Recently our Managing Director, Alita Harvey-Rodriguez, sat down with the phenomenal Jenn Donovan from the Small Business Made Simple Podcast to chat all things marketing, customer experience and the future of sustainable business.
Jenn’s podcast is for small business owners who want to reach their goals, need greater accountability and are on the hunt for bite-size marketing tips and tricks. Right up our alley 😉
Alita had a great convo with Jenn full of practical and actionable tidbits. Click the button below to listen or keep scrolling for my summary.
What small businesses can learn from enterprise marketing
Voice search and the future of SEO
Customer journeys and marketing strategy
The importance of customer reviews
What Can Small Businesses Learn from Enterprise Marketing?
There’s quite the misconception out there that ‘big businesses’ have got their sh*t together. We’ll let you in on a little secret…they don’t!
If there’s one thing a small business can learn from those at the enterprise level, it’s this: the bigger the business, the bigger the problems. Also known as…
Mo’ money, mo’ problems.
Although it’s great to learn from others, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and you can’t always apply someone else’s experience to your context.
Best practice is great as it gives us a guideline to follow. But what I always say is someone else’s best practice is not YOUR best practice!
You need to find your own. You need to take what you did yesterday and learn from it moving forward.
Alita Harvey-Rodriguez, Managing Director @ MI Academy
Yes, enterprise businesses have the resources to experiment, but there’s far more at stake for them. Plus, bureaucracy gives them far more hoops to jump through on the path to innovation.
We work with many businesses at the enterprise level and the greatest challenges they face are speed and agility. They spend a lot of time in reactivity mode, paralysed by the sheer amount of things they need to be doing, all the while keeping up with the rat race.
Businesses of any size need to understand that reactive marketing has to stop… now if not sooner! Scalable strategic growth programs automated along the customer journey is what will really propel innovation.
Reactivity leads to burn out and burn out will impact your business at every level from staff happiness to your profit margins. So how do you stop being reactive? You gain the capabilities in-house to drive sustainable, growth-focused strategies.
From here, you will need to transform your SEO approach to focus on long-tail keywords that contain natural language and vocal phrasing.
Secondly, you need to be really lazor-focussed on your brand recognition. Do you rank first on your branded keywords? Where do you sit in terms of your competitors? Get voice search ready!
Customer Journeys and Marketing Strategy
As I’ve said in another blog, far too many businesses are only focussed on their honey pot. So much so that they get tunnel vision and fail to consider the customer journey in its entirety.
At MI Academy, we teach the ANCR model (read a little more about that here). We use this model—acquire, nurture, convert, retain—to break down strategies across the customer touchpoints.
Did you know… itcosts 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one?
Alita Harvey-Rodriguez, Managing Director @ MI Academy
Alita really drives home the importance of constantly engaging with your customers at every point in their journey to build loyal, long-lasting relationships that will hopefully lead to them recommending friends and family to your brand.
Asking for, responding to, and acting upon customer reviews is a HUGE part of that. Which brings me to my next point.
The Importance of Customer Reviews
How do you get customer feedback? Simple! Just ask.
Alita recommends that brands run at least one survey a year, including a Net Promoter Score (NPS) question to benchmark yourself in the future.
Asking your customers a question like ‘How likely are you to recommend us on a scale from 0 to 10?’ and following that up with ‘Why have you given that score?’ will give you a wealth of feedback to act on.
Today’s businesses need to pay close attention to the customers who are ranking them 0-6 on the NPS scale as they are your greatest business opportunity. The teams from both VinoModo and Adore Beauty say that their best feedback comes from their worst reviews—this is where the true opportunity lies!
So how do you respond?
Thank people when they leave bad reviews, tell them you’re taking their advice on board, and ask for more in-depth feedback.
Create a process for improvement; the customer isn’t always right but there’s a lot you can learn from commonly raised concerns.
Don’t take it personally and DO NOT ignore your reviews. Respond as frequently and sincerely as possible.
If you want to improve your star rating, focus on one channel specifically and proactively seek reviews from your existing customers. You can then replicate this process across your other channels.
Suggest taking it offline. Be vulnerable, let them know something has gone wrong and fix it. You don’t need to bend over backwards, but it’s important to genuinely empathise.
And that about brings us to the end. If you want to listen to the full podcast, you can do so here.
We’d like to thank Jenn for taking the time to have Alita on the podcast and if you like what you’re hearing, make sure you give her a 5-star review! A lot of hard work goes into developing her thoroughly engaging, educational podcast.
And finally, I will leave you with Alita’s key takeaways from the interview.
The Future of Marketing—Key Takeaways
1. Focus on bite-sized projects. Rome wasn’t built in a day… now I think of it, neither was any successful business I know of. If the challenge of transforming your businesses and reducing your reliance on reactive marketing overwhelms you—I’d really suggest you read our blog on slowing down to speed up.
2. Done is better than perfect. Focus on the first email in your welcome series, launch the homepage of your website, go LIVE on Instagram. Don’t wait until you’ve got a bulletproof strategy in place. Put things out into the world, test them, learn from your mistakes or scale. Perfect is totally overrated anyway.
3. Don’t take reviews personally. You’ve got a lot to learn from your customer reviews. Consider them, dig deeper and use them to drive a truly customer-focused strategy.
4. No more tech for tech’s sake! Alita only touched on this right at the end, but it’s an important one. You don’t need the laster CRM or POS system to be successful. Take a look at the technology your business has now, analyse whether you could be using it more effectively, and make better, more scalable decisions. Your team needs to come before tech. Give them the capabilities they need and tech will complement their efforts. But never try and bandage your problems with technology!!
Alita Harvey-Rodriguez is known as one of Australia's leading digital marketing futurists and the brains behind Milk It Academy – A research-based training firm to advance marketers skills into new school digital leaders and company innovators. For over a decade Alita has worked with global brands including SAP, Experian, SEMrush, TS14+, Estee Lauder, Myer, Power Retail, & Online Retailer.