When employed in the corporate world I recall vividly going through some of the first diversity training workshops put on by the company. These were all focused around the women versus men working together topic and the relevant issues which arose from that.

As things progressed the voices of individuals from the other many dimensions of diversity started to be heard and; now it is clearly acknowledged that we need to pay attention to employees from all of the dimensions Of diversity in order to craft out effective diversity strategies which lead organizations developing and maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Workplace Diversity Classifications

So what are these dimensions Of Diversity of which we speak? Well, there are many and here are some to consider …

  • Thinking styles
  • Language
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Political perspectives
  • Experiences growing up location wise
  • Nationality
  • Job level
  • Race
  • Culture
  • Skills
  • Gender
  • Physical abilities
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Sex

These dimensions Of diversity lead to us acting in a particular fashion and carrying out our day to day work activities in our own particular style.

Each individual whilst acting within their particular style according to their view of the world have the basic needs of being appreciated and acknowledged. Their ideas of how a company should design and develop and product or service and; sell that product or service into the marketplace need to be incorporated into the decision making process. This is especially important when we bear in mind that the organization’s products and services are being sold into an ever increasing diverse marketplace.

Diversity Management Leadership

With the makeup of the typical management structures of today’s companies it is critical to have the structure and processes in place which ensure that effective career progression, recognition, acknowledgment and reward for all employees. The higher level management will need to go through relevant training and to fully embrace diversity with the lead of the human resources department.

The way this is implemented will of course differ from organization to organization but we may well see management spending time with individuals in order to understand the world from their point of view. This could take the form of one of meetings and/or social events. However I would advise a mentoring / mentee relationship which gives both parties a view into each others world.

It may be the case that a high level corporate manager comes from a middle class background, attended private schools and went straight through to a prestigious university and from there through various programs is managing as expected. And it must be said, is well equipped to do so. However, this individual may well have no real life experience of dealing with members of the community that are not like themselves so, when they are faced with dealing with individuals like this within the workplace they are left outside of their comfort zones.

In the same organization you may have some other well educated individuals from say the black and ethnic minority communities who is very talented however, the manager may not have life experience of dealing with this type of individual.

(The above is for illustration purposes only, we could use an example where the managers are strictly religious and have to deal with employees who are well capable and may be in a gay relationship this could cause the manager not to value that individual and in turn that individual’s career may not be progressed as it otherwise would have and the company ends up not running in the most efficient way)

The way this individual’s ideas, suggestions and opinions are processed due to the manager’s bias may lead to inefficient development and marketing strategies. These will all in turn lead onto the company not operating in an as efficient a manner as it otherwise would be if all of the quality ideas and suggestions were taken on board.

This illustrated some of my thought processes behind devising an effective diversity strategy in bringing together the management team, human resources and individuals from the differing dimensions of diversity in order to improve company efficiency and overall employee satisfaction as well as enhancing the company’s competitive advantage.

As I continue to apply my NLP skills as a mentor & coach I am please to be associated with the bright ideas competition as being run by Babbasa …

What is Babbasa’s Birght Ideas Competition ?

What happens after I have entered the competition?

All entries for the bright ideas competition by Babbasa will be shortlisted by representatives of Avon and Somerset police and other members of the community. If shortlisted, you will be asked to present your idea to a panel of judges on the event day and be given the opportunity of winning prize money towards developing your idea. Before the event day you will be invited to take part in two workshops

1) Ideas Shaping workshop

2) Presenting Skills workshop

If you are not shortlisted please join us for an inspirational day with the opportunity to meet and network with other potential entrepreneurs as well as hear from inspirational speakers.

With the needs, wants and desires of the customer continuing to change and evolve there is a corresponding impact on the company looking to get its message through to intended market segments. Those of you have watched some of my videos in the past or read my writings will be well aware that I form marketing campaigns and programmes around three main pillars i.e.

  • Categories
  • Channels
  • Market Segments

… of course within each pillar there are many variations to be considered but for the purposes of this article let’s focus in on the ever increasing important role that Digital Marketing has to play in promoting, branding and advertising the company.

With that said; it is important to note that I consider Digital Marketing as what it actually is and that is “another [ok it is a critically important one] channel to market [means of connecting with the customer] such as …

  • Direct Mail
  • Flyers
  • Billboards
  • Telephone
  • Phone
  • Radio

… and others in order to gain market intelligence and to educate and nurture the customer taking them through the marketing funnel each step taking the closer to become a paying client.

So back to the customer and the challenges that the company has when it is looking to continually develop and execute marketing campaigns.

First we have the larger companies that [may] have fully staffed marketing departments with marketing professionals that are able to keep up with the ever changing digital marketing landscape as well as looking at how the customer reacts to content, information, marketing and advertising so that however they end up viewing the brand of the company along with the associated products and services culminates in them favouring them over the competitors.

On the other hand we have organisations that maybe do not have a defined marketing department or, whose marketing is being taken care of as a side job or in addition to someone’s task; it may also be that the marketing’s task has been given to someone who may not be defined as a full blown marketing professional [not that someone who is not a marketing professional cannot perform the marketing task] – but the point being made is that at times we are need of falling back on disciplined marketing fundamentals in order to deal with the constant change within the [digital] marketing landscape.

When it comes to Digital Marketing we conveniently divide the activities into Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing. Within the two we have to deal with trends, content creation, video marketing, email marketing, podcasting, image / graphics marketing, blogging and more activities that have to be executed on a daily basis in order to keep up. In addition to this if a company [without a dedicated digital marketing professional] comes up against a company with a fully functioning marketing department it may be fighting  losing battle.

 

Even if your business has an established customer base, the only way to continue to grow your business is by keeping your customers interested and happy as well as generating new leads into the business, one of the way of doing this is to make use a social media and digital marketing system that connects with clients for your business. These happy customers, in turn, produce more customers by way of positive reviews and word of mouth recommendations – not to mention feeding your bottom line with their repeat business. If you want to build and maintain customer relationships, try these 4 valuable customer retention strategies.

Blogs : Consumers love to keep up with the news. No matter what type of business you run, keeping an updated blog that focuses on your company and industry news will keep your customers interested in your product.

Blogs allow you to reach limitless readers, and they are automatically targeted by searches relevant to your industry or location. You can also use your blog to promote new products, sales, or upcoming events so your customers can stay involved in your business.

Sites like Blogger and WordPress offer beautiful blog templates that are simple to set up and easy to keep updated. Make it easy for your customers and potential customers to follow you online by linking your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts to your blog.

Also, invite your readers to post their comments and make sure you respond to them in a timely manner so your customers feel their opinions are valued.

Loyalty Programs : The majority of any company’s income comes from repeat customers; that’s because it takes more advertising dollars to gain new customers than it does to keep your current ones.

So it only makes sense to focus on retention. Adding value to your existing customer’s experiences will keep them coming back and loyalty programs are an inexpensive way to accomplish this goal.

Discounts or free products will always appeal to customers who love your products and services. Therefore, keep implementing different types of rewards programs should go a long way in generating repeat sales from your existing customers.

Questionnaires & Surveys : Every customer has an opinion and, whether good or bad, they want to share that opinion. Offering questionnaires & surveys to your customers helps them feel involved in your company and lets them express their needs and wants.

When you design and offer surveys to your customers, be sure to show them their opinions are valued by taking steps to implement their suggestions where viable, or by offering to remedy any negative situation they may share with you.

Social Media Marketing

There is no denying social media has an effect on everyone with a computer or smart phone. When you invite your customers to interact with your business through social media accounts like Twitter, FourSquare, or Facebook, you keep your name close at hand while gaining valuable insight into your customer’s needs and wants. Assign one tech-savvy person to manage your media accounts and be sure to encourage your employees to interact with your customers while showing genuine concern for their opinions.

Remember, if you are not retaining your customers, you are losing them. By implementing these 4 valuable customer retention strategies, you will continue to build your business by taking a proactive role in influencing your customer’s desire to stay with you.

The function of any business is to service its active set of clients and that is where the area of expertise will lie. In this technology enabled world most companies know that they need to have a website – even though there are many companies out there in the world who still do not even have a website for their business !! Company owners also know that the internet has a big part to play in making sure people actually know about the products and services that they have to offer.

This leads us on to how marketing and the ongoing development of business strategies have changed over time. This leaves business owners with a decision to make, spend the time learning about all of the complexities of pushing the marketing message of their company out to the internet or, bring in outside consultants [such as Stephen C Campbell Consulting] to look at their top level business strategies first, and from thereon look to be able to develop an internet strategy that will incorporate the [more traditional non internet] existing business strategies with what must be done online.

As it stands at the time of writing we are seeing a shift from the dominance of online Search Engine Optimization to that of the ‘votes that any company receives in terms of online reputation and reviews based on the comments and feedback given to the company online by its previous and existing clientele.

We are also seeing a major shift towards mobile, that is to say – the number of people accessing the internet from mobile devices will overtake that of the desktop very soon. So how does the business owner cope with just these two [major] shifts ?? With all that there is to learn in the world of Mobile Apps development and Mobile Optimized Website design, the standard business would have to diver their attention from their core competencies.

At times a company can afford to hire an expert which works at times but very often leaves the company at a disadvantage as this person becomes locked into industry specific activities and modes of operation.

As we run in house strategic level business training in the fields of :-

  • Business To Business Branding
  • Channel Marketing
  • Internet Strategy Development [how to incorporate with existing strategies]

… we have seen our service business grow as more and more companies need the internet marketing based benefits such as

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Reputation Management and Marketing
  • Mobile Websites Design
  • Text Message Marketing
  • Mobile Apps for Business

… to propel their operations forward. We see the growth in the future of acting as the marketing arm of businesses as we have the inhouse expertise of the core services as well as the know how of blending the online activities with what needs to be done on the internet.

It is what we consider to be exciting times when it comes to our own company’s marketing strategy development as well as what we see when working to build the businesses of the organizations that we partner with.

Looking to make more use of the internet in your business ? do you have a website that was implemented by a designer and you have not yet seen any real changes in your business in terms of …

  • Lead Generation
  • Online Reputation Management
  • Customer Satisfaction Rating

…. then feel free to get in touch with us so we can have a conversation to see how/where we can work with you to help your business grow.

To your marketing strategy development success.

Stephen C Campbell

Any business must have paying customers in order to actually well, stay in business. We can readily classify client into various formats

those who:…

  • are doing business with us today
  • have already done business with us
  • need our products and services but have no relationship with us
  • are actually in our market funnel

Whatever the case all customers that fall into each category will need to be nurtured accordingly. Let’s take a look at each classification of customers in turn.

 

Current Customers

This category of client has somehow gone through the marketing funnel and one is providing services and / or products to them already. In terms of this lead the question is ‘how can we get them to come back and do more business with us’ ? in this case it makes sense to consider complimentary services or creating solutions that can be added to the initial purchases. In many cases developing a continuity based program is a great way to ensure consistent ongoing revenues..

No Relationship

These are referred to as cold leads and therefore the lead generation will be based on criteria pertaining to their search engine or social behaviour; bringing them cold will need good content, relevant content that will enable us to contact them again using retargeting this time looking to exchange their contact details.

Previous Customers

Unlike the current customers – this classification have experienced business with the company but some time has passed since they have experienced our services. With all of the contact information in hand a reactivation campaign can be made to be very targeted with an offer based on their previous purchase decision in order to bring them back as a customer. Direct Email Marketing may work well with this.

Previous Customers

Unlike the current customers – this classification have experienced business with the company but some time has passed since they have experienced our services. With all of the contact information in hand a reactivation campaign can be made to be very targeted with an offer based on their previous purchase decision in order to bring them back as a customer. Direct Email Marketing may work well with this.

With millions and millions of websites on the internet today, individuals and companies are constantly looking for ways to make their Digital Marketing Strategy Development efforts bear fruit. With increasing amounts of people who are potential clients and suppliers turning to the internet; we see that the business website owner must find ways to capture visitor’s attention so that the website visitor will be able to listen to the message that the business wishes to present to its intended target market customers.

It is widely known that the use of Multi Media as a component of Digital Marketing Strategy development is now the way to go at this stage of the evolution of marketing one’s business on the internet. For many companies however, they do not have the resources available in house to be able to produce quality videos on a consistent basis that will portray the brand of the organisation and strengthen relationships with clients.

If you are reading this as a business owners it is assumed that you are the owner of a website, that is taken for granted these days !! However the other question to consider is to what extent your company is making use of video as a core component of its digital marketing strategy development. We cover video marketing in the seminars and workshops on this topic [http://www.stephenccampbell.com/internet-marketing-training/] but the question to consider now is what your business may be missing out on if this method of customer interaction is not being fully utilised.

As the use of mobile phones and always on internet connectivity continues to rise, it is those companies who are able to effectively use the digital form of channel marketing to guide prospects through the sales cycle that will be seen to succeed most in the online marketing world in which we live.

Should you wish to discuss any digital marketing strategy development need, feel free to get in touch – you can check out a summary of our monthly service offering in the video above.

To your marketing success.

Stephen C Campbell

Often within organizations the question is asked (by varying sections of the workforce) “why are we bothering with Diversity”? The point being, “things have not been so bad up until this point so why divert time, energy and money into this thing called Diversity which only seems to be in existence to help certain sections of the workforce” and often can be interpreted as acting as a career progression disadvantage to the employees who come from the dominant sections of the workforce.

Today more that ever there is a need to establish the business case for Diversity and to ensure that the message is passed down throughout al levels of the organization.

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[display_podcast]

Above is a snippet of an interview between myself and Nadia Saba

Head Of Diversity for Avon & Somerset Police

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It is fair to say that Diversity is often greeted with a certain amount of skepticism and doubt, is normally ‘owned’ by the Human Resources department whose task it is to ensure that Diversity is implemented throughout the organization.

In some cases the individuals with the Human Resources who are tasked with rolling out the program may not be fully up to speed with Diversity themselves and with the root cause as to why it is essential in today business landscape to have a coherent Diversity program which is understood by all within the organization.

This is where establishing the business case for Diversity comes into play, it moves the emotional aspect out of focus and gives employees the ‘real reason why it is so important for their organization to have a coherent Diversity strategy in place i.e. it is down to the effect on the bottom line business results as the company continually strives to establish its competitive advantage over and against the other companies operating in the same market space.

More on this in an upcoming post.

Stephen C Campbell