What Is Customer Engagement and How Does it Help?

It is now known that customer engagement is a hugely important element in the success of a business. This is why companies like Webio, who enable businesses to capture and increase customer engagement, are now so popular. Customer engagement is something that is seen across three distinctive elements of business, and it is important to understand that, so that you can appropriately measure how successful you are being. Let’s take a look at the three areas of customer engagement, as well as at some ways to measure this.

Advertising

According to the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) engagement is best described as getting a prospect interested in a new idea by introducing them to the context. In other words, it describes how various viewers, readers, or other customers interact with a newly presented advertisement. There are different schools of thought about this. The old fashioned idea was a stepped approach:

  1. Catch the attention of the customer.
  2. Stimulate the desire interest of the customer.
  3. Drive the customer to make a purchase.

Today, however, things have changed. Now, the focus is on combining the message of the advertisement with symbols, associations, and metaphors.

Within advertising, a customer is considered to be engaged when they interact with the specific advertisement. This means they have purchased the product, decided to purchase the product, or recommended the product to others.

Website Analytics

Customer engagement is also very important in website analytics. This is one of the newest forms of customer reengagement. It describes how customers interact with the website of a brand. The goal of websites is to attract traffic, and to turn traffic into customers (conversion). However, there are different forms of conversions within website analytics, including:

  1. Making an online sale.
  2. Gathering new email addresses for the newsletter.
  3. Encouraging people to sign up for a free trial.

There are numerous metrics used to define engagement. A popular one is to calculate how long someone stays on the website, but also how many pages are viewed on average per visitor, or how many comments an individual makes on social media platforms.

Marketing

Finally, there is customer engagement in marketing. This describes the level of engagement with a specific brand. Very often, marketing customer engagement speaks of things like customer loyalty, and customer satisfaction. This is because the focus is strongly on how attached an individual is on the long term to a certain company. The result of high engagement is usually seen in an increase in customer advocacy and word of mouth advertisement and referrals. A lot of companies focus strongly on changing their customer engagement strategy with a focus on marketing. This is because a lot of research has demonstrated that there is a direct link between marketing customer engagement and elements such as share of wallet, ROI, stock price, and profit levels.

In an idea world, customer engagement is about all three things. Being aware of this makes it more likely that you will also be able to truly increase the number of customers who feel engaged with your brand.

Continue Reading

Drive Ahead with a Better Business Model

In running a business, what do you find to be some of your biggest challenges?

Probably one challenge that most if not all business owners would identify when being asked that question would be keeping customers satisfied.

568489171_1280x720

No matter what it seems company owners do, some customers will never think it is enough. As a result, the latter may move from business owner to business owner, looking for the one that will deliver each and everything they want.

With that in mind, running a business tied to transportation can prove to be quite a task.

For starters, you’re going to have to make sure that you get customers to and from where they need to go without hassles.

Secondly, given the time element is so much in play, even small delays can end up irritating any number of customers. When this occurs, they might never come back for more business.

At the end of the day, driving ahead with a better business model is doable if you put as much time and effort necessary into the process.

Transporting Success for Your Company

When it comes to a car sharing platform, if you’re in this line of work, you know how important it is to not only make being on time quite important, but also a smooth and hassle-free experience.

At the end of the day, some key areas to focus in on include managing all of your customers, the suppliers you work with, the vehicles involved in the operation, and of course your employees. You also want to make sure your technology is up to date, allowing you to identify and check drivers before they ever get behind the wheel.

If you’re in the delivery business, you also know how crucial a smooth transportation process needs to be.

For example, let’s say you deliver medicines for a pharmacy.

Unlike some other delivery services where being a day or two late wouldn’t have quite the consequences, many people (especially the young and senior citizens) depend on receiving their medications on time. If your driver/s prove to not always be reliable (not focused, get into accidents rather easily etc.) your customers can pay the price.

While there are many pharmacies and those related to the industry doing things online and via the regular mail these days, some still make deliveries to their customers.

No matter what kind of delivery service you have, make sure transportation bottlenecks do not come to define your brand.

Let Consumers Know Your Brand Works

For those businesses in transportation related industries (or any business for that matter), it is crucial that consumers know not only how your brand works, but how it can help them.

One of the best ways to get that word out in today’s digital age is of course through the Internet.

For instance, if you don’t have a website or it is lackadaisical at best, that is something you need to change moving forward (sooner better than later).

With a strong website in your hands, you have the opportunity to move your brand ahead, with the potential to leave competitors in the rearview mirror.

Speaking of that website, make sure it focuses on the following:

  • Content – Having solid content on your website is imperative. With that content, you can reach millions of consumers near and far. Most notably, make sure that content is both fresh and relevant;
  • Visuals – You also need a website that is strong on imagery, notably positive imagery;
  • Functionality – If your website has functional issues, you can’t truly expect consumers to want to come back again and again (if at all). Test your site regularly to make sure it is functioning with as few errors as possible.

If you are prepared to drive forward with a better business model, what are you waiting for?

Continue Reading

Business books that entrepreneurs should read in 2017

One of the greatest things that any entrepreneur can do for their personal and business development is to read books on a continuous basis.

If you are looking to keep learning and evolving in 2017, it is vital to choose ones that will teach you relevant skills, inspire you, and prepare you for what is coming in the near future.

In this post, we will review four books that have caught our eye for the amount of actionable information that they provide their readers.

1) Performance

Although this book was published 10 years ago, its recent listing on Amazon has allowed this under-appreciated guide to creating a performance-based organization to become better known by those in the business community.

Authored by Mark Stiffler, this book aims to provide a practical framework that owners can use to streamline their organization’s processes, thereby allowing them to replace the disjointed system that they presently have in place.

2) Tools of Titans

2016 saw the return of business and personal development author Tim Ferriss to the world of non-fiction books with his latest release, Tool of Titans.

The first of his books to eschew the 4-hour branding he had used in previous works, he has taken hundreds of hours of information from his podcasts and has condensed it into one of the best attempts at an instruction manual for life that you will ever see.

Containing wisdom from people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Seth Godin in its 674 pages, it will be a constant source of inspiration and strength for you throughout this coming year.

3) Building the Internet of Things

From cars that drive themselves to smart home systems that turn on the heat and the lights via a smartphone app, the Internet of Things is quickly becoming an integrated part of our daily lives.

While it may not be perfect, as evidenced by several massive dDOS attacks orchestrated by hackers using insecure IoT networks this past year, it is clear that this technological development is here to stay.
In his book Building The Internet of Things, author Maciej Kranz outlines the various ways that business enterprises can make use of these advances to prosper in 2017 and beyond.

It also details how the IoT threatens to disrupt various sectors of the economy, allowing managers to prepare their organizations to adapt to changes that will reorganize the economy in the near future.

4) The Power of Broke

Created by Shark Tank co-host and FUBU founder Daymond John, The Power of Broke argues that having little cash and a lack of access to other resources has the effect of unlocking mental assets that can help propel anyone to success.

Starting with the story of how Daymond launched his brand with $40, a sewing machine, and a lot of hustle, this book examines the ways how anyone with an idea and the will to make it happen can overcome the lack of cash and other disadvantages.

The essential concept of this book is this: when your back is against the wall and you have next to no cash, your only choice is to succeed or perish.

Continue Reading

Top Tips For Business Travelers

If your job or your business calls for you to spend a lot of time on the road then it is important that you stay fully prepared to make your life as easy as possible whilst you are traveling. You are likely to be spending large amounts of time alone, taking many flights or trains and you will need to stay organized and at your best during your travels. We’ve put together a list of tips and tricks that you can employ during your time on the road to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible and that you will be fully effective during your business dealings.

Bought a travel wallet :(

Keeping Your Itinerary up to Date

Even if you have a secretary organizing things for you, it is still important that you stay on top of your itinerary in order to avoid missing meetings or flights. Another reason for this is that if you are traveling through different time zones, you need to ensure that you are managing your sleeping pattern in accordance with it so that you avoid unnecessary tiredness. There are some great apps on the market that you can download to your smartphone to ensure that you are on top of your plans.

Staying in Touch Back Home

Staying in touch with family or friends can be particularly difficult if you are traveling a lot and you should take advantage of the many ways in which you can stay in touch with loved ones back home. Many services like Skype and Facebook offer video, audio calling options as well as instant messaging services, this will allow you to easily stay in touch providing you have an internet connection. It has never been cheaper to make calls abroad and you can often call direct from your cell to your family for just a little extra money than a normal call back home. Should you run out of credit abroad, your family can easily top you up again with www.recharge.com, a great service that will ensure you never run out of credit.

Filling in the Time

If you have a lot of time to fill in whilst you are in the hotel and want to avoid spending too much money then try to utilize the hotel’s gym and spa facilities if they have them. Prior to your trip you should also try to download any films or games to your computer or tablet to keep you occupied during the quiet times. It can be easy to simply hit a bar or a restaurant but if you want to stay at your best then you should use the downtime that you have to relax and prepare yourself for that upcoming meeting or presentation.

Flying Through Airports

If you are traveling for just a short amount of time then ditch the suitcase and just take a carry-on, you’d be surprised at the size of bag which you are now allowed in the plane and you can fit at least 3 or 4 days worth of clothing in your carry-on. This will cut down your waiting time and check-in time at the airport and allow you to breeze through the airport once you leave the plane.

Continue Reading

Why Your Start Up Needs a Financial Advisor

advisor
Photo by CC user Christophe Benoit on Flickr.
Photo by CC user Christophe Benoit on Flickr.

Starting your own business is an exciting time and one that will test your mettle, your knowledge and ultimately your acumen. Whilst there are many avenues of success that you can find yourself walking down with your business, the roads to success are often fraught with dangers where a series of bad decisions could see it all fall down.

The financial management of your company is key, this is where the staggering numbers of start ups that fail often find difficulties. Naturally your business will need to bring in money through the popularity of your products and services but without sound financial dealings, you could find yourself in difficulty regardless of how high your sales are. Hiring a financial advisor for your firm is a smart move to make for the security of your business and here’s just a few reasons why your start up needs one.

Investment in Your Future

Whilst hiring a great financial advisor, people like the effective Keith W Springer, will set you back some money, it is important that you look to this as an investment rather than a cost. A financial advisor can help you make financial mistakes that could cost you money in the long run and their advice will essentially pay for itself over time. Deciding what part of the business to outsource can be tough but a financial advisor is one area that should not even be questioned.

Free Up Your Time

Even if you yourself are financially savvy, your time is better spent on working out how the business can operate better, how you can achieve growth and ironing out creases that exist. If you are bogged down in the financial side of things then this inhibits you when it comes to doing what you should be doing, which is leading your company. A financial advisor will give you more time in your business, the value of time to spend on your business is immeasurable.

Staying up to Date

The world of finance, taxation and government legislation is always changing and as a business it is vital that you keep on top of what you are required to do from a legal standpoint. A financial advisor is paid to stay on top of such changes and offer you advice in order to adhere to them. For you to spend time keeping up to date on such things will only take you away from the day to day running of the business.

An Extra Pair of Ears

When it comes to making key decisions for your business it is important that you bounce the idea off many people to gain various perspectives. Having a financial advisor gives you the opportunity to seek advice from a financial standpoint and from somebody with no vested interest. Generally speaking, financial advisors are those who deal in figures alone, they weigh up risk through calculations and can offer advice without any emotional bias, the perfect way to help you make your decision.

Continue Reading

The Tools Idea Management Software Can Provide You With

software

Idea management software is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. This is because they allow businesses to be systematic about how they innovate. Today, almost everything is in the cloud, and this means that businesses also have the opportunity to look further afield for their idea management tools, being able to find something that meets not just their particular needs, but also their budget.

What Is Idea Management Software?

Idea management software is best described as a turn key system, which is often provided on the cloud. Its goal is to make sure that you easily and quickly create a process of innovation that helps to improve your organizations. To do this, all these software packages usually have a number of key features, which includes:

  • The ability to create a web portal under your brand, where you can manage ideas through.
  • The ability to determine who can have access to which parts of the portal. Certain areas may be public, for instance, whereas others may be restricted.
  • Enabling people to submit ideas into the system.
  • Ensuring different ideas can get grouped into relevant categories.
  • Allowing people to view, comment, and vote on submitted ideas.
  • Enabling participants to work together, so that they can improve submitted ideas.
  • Finding out which ideas are the most popular.
  • Evaluating the various ideas using predetermined criteria that are relevant to you.
  • Selecting ideas that may need testing, or even implementing.
  • The ability to ensure users know what has happened to their idea.
  • The ability to provide rewards to various participants, which usually is some sort of virtual reward.

Who Uses Idea Management Software?

The amount of organizations that use this type of software is almost countless. However, two of the most famous are Dell IdeaStorm, by Dell, and My Starbucks Ideas, by Starbucks. Both of these platforms are targeted specifically at consumers. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. For instance, other businesses use portals and platforms to speak to employees within their organization, to increase B2B customer involvement, to speak with suppliers and other stakeholders, and so on. Either way, the software is there to create a systematic way to innovate within an organization, making the chance of the ideas becoming successful much larger as well.

Because idea management and innovation is now so popular, there are countless organizations that have created software tools. You do, therefore, have to make sure that you properly compare the market in order to make sure that you find one that fits your specific needs. As such, your very first innovative project should be one that determines what the needs of your organization actually are: what do you want to innovate, where do you want to innovate, why do you want to innovate, how do you want to innovate, and when do you want to innovate? Another important question is just how much you are happy to pay for the system as well, although the most important thing is that you get good value for money.

Continue Reading

Make It Your Business to Know the Political World

political-worldIn today’s world, having even a little bit of interest in the political world can do wonders for you.

Yes, you likely are worn out after the recent Presidential election, but you also probably have a better handle on what is going on now and what might take place down the road for the U.S. That said if you are a business leader of any size nationwide, you would be best-served having some interest in where things in this nation are headed politically.

For business owners, what happens at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and elsewhere around the country (in some cases the world), can have a lasting impact on your brand.

So, will 2017 see you make it your business to know more about what is going on in the political world?

Turning to the Experts

In the event you are a business owner that can best be described as not too savvy when it comes to politics, there are experts out there to help.

For instance, having a political expert speak to you and your team about how politics and business are so often intertwined is certainly an idea worth pursuing.

Keep in mind that there is a large field of experts with which to pull from, including the likes of Ana Navarro.

If you choose someone such as her, you will get an individual with years of experience in the political world.

That experience as a Republican strategist has helped her find countless TV opportunities and speaking engagements nationwide. Those engagements could be just what you are looking for heading into the New Year. Having her or others with such experience speak to your employees can run the gamut of topics.

Among them:

  • Business and politics relationship – It should not come as a big surprise that many business owners across the country have a vested interest in both national and local elections. On the national front, the overall health of the economy can go a long way in determining how successful (or not) many businesses (including your own) will be. Getting a guest speaker willing to discuss that correlation can be beneficial to you and your team, especially heading into the New Year. Knowing what your business may need to differently (or keep the same) can prove quite helpful in turning an even bigger profit;
  • Managing your business reputation – Who better would understand the importance of one’s reputation than a politician or one speaking about them regularly? Politicians know (at least they should) how even the slightest doubts about their personal reputations can prove downright damaging, especially in today’s world of 24/7 social media. That said your company doesn’t want to get the wrong reputation either, especially when you are talking about major business and dollars being at stake. By having a political expert come and talk with you and your team, you can hear about the importance of not only initial customer service, but also following up with customers. Simply put, today’s customers just want some of your time, something that can be a direct correlation to what most voters want from their politicians.

Finding the Best

In your efforts to locate the best public speakers to work with you and your team, go online to begin your search.

By doing a simple Google search of the kind of individual/s you’d like to have speaking to your group, you will set things in motion.

Ask yourself what is most important in finding the right speaker or speakers.

Among some of the traits:

  • Experience – How many years do they have in their respective field?
  • Humor – As important as experience is (and it certainly does matter), bringing a little humor to the table is key too. You could have the most experienced individual (in their respective field) show up, yet your team tunes them out within no time. Having the ability to lighten up some oftentimes serious subjects can make a big difference.
  • Connection – Last but not least, you want someone that with an ability to connect with your team. That connection may vary from individual to individual, but finding it should always be a top priority. In doing so, you and your team will walk away from the discussion to some degree better able to improve how you run your company.

If hiring a public speaker or two is on your agenda for 2017, why not turn to someone with experience in both business and politics?

If you do, you may very well ultimately get the vote of your customers.

Continue Reading

What Makes Anura Leslie Perera Tick

Different people have different reasons and motivation to explain and justify the things they do. The same can be said about successful businessman Anura Perera Raycom. The man is not happy to simply just sit on his laurels now that he has achieved so much professional success. Indeed, his situation makes him even more motivated to have a happy, healthy, balanced life which includes helping those people who are less unfortunate than him.

The Many Professional Successes of Anura Leslie Perera

Anura Leslie Perera was born in Colombo, the capital city of the tropical island Sri Lanka. He first tried his hand on business by moving across the world to as far away as Africa. In Zambia, he dabbled in engineering and sales for Caterpillar Inc., the heavy equipment manufacturer before switching to aerospace engineering. He is now the chairman of Raycom Aerospace Pte Ltd., a Singaporean aerospace manufacturer. Additionally, Anura Leslie Perera also does training workshops and seminars on business development for the Raycom Aerospace in the Middle East and various other locations. Recently, he facilitated the signing of an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Raycom Aerospace and the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) to improve the infrastructure of the Al Ain aerospace cluster.

Anura Leslie Perera’s Humanitarian Efforts

afghan_girl_begging-19-27-58

After achieving so much success in his professional life, Anura Leslie Perera is now regularly doing charity work to help those in need. Through the George Phylnormel Foundation, he was able to raise enough money to fund the construction of the Nairobi Buddhist Temple and dedicated it to the memory of Mr. George and Mrs. Normal Perera. The Theravada Buddhist temple busies itself with helping victims of natural disasters like the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal, the Philippine typhoon and the Asian tsunami. The Nairobi Buddhist Temple also supports the survivors of the Sri Lankan civil war rebuild their lives and offers dharma and meditation classes to people of all faiths. Every time there is a need anywhere in the world, the Nairobi Buddhist Temple would seek to offer help to the best of their ability.

Anura Leslie Perera’s Life and Leisure Philosophy

Aware of the benefits of living a more mindful life, Anura Leslie Perera follows the pH diet, which strives to incorporate more alkaline food in eating like leafy green vegetables, grains and fatty fish while limiting the consumption of more acidic food like red meat and other meat products. The diet also encourages adherents to chew their food slowly and thoroughly, not only for increasing mindfulness but also to ensure that proper digestion is achieved. Anura Leslie Perera was able to control his diabetes by using this food philosophy. In his free time, Anura Leslie Perera engages in his two favorite activities, which are reading and cricket. He also regularly appears in radio and television programs in order to spread his wisdom and knowledge that he has been accumulating through the years. Moreover, he continually calls for more corporations to engage in corporate philanthropy.

Continue Reading

6 tips for creating the most compelling signage a retail store can have

Looking for tips for creating the most compelling signage a retail store can have? We got 'em.
Photo by CC user Ray Moore on Flickr

Want to pull in new customers off the sidewalk by the dozens? By creating a compelling pitch on a visually attractive sign, you can do just that.

When you are looking for signage design Perth that can help you accomplish this goal, you may be tempted to rush off to a sign creator like Kingman Visual with your order based on a few hunches you might have.

However, we recommend that you keep the following pointers in mind if you want to get killer results for your business.

1) Make sure it can be seen by your customers

This one may seem obvious, but you would be shocked by the number of amateurish signs that you’ll see at the average intersection.

Built far too small for anyone lacking superhuman vision, the message of the entrepreneur goes unnoticed, despite the capital and time put into their creation.

When you create signage for your business, keep your target audience in mind. If your goal is to be seen by pedestrians walking down the sidewalk, the size of the letters won’t need to be as large as they would if you want motorists to read your message, as they are in motion and are further away from your sign.

For example, if you want your message read clearly from 100 feet away, your letters should be at least 10 inches tall.

2) Don’t make it too busy

Concise messaging is another key component for shop owners looking to create compelling signage for their business.

Often, there is a compulsion to stuff a sign with as much information as possible. This is the wrong approach, as your pitch can get lost in an ocean of unnecessary detail. Most people are busy rushing off to somewhere else, so keeping it simple is of paramount importance.

Also, don’t forget to leave plenty of whitespace: experts recommend that as much as 40% of the sign should be left blank to create added focus on the message you are trying to get across.

3) Use appropriate font faces and colors

The colors and the type face you employ can induce a variety of emotions in your prospects, so choose wisely when you are laying out your sign.

For example, yellow is synonymous with friendliness and optimism, black is associated with seriousness and authority, Times New Roman gives the reader a feeling of tradition, while Helvetica grants a feeling of stability and reliability.

Use these design features to create the emotions you want to evoke, while avoiding ones that conflict with your intended message.

4) Add relevant images

To add even greater impact to your signage, consider adding images that are congruent with the message you are trying to get across.

For instance, if you are starting a chicken noodle soup street cart, having some imagery depicting noodles, a soup bowl, and/or a chicken will make it crystal clear in the minds of passersby what you have to offer.

5) Make sure the font and background color contrast well with each other

Some colors play better than others. Black on white, which is the scheme used in this blog and many others, is among the most popular.

Black on yellow is the one with the best contrast overall, which explains why caution signs on roadways in North America are colored the way they are.

On the other hand, combinations such as green on red and red on yellow are as appealing as nails scratching on a chalkboard. Avoid these and similar color combos at all costs.

6) Write killer copy

Get your message across in two short sentences … minimum. What pain does the customer have, and what is your solution?

Example: “Cold day? Warm your insides with our dark chocolate cocoa … on now for $0.99 a cup!” Bait the hook, and reel them in!

Continue Reading

Why Should We Care About High Oil Prices?

Why Should We Care About High Oil Prices?
Photo by CC user skeeze on Pixabay.

As any expert in the oil gas industry like Cody Winters can explain, there are many reasons why consumers should care about the price of oil. Even if you ride your bike everywhere and heat your home with solar panels, you are affected by the price of oil, even if you are not aware of it. Here are some of the main ways that high oil prices affect us all.

Oil Prices Impact Us Directly

This is basically a reference to the shock that we get at the pump when we fill up. For many of us, eliminating our use of cars for transportation is not an option – we can try to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels by carpooling, using public transit, planning trips more efficiently, and eventually perhaps shifting to an electric car. However, for most of us there is a limit to far we can reduce the use of our cars and for that reason, after a certain point we cannot escape the immediate effect on our wallets every time we fill up.

Oil Prices Impact Us Indirectly

The same pinch that we feel at the pump is shared by every producer in every industry. The costs of moving finished products to the consumer and the price of moving inputs to the production site, whether by air, sea or road, will be passed onto consumers in the form of higher prices.

Economic Growth Suffers

With high costs of oil, there are spill-overs into economy as a whole. Larger portions of consumers’ budgets are taken up by increased prices on goods, and increased direct costs of transportation and heating. This leaves a smaller portion of disposable income available for discretionary spending. As consumer spending goes down, businesses begin to struggle. Larger production costs mean that to a point businesses will need to raise prices for consumers to break even. However, if consumers have reduced resources as well, it is not long before spending grinds to a halt.

Innovation Suffers

On one level, high prices for oil can spur investment in new technologies or more efficient processes to compensation for the increased cost of oil. However, in the short to medium term, the research and development budgets of companies will be eaten up by increased costs of doing business, leaving less for innovation.

Government Finances Take a Huge Hit

Although prices of a whole range of goods increases, there is downward pressure on wages as businesses begin to feel the pinch of reduced spending. This vicious cycle hits government directly in the form of demands for increased social spending in the form of subsidies and unemployment assistance. At the same, the government’s largest sources of income – direct taxes (in the form of personal and corporate income taxes) and indirect taxes (in the form of taxes on the sale of goods and services) – begins to decline.

Of course, the story is not all about doom and gloom. High oil prices can also attract heavy investment which might not be attractive at lower prices, and this in turn can fuel both innovation and energy security in the long run.

Continue Reading