be available for clients reference at all times because night here is day somewhere else. Information could be expensive when sales or projects are at stake. And that’s why we at FingerTec believe that the password to success is the ability to write what you know and share it with others who are interested in your products and activities.
Writing is powerful
A few years back we came out with the idea of producing our very own newsletter. It was not a new idea in marketing, however it is the new way to get to your customers and potential customers without burning cold hard cash on advertisements. In marketing term, it is permission marketing where if you don’t like it, please request to be excluded. With the newsletter, we share our ideas, we share latest information and we keep our brand in fresh in your mind. Participations from our partners worldwide are also encouraged for a better relationship and contents. Many could argue that not everybody reads the newsletter but we believe that many do. Always focus on the positive to generate the positives.
New media is the way to go. Many government bodies recognize this factor and starting to offer online way of doing business with them. Employee Provident Fund in Malaysia is offering i-Akaun for members to check their accounts online. Banks have done more businesses online and reckon the crowds are lesser in the branches. At least I haven’t been to the bank for at least 6 months or so now. New generations are into new media because the information is direct from the source, and we assume that nothing’s lost in translations.
Coming back to writing, it is an important factor for companies to make it in the new media. We are neither Shakespeare nor Stephen King, but we have our own stories to tell. And perhaps there’s someone in your company who could write and tell your stories to your clients too. Invite your clients to share their stories with you because you have a common topic to discuss about, the business. The impact might not be sudden and apparent but gradually you will build that much needed connection between you and your clients, and hopefully towards a fruitful and prosperous journey together.
by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ