Category Archives: Online marketing

Still want to be in business by 2020?

If you still want to be in business by 2020, you need to come up with a smart online strategy.  A strategy that is different from what most companies do (showing off how great they are).
What does that mean? In the first place you have to ban company-centric thinking and make sure the content of your site is relevant to your audience. To be successful, whatever you do is “all about the customer, and not about you”.

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The 24/7 worldwide experience

Become an expert in managing the expectations of your online audience

In order to establish and manage an effective 24/7 worldwide presence online, you have to see your website as a means, not as an end. A successful website connects with its visitors, contains what really matters to its stakeholders, contributes to the conversation, and offers great content.

Translating business objectives into online goals

In this workshop, we guide you through the process of setting the right goals for your website. Those goals can range from raising brand awareness, attracting new visitors, increasing sales, facilitating the start-up of new business segments, establishing thought leadership, co-creating with customers, up to becoming an interesting content platform. Or a combination of those.

Your website is still too much about you?

If your website doesn’t rock, you can be pretty sure it is because it is too much about YOU. That is why we focus on making websites to become part of a larger integrated experience. On average, web visitors are highly experienced people, for the very obvious reason that they already have visited an uncountable number of sites before coming to yours. Makes sense, no?
Potential customers are very alert when they search.  You’d better give them optimum content they always want to come back for.  They look for concrete market information, tips, advice, inspiration, take-aways and learnings of any kind. They expect clear calls to action and an easy way to give feedback or interact with you.  Potential customers also want to know whom you do business with today and what others say about their experiences with you.
If a lot of this is missing – in other words in case your website is still too much about how great you and your products are – they will not come back. It is as simple as that.

Content marketing

Your website‚Äôs success will mainly depend on the quality of its content.¬†Content marketing¬†is an ongoing process to attract and retain visitors with interesting information that makes them smarter.¬†It is not about pitching your products or services.¬†It is about giving your visitors exactly that relevant piece of information they are looking for and that strengthens¬†their feeling that they must choose ‚ÄúYOU‚ÄĚ.
We show you how to keep your website continuously relevant, and convert visitors into customers.

Do not fix what is not broken

In addition to all the ins and outs of turning existing websites into customer-centric websites with great content, we also focus on the latest internet do’s & don’ts, and on how you can make appropriate use of social media for your organisation, without being overwhelmed by a continuously growing maze of possibilities.

Who could benefit most?

This workshop is mainly intended for organisations that want to increase their online impact by becoming more customer-centric in everything they do online. It is for managers and executives who want to become relevantly different in the new economic reality.

More info

If you would like to receive more information on the content, the different formats (in-company training sessions, brainstorms, hands-on workshops, individual coaching, or lectures), language options or anything else you have questions about, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Social media culture: No such thing as “one size fits all”

The following¬†story may¬†sound familiar: someone from management¬†in your company insists on setting up a social media campaign, because “it is the thing to do these days” and “we cannot keep on lagging behind”. A meeting is called, and everybody¬†around¬†the¬†table agrees: “a¬†social media campaign¬†is exactly what we need!” Right. But¬†beware ! As Sun Tzu, an¬†ancient Chinese military general and philosopher, already said centuries ago:¬†‚ÄúStrategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

If you would look at similar stories in the advertising arena, marketeers would immediately say it is quite obvious there needs to be a brand fit between the message and identity of the company. This is known territory, been there, done that for ages. In essence, social media is not different. If you embark on a social media adventure with your company, you will need a brand fit too.  The first thing to do, is start from your company culture and keep that company culture in mind with whatever step you take. The conversation culture should fit into the DNA structure of your company.

Many of the larger¬†companies create social media policies these days. And that is often¬†the¬†main thing they have in common. There are companies with¬†the policy¬†to restrict the use of social media, and there others with a policy to¬†motivate the use of social media. The former indicate what one¬†should or shouldn’t do, whereas¬†the latter encourage¬†employees to use their common sense, and engage and collaborate with¬†the customers, and learn while they go.

Who’s right? It all depends on the DNA of your company.

What makes your company the company it is today?
Every company is unique by definition, but some companies are lacking awareness about what makes them unique. It is key to be aware of your unique proposition in order to reflect this in your social media strategy, and it needs to be part of your company culture as every employee is contributing in some way to your virtual company. The DNA of your company is based on a complex composition of different elements like your employees, management style, ¬†company history, location, success rate,… For example, companies leading¬†in the field of¬†“Operational Excellence” have another DNA than companies leading in “Product Leadership” or “Customer Intimacy”.
Use social media the way you are, with in mind what you really want to be, without trying to imitate companies you adore… because they may have a different strategy than yours. ¬†It will be to the benefit of the authenticity of your company. So, when you go social media, it is important to select a mode that is in line with your company DNA.

Some examples of different social media modes:

The company is all about product performance and being first. Product leadership is the way they differentiate. They often target early adopters, and word-of-mouth has been an important marketing tool, long before social media ever existed. Typically, these companies are the first to integrate social media in their media campaigns and into their products.
This audience of early adopters, is often familiar with the latest and the greatest, they are not afraid to experiment with new and immature technologies. These experiments will reflect on the brand and contribute to their product leadership perception. Often heroic brands get away with applying push strategies in social media, and their brand ambassadors keep the conversation going. Probably this approach is only acceptable for true heroic brands, with a lot of brand ambassadors.

“Operational monitoring”¬†mode¬†
In case your proposition to the customers is focussing on low price and hassle-free service, this is probably the social mode you prefer. Operational excellence is driving all decicions.¬†Companies like this are monitoring and will only start using social media from the moment their customers do. Basically, they will¬†immediately¬†implement¬†customer support via social media from the moment they are sure this will reduce the number of tickets in their call centers.¬†Their customers love them for their hassle-free service, so that’s the way they expect these companies to behave online as well. They start interacting via social media with customers, partners and prospects in case there is a mutual benefit.

These companies specialize in building tailor-made relationships and satisfying unique needs, knowing the customer is their reason for being, hence their core business. Customer intimacy is in their DNA. Social media is kind of natural to them.
This social mode is probably the closest to the way humans use social media and closest to how a lot of business is done in real life. Typically, businesses where relationships are very important, ranging from local stores owners knowing customers by name and habits, to larger B2B companies with long sales cycles.
The challenge is to be perceived as a nice person, and in general it helps to be a nice person in order to be perceived that way. It’s all about respect, being authentic, building trust, avoid self promotion and understanding your customer needs. Chances are great that all this is already nicely captured in your mission statement; now is the time to implement.

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” as said by¬†Oscar Wilde
A social media strategy starts with a reflection on your company culture, as this culture makes your company unique, and it will translate in your social presence. In case you want to change your social presence, you probably have to start changing your company culture.¬†So don’t expect anybody to tell you how to behave in the social media arena, but just be yourself. We are really convinced this is the only way to proceed, because with every new user on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,… it becomes virtually impossible to shout you are the best in class or the greatest ever if you don’t own the place. In other words, the “brand-building” days are over, today, the essence is¬†“brand-being”.