Firstly, apologies for the title. I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for while and thought I might as well be blunt.
Over the years I have had several companies approach me to transform their marketing, generate loads of business leads and basically sprinkle magic marketing fairy dust over their business. Which is fine, it’s my job and I absolutely love what I do. But it can pick up problems they were unaware of.
My first approach to any new business is to conduct a business audit or appraisal. I don’t jump in to sell services. I’m not trying to sell them a shiny new website with an intricate sales funnel ready to launch. At stage 1, I simply want to know what their business is, who their customer is and how it all works in their industry.
Once all those bases are established (and not every marketing professional will undertake that) I now need to know what people are saying. This lets me appraise how customers perceive you and the basis of the service or product. This could be called a Social Listening exercise if we want to use technical marketing language.
I can read what people say about you online, in forums, in blogs. I can see how people rate you on review platforms and I can see what people say on social media (yes, we live in Big Brother now).
Every so often, this audit screams out something that the business simply has closed its eyes to. If people are taking the time to negatively review your business – I can bet you that people are also taking the time to read it and not spend money with you because of that review.
The basis of the product or service must be robust and reliable. Give your customers value. Keep your promises, turn up and deliver when you say you will. Listen when they take to time to contact you about a problem.
I can’t change that reputation with marketing alone. It is like building a house on shaky ground. I can build it, but over time cracks will appear and eventually crumble.
So, you need to put errors right in your business. Hold your hands up when service has been below par, apologise and continue to make it better. If you are working over capacity work out a way to bring in support. Fix the problems that customers complain about. Listen.
So, this is why Marketing, I’m afraid, cannot polish a turd.
If you would like a social audit conducted for your business – get in touch. It might be enlightening and trigger your next business project.