There is a deluge of information at the fingertips of anyone with a computer, mobile device, television set, or radio. There’s so much noise in fact, that it’s hard to hear anything significant at all as a mind-numbing flood of marketing material is pumped into the homes of nearly everyone in the country. In such a sea of advertising then, how does a business with a real service to offer or a much-needed product reach its target market? It’s all too easy for your sincere marketing efforts to get lost in all the noise.
The key to effective marketing is to strive to become a business that revolves around communication, a company that values listening to its customers and responding to their needs in their marketing efforts. To become a good communicator, listening clearly is far more important than speaking, and the same applies in the business world. The two pieces of information you need to know before diving headfirst into a potentially expensive marketing campaign are first, what specifically your customer needs and second, what precisely you can actually provide. Marketing project management software can help focus your efforts.
The first thing to learn actually sounds rather simple: what does your customer want? Unfortunately, while you’d think this would be as simple as just asking your client base what they need, many times what they say they need and what they actually need are two separate things entirely. It’s the job of your account managers and marketing team to sort out the noise and diagnose what areas your business should focus on with each particular customer or market segment. While this is no easy task, with a focus on listening over talking, your communication will be far stronger when you are finally prepared to reach out to new customers.
The second part is discerning exactly what you can provide. While the first step is usually the job of account managers and marketers, the second part will fall to the project management and estimating teams. No matter what project management software you’re using, you’ll need to be sure you can adequately meet the lofty goals and promises that the marketing team proposes. MS Project and other locally based systems can provide a good baseline estimate for any given project, but for more accurate and accessible results you may consider dropping Microsoft Project for modern collaboration software. Basecamp and Workzone are examples of these kinds of programs, which include features such as online document management, 24/7 accessibility, and maintenance-free service contracts.
Whether or not you upgrade to the latest and greatest in project management, make clear and relevant communication a priority for your business. Don’t just listen; hear the spoken and unspoken needs of your potential customers. And most of all, be sure you know what you can provide before you make unattainable promises and miss out on lucrative business deals.