Month: February 2014

Why Your Organization Needs A Customer Database

why you need a marketing database blog update

A few questions:

Can you easily create a list of your customers and analyze their interactions, similarities, differences and demographics?  

Can you easily segment your list of contacts and generate separate lists of potential clients and past supporters for marketing purposes? 

Can you easily create a list of existing customers and determine which customers cost you the most to maintain and service?

If social media went away, would you still be able to easily mass message your audience?

 

If you answered NO to any of these questions, you need a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM). 

What is a CRM?
CRMs are essentially user-friendly customer databases, that allow you to easily create and update individual accounts every time you interact with a potential or existing customer.  CRMs also provide a place to store the data in an easy-to-access format for data analysis, reporting or for creating lists for marketing or follow-up.  Additionally, many CRMs give the ability for you to assign tasks for follow-up with customers to members of your team.  The ability to assign tasks to your team is very important because it enables you to manage revenue opportunities, customer requests and customer expectations.

Why are CRMs important?
CRMs allow you to keep all your customer data in one place.  You can segment the list of customers into populations based on chosen data fields and/or characteristics.  With segmented lists you can do data research, targeted messaging and smart marketing.  Overall, it helps you to have better insight and more control on how you interact with your potential and existing customers.  And it keeps your customers happy because you don’t lose their requests and they don’t have to retell their story every time they call you.  All their account activity is stored and easily accessed.

CRMs are just for Big, For-Profit Businesses, right?
No.  Every for-profit organization, large or small, needs a way to keep track of existing customer inquiries and potential customer leads.  Non-profits, or even political campaigns, who depend on donors, sponsors, volunteers or members need to keep track of their constituents as well.  Especially when an organization is small, the ability to leverage technology is a must.  This saves time and money and enables you to compete with larger competitors for customers or supporters.  You will keep your customers happy if you are being responsive to their requests, managing their expectations, communicating effectively and delivering the results that you promise.  Delivering a high level of service is much easier with consistent workflows for your team to follow supported by automated responses, automated reminders, integrated calendars and integrated social media.

Are CRMs expensive?
No.  There are many options that are very affordable for small and growing businesses.  Some starter CRMs are free.  Whereas, a fully customized, robust enterprise solution that is integrated with your website, phone system, accounting system and reporting system will be more expensive.  We customize and implement CRMs that deliver the desired results and work within the client’s budget.  We work with small and large companies, non-profit and for-profit.  We understand the nuances of managing your customer relationship and can help you determine the best solution.

Last year, we helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and dozens of growing organizations improve their businesses. If you are ready to work with a team of experienced operational leaders and technology gurus who will help you grow your company this year, enter your information below:



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Will Holmes Consulting and Purple Honey February 2014

Purple Honey Concert Series for blog

Featured in Picture: Top- (Left)Brandon “Mista J” Johnson and (right) Teri Tobin
Bottom- (left) Poet Komplex and (right) Paz Morris, Kier Johnson and Will Holmes

The PurpleHoney Concert Series represents the next level in LIVE! entertainment. The evening begins with a Pre-Show mixer and Happy Hour featuring a Caribbean buffet and the signature drink, The Purple Honey Martini.  Next, the evening continues with a comedy set by a nationally known comedian that is sure to be a good time. What ensues is a blend of Live Neo-Soul, Jazz, and Spoken Word performances that will leave you wanting more. The PurpleHoney Concert Series is a truly an event not to be missed.

The February 16th Show was held at MaGooby’s Comedy House in Timonium, Maryland.  Approximately 300 people attended.

The featured acts were:

  • Singer Brandon Mista J Johnson
  • Songstress Teri Tobin
  • Poet Komplex
  • Comedian Timmy Hall
  • The Purple Honey Band

The event was hosted by the very funny Mr. Larry Lancaster and the talented Ms. Ellen Gee.   Overall, a fantastic event!  Baltimore has tremendous talent.  Kier Johnson and his team did a wonderful job putting this together.

Will Holmes Consulting believes in supporting local Baltimore talent and aspiring entrepreneurs.   We applaud Kier Johnson and his team for their efforts.  The evening was a great success.  To learn more about the Purple Honey Concert Series and upcoming events, visit their website at http://purplehoneymusic.com/

As a Sponsor of the Purple Honey Concert Series, Founder Will Holmes was given the opportunity to speak to the audience.  He recognized Kier’s outstanding entrepreneurship, invited the audience to 1st and 3rd Wednesdays and described how they could partner with WHC as a Brand Liaison.  Will Holmes is pictured with (left) Paz Morris, Director of WHC Business Development and (middle) Mr. Kier Johnson of Purple Honey.

 

Tonight- Entrepreneurs’ Open Forum in Baltimore

entrepreneurs open forum teavolve

Great Conversation

If you are looking for great conversation with friendly, smart people, we invite you to our 3rd Wednesday event in Baltimore.  Admission is free.   This is a stress-free environment where we have a sit-down meal and discuss business challenges, careers, new concepts and world changing ideas.  If you are not an open-minded conversationalist, you probably won’t have a good time.  But, if you like to talk to people and listen to what others think about common concerns, you will probably love it.

1st  & 3rd Wednesdays are hosted by Baltimore Professionals and Entrepreneurs and Will Holmes Consulting.

Location: Teavolve Café and Lounge, 1401 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore MD (in Harbor East)
6pm to 9pm
Admission is free, but you must RSVP at willholmesconsulting@gmail.com or join our Meetup Group (for free) at http://www.meetup.com/BaltimoreProfessionals/

See you tonight!

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Will Holmes teaches Marketing Essentials for (SBA) Small Business Administration

 

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Will Holmes facilitated a 4 hour Marketing Workshop yesterday at the Small Business Administration in Baltimore. The workshop was highly interactive and the group discussed:

*Essential Marketing Terms and Concepts
*How to Choose Your Target Customer
*The importance of, and how to create, an effective customer database
*Defining your elevator pitch and effectively explaining what you do

Attendees were quoted as saying:

“Incredible information…”
“Will Holmes never fails to give great info…”
“I have a much better understanding of how social media for business works…”

If you missed it, you can download the training manual at: http://www.willholmesconsulting.com/marketing-essentials-workbook/

Purple Honey Concert Series sponsored by Will Holmes Consulting

The Purple Honey Concert Series is proudly sponsored by Will Holmes Consulting
This event is Sunday, February 16th 2014 in Baltimore.

We applaud the entrepreneurship shown by Mr. Kier Johnson and the independent artists featured at this event.

To learn more about the Purple Concert Series, visit: http://purplehoneymusic.com/

To purchase tickets, visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/purplehoney-music-and-entertainment-1352355685

 

Let WHC Handle All Your Social Media, Newsletters and Marketing

outsource social media

A few questions:

  • Do you want to generate more traffic to your website?
  • Do you want a more interactive web experience with your customers?
  • Do you want consistent blog and/ or social media updates with relevant info for your target audience?
  • Do you want someone else to create content and make updates for you at a reasonable cost?

If you answered Yes…
If you answered yes, then Outsourced Social Media and Customer Engagement may be for you. Let us do it for you.

How would we generate more traffic to your website?
We would use a simple strategy of using your social media sites as teasers. We would post the interesting content on your website. The links on your social media teasers push traffic to interesting content we’ve created on your website. And there you have it, more traffic and more chances to convert customers.

How will you know we are generating more traffic to your site?
We embed reporting tools that you can access 24 hours a day to track the results.

What kind of content?
We can do updates on any of your social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, with links back to pages on your main website. We can also create newsletters, blog updates and new landing pages for your campaigns.

How often will we create content and make updates?
We create content and make updates as often as you would like us to. Our standard choices are:
Once a month
Once a week
Twice a week
Three times a week
Daily Monday thru Friday
Daily Monday thru Saturday

How much will it cost?
Pricing starts at $10 a day. You customize your package and choose frequency, type of content, and topic. We can create newsletters, social media updates or both, as often as you like. You decide what works best for your target customer. We offer convenient online payments and discounts on packages. And we offer advice and strategy from our senior marketing consultants.

How do I get started?
Simply fill out the form on this page and we will contact you to schedule a free consultation.

Removing Yourself from Your Business Process

out of the business process

A few questions for our Aspiring Entrepreneurs:

  • Are you the main producer of the product or service in your business model?
  • When your customers call, are you answering the phone, taking the order, filling the order and delivering the order?
  • If you take a day off, get sick, or need to go to your kid’s baseball game, does that affect how your customers are serviced?
  • Are you afraid to give up control?

 

If you answered Yes…
As an entrepreneur, the growth of your business is essential.  So important, that you probably focus most of your time and energy on ensuring its success.  However, if you are a single point of failure in your business process, you may be doing more to stunt your growth than enhance it.

But, I work so hard…
It’s time to work smart!  You are probably not the only person in the world who can do what you do.   We recommend taking the time to find talented people to help you.  This will be a great investment in the growth of your business.  Look at your business as a series of processes, that at certain points, need key roles filled with people with specific skill sets.  If you fill each role with a qualified person with the right skill set, your process won’t suffer.  It will actually begin to work better.  And you get to focus on big picture stuff.

But, I have Control Issues…
If you have control issues, it’s okay.  You should be concerned with the quality of the work.  Focus that energy into duplicating yourself, building your skilled team and implementing performance metrics and technology where you can.  Once you have your systems, metrics and people in place, you can spend your days dedicated to making deals, keeping your team busy and quality checking along the way.  Get out of the weeds and free yourself to think about how to take your organization to the next level.

But, I don’t have the money to hire anyone…
You don’t necessarily have to hire employees.  Depending on your business model, you may be able to recruit and contract people based on the work available.  But, the most important part is changing your mindset.  Start thinking of revenue as the customer’s money- not yours.  As the business owner, your job is to get the customer’s money coming in the door and then make sure that it gets managed appropriately.  Once the money is coming in, use it to pay staff their portion, pay expenses, save some and you keep the rest or reinvest it back into the business.  Obviously, there is some planning and timing involved, but once you get the money coming in, paying the talented people you have recruited won’t be as much of an issue.

But, I’m scared…
Of course you are.  Everyone gets scared.  That’s normal.  But what do you do when you get scared?  Freeze up?  Or do you think, plan and act accordingly?  Successful entrepreneurs do the latter.  Control your fear and take steps to ensure your own success.

No more buts.  How do I get started?
Map out your business process and identify where you need people and technology.  Then fill the key roles with the right people and add efficient tech to help make things easier.  If you need help with managing these changes, click here to contact us.  We are here to help you, as we have helped hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs.