16 Things We Learned On Day One of Donegal Business Week…
1. Marketing is ‘More than a Leaflet’
Marketing expert Geoff Ramm (@GeoffRamm) kicked off the week with an energetic and interactive seminar on marketing, sharing his observations, anecdotes and some memorable customer service and marketing ideas to demonstrate that marketing is so much more than just a leaflet.
2. Customer Service is King – no amount of excellent marketing can compete with a negative customer experience, so it’s imperative that you get that right first.
3. Make the Basics Work Harder for You – put the power of your brand in someone’s hand by being creative with your business cards and leaflets. For instance, if you’re an electrician, why not have a business card that glows in the dark? Or if you work in tourism, avoid the standard sized leaflets that every other business uses. Think differently to help your business stand out from competitors.
4. Get Personal – think about who you want to target and get personal. Refer to people by name and amplify your customer relationships by using Eyejot to send personalised messages.
5. Stack ‘Em High – when you’re exhibiting at an event, stack your brochures and leaflets high, rather than displaying them in a nice arrangement. People don’t like to mess with your display, if it looks too nice.
6. Give Added Value – think about ways to surprise and delight your customers. This petrol station in South Africa has been writing positive messages for customers on its noticeboard for the past 40 years. Thanks to @GeoffRamm for these tips…
7. If the competition is going one way, you go the other – don’t be afraid to be different. Geoff Ramm gave the example of the kids-only hair salon, which doubled its business by theming the salon for kids. Key attractions included characters which the children could identify with, as well as super-hero themed hair cutting stations and a front window with peep holes at children’s eye level to encourage engagement. Geoff gave another example of an ironing business that implemented this quirky mail shot and saw an 8% increase in business in one week…
8. Getting to Grips with Digital Marketing is Easier than You Might Think – Maeve Kneafsey, Marketfinder.com, shared her insights of how businesses can use social media to build their brands. Setting goals is key to success and before starting online, businesses need to understand what they are trying to achieve. Digital’s job is to support you in reaching those goals in a faster, better and sometimes cheaper way.
9. Online and offline are not two different worlds – they are the same world. Your objectives for online should be the same as those for offline.
10. Be consistent – this is key when using social media. @maeve-kneafsey referenced The Happy Pear and Hairy Baby as two businesses that have used social media to great effect in building their brand.
11. Understand your audience’s needs – you can’t be all things to all people. Do a profile of your target audience to segment the most important ones, then figure out how they want to engage with you online.
12. Ask Yourself Why? –Darragh Doyle, Audience Strategist, @darraghdoyle talked about social, SEO and strategy, emphasising the importance of not having social media just because everyone else has. Ask yourself why am I doing this and what do I want to achieve. Always think about who you’re talking to, why you’re talking to them and what you want to get out of it.
13.Think – @darraghdoyle had this advice for anyone posting online…
14. Keep it Local – share content that is of interest to your local area, for example, old photos are a great way to encourage engagement and social sharing. Here is Darragh’s online checklist for businesses and his recipe for success online…
15. Keep it Real – Darragh closed his presentation with this great line… ‘Be a person online and in real life’
16. There’s Lots More to Come – Donegal Business Week continues all week, so there are still four more great days ahead. Check out the range of events and make the time for your business by registering now at www.localenterprise.ie/donegal or contact LEO on 074 91 60735.