Whether an established business or a start-up, self-checking is vital to survival.
What is the purpose of my business existing and how relevant am I in today’s fast-moving market? Am I keeping up with innovation and R&D?
What am I offering that’s different/special?
What will clients pay for or pay a premium for?
What added value am I bringing to digital health and care?
What is motivating me to run this business? Personal wealth? Bringing something new (disrupting) to the market?
Some of the above analysis can be covered off with a brand identity exercise, collaborative sessions with colleagues or Critical Friend support with a TEC focus. Before you can market your brand, you need to have a level of self-awareness of what your brand identity is, as this will direct your marketing communications; we will explore this deeper in a future blog.
When considering and planning how to market and brand build an e-commerce business it’s critical to also think carefully about the interaction between your brand and potential customers. Whether they buy from you or not depends on the following:
Are they the right client for your business? (You may believe they are but maybe they’re not the right fit for your product/service – an honest assessment, feedback and usability study can give you that insight).
Are you solving a specific problem for them?
How quickly can you implement/deliver?
Are you portraying your brand as trustworthy, valuable, best-in-class?
Can they buy from you in confidence with only fleeting contact with your brand or never touched nor experienced your products or service?
Once you’ve considered the above questions, it will provide more clarity on what areas need working on and what marketing messages need to come through clearly in your marketing communications.
In today’s crowded marketplace a slick web interface may not go far enough to satisfy what today’s digital audience requires, and that is a strong projection of engagement and trust backed up with ongoing and continuous relationship marketing. Your audience wants to feel that you’re personally speaking to them, that you understand the problems they’re struggling with.
There’s no doubt the tough competition in digital health. There are numerous Google pages of similar companies vying for everyone’s attention, proving two things: (1) how difficult it is to get onto Page 1 for the right keywords unless you have substantial paid ads and SEO budget and; (2) if you want higher profile for your app and website, you need marketing communications activity that is consistent (blogs, thought leadership, research pieces, speaking engagements, reciprocal links) to get noticed and pushed out to where your audiences are – what platforms are they engaging with?
That said, the size of the competition is less important than identifying the detail of your market? Who is your audience?
If you’re based in the UK and a seed or early start-up, you may be better to focus your marketing regionally with the potential to expand over time. Familiarise yourself with the nuts and bolts of each region, each local authority, its make-up, challenges, funding streams, each region can behave quite differently with varied requirements. Keep your eye on what Google Analytics is telling you, which regions you’re getting most interest from (those viewing your digital channels) and base an element of your business decisions on that. Say you’re getting interest from parts of Scotland or Wales, assess why that is, are they remote rural areas, how can you approach commissioners in that area and reflect back at them the benefits of your solutions in remote areas. Picking off areas and cities one by one is an established sales tactic and one that AirBnB and Uber used successfully to penetrate and saturate the market over time.
Next month, we’ll look at how to create a unique value proposition to clarify who you are and your offer….
...catch you then…