The difference between businesses that survive and those that struggle in 2010 depends on whether or not you are online.
A number of 2010 forecasts, including our own, have pointed towards an increasing dependence in the small firm workplace on the internet. A small business in 2010 must be all things to everyone if it wants to secure customers. Consumer behaviour is driving the need for small businesses to adapt to an increasingly online world.
If you have a physical store you will also want to replicate it as best you can with an online e-commerce solution. Your customers are also likely to want a two-way experience with your online and physical store operation too. For example, if a customer buys a product from your website, they are also going to want the option of returning it in store should the need arise. Also, are you using social media tools to amplify your marketing message and listen to what your customers want?
What Small Business 2.0 can do for your firm, as an event, is bring likeminded and eager small businesses together to share their experiences of trading online. In addition, the line-up of speakers boasts representatives from small businesses that have now graduated to market leaders, as well as our humble MD.
The event takes place in London this Saturday and will consist of a range of workshops, discussions and presentations on how to run every aspect of your online operation.
You may already know, or at least think you know, everything there is about running your website but the day will take you across the spectrum of SEO, Google AdWords and social media to give you the confidence to turn your online operation into a strong profit-making venture.
One of the key features of this event is the low cost and relaxed format that it will take, making it a truly accessible event for small businesses. The Marketing Donut will be attending the event and shall bring all the pertinent thoughts from the day through Twitter and lengthier discussion pieces on the blog.
Today is the first ever Like Minds conference in Exeter. The impressive line-up of speakers will be sharing their wisdom about social media and its applications in business. The big questions of the day include What is the return on investment from using social media? How can it be used to engage customers best? We will bring you all the crucial ideas from all the speeches and will pitch your questions to the various panelists throughout the event – completely live! Following the event is simple. Either bookmark this page now or register for email notification in the window below. Sit back and watch this live-blog page from 2pm this Friday or if you want to get more involved, you can submit comments using the system in the window below (when live) or by sending a question to the @MarketingDonut Twitter account. Like Minds Conference, Exeter
At some point in time there was a shift in customer care in British retail and services. From the days of being ever-so British and polite, we now only talk about customer service in the positive when it is good — as a bonus, not a standard.
As the various political parties are in full conference swing and talking policy and proposals, here at the Marketing Donut we thought we’d produce a manifesto of our own.
This week is National Customer Service Week and to that end we want you to help us draw up a Customer Service Manifesto by sending your suggestions to us. At the end of the week we’ll turn your ideas into our golden standard of customer care and, of course, give credit where it is due to you the contributor.
What would you add to a Customer Service Manifesto to be the minimum level of practice for small businesses all the time and not just in exceptional circumstances?
Please keep your contribution brief and to the point and send it to us by:
Social media is all the rage and no end of people are trumpeting what it is and why you are nothing without it. But the honeymoon period is over - what businesses need now is concrete information: how, actually, do you use social media as a marketing tool in your business? And what’s the return on investment?
In a couple of weeks, businesses and social media practitioners will gather in Exeter to discuss these very issues and by the sounds of it, we wont be let out of the room until we have the answers!
The Like Minds event in Exeter takes place on Friday, 16 October at Exeter’s Conference Centre, and not only does it have sponsorship from social media savvy big business boys, the organisers have also sourced small-business owners and managers to put forward their experiences and views on how these new tools can be used in smaller firms.
Event organiser, Scott Gould explains: "Every business owner knows that social media is providing plenty of new opportunities for new business, it’s enabling firms to engage more deeply with current clients, and it’s helping them become a stronger leader in their market.
"But every business also has the query of how to implement it, coupled with the fear of making mistakes and getting it wrong. For the businesses that are doing it, and particularly agencies offering social media to their clients as a service, a roadblock they may be facing instead is providing return on investment.
"Like Minds is a gathering, bringing together some of the world's foremost social media and media experts who will be discussing, debating, and answering your questions."
Naturally, Marketing Donut will be there and we’re planning to provide a live blogging commentary of the highlights and report back to you the big ideas and how they can be implemented in small businesses.
The event promises to be a purposeful mix of speakers, panel discussions and networking. So, don’t forget to tune in!
No one knows when it might happen again but one thing is certain, the first Twitter Conference hosted by Marketing Donut, under the #mydonut hashtag, was a fantastic event and great success on many levels. On Tuesday, 30 June at 0930 GMT the event kicked off with a flurry of activity. Overall it could be said that the conference was a piece of organised chaos where ideas were exchanged, views were shared and conversations were had. The event was organised with help from Twitter for business expert – Mark Shaw – who shares the Marketing Donut goal of helping small businesses get the best from their marketing activities. Early estimates made by expert Twitter analyser, Andrew Fielden, indicate that the conference saw over 1,800 tweets exchanged in the 90 minute marathon session. Andrew said: “Wow, it was manic wasn't it and just goes to show how popular something like that can be. Well done to you guys for the effort being put in.” The biggest result, in Twitter terms, was the 4th place positioning in the trending topics chart for a sustained period of time. The best part of the conference was the real reach that the event had and saw small business owners exchanging ideas, questions and views in one place with experts. As you can imagine, Marketing Donut site traffic was on the up and the overall reach of Twitter users who could have seen any one of the tweets was 67,562. The range of topics covered was vast and we hope that it was a gainful experience for all involved – as a trial event we did not know what might happen; but there is a definite working idea, which can be adapted for another time, in order to help small businesses maximise their marketing activity, and to get them connected with experts in one place for free! Thank you to everyone who took part. A selection of tweets by experts, small businesses and the Marketing Donut during the event:
yBCmels RT @simon_editor: Phew! Thanks for you question and comments, everyone. Good event! #mydonut// Solid effort! Tuesday 30th of June 2009 Signposter Great conference #mydonut people. Have a fantastic time. Now back to work ;-( Tuesday 30th of June 2009 MarkPocock Are you building your list on your web site? No, don't offer your damn newsletter.Offer something of value. #mydonut Tuesday 30th of June 2009 ThePodCompany RT @Firzzy: Do facebook pages really work? #mydonut Tuesday 30th of June 2009 MarketingDonut Today a twitter conference-tomorrow..some kind of Glastonbury for Twitter? #mydonut Tuesday 30th of June