Whilst online tools and services may be considered a basic necessity for those that entered the business world within the last decade, an overarching reliance on digital for both marketing and client interaction has created a hole of antiquity that is easy to fall into. When it comes to the technological barrier that many companies have faced while competing with their more digitally-educated peers, the main issue appears to be a lack of definitive starting points.
So, where do you begin?
Luckily, while the overabundance of possibilities that digital services provide can be daunting to the unfamiliar, it also means that you have a wealth of choices when designing your personal strategies.
It may be a less familiar name to those outside of eCommerce, but web scraping services offer countless advantages for those that decide to use them. Web scraping (or data scraping) is the process of using software to crawl through a specified selection of websites, drawing out all the information from each page and converting it into a simple, easy to understand format.
What benefits does this have for me?
This allows you insights into the analytics and search trends from competitor’s websites, giving you a direct view of what your potential customer base want out of a service like yours. This is a process that can be taken on alone with a designated web scraping software, however, it is an intensely time consuming task that can take between hours and days per website.
Luckily, for those that prefer to spend their free time a little more freely, there are services that will happily run your web scraping project independently. This not only frees up your evenings, it gives you the opportunity to set up recurring reports, ensuring that you are always on the cutting edge of trends in your field.
Social Media Integration
Quite a lot has been said for and against social as a marketing strategy, and many of the criticisms it receives are not entirely unjust. With that said, while its capabilities as a marketing tool may be slightly exaggerated, using social media to interact with your pre-existing clientele is a fantastic way to maintain brand recognition and relationships with consumers.
This is achieved by producing engaging and relevant content, and ensuring that it is suited to your audience and platform. Twitter may be excellent for quick quotes and short bursts of information, but a page of prose is unlikely to get much traction on this intentionally brief medium.
For this to be a viable addition to your marketing strategy, you also need to ensure that you are diligent with your offerings. People may be drawn to an active feed, but will quickly lose interest if a page falls dormant. This means that, no matter how impressive your Twitter or Instagram, it’s very easy to fall behind.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
This is very much an umbrella term, but it’s one of the more prominent areas of customer feedback and marketing intelligence in the digital landscape. In short, CRM is a variety of software that allows you to monitor and manage your client interactions in a way that can be used to change and update your strategies to meet their needs. They also allow you to automate certain areas of your support and marketing services, which is especially helpful for companies that simply don’t have to resources to take it on themselves.
This can include:
Automated Emails to leads and potential recurring customers
Phone and email monitoring/recording to improve marketing strategies
Geographical location, allowing you to more accurately target specific markets of interest
Many, many more useful boons to your brand or business
While this may only be a small insight into the services that software-based services can provide, hopefully it allows you a simple way to dip your toes into the benefits of digital. It may be difficult to update your company for the modern age, but for those that are willing to put in the effort, a blend of modern technology and seasoned wisdom is a very formidable force in the world of business.