Imagine that you own a salon and employed someone to help manage it while you focus on your 8-5.
The manager made a request for a dedicated smartphone that will be used for social media management and other communications with customers, but you said no, the manager should use her own phone. You want to avoid the cost of buying a phone.
Customers call the manager’s phone line directly. She takes images with her phone and puts them up on her Whatsapp status to market the salon, they chat with her, and engagement with customers is increasing.
She moves on eventually to another salon and each time your customers call or chats her up, she mentions that she is no longer with your salon but directs them there, most of them insist to use her new salon. They have gotten used to interacting with her and her phone line cannot be passed on to your new manager.
The cost of losing some of your customers is higher than buying a phone that was meant to be an asset to your business.
Employees will definitely have personal interactions with customers, but the business itself should have its own communication channels – Whatsapp, Telegram, Phone Lines, etc – and devices that will remain even when employees move on.
Take your communication channels seriously.
We listen keenly to business owners as they vent their frustration about the marketing team not raking in revenue as expected.
We engage them further in the conversation and it turns out that the business itself doesn’t have a clearly defined marketing strategy or plan.
They pass the buck to the marketing team to take initiative, forgetting employees can throw in the towel anytime, if they get too overwhelmed, but you are stuck with the business.
The business MUST have all its strategies in place, what employees are primarily engaged for is the execution since the business owner cannot possibly do everything by themselves.
If you leave your responsibility to employees, then you have to take what you see. Set targets to the high heavens, folks will keep exiting one after the other. Firing and re-hiring won’t help much until the actual issue is fixed. Think strategy.
What is your marketing and sales strategy for 2020?
We are here if you need support.
It appears that many entrepreneurs desire to make sales without investing in gaining visibility. We wrote this article to offer some perspective.
Unless your business is hinged solely on personal contacts and contracts, you need to keep investing in attaining better visibility.
At the point customers make a buying decision, they usually go for the options that are topmost on their mind at that time.
Visibility pushes you up to the top of people’s minds.
If you run a walk-in shop, make it obvious enough through your brand visuals – professionally designed and printed signage, WELL FRAMED banners, and so on.
If you are online, be intentional with your cover photos, DPs, e-fliers, photos, graphic images, colours, logo, and so on.
If you meet people often and give complimentary cards, make a statement with it, the right statement – clean design and print.
If your brand name is a hindrance to better visibility, change the name. An easy to pronounce name aids visibility. An easy to remember name aids visibility.
By all means possible, be more visible.
Working on visibility is like putting pipelines in place for revenue with ease.
If you need help, Mapemond is here for you.
Branding is never just about your logo. It is more about creating a unique identity, which actually requires time and effort. Sometimes it could mean working with consultants to get the expected response from your promotional materials and even more.
Anyway, the good thing here is, if you are reading this you will be getting free advice from us.
Not Investing In Your Brand Elements
Your brand elements are your Logos, Tagline, Colours, Fonts, Brand voice and icons. If you do not have a story behind these, you cannot attract people.
Ignoring Researching On Your Competition
There is no harm looking out for your competition and learning all there is to learn from them, especially if they are doing pretty well. Study their moves and you might get an insight to do something better.
Not Clearly Stating Your Offering to Differentiate You
It will do you good to digest the fact that there are alternatives to your product and services. You have to state what your value propositions are in a clear manner that will make them prefer you to the other brand. It is not always about lower price, it just could be the experience of a fulfilled dream.
Over Looking Your Inconsistency
What you say must match what you do; this is what makes you a brand to reckon with. Customers will quickly leave you if you cannot be consistent with all of what you say.
Neglecting Brand Experience
Brand experience is what fosters brand evangelists. Every contact with your brand should be a worthwhile experience; your product, service, customer care etc. Your greatest mistake will be not to create a positive experience for your customers.
Hope this helps you #DoBusinessBetter
Written by Donald Alaye
At Mapemond, we are your guys on all things brand identity creation, marketing communications, media relations, content development and more. You can reach us via email@example.com
Quite a number of things influence what we see in the market. Though the market may vary and change from time to time, there are factors that remain constant. These factors are perceived as controllers of the market because they determine the changes that occur in the marketplace. The marketing mix or the 4Ps as it is popularly known is a factor that no entrepreneur can ignore.
Global business experts understand that the marketing mix is an essential ingredient for measurable growth. This group of persons have paid keen attention to their target market and are conversant with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ to raking in continuous profits.
The marketing mix is widely considered as the foundation model for businesses. It consist of marketing tools used to attain marketing objectives in any target market. The marketing mix further represents four levels of marketing that directs the decision of an entrepreneur. These 4Ps are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
However, there is an updated version to the marketing mix with the addition of Process, Physical Environment and People, making it a total of 7Ps. The relevance and influence of the marketing are inexhaustible. These 7Ps obviously sound familiar but many enterprises have failed due to lack of knowledgeable marketers. Therefore, the first step is having a better understanding of the concept.
The marketing mix concept is like a puzzle that entails you fix the right product in the right place at the right time and at the right price. The trick to it is to know the right combination that eventually leads to success.
The first part to the marketing mix is the product. For any entrepreneur launching into the market, building or designing the right product needed in the market. During the process of developing the product, an extensive research on the product’s life cycle should be conducted. The life cycle of every product includes the growth stage, the maturity stage, and the sales decline stage. Studying any product’s life cycle will guide marketers in revamping a product when it gets to the sale decline stage, thereby retaining its position in the market.
The second piece on the marketing mix puzzle is price, which is usually the amount customers pay to purchase the product. Pricing is a necessary part of the marketing mix because it is determines the profit margin of the company. Whenever price is adjusted, sales will be affected. Most business owners consider pricing very sensitive as it forms a perception of a product in the minds of customers. Pricing can be quite tricky, as a product with low pricing could be perceived as inferior while one with a high price could be seen as too expensive.
After designing a great product and determining the best price for it, knowing where to place it is another crucial part of the puzzle. The product has to be positioned in readily and easily accessible places. To achieve this, entrepreneurs must first understand their target market and the best distribution channels.
In order to gain more traffic and attention to a product, promotion must come to play in the puzzle. This brings more recognition to the brand, boost its image in the eyes of prospects, and communicate the values of the products. Promotion can be done through the following ways, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, sales organisation and the ever-effective word of mouth.
Though this is an extension of the marketing mix, it is also an important aspect businesses should put into consideration. Researching about the people and their needs will help in designing a good market strategy. It is also necessary to hire and equip the right staff for any company seeking expansion. Basically, every person involved in making the business a success should be paid attention to.
Process is another addition to the puzzle but still is an imperative part of the business. The process of an organisation determines it execution. Any organisation thriving in the world has a well-detailed process that minimises cost. In defining the right process, every segment of the enterprise must be thoroughly deliberated.
The last thing on the puzzle is physical evidence. After every delivery, there should be a physical evidence. Physical evidence refers to how a business is perceived in the market, or the impact of its presence and literally everything that help shape consumer’s perception about the product or brand’s.
There you have it; we hope you begin to fix these Ps rightly.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help in developing a business strategy? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do Business Better!
There is a popular Latin phrase, ‘quid pro quo’, interpreted as ‘favour for favour’. This implies that something always goes for something and nothing is ever given without a reciprocated effort. At first, the phrase was used in the sixteenth century to refer to a substituted medicine for another but with the passing of time; the phrase became more generalized and used even for business.
Now, especially in the corporate world, quid pro quo can be referred to as exchange of goods, services, favours, or any other kind of value. Sometimes, clients would prefer an exchange of something valuable for their money. On the other hand, corporate organisations, through their workers, are often willing to satisfy their clients’ demands as a way of retaining their patronage. Many a time, these organisations impose this task of meeting clients’ needs on their workers in order to keep the company running.
The attitude of ‘something for something’ is not only displayed by clients, but swings both ways and many other ways actually. Employers seek value in all the projects they embark on, employees want something in return for their creative ideas and input, vendors want something for their services, sellers want money for their goods while buyers want value for their money, investors are particular about what they get in return for their investment and the list goes on.
The concept of quid pro quo played out in Furo’s experience…
After several years of being unemployed, Furo finally got a job opportunity in a well-known and reputable bank. She groomed and brushed up herself in every aspect she could think of just to beat not just the work ethics but also set a high standard for other workers to follow. During her waiting period, she had attended seminars and workshops to increase her skill and knowledge about the banking industry. Furo was convinced she was more than ready for this job.
Few months into her resumption, Furo, who was assigned to the marketing department, was given a target to raise 10million naira within six months. She courageously took this as a challenge and began to work towards it. Three months had passed and Furo realised she was not making much progress with her goal. She had talked to family and friends who she felt were rich but was only able to raise 2million naira, which was far from the target. Other prospects were quite sceptical about putting their money in her bank.
Another month passed and Furo was at the verge of frustration. Everyday she woke up tormented by the nightmare of being fired for not meeting the target. Nobody at work ever asked how she was faring with the 10million naira goal but everyone wanted results. None of her strategies seems to work and more pressure mounted on her.
Having heard of the story of Belema who had hit her goals in the space of one month, Furo was too much in shock to believe. She approached Belema to find out how she was able to pull it off without much stress. Luckily Belema was honest and open about her means, which was simply to approach the ‘big boys’ in town. Since Furo was clueless where to find such people, she had to depend on Belema to link her up with them.
Within a week, Belema connected Furo to a wealthy entrepreneur who owned several ventures in major cities in Nigeria. Belema had told her he was in his early fifties but he looked younger and nourished. He smelt of wealth and walked around with authority. Furo spent the next couple of days trying to convince him about the benefits are attached to the account she was proposing for him to open with her bank. She had thought she was making headway until he began to speak.
“Furo, I’ve heard all you have to say and I must commend your ability to simplify all these banking terms,” he said, acknowledging her.
“But the amount of money you’re asking me to put in there is a lot you know, even though I can afford it,” he continued.
As he spoke, he drank a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice that he had asked his steward to prepare.
“I know,” Furo responded to break the short silence. She wanted to get this deal signed without spending the whole day watching him drink and talk.
“The thing is, I want something for this huge sacrifice I’ll be making. Like I told Belema, the only reason why I am considering this is because of her plea and the tight situation you’re in,” He said and took another sip of his juice.
Furo was a bit embarrassed that Belema had given him too much detail. Nevertheless, she braced herself for any outcome.
The prospect leaned forward, looking straight into her eyes, “You know what, I will open that account but on one condition,” he said and paused.
“Which is?” Furo asked, looking a bit perplexed.
“Well, in business nothing goes for nothing. You must always have something valuable to exchange for every transaction,” he smirked. “Let me just go straight to the point. In exchange for this transaction between your bank and me, I want some of your sugar. I want you, Furo.”
Furo was taken aback. It was only then she recalled what Belema had told her about these big boys asking for something in return, in this case, her body.
“Furo, I can go beyond opening that account to changing your life. Are you willing to take the ride with me? Go think about it,” he said.
That day as Furo left his house, she was in a state of dilemma. Would she succumb or get fired? She was not quite sure of her next move….
Unvoiced perspective, telling the corporate stories that are rarely told…
Let’s hear from you, what should Furo do?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Are you looking at building an ethical organization? We would love to work with you! Send us an email at email@example.com#
Do Business Better.
Have you ever purchased a product after seeing several of its adverts but in the end, it did not meet your expectation? If you have, then you must understand that deep feeling of disappointment that accompanies the irritating feeling of being played and the urge to put that brand on your blacklist of products you would never buy. What would you say went wrong; the over hyped advert or the brand itself?
Recently I had my fair share of disappointment from the dissatisfaction I got after trying a new tissue paper brand. Prior to that time, I had seen some interesting adverts on TV about this particular brand of tissue paper, bombarding its target audience with impressive visuals. Judging from the ads, you would conclude it had gained some degree of visibility in the market and based on the impressive content, from being one of the softest to being the whitest ever. All I expected was nothing but quality and didn’t bother much about its outrageous price. However, after purchasing and examining it thoroughly, I didn’t think it was worth the attention it got from me.
While I commend the brand for their striking marketing campaign that was quick to resonate deeply with most of their target audience – like me, I would hardly recommend them to anyone because their words painted an inverse image of the poor quality of the product. This oversight is not peculiar to this brand alone as there are many others who have faulted in this area. Every now and then, several brands make conscious efforts to woo potential customers with luscious promises, just to get a spot in their lives. Sadly in the end, most of these brands fail to keep to their words.
Now it is true a brand can get the attention of its target clients through remarkable marketing strategies but the chances are; it will attract a pool of customers but can hardly sustain them if the product is not up to the standard they expected. This leads us to one needful thing every company should consider before branding – Product Quality.
Quality is an irresistible attribute recognised all over the world. It knows no limit and would literally cast a spell on customers, making them flood the producer’s space just to get a product. In most countries, especially the developed ones, products are measured based on their level of quality – the higher the quality the more recognition it gets.
Product quality is a product’s ability to adequately meet the needs of users and its durability and usefulness over time. It is an essential attribute of a brand that should never be overlooked as it could serve as a guarantee for business sustainability. In the long run, product quality is a marker that determines purchasing decisions and profitability.
Quality products are unbeatable commodities in the market that most people would pay any amount to buy. A shabby product can hardly compete with a well-crafted and detailed brand. They are naturally distinguished from the crowded market like stars in a dark sky. A quality brand also builds customer’s trust and commands constant patronage.
For entrepreneurs seeking to pull the crowd to their camp, they need to first invest more time developing their product to meet the desirable standard. Don’t push your work out without dealing with the essentials. In other words, don’t brand emptiness or a substandard product.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you wish to build your product from inside out? We’ve got you covered. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do Business Better!
As the spirit of enterprise keeps gaining momentum across Nigeria and Africa, I want to encourage startup founders and small business owners, to feel the pulse of their target market and ensure their ideas match the needs. As an entrepreneur, you might need to go back to the drawing table to reexamine what you are proposing to your prospective customers.
Do not just run with an idea that inspired you from New York, London, China or Toronto, translate the idea to have practical touch points with your target customers in your own primary market. Often times there is a tendency for entrepreneurs to be carried away with several sparks of foreign ideas, alien from their immediate environment. At the long run, their new product or service is hardly relatable and does not match the needs of clients.
If researches are too expensive for you, just pay closer attention to the lifestyle and behavioral patterns of people in your surroundings, engage in conversations and most importantly listen more. Also, study the ventures that are doing well and gain some market insights.
Have you observed how mobile phone retailers operate? Have you ever noticed the Supermarket and Fast Food Restaurant Chains? You should pay closer attention to them. Try to do a recollection of the strength of strong brands; remember Facebook thrives on the need for humans to connect, AirBnB thrives on accommodation (housing), Uber on physical cars, and so on. What is the point? Understand your local markets; housing, transportation/ticketing, health, finance, labour, fashion, education, etc. and plug your idea accordingly.
Making money is about the market, not what tickles your fancy. It should be registered in your mind that the essence of being in business is to satisfy the needs of longing customers who are always in search of a solution to their many problems. With this mindset, you will be meeting the demands of the market.
Before you think of going WIDE, first go DEEP. Test the waters, I believe that’s why the tech enthusiasts have what they call ‘beta’. Ensure you test your assumptions before you take the plunge. Carryout a proper market research, analyze and think through your innovation before it goes public. Whether it is a new idea or revamped one, tailor it to fit your target clientele.
Every entrepreneur has what it takes to churn out quality success stories, so remain encouraged in your pursuit. Finally, I leave this here;
“Innovation does not start with ideas but with customer insights” – Els Grabt
Written by Maple Dappa
Do you need help in drawing a market plan? We can help! Send us an email at email@example.com
Do Business Better!