Tag Archives: pandemic

Marketing Your Business

4 Best Practices for Marketing Automation

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Building strong ties with your consumer base is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business’s development. Proper customer relationship management (CRM) helps you retain the customers you currently have, and it also builds your image as a brand caring about those it serves. In a crowded market space, figuring out how to stand out from the competition isn’t an easy task.

Research from the Small Business Administration (SBA) states around 30.2 million small businesses exist in the United States. Figuring out how much of your time and resources to spend on different technological advances can give you an edge or send you flailing.

Marketing automation is one way you can keep up with more prominent firms that might have dedicated marketing staff. With the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are scrambling to take marketing online while continuing to reach out to customers and create a personal bond. Automating campaigns may be more critical than ever in a world suddenly lonely and impersonal to many consumers.

No matter what size your company is, or even if you’re a solopreneur, you can employ some best practices for marketing automation to help you nail your promotional efforts now and in the future. Here are a few of them:

1. Segment Your Audience

Segment Your Audiences

One of the most significant advantages of CRM software is taking massive amounts of data about your customers and allowing the computer to sort through it all, searching for patterns. Once you’ve identified some clear trends, it’s much easier to segment your audience. Ads bombard people day in and day out.

There are ads on the radio, commercials on TV, pop-ups on websites, and social media messages.  Personalizing your ads to a specific audience type is much more likely to gain results because the message is no longer generic.

Utilize real-time data to understand your audience’s needs. The people visiting your website might change throughout the day, depending on numerous factors. Perfect your sales funnel by following a customer as they move through the conversion process. See if they react the way you expect at each touchpoint or if you need to refine specific elements.

Once you’ve divided your users into groups, create a buyer persona for each segment. Look at the character’s behaviors and consider the best ways to reach them on an emotional level.

2. Operate Multi-Channel Campaigns

Operate multi-channel campaigns

An old rule of thumb in advertising is a person must see your message seven times or more before they remember you. In today’s noisy, distraction-filled world, the actual number may be higher. One way to access your target audience and make an impression is by reaching them through multiple channels.

Run a campaign targeting the same audience through social media, email, and even snail mail postcard offers. Many of these touchpoints are easily automated, such as setting up a drip campaign via email or pre-scheduling social media posts. Keep in mind how different people respond to different types of mediums. This strategy can help you increase your chances of contacting more of your buyers with a multi-channel effort.

Remain consistent through all your channels, so the user gets the same message from you over and over. To expand your reach, look for avenues you may have ignored in the past.

3. Create Templates

Make a Template

Even though you might automate much of the marketing work, you still want a sense of cohesion among your different marketing efforts. Part of branding is presenting consistency and reliability to your audience. Create email templates and then use a shortcode to plug in the subscriber’s first name, automating the personalization. Create social media post examples, so all your posts are recognizable as coming from you.

Templates may take a little time upfront but can become part of your brand’s style guide. They’ll also save you time later on when you simply grab the right pre-made email and use your program to plug in names or personal messages based on past buying behavior.

Nearly any email service you use offers the ability to create your template and save it for future campaigns. You can also code a model email with HTML. If you aren’t sure how to create a template, hire a designer to make a few for you. You might want one for sales announcements, another for press releases and a final one for informational emails.

4. Utilize Cookies

If you aren’t already using cookies to track your site visitors’ habits, then you are likely missing out on sales. Inform visitors you’re using the cookies, so you comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy laws. Then, figure out how best to automate the process and serve personalized content to each person.

For example, if Mary Smith visits your site and looks at red blouses, the next time she comes to your page, you might want to show her some of the shirts she looked at and remind her she was interested in a red blouse.

Combine cookies with past buying habits for a powerful marketing message. For example, if someone searches for safe ways to shop on your website, you should be ready with a pop-up about your COVID-19 practices.

Set the code to declare a cookie before designing the rest of a page. You’ll need to decide what type of information the cookie should store, such as pages viewed, time spent on the page or how many times the visitor came to your page.

Focus on Time-Saving Measures

The best way marketing automation can help your business is by saving you time. Look at the tasks you repeat over and over that usually don’t require a personal touch. You can also utilize your CRM system to understand better who you’re marketing to and how they respond to different mediums and messages.

With a little attention to detail and a bit of modern technology, even the smallest businesses can gain an edge. Add a personal touch for even better results with your specific marketing niche.

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Virtualization

Examples of Social Project Management Techniques for Virtualization

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

Most of the world is currently on a standstill, in a desperate attempt to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses had to temporarily shut down, while others chose to adopt a work-from-home (WFH) set-up. Businesses had little time to prepare work out plans to manage tasks at home. So the sudden virtualization of tasks is jarring for both managers and employees, alike.

Using the right project management techniques will enable you to still make the business function as it did at the office. Communication is key in every aspect of your business’s new paradigm shift to make the WFH set-up work. This also entails a ready and deep understanding of employees’ personal situations at home.

What are project management techniques?

Project management techniques are methods good leaders apply to effectively run a business. These techniques are seen in the whole process of accomplishing tasks such as pitching an idea; assigning specific work to the right people; troubleshooting issues, and assessing outcomes. 

The implementation of these methods come with a detailed knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of your employees and the current goals of your business. In this case, you aim to function as efficiently as you did before you were forced to move your business to your home. Your employees also now face a new set of issues arising from their WFH state. 

Project managers and business leaders should be adept at adapting to different circumstances, which they can achieve through the effective use of project management techniques. This project management podcast will help you adapt to changing situations to keep production going.

Working at home is drastically different from working at the office, but this paradigm has existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that with proper management, it’s possible for anyone to perform work-related tasks at home. Below are a few examples of project management techniques to help you shift into a WFH set-up.

1. Set new rules and procedures for the WFH set-up

Project Management Techniques 2Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels

Enhanced community quarantine is expected to be extended indefinitely to effectively curb the spread of the virus. Your business should be ready to adapt to the WFH set-up as long as it’s needed. The first step you should take is to brainstorm with fellow managers and project heads about how you’ll shift your regular responsibilities at home.

Your office has its own regulations, including work shifts and salaries. These are not as easily implemented at home. As such, you need to set a meeting with your leaders to discuss how to optimize the rules for your WFH employees. These revamped rules will not only ensure that they’ll keep attending to their tasks, but these will also ensure that they’ll continue to thrive and grow in their role, in spite of the isolation.

2. Conduct regular consultations with employees

Project Management Techniques 3                      Photo courtesy of Gabriel Benois via Unsplash

Your WFH set-up will not succeed lest you regularly discuss with your employees how to improve their experience. Isolation affects motivation; so expect employee productivity to drop during the lockdown. A good solution is to let your team discuss the difficulties they face while in quarantine and help them grow, as they work from home.

Your Human Resources Department plays a crucial part in this process because they know the employees best. They should spearhead the consultations to find out how the management can make the WFH set up work for everyone. 

Unlike at the office, not everyone has the same access to equipment and technology at home. Distractions also abound at home, as opposed to being in a focused environment, like the office. Being isolated from the world might also take a toll on one’s mental and physical health. All of these affect your employees, which–in turn– will impact their work.

Prepare to address these issues. For example, you can lend equipment such as laptops to your employees who don’t have them. You can also shuffle work shifts to accommodate personal concerns and responsibilities at home. Remember that although your employees are required to work, their new work environment may not be conducive. As a leader, it’s your job to take their concerns into account and make the necessary adjustments to help keep them motivated.

3. Find the right communication tools or programs

Photo courtesy of Mati Flo via Unsplash

The right communication channels also contribute to the success of your WFH project management techniques. You may already have your preferred messaging channels that you use at the office, but a WFH set-up requires face-to-face interactions through video calls or conferences.

Explore video app options that will suit your business. You can also try new ways to track productivity. Different projects might need different project leaders and team members to perform various tasks. You can find new programs to help you manage projects to avoid confusion for your fellow team leaders and their teammates.

4. Be updated daily about everyone’s performance

Project Management Techniques 5Photo courtesy of Anna Shvets via Pexels

Participate in departmental updates to see how each department is doing. Strive to update them regularly, as well, about the company’s performance and current events that might affect your work. It’s important for you to establish your presence in their activities, to let them know that you are making an effort to lead them, in spite of less-than-ideal conditions.

You should also be updated regularly about their tasks and personal conditions, should sudden intervention be required. Employees may suddenly need to pause their assignments and attend to family or personal concerns. Remember that this is a pandemic wherein health and other basic concerns are more challenging to address than usual. Be ready for these types of situations. Your employees’ lives might literally depend on your readiness and quick resolutions.

Regular consultations with your employees will ground you in any problem-solving situation. For example, if a task is too important to be delayed, you or the immediate supervisor should know how to prioritize assignments and shuffle employee disposition; so no crucial responsibilities are let go, regardless if emergencies arise.

5. Actively collect data about your business’s progress

Project Management Techniques 6Photo courtesy of  nappy via Pexels

One of the most important project management techniques is knowing how to collect data for future assessments. It’s not enough that you are updated about the company’s performance; you should also store information about these updates in preparation for regular assessments. 

The end of the coronavirus pandemic will not come quickly. There are many stages of curbing a pandemic and they are not traversed in a few weeks. It’s important to always assess your best and worst practices in shifting into a work-from-home set-up since you might have to maintain this for as long as it’s necessary. 

Converse with your managers and project leaders to come up with a holistic assessment that takes into account not only productivity and motivation but also how the management approaches troubleshooting. 

6. Don’t forget employees outside of production

Project Management Techniques 7Photo courtesy of  Verne Ho via Unsplash

Company employees aren’t only composed of those who participate in a production. You are also responsible for custodial staff such as janitors and/or drivers. Unlike your rank-and-file employees, they can’t work from home, but they will still need income.

If you can, continue providing their salaries for the duration of the quarantine. You can also ask help from your regular employees to collect donations for their custodial counterparts, to help keep them afloat during the pandemic. At the end of the day, your janitors, drivers, and security personnel are just as important in your business; so don’t forget about them.

Working from home is not a new phenomenon in the business world. Don’t fret if you’re new to this set-up. Regularly converse with your employees about their concerns; so that you’ll know how to keep them productive and motivated.

 

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General How We Work Work From Home

Working from home? Here’s how to stay safe from cyberattacks

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread worldwide, many governments are entering the delay phase of their response strategy to fight the pandemic. Social distancing measures have been implemented, which include shutting down non-essential services and telling people to work from home.

With the evolution of the Internet and advancements in digital technology, it has become easier than ever for us to get our routine tasks done from the confines of our home. In fact, more than 4.3 million Americans already work remotely at least half the time, according to Global Workplace Analytics. 

However, this convenience doesn’t come without downsides. Working from home, though convenient, can leave you vulnerable to security risks. This not only puts your personal information in danger but also could result in sensitive company data being breached. 

In this article, we’ll cover seven effective ways to work from home while staying safe against cyberattacks.

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