Communication needs work

BUSINESSES need to communicate better, says Marketing Focus managing director Barry Urquhart.

“Most businesses don’t effectively communicate to their people either internally or externally,” Mr Urquhart said.

“The biggest leakage of business potential comes from people who enter the market confused.

“Consumers are looking for just one thing – peace of mind. They want to be led into the sale.”

Mr Urquhart said follow-up was crucial.

“In a survey conducted on people who were door knocked, 80 per cent of respondents said they knocked the offer back because the time wasn’t right,” he said.

“However, 83 per cent later reported there was no follow-up.”

Mr Urquhart said there were four crucial things to remember in marketing:

• Consumers today are conspicuously incompetent

• Buying cycles are much shorter now

• Consumers are cash rich and time poor

• Brand marketing.

Mr Urquhart said brand marketing was set to boom.

According to a UK survey there are now one billion pages on the Internet.

“Without brand marketing, how are people going to find your page?” Mr Urquhart asked.

However, he feels the Internet is only going to be a small part of business in the future.

“The most ambitious forecast in the US that I saw was that the Internet would only be 5 per cent of all retail sales in five years time,” Mr Urquhart said.

“Our communication is spoken, not written.”

Mr Urquhart said the most powerful push at the moment was in peace-of-mind purchasing.

“People want to deal with people who have the time to speak to them,” he said.

“Don’t use technology to intercede with your customers.”

Mr Urquhart said consumers were attracted to what was different, exclusive and unique.

“It is better to be different than it is to be better,” he said.

Mr Urquhart said businesses also needed to convert sales potential quickly.

“This leads to urgency. Without this urgency, you are left with consumer inertia,” he said.

“Consumer perceptions are about what is created in the here and now.”

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