12 Nov Make it your business to know your business
A couple of weeks ago I tweeted at a company to clarify something about their product offering. The super-fast nature of Twitter, paired with the fact that the question was regarding one of their core value propositions, led me to assume that I’d have an answer in no time. A day went by and I tweeted at them again to follow up. When I finally did get a reply, I was told that they had to confirm the requested details with their UK team and would let me know as soon as they had feedback.
Huh? The question I was asking was not complicated, tricky, or one of those “Why would they even want to know that?” questions. It was the equivalent of asking Nine West if they stock leather and synthetic shoes. It was something they should’ve been able to answer without thinking twice.
As obvious as it seems, without a clear understanding and vision of your business’s offering, key differentiator/s, desired messaging, target market and business objectives, your brand ship is being steered blindly, merely hoping to hit the shores of Success Island.
A business is an ever-changing thing. Its needs and values need to be evaluated every so often to make sure that you’re still on the right track to achieving your objectives.
Most importantly, if your and your staff’s understanding of your business isn’t 100% on point, how can potential business clients or your distributors (and their respective reseller clients) have a good understanding of the business and offering? How can you know what and how to communicate to them?
When asking someone in your target market to define your company, you want what they say to be in sync with how you’ve positioned your business.
“Yip, Company X is the one that does this and offers that”
Think about a brand, a printer brand for example. Can you think of a printer brand that communicates a clear differentiator or value proposition?
Now think of Apple. Ask someone who doesn’t even own an Apple product about the brand or their offering and they’ll be able to tell you several things about the business that are guaranteed to be aligned with the brand’s desired messaging strategy – innovative, premium, ahead of the game, etc.
When we work with our clients, we believe in asking the right questions in order to achieve desired results. And when the client doesn’t have an answer to a particular question about their business, we urge them to go away, give it some thought and come back with an answer. It’s only through a unified, clear understanding of a business that a sound marketing strategy can be developed.
The key is then translating that business knowledge and strategy into a language that resonates with your target audience in order to achieve your objectives. That’s where we B2B marketers come in. While a brand may communicate one message to its consumers, its commercial target audience may require an entirely different message. While sleek, envy-inducing designs may appeal to an end-user audience, a commercial audience may be far more interested in the reliability and durability of a product. Communicating the most relevant message to your target audience will have a key impact on the success of campaigns and ultimately, your bottom line. It always comes back to your knowledge and understanding of what your business can do, offer and promise its customers.
Let’s not forget communication with your staff. A unified understanding of the business offering and objectives across all employees is paramount to unified effort towards those goals. That’s exactly why we’re passionate about internal marketing. Your staff, particularly your sales team, is your business’s army that goes out there each day, determined to claim victory over your competitors. Ensuring that they have the right armour to do so, in the form of communication tools, information and incentives, is key to their – and your – success.
So, take the time to get to know your business. Schedule a catch up with it. Re-introduce yourself and your staff to it over a – or several – cups of coffee. It can only bring you closer to each other and to achieving great things.