Prescription Without Diagnosis: (Ugly) Side Effects Are Going To Happen

In a world at a breakneck pace and of mediocre marketing, it
is more important than ever to know what you’re doing if you hope to attract,
let alone keep, consumers’ attention. 
Add to that the entire market essentially being mobile and you might not
be prepared at all to address your opportunities appropriately.

 

As things become more convoluted and confusing (add
consolidated at the vendor level) in digital, there are just as many opportunities
as there were five years ago, if not more. Trust us. The greatest areas of
change are (1) more businesses being online, (2) more solutions being provided
by manufacturers and turnkey providers, (3) software and automation becoming
more rampant and (4) the public having more access via mobile at breathtaking
speeds (read: they typically do not consume traditional advertising when
mobile).

 

What hasn’t changed much are the count of progressive
businesses, those willing to try new methods and technologies, applying
consumer feedback to businesses’ modeling and execution (especially customer
service) and the way businesses buy. Research, contrary to much perception,
really isn’t part of what executives and leaders facilitate or understand. When
is the last time you had a non-vendor evaluate your business’ performance, if
ever?

 

One thing that is creating massive side effects in digital
marketing is the silo-type approach to vendorship. At the beginning of the year
one of the Big Six manufacturers forced their franchises to choose between
three vendors in regard to “management” of their online reputation. This
created a real wrinkle for the retailers that (1) didn’t want to use the
companies for any/other services, (2) understood that the vendors, outside of using
existing automated software, struggle with actually properly setting up,
maintaining and responding to the reviews and (3) understood quickly that, many
times, just as many issues are created as are handled. Now consider this: What
are the benchmarks? What processes have been installed? When does the
reputation management process start?

 

Add to that you absolutely, positively will not succeed in
the online reputation management space without complete buy-in at every
franchise plus it must be supported throughout every organization, entirely top
to bottom.

 

From websites to search engine optimization, from mobile
websites to applications, from search engine marketing to text and live chat,
from customer relation management to integrated marketing, you can’t make a
decision without facts, capabilities, assessment, communication and absolutely,
positively a third party opinion.  Why
would a business make a decision today, with the potential to inflict damage on
their multi-million dollar operation(s) and the future of hundreds of people,
based on what another dealer is doing 800-1,800 miles away or what a vendor
says when they’ll ask a second, third or even fourth opinion on a treatment or
drug?

Are you aware of the side affect of taking the wrong or multiple drugs? Yeah,
you’ve heard the advertisements for sinus medication that basically tells you
that you can die from taking their product if you simple breathe or walk after
ingesting it.

 

So here it goes: buying a potential vendor’s product
(especially if you’re dead set on switching after being “disappointed” with
your present one based on doing no more investigation then compared to now) may
cause loss of customers, lower service penetration rates, bleeding inventory,
loss of margin, decreased customer satisfaction, painful penalties from
headquarters, general business seepage, night sweats for the rest of your life,
or death.

 

Go ahead, make decisions without paying attention to the
side effects. It will either require hospitalization (aka another vendor change
and admonishment toward your 20 Group partners), resuscitation (aka realization
that no, they can’t do that, or it’ll be no better) or dizziness (aka having to
actually ask someone who knows better that’s NOT on the hook of vendors).

 

Disclaimer: No doctors were harmed in the making of this
blog post

 

Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

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