Posted on 29 November, 2017  |  2 min

As a startup, building awareness of your business and growing a customer base are key to a surviving, thriving small business. Good sales and marketing strategies can help  you to not only create noise around your product or service, but also to get a clear view of who your customers are and what they’re buying, and give you invaluable insights into the health of your business and the success of your initiatives. For this, smart business apps are your key.

Larger businesses might have whole teams tracking their sales and marketing metrics: sales managers, a marketing, digital and social media team, often working with specialist external agencies. But right now, you’re likely to be fulfilling many of those roles yourself. And until you figure out how to stretch time, you’ll have to do it all within the same hours of the day.

A great advantage of using apps to plan, execute and measure your sales and marketing activity, is that you can launch, test and continually refine various offers, messages and campaigns in an agile, cost-effective way – even on your own and on a lean budget. 

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A smart strategy for a startup may instead go something like this: launch, market and sell (the simplest iteration of your product or service), measure results, reinvest and refine. To turbocharge this process, you need good, clear data.

But you can’t capture sales unless potential customers know about your product or service. Growing a loyal customer base requires building awareness of your brand and the products or services you offer, with the people most likely to want what you’re selling. This requires marketing activity to help you ascertain who your target audience is, and then create compelling communication that appeals to them. Having clear marketing data from your business will ensure the money and time you’re spending on marketing are effective, because you can use that information and insights to inform future marketing initiatives.

Once you’ve started reaching out, you need to measure the success of your activities and ensuring that you’re not just capturing the attention of potential customers, but that you’re driving them through to actual sales as well. Sales apps like Vend and Shopify will help you answer the important questions. Like, what’s selling, or not, who’s buying it, and what’s most profitable?

Smart apps can help with each step of the sales and marketing process from building a website on a shoestring, to automating your email campaigns and creating a strong, consistent social media presence. And the data these apps reveal can make all the difference between marketing hits and misses, and understanding how strong your brand identity is among your audiences.

For example, do you know your website traffic versus goal conversion rates (including marketing conversions like signing up to receive more information). Using an app like Google Analytics for example, will tell you if traffic is high and conversion is low – so you can choose to tweak the user experience, adjust your pricing, or run a promotion to get things moving.

The bottom line: sales and marketing consumes your valuable time and money. Rather than just hoping you’re building brand awareness and turning that into new customers, it’s important to know which activities are working and which ones need work. Apps make it easier to replicate and automate successes, know that you’re doing your sales and marketing ‘right’, and allow you to grow faster and stronger.

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