Here's a shot at a seventy-five-word summary of a typical independent office products reseller's current predicament.
Tried e-commerce but no traffic, no orders, so went to Amazon instead. Tried social media but didn't know content was needed to drive audience building and engagement, so gave up. Dabbled in email marketing using Constant Contact (or similar) but, powerless to act post-campaign, because of dis-integrated IT systems and no way to extract business intelligence from data, so ..... gave up.
As a result, many of these businesses are stranded in the analog world, with the Amazon marketplace model just driving prices down in a death spiral that no one can make any money on.
One way out of this scenario is to start down the path of a digital business transformation, but unfortunately, this option is full of its challenges. So, before starting, a plan must be developed, goals established, and financial returns targeted. Most can't accomplish this, so most don't start or give up soon after starting.
This is what we are trying to change!
Twelve Foundational Steps for a Digital Business Transformation:
Email marketing is an essential component of modern digital marketing. Check out our simulation model to learn how developing web traffic and converting visitors to leads contributes significantly to your marketing strategy and business development goals.
Customer churn is the silent killer that takes down a business over time. It costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one, and in a mature, slowly contracting market, it's essential to implement strategies to reduce churn.
A massive transition from analog to digital is underway. Nothing can stop it, and independent office product resellers must join the digital revolution before it's too late. Leveraging technology alongside inbound digital marketing can reduce churn and improve conversion rates.
You may have thought email marketing was to preparing an email, assign a contact list, and hit send. That may be the mechanics of the process, but not if you expect to make any money doing so!
Social Media - love it or hate it, it's not going away! Almost every business using digital marketing is also leveraging social media. Although you can't develop an audience overnight, it must be started sooner than later.
How much is it worth to know what printers your customers and prospects are using, how much they print, and when the cartridges will run out? Make them part of the Internet of Things and leverage the intelligence collected to improve your value proposition.
Your business plan may look great, but how do you test it for reasonableness? Use our calculator to determine the market share you must develop in your local market to achieve your sales goals.
What does acquiring a new customer (CAC) cost, and what's that customer's projected lifetime value (LTV)? Understanding your CAC Vs. the LTV determines whether or not you have a viable business.
Suppose you're a typical office products reseller. In that case, you're not using social media to develop your business, so you'll most likely not know what results may be possible from paid social advertising.
Your website must become your best salesperson, operating 24/7 and able to convert visitors to leads successfully. How do you quantify the value of a website visitor? Use our calculator with your KPIs to discover the value of your site visitors.
Office products are a mature industry entering a slow decline. How can you digitally motivate your salespeople and avoid losing your best as their commissions decrease in a shrinking market?
Inbound Marketing is not a silver-bullet solution and is certainly not free. Experiment with our calculator to determine the potential investment returns from inbound marketing. What's right for you? Agency, or go-it-alone?
There's a saying, "There's an app for that," which we decided was needed here. By the end of next month (July 2017), we'll have interactive modeling simulators to help "would-be" digital transformers with each of these twelve digital transformation components. Four of these apps are already available, with the next scheduled for release on June 12th.
The objective here is to provide the tools necessary to help a business understand how these components interact, to enable them to set goals, to measure their future performance versus the plans, and to monitor returns on the financial investment.
There are no silver bullets and no overnight success, but for businesses that go down this path, there's a chance of survival; for those that don't, it's only a matter of time before the lights go out!
The digital footprint for office products resellers is very weak and there's an urgent need for these businesses to get on their paths to a digital transformation. There's an office products growth opportunity to be gained by leveraging aftermarket office supplies alongside the new behavioral norm of buyers research before any contact with a salesperson takes place.