Want to Organise Your Small Business? Here Are A few Handy Tips…

If you have decided that 2019 is the year where you are really going to focus on building up your business, you need to have all the tips and tools on hand to keep you organised and productive – without making too much of a dent in your budget. You can have the best ideas in the world, but if you are not on top of everything that goes on in your business, they will soon flounder. Larger companies can find being organised much more straightforward. Despite having a larger number of employees, they often have a budget or a specific person, such as an HR department or a personal assistant to carry out particular tasks. If you are a smaller business, you may well find that this is just another thing you need to do on your already long to-do list. Fear not, however, as in this article, we look at some tips and tricks to keep you feeling in control at all times when it comes to organizing your small business. 1) Use a workflow platform. Even if you have a small workforce, you need to be able to communicate with each of them directly, clearly and quickly. This is especially important if employees are working from home or travelling. A good one should be able to help you to assign tasks, allow you to message colleagues or team members and vice versa, allow discussion between staff working on projects and access/upload key information or documents. There are...

Social Media Strategies: Apply the 80/20 Rule

Brands are chasing every single platform. Wanting to be everywhere, making sure that each platform has their voice, their content and their flavour. Organisations are chasing down the next app, the next network and the next digital trend. I’m all about being innovative and cutting-edge but being everywhere doesn’t make you innovative. It just makes you everywhere and being everywhere can be a very expensive and resource-intensive challenge. Twenty percent of your marketing is, most likely, contributing to eighty percent of your return. Tracking and measuring all your initiatives will help you find the twenty percent that counts. Then, you invest heavily into what matters – building an incredibly strong brand that is valued by its customers. In essence, we are talking about finding the touch points that are valuable to customers and choosing to invest there. Finding these touch points is a two-fold process that in practice becomes more an art than a science. First, ask yourself how your social media presence contributes to the customer: Does it make their life more convenient? Does it add to their personal brand or projected persona? Is it entertaining? Then cross match that with your social media objective: Are you driving leads? Are you building Share of Voice? Are you trying to educate people about the problem you’re solving? When you find the intersection where a customer values your social presence and you achieve the objective you’re aiming for – you will now have a true win/win scenario that you can invest...

DigitLab recognised in KZN as a Top 100 Business

On the evening of 22 June, KZN’s premier businesses gathered to support and promote the province’s top companies and entrepreneurs. The Standard Bank KwaZulu-Natal Top Business Awards have firmly established themselves as a highlight in the KwaZulu-Natal business calendar. This year the awards once again celebrated successful companies and organisations in KwaZulu-Natal. The awards event provides an excellent opportunity for all business sectors to meet, be inspired and showcase their achievements to their peers. Each of the award categories celebrates and recognises business and organisational success across economic sectors in both the private and public arenas. The awards evening also saw the launch of the next annual edition of the KZN Top Business and Top Leaders Portfolio. The portfolio is an online portal to KwaZulu-Natal’s top businesses, organisations, municipalities and government departments. The website also includes a profile of the province, as well as insight into successful governance and the economy. It also highlights current investment possibilities in the province and provides regular news updates. KwaZulu-Natal offers you great opportunities for growth, expansion, trade and investment. Digital marketing agency DigitLab is proud to have been included in this Top Business Portfolio for 2018 and to have their CEO, Mike Saunders, highlighted as one of the province’s top leaders in the KZN Leaders Portfolio. “It has always been part of our vision to build a significant business on KZN soil and we will continue to chase our dream of building an international digital agency with its head office in Durban,” says...

Artificial intelligence is cool, market intelligence is cooler

There’s a big race in marketing to drive artificial intelligence into their channels and consumer facing products. Especially with rise of chatbots, which has become the perfect interface to speak to an AI product. Marketers should be looking carefully at AI but new technologies are providing value in even better corners of the marketing spectrum. The one area that I think will add the most value to marketers is in market intelligence. Over the past few years marketers have gained the ability to check and measure many more data points than ever before. Primarily, marketers measure these within their channel planning structures. Measuring the success of each marketing channel in detail. It’s a massive benefit and a big opportunity for business to understand each channel better. The evolution of marketing data Today we’re seeing new tools on the market like Linkbundle and Tableau that are helping marketers converge their data points together, beyond the silos of their channels. In simple terms, technology is opening the door for marketing teams to understand their marketing efforts at a much higher level than just channel specific metrics. This is an important step for marketers because channel specific metrics are limiting the value of these metrics. Think about it like this: Your customer attends your event where you’re promoting a product. Some consumers purchase the product at the event and that’s easy to measure, but others who don’t by share the event in social networks and chat groups, these conversations lead to foot traffic...

Be Brave: Differentiate with Digital

Digital presents a powerful opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves against competitors. We’ve all heard the stories of great digital projects and wonder how we could create the same traction for our own brands. In our quest to thrust our brands into the digital era, we have found it to be more difficult than we initially anticipated. The trouble is, brands who are unsure of the value of digital choose a copycat approach to digital marketing. They hear of something that worked for someone else and copy it. Choosing to copy others rather than create new opportunities results in a saturated market of ‘the same old’ digital tactics. We see it all over the place, in social media, as brands and agencies adopt the same ideas over and over again. Even in the mobile apps market, brands are too quick to jump in fast and end up with smaller and smaller returns from their online efforts. We need to make the copycat approach public enemy number one! The copycat approach comes when: Brands aren’t sure of who they are Brands are chasing speed to market over innovation Brands are afraid of failure It’s become my experience that brands who succeed in digital know who they are, they make sure their digital ideas match their overall strategy and they are brave. They’re even a little crazy, in a good way! So, it seems fairly practical that we could apply a simple process to getting out of a copycat approach and I’d...

User experience and the IoT

I remember reading about the Twittering Ferries a few years ago. This story captured my imagination and I started to explore the Internet of Things (IoT) in more detail. IoT, in essence, allows ‘Machines to speak to Machines’ (M2M), provide instruction, feedback on status, and even process artificial intelligence. The reason the Twittering Ferries intrigued me, however, was not the M2M relationship, but rather the fact that the code behind Twittering Ferries created a means where machines were now talking to people. They used social media to facilitate communication to human beings. This has been my interest point over the last few years, and a question that has been plaguing me ever since is: “What happens to IoT when it progresses from M2M to Machines to People, or People to Machines?” I have had the privilege of sitting on the International Advisory Board for the IoT Asia conference, which has given me massive exposure to the IoT conversation. Over the last few years, these discussions have provided a robust understanding of IoT into manufacturing and operational processes, but recently we are seeing more and more conversations leading towards a consumer interaction with IoT. All IoT conferences are speaking to retail tracks, user experience tracks, wearables, home automation and a host of industry that are consumer facing. Historically, IoT solutions have not considered human beings in their equations and strategy roll out; which has proven to be a challenge, mainly because their solutions never came into contact with people, except through...

User journeys are broken

Fifty digital enthusiasts tucked themselves into a trendy venue in Durban to discuss ‘Design Thinking’ and ‘User Experience’ at our latest edition of Digital Swarm. During the evening we discussed the importance of the digital journey. We found that the journey isn’t about point A and point B – the bit between points A and B was where we needed to focus. Now, this isn’t rocket science but it starts to get a lot more complicated when we acknowledge that if point B is our chosen end point for a customer, then there are many different Point A’s to consider. We also need to acknowledge that most businesses have multiple point B’s that will help them successfully reach their goals. For example: Jon might travel blissfully from point A to B exactly the way you planned – he made the purchase and even shared that he bought your product with his community. However, Thandi clicks on Jon’s link and arrives at your site halfway between point A and B. She doesn’t have all the information she needs, she is excited about the product, but doesn’t know how to get the information she needs to execute her purchase. As marketers we very often spend hours and hours planning for Jon’s journey and get excited when the stats show us we are getting many people joining Jon’s walk with your brand. However, we don’t often consider Thandi, she becomes lost in the stats, telling us what went wrong, she joins our bounce...

Digital marketing trends coming in 2015

Digital marketing is a fast-evolving industry, and companies wishing to stay relevant and competitive need to stay abreast of developments. Even better, they should anticipate rather than react to them. In looking forward, I feel that the following four, exciting marketing trends are going to come into their own in a big way in 2015: 1. Personalisation The advantages offered by today’s technologies and online data mean that companies and brands are going to increasingly make the move from blanket marketing to personalisation – from mass consumerism to mass personalisation. We’re not talking about customisation in this respect, which is tailoring products to individual client requests, but rather customising specific products to specific groups of clients. Customers want personal value and personal assurance. When they get this then we’re going to start seeing some really great marketing taking place. With the technologies that are in place now, we can actually start to create this personalised service, both in content delivery and service delivery and in a variety of different other factors. 2. Actionable analytics Up until recently all online data took time to analyse; statisticians had to turn data into graphs so they could then be consumed and actioned upon by companies. Now, however, with the introduction of real-time analytics as well as crunching and visualisation tools businesses can understand data far better and far quicker. What this means for the world of marketing is that companies are empowered to move more quickly in the marketing space – they can...

What does it take to succeed in a Digital World?

One of the biggest game changers in business (and life) this century has been the introduction of the internet. The internet created a world of connection, a world where its easier to connect and faster to connect. We’re connected to information and people which has lead to business moving quicker, consumers changing faster, messages spreading easier and business launching in less time than ever before. Today is the age where a new innovative competitor can rise within a year by tapping into the power of these connections, changing the way you do business tomorrow. We have seen this with Amazon, Zappo’s, Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, eBay and many other digital businesses. The connection economy, succeeded the information era about eight years ago with the invent of social media. Social media showed us it was possible to create and manage relationships online. In fact, it not only showed us we can but it helped us realise that this is something people have wanted for so long. A better way to connect. So its fair to say that any business that has utilised social media to connect with customers has done well recently, but many have been burnt by the social media world. Many business have declined using social media to connect with customers and have focused on providing strong mobile channels to deliver services and improve customer satisfaction. Almost every business will see benefits from digital connections between themselves and their customers and/or employees, but not every business needs to engage with...

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