The Cape Town Tour Guide, Clive de Bruyn, talks about his experiences as a creator of bespoke, luxury tour experiences in South Africa during the Coronvavirus lockdown and the measures he’s putting into place to see his business continue to do that when the lockdown lifts.
Huge thanks to Clive for being part of this.
For more information about The Cape Town Tour Guide, please visit:
Your marketing company chooses you just as much as you choose them – when you’re on the hunt for marketing help for your business, look a little further than simply price and a great sales pitch.
In the business world, when things get rough, the first area where costs are so often cut, is the marketing budget – and I get it. Your focus is on self-preservation, cashflow and protecting your immediate assets.
Which is why there is all the more reason to be very selective of the marketing capabilities you enlist to help you to grow your business.
Here are 3 things which you need to consider when considering new marketing help.
As marketers, although we’d love to tell you that we know your industry inside and out, there is always something new for us to learn. Yes, the obvious point would be to find someone who is experienced in your market and understands the pain-points and opportunities to give you a head start, but remember that there is a lot of value in an independent mind looking at things from a new perspective. So, if you’re looking for marketing help, make sure you hire someone who likes to ask questions, is naturally curious, and is ready to learn from you, your customers and your markets, to come up with new strategies to extend your business. After all, if you’re still using the same strategies that you’ve always been using, there’s probably a reason why they’re not working.
A new global study of more than 10,000 office workers, revealed that Brits spend a whole month a year (30 days) doing work that a colleague has already completed. Tasks such as responding to constant emails and message notifications, attending unexpected meetings and chasing people for input or feedback, now consumes 60% of the average office worker’s time at work. Not great productivity. So, when you’re paying for someone’s time, that amount of non-productivity becomes a catastrophic waste of cash for you. When looking to hire a marketing person, hire someone who is a hybrid blend of the Strategic And the Tactical. Someone who is able to help you build a plan, and then has the capability to execute that themselves – whether you want them to or not. The ability to execute demonstrates that they understand the requirements, and they are able to give you solid practical advice on how to do things better.
As much as we would love to work alongside your business for the rest of our business existence, for many consultants like ourselves, we see our roles as filling a gap in your business, to help you grow further and faster. And once growth is there, it may happen that you need to hire your own internal team to help you grow even more. That’s why, when you hire a marketing consultant or company, hire a company that spends as much time enabling your existing teams to work better and more efficiently, hire a team-player and someone who speaks about “we” as much as you speak about “we” – with the “we” being the same persona!
Yes, you want to find a consultant that work can work at your pace, and is able to hit the ground running with the huge need for upfront training. They need to have proven experience in their field and have visible reviews from other customers who have truly benefitted from using their services. Take the time to understand their own mission, what’s important to them, and use a business that becomes a partner in your vision, rather than just a service provider.
I had a catch up with one of my clients yesterday. And while we were chatting about various things, our conversation turned to the frustration we both feel at not being able to get out and see people, meet clients, suppliers, partners. We started to talk about ways that we can continue important conversations while our physical movement is restricted.
And it got me thinking.
This lockdown has changed us all, in one way or another. And while we are focussed on getting restarted again as businesses, the tone of our conversations has been affected, and most likely, for the long run.
Talking to my client, I asked her what she felt the new underlying tone of marketing activity will be as we progress out of this lockdown mode, and into a renaissance of working. Her answer was simple. Authenticity.
And it got me thinking some more.
I took to my virtual networks. The likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, facebook groups and industry forums, and I started to test this theory. Now over the past few weeks I’ve noticed my linkedin timeline become a flurry of new information, new activity from people I haven’t heard from or seen in a long time. Probably all feeling the need to connect in some way. But this time, things were slightly different. The tone of the conversation had changed. Where once it was a tone laden with self-promotion, indulgence almost, this new tone had become more collaborative, functional, cross-promotional, where we are sharing the news of others, people who we may even deem to be competing in our own space. Posts that were more human, raw in some cases, and I realised, she was right. Authenticity is the new name of the game.
At the same time, I spotted something else on my timeline. It was a series of posts from someone I used to work. Someone who, perhaps I can say, had their own challenges in being able to lead, and unfortunately as a result of these challenges, caused a lot of hurt to those they worked with, and the business they led. The posts being shared were ones that were almost dictatorial, instructional, about how others in similar roles, are damaging their own organisations. And every fibre of my being wanted to call them out on it. And I realised again. Authenticity is the new name of the game.
Some will get it, and some won’t. And your customers? Well, they’ll see right through any games you are playing, and instead will seek out the experience they get that is based on honesty, integrity, and truth.
So, while you think about ways that your business will adjust as you prepare for tomorrow, think about the tone of your conversation. Think about how you represent your business. Think about how you represent yourself. And if it’s time to bring back the authenticity into your conversation, then do that. It will speak for you when you’re not.
There’s a difference between an audience and a community. An audience sits, usually quietly, and listens. The communication is usually one-way and they passively receive the information you give to them. If they like what they hear, they’ll come back and listen some more.
A community is a living breathing experience. They talk back. They engage. They interact. They participate.
Here are 3 ways to create an engaging community.
It’s no coincidence that Community starts with the same letters that form the word Communication – so if you have any hope of building a community (digital or otherwise) that interacts with you, you need to make it easy for them to do that.
In a brilliant survey conducted by Braze and Forrester, it was discovered that as much as 60% of all of our brand experiences happen because of human-like connections. Note that I use human-like. Yes, a lot of it happens through automation – but there is an engagement, an immediate response that helps your user or member or customer get to where they need to be. It also really depends on HOW you communicate too. Remember that how you communicate on each channel will be different. The way you communicate on Facebook will evoke a difference response if you tried the same method on Twitter. It will fall flat. So, please, when it comes to your social media activity, think about who you are talking to on each respective platform, and adjust your communication style to suit it.
Sometimes it is entirely necessary to narrow your focus. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to want your post to go viral, but at the initial stages, when you are trying to build the critical mass of members in your community, you need to narrow the scope of your marketing to include only people who are more likely to adopt your product. And of course, identifying these people will probably involve a lot of research and hard work – including coming up with what we call Personas (examples of the typical person you are trying to attract), or look at the Personas of who your competitors may be targeting etc. That’s why, popping a tweet into the ocean and hoping that someone, somewhere takes a bite, is not, as my dad used to say, impossible, but it’s HIGHLY unlikely.
You will find that you will get a much higher conversion from people who are already interested in your product, and what you have to offer.
Remember that it’s important for a community to know what their purpose is. For that, you, as the host of the community, needs to ensure that you have set the tone of your group. You may choose to create a set of rules or guidelines, or add a really clear description of what you’re trying to achieve. I manage a number of digital communities – many of which have entirely different sets of rules and intentions – and yet each one a living space where members who share a common goal, share their experiences and interact with one another. In fact, I don’t really need to do a lot other than moderate and check that members are acting respectfully towards each other. That’s when you know that your community is alive.
Sometimes you may need to dip in and inspire conversation with new thoughts, ideas, questions, polls etc and sometimes you may need to quieten some members down to allow others a chance to speak – but that all happens as your community grows organically, and you start to get to know your members.
There is nothing I hate more than searching for something that does a very specific job, and not finding it. Or rather, finding several things that juuuuust don’t quite do what I need.
Today, I was on the hunt for an app that not only records video, but that works as a teleprompter at the same time *and* exports my completed video for me to throw into an independent app to update with a branded top-and-tail.
Already frustrated before I began my search, as so often I am when I look for something specific, I happened upon Scripted Video – just another random teleprompter app in the App Store.
I did what most people do, and read the reviews.
They weren’t bad.
One person had some gripe about it ‘not really being free, is it’ – assuming full well that if this was a reputable company, they wouldn’t be making a great tool for the love and goodwill of everyone else, so there had to be a commercial model in there somewhere.
I decided to download it.
Long story short – within 5.30 minutes, I’d downloaded, signed up, uploaded my script, set the teleprompter speed, recorded my video, and saved my video to my camera roll. (The video itself was just under 5 minutes long).
Click on my inbox, and there’s an email from the creator, Phil Norton, with a few helpful hints to help me get myself up to speed with the app. Nothing glitsy. Nothing annoying. Just a good, honest email (yes, automated) from a chap saying, ‘Hey. I hope you have fun. These tips may help’.
I really appreciate stuff like this. I appreciate users who think about UX. I appreciate creators who take the time to test and work out how to make a product good. I appreciate in-app prompts to help me navigate to the next place. I appreciate good-looking UI and I appreciate non-intrusive, know-it-all marketers (ironic, right?) who deliver a fantastic service.
So, I decided to take some time, and write about it.
Get the app. Pay the little bit extra for unlimited script lengths, and use this.
It makes businesses like Scripted Video work well, and keep developing awesome products.