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Understanding the Importance of Staff Meetings and Customer Feedback in Business Operations



Brian Kazungu, 11/05/2023

Meetings are important for the sharing of ideas, impartation of knowledge and the giving of feedback on the success and challenges being faced in any given institution.

Based on this reasoning, the achievements and challenges faced by individuals, departments and even the whole organisation should be regularly communicated with clarity in order to make sure that informed decisions are made.

In any organization, meetings can be held at different levels and for different reasons.

The whole company can convene to discuss some important issues all at once, where managers and subordinates come together to deliberate on some specific pressing issues.

Meetings can be held at the departmental or interdepartmental level to discuss the issues that are affecting the smooth operations of a specific department or the interaction between departments.

There can also be management meetings where managers gather to set the grand strategy for the company and the outcome thereof can then be communicated to the rest of the employees and other stakeholders.

Feedback on the progress being made and the challenges being faced enables informed decisions to be carried out towards the attainment of objectives.

Subordinates or shop floor employees are the ones mostly involved in direct interaction with the customers and therefore they are useful in gathering customer feedback on the products and services that the company offers.

Unfortunately in some organisations, shop floor employees are rarely engaged in a way that enables them to contribute information regarding the way the business can be managed.

 If at all they are involved in a meeting they are reduced to merely being the recipients of the information rather than valuable contributors of the same.

 This is not good for business because the information that can be obtained from the general staff members is critical for improving on customer service delivery, profitability and business expansion.

Your subordinates are important for gathering information based on customer complaints and compliments and this information is vital for deciding on what to improve, what to maintain as well as what products and services to discontinue.

Such people are the ones who know the exact challenges they face in their attempt to deliver good quality customer service and thus must be given a platform to address those challenges.

Conducting a meeting with these individuals is worthwhile since based on the information they have, management can then decide on the next move and the relevant steps to be taken in order to correct or better the quality of service being offered.

Unfortunately some business owners or managers do not believe or commit themselves to this concept of meetings and as a result they unilaterally make decisions from assumptions since they do not give themselves time to listen to their employees and clients.

When you do not gather feedback on your business activities, you are likely to continue giving products or services that no longer appeal to the customers and as such they can discontinue their patronage.

It is against this background that some start-ups fail to survive.

Challenges that affect businesses are always changing and fortunately the advent of technology especially the internet has brought about various platforms and forums for discussing the challenges that affect the wellbeing of SMEs.

One of such platforms is ChubbyBrain which is a database of innovative start-ups that shares information and encourages members to provide insights and critiques of emerging business models, technologies and companies.

The following is an extract from their findings on what brought down some SMEs relative to the lack of feedback from clients.

Being inflexible and not actively seeking or using customer feedback.

Ignoring your users is a tried and true way to fail.  Yes that sounds obvious but this was the #1 reason given for failure amongst the 32 startup failure post-mortems we analyzed.  Tunnel vision and not gathering user feedback are fatal flaws for most startups. 

For instance, ecrowds, a web content management system company, said that “We spent way too much time building it for ourselves and not getting feedback from prospects — it’s easy to get tunnel vision.

I’d recommend not going more than two or three months from the initial start to getting in the hands of prospects that are truly objective.” 20 Top Reasons Gleaned from 32 Startup Failure Post-Mortems by ChubbyBrain

In the case above, convening a meeting helps policy formulators and implementers to discuss stakeholder reaction to the new developments in your products or services.

Those who formulate a product or service can sometimes do so based on assumptions and past experiences which are no longer applicable to the new environment.

The people who are on the ground are the ones who interact with the customers and thus they get the practical first hand feedback in the form of general comments, complaints or even compliments.

This information is very important and therefore it must be incorporated in decision making if goodwill has to be created, promoted and maintained.

Failure to do this will result in the creation of a product that does not appeal to the clients and yet the product or service might continually be offered to the market with the assumption that the situation will improve.

When this happens it means your product uptake by the market will be less than expected and this is likely to undermine the returns on investment.

Less returns on investments affects profitability and growth potential as well.

Management meetings on the other hand are important in that the managers are the policy makers in the company just like members of parliament are to the state system.

Therefore they should regularly come together and share ideas (brainstorm) on the strategies that are necessary to achieve the desired goals.

Different departments tend to conflict on resource acquisition and allocation and therefore these issues should be addressed in a formal set up to avoid a situation whereby the aggrieved or affected managers debate the issue on their own using informal channels.

Qualifications, experience and exposure can make other people more informed about the challenges being faced in the business and thus tabling a meeting can present a platform for taping such information for the good of the business.

Meetings are a cheap way of research available compared to engaging consultants on the same issue. They are also an added advantage since the people involved have a direct exposure to the issues they would be discussing.

The impact and sensitivity of the issue to be discussed determines how meetings should be held.

Inter-departmental meetings help to iron out challenges or even to give feedback on the progress between and amongst the various departments in an organization.

Let us give a practical example of interdepartmental interaction and then highlight the challenges that can be encountered along the way, thus justifying the need for a meeting.

In a shop (supermarket) set-up, there might be issues to be addressed between the receiving department and the sales floor department regarding the time taken to receive and dispatch the products for subsequent resale.

The same can apply to the tills department which might be having challenges on the products on the shelf that does not have prices displayed.

When customers brings products to the till to ask for prices or when they want to confirm the price before buying, it would result in the till operators having to do a price lookup first before charging and thus taking long to serve the clients.

In this case, customers will see the tills department as being inefficient because of long queues that results from the extended time taken to serve one customer.

Till operators will receive the blame even though the problem is a result of the failure by the sales-floor department to display the prices on the shelves and thus resulting in till operators doing an extra work that affects their efficiency.

Such issues needs to be discussed openly with various inputs coming from different people in order to promote objectivity and a thorough review of any development that emerges.

I mostly prefer to give an example of the supermarket because in one way of the other almost every person have a supermarket experience especially as a customer and it is easy to relate with regardless of people’s tastes and background.

However, in all this, you must take note of the fact that meetings are not only a platform to address problems but can also be used for the appreciation and celebration of the efforts made by employees in making the company to grow from one stage to another.

Whenever there is progress, management should make it a point that they convene meetings and give the necessary feedback, compliments and rewards unto those to whom it is due.

This can dramatically boost morale, confidence, and loyalty as well as to spur people towards achievement.

When meetings are not done, chances are high that people would use unorthodox means to solve the problems they face at work and this fuels organizational politics.

As a result, discontent and high staff turnover is likely to set in and the company will have great chances of going down when it loses valuable experienced staff who believe they are not getting the treatment and credit they deserve.

Formal meetings should therefore be given the priority they deserve in order for your business to:

  1. Motivate and retain the valuable staff and customers that are critical for survival
  2. Establish and expand.

Based on the understanding that you have acquired about the critical role of convening meetings in your organisation, it is therefore necessary to start engaging in this practice in order to make sure that you make informed decisions in the running of your enterprise.

This helps you to:

  1.  Make products and services that will continually appeal to your clients.
  2.  Preserve your relevance and market visibility.
  3. Maintain and promote your goodwill.
  4. Maintain and promote profitability.

Adapted from The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu

Amazon Book Link: https://amzn.to/3geP4ux

Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu

Brian Kazungu is an Author, Poet, Journalist, and Technology Enthusiast whose writing covers issues to do with Business, Travelling, Motivation and Inspiration, Religion, Politics, and Communication among others. https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu https://muckrack.com/brian-kazungu http://www.modernghana.com/author/BrianKazungu [email protected] @BKazungu-Twitter He has written and published several books covering various aspects of human life including leadership, entrepreneurship, politics, personal development as well as poetry and travel. These books are found on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu

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The Importance of Analysing Information in Making Critical Personal and Corporate Decisions



Brian Kazungu, 20/05/2023

Have you ever wondered why people do what they do? Have you ever asked yourself why some people do good things while others continue to do even the most despicable things on earth?

The secret to all this mystery is INFORMATION.

People don’t just do what they do, they follow a process. Whether it takes a few seconds, hours or days to do something, the action process remains the same.

The Action Process is made up of the following stages: Imagination, Thinking, Decision, and Action.

When you imagine something and then quickly decide and take action without critically analyzing the information you have, you are likely to contribute towards most of life’s tragedies, blunders and regrets that torment humanity from to time.

Most of the problems that are faced by people from all over the world, be it at work or at home are a result of the failure to objectively and open-mindedly process information before you commit to do something.

I can generally describe THINKING as the open-minded and objective processing of information towards decision making.

As such, when you want to do anything in life, you must think or process the information you have about what you are dealing with so you can make the right decision and take the right action.

Regardless of circumstances, you must be able to master the art of open-minded and objective processing of information since whatever you do, whether it’s a crime or a good deed, it is determined by access to information and the interpretation of that information.

I refer to information as merely a collection of signs and symbols that you use for decision making in the execution of your duties and responsibilities be it at home, at school, at work or anywhere else.

The way how information is arranged, packaged and transmitted determines how you interpret it, and the way how you interpret it determines the quality of decisions that you make and the action that you take.

Education, Religion, Parenting, Past Experiences, and Dreams as well as Gossip (Grapevine), Intelligence Service, Propaganda, Culture and Tradition etc. are some of the predominant sources of information that we have about ourselves and the world around us.

These sources of information determine what you consider to be good or bad or what you consider to be right or wrong. They determine what you choose to do and what you choose to ignore.

As such, the main difference between those who make smart (wise) decisions and those make foolish decisions is Information Processing or Thinking.

Without processing the information, you have through the act of thinking, you are bound to make abrupt and regrettable decisions out of excitement and ignorance, but if you think through a certain matter, you are bound to make an informed decision with lasting benefits.

When it comes to making wise decisions, knowledge on its own is not enough. It must be coupled with understanding in order for you to make informed decisions and act wisely.

N.B: Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding – Knowledge simply means the possession of information, but wisdom refers to the understanding and correct application of knowledge.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a president, or you consider yourself to be a commoner, your actions are always based on information.

Whether you were forced or manipulated to do something or not – the answer remains the same – you used information to make a decision and that decision resulted in a certain act.

The thoughts and imagination you have are subject to your exposure to some information (knowledge) that you have about the world around you. This information is then used in the response to opportunities and threats as they unfold from time to time.

Please note that your actions are immediately influenced by two things: 1) Opportunities 2) Threats. Whatever you are doing in this life, whether good or bad, is based on whether you saw an opportunity or you felt threatened and thus your action was the response.

It is thus important to understand that it’s the information you have about yourself and the world around you which makes you to perceive something as either an opportunity or a threat.

In this regard, anything that disturbs your peace, joy and development is a threat and anything that promotes your peace, joy and development is an opportunity.

Threats can also be anything which harms you or takes away your life and in response, you can choose to fight or surrender. On the other hand, opportunities also refers to that which gives you a lease of life or which makes your life easy, and is thus worthy pursuit.

When you look at everything that has been said here so far, you can see that it is important for you to carefully think about something before you make a serious decision.

As such, you must understand that your choices, wishes, dreams, aspirations, fears and concerns are determined by the information you have or what you know about:

a) Yourself (your identity, ability, strengths and weaknesses),

b) Fellow human beings (their identities, abilities, strengths and weaknesses)

c) Nature (the benefits and dangers of water, land and air and the contents thereof).

It is this knowledge about yourself and the world around you which then determines your decisions, and these decisions are the ones which determine your actions.

If you have wrong information about yourself as well as about other people and nature, you will develop wrong imaginations which will unfortunately cause you to make wrong decisions and subsequently you will take the wrong actions.

This is why there is a battle for the control and interpretation of information on Earth either by governments, businesses, religions or even families.

Those that are in charge of information in any society do determine the reality of mankind.

You may not have the power to control the flow of information, but you must strive to learn the art of processing any piece of information that you come across before you make a decision.

The Smart Decision Handbook which I wrote is one good resource that can help you to master the art of thinking which I also loosely defined as the open minded and objective processing of information.

It is therefore important to identify mechanisms that help to define and determine the type, quality and quantity of information that is exchanged for decision making since people and their natural environment are always transmitting information.

This information must be correctly interpreted in order for you to take advantage of opportunities and to guard against threats as they unfold.

The sending, receiving and interpretation of information which takes place in any community determines the interaction between:

1) Men and Women 2) Children and Elders 3) Leaders and Followers 4) Natives and Foreigners 5) People and Nature etc.

As such, if you wrongly interpret the signs and symbols transmitted by people and nature, you will unfortunately make wrong assumptions and decisions and subsequently take wrong actions which then results in negative consequences.

Since we use information for decision making, it means that the same information must be scanned for impurities before being used to determine the next move. This therefore brings us to Data Integrity Analysis (DIA).

I describe Data Integrity Analysis as the systemic and systematic analysis of the intention and authenticity of the source, the path taken and the changes in the quality and package of information along the path from the sender to the receiver.

A Data Integrity Analysis is done in order to make sure that the correct information is used for the correct purpose using the correct channel.

Adapted from THE SMART DECISION HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu

Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu

Twitter – @BKazungu

Twitter – @BKazungu

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Effective Marketing Approaches and Their Impact on the Accomplishment of Business Objectives



Brian Kazungu, 13/05/2023

When we are talking about marketing, there are three interconnected words or issues that must be discussed in order for us to clearly understand this important business function.

Marketing – Selling – Sale.

Basically put, marketing means engaging in activities that makes your products and services appealing to your targeted clients.

Having looked at Marketing, let us now focus on the following terms: 1) Selling 2) Sale

Selling – offering or presenting products and services to clients so that they can buy at their convenience.

Sale – the actual exchange that happens between the buyer (customer) and the seller after meeting the conditions of a transaction.

As a component of marketing, we also have the field of advertising which means: to appealingly and accurately present a product or information about a product to your targeted clients in way that enables the selling process to achieve an intended sale.

Advertising can also be described as an appealing generic public display or customised private presentation of data about a product or service to a targeted audience in a way that arouses interest in order to create, maintain and promote a mutually beneficial transactional engagement.

We are looking at marketing because, generally, individuals and corporates engage in business in order to offer products and services to others in a way that enables and guarantees attainment or achievement of business targets at a profit.

As such, the failure to effectively market your products can thus interfere with profitability and hampers the attainment of your set goals.

Marketing on its own is an art that must be mastered, it’s a skill that must be learnt and it’s a profession that must be respected because it is an activity that makes sure that all the other aspects of business continues to operate fluently especially for mutual good.

In order to make the field of marketing clear, simple and easy, we must align it with the Mission Statement of your enterprise.

The main reason for such an alignment is that a Mission Statement helps you to run your business professionally and efficiently since it summaries your whole business and gives you a solid and clear picture that must guide you in your commercial activities.

More-so, a Mission Statement gives your company an identity and defines what your business is all about and what it is going to be in the future.

It is like a blueprint (map) of where the company is going and how it is going there.

The same Mission Statement defines who you want to be and highlights the unique products and services that you are going to offer and how you are going to achieve that.

You should not have a problem with coming up with your company’s Mission Statement because even as an individual you can have your personal Mission Statement in life.

I am going to demonstrate how to design or craft a Mission Statement so that it becomes easier for you to come up with one on your own especially towards helping you in designing effective marketing approaches.

Your Mission Statement should clearly show us three basic components namely:

  1. Your target market.
  2. The product or service that you are going to offer.
  3. A unique way of presenting your product or service to your target market.

Let us say that our company is called SME Consultancy and it specialises in offering training material for small to medium enterprises.

Our Mission Statement would thus look as follows:

Mission Statement for SME Consultancy:

To provide effective and practical training material to the global small-to-medium enterprise community in a customised, easily understandable and practically usable format.

In this case the target market is the global SME community, the product or service is effective and practical training material while the unique way of doing it is to provide it in a customised, easily understandable and usable format.

On the other hand, my Mission Statement as Brian Kazungu is to provide management advisory services to entrepreneurs across the world through identifying, solving and eliminating administrative incapacities across the business sector.

In this regard my target audience becomes entrepreneurs all over the world, my product is management advisory services and I am going to do that by identifying, solving and eliminating administrative incapacities in the businesses that I engage with.

I believe that these examples have helped you to clearly understand the relevance of a Mission Statements in relation to the field of marketing, and I believe that you can now find it easy for you to come up with one for your own company.

We have highlighted that a Mission Statement is made up of three components which are:

  1. The product/service – what is it that you want to offer?
  2. The targeted market – who do you want to offer this product to?
  3. The unique approach – how do you intend to effectively and profitably engage the market with your product?

Based on the above explanation, you can now see that a Mission Statement determines the marketing and selling techniques that must be employed towards achieving a sale.

You must also understand that market identification should precede product formulation and in between these two comes the approach that must be adopted for effective engagement.

Let me help you to clearly understand the logic behind the importance of designing a product after having identified a market as compared to doing it the other way round.

I am going to present a justification for my point based on the assumption that you want to run a professional, civilized and people centric institution.

The basis for saying that market identification precedes product formulation is based on the understanding that people in any environment are faced with two things namely;

  1. Opportunities
  2. Threats

It is these opportunities and threats that entrepreneurs respond to by crafting products and services that help people to efficiently and effectively react to the prevailing environment.

So basically, effective marketing starts with identifying opportunities and threats that are encountered by people in a given community and then crafting a mechanism (products and services) that enables them to seize these opportunities or to defend against these threats.

This angle helps you to be an effective marketer or salesperson as compared to an angle where you start with product formulation and then market identification.

Unfortunately, some companies correctly engage in business by firstly identifying a market and then designing and offering relevant products but later on end up concentrating more on the product than on the dynamic needs of the market.

Knowing people’s opportunities and threats helps you in coming up with the correct approach since you will be aware of their wishes and concerns in the pursuit of their goals.

This enables you to effectively package your promotional material in a way that quickly captures the attention of the target audience since people are generally emotionally attached to the issues that disturbs them as well as to those that gives them a sense of achievement.

Those issues that disturbs their peace and development are called threats and those issues that promotes their peace and development are called opportunities.

So, on this basis, you can see that marketing calls for you to have an observant mind that recognises various changes in people’s behaviour since it is this behaviour that influences or determines people’s expenditure.

At this point, you have to know that the behaviour which determines expenditure is influenced by what people love or fear relative to prevailing circumstances in their communities.

However, merely identifying opportunities and threats of a given society and then crafting a product in this regard does not automatically guarantee you a sale.

This is because you also need to craft a unique way of interaction and then approach the relevant people with what you have observed (their opportunities and threats) and what you have done about it (the solution).

Let us demonstrate this by giving examples.

If you run a company that offers accounting and company registration services, you need to ask the following questions and then use your answers as a guide in designing your general marketing approach or even in crafting your advertising campaign for that matter.

  1. What is this (Product or Service)?

Company Registration

  • When and why do people need it (Timing and Purpose)?

You always need a formally registered business if you want to professionally transact with those clients who value proper business procedures and this includes individuals, corporates, NGOs and even the government especially when responding to tenders.

N.B: These entities usually engage formally registered businesses for both insurance, auditing, tax, social responsibility and corporate governance purposes.

  • What happens when they do not use this product/service (The Consequence)?

When a client does not use our service, in this case, if the potential customer does not get formally registered, he/she/they may lose out on the possibility of engaging high value clients who have a definite ability to pay and who can also sustainably utilise your products over a long time.

More so, your unregistered (informal) client misses out on eligibility to get loans for expansion and even for order financing. He/she is also likely to miss out on entrepreneurship related government grants and other funding opportunities especially from entrepreneurship centred NGOs and other business investors.

As such, when you approach an inspired and hardworking entrepreneur who is not formally registered, you must be able to enlighten him/her about what he/she is missing out if he/she chooses to continue trading informally.

After that, you must then inform this client that you can offer the service efficiently and affordably at his convenience and more so, you can emphasize that such a move helps them with eligibility for funding, loans and tenders that can help them to grow as a business.

You can actually look for companies that are regularly looking for the services that your potential client offers and then show him/her the requirements or rules of engagement.

When that is done, you can then advise them that once formally registered, they also stand a chance to supply their goods or services to such financially stable and reputable clients who can increase their chances of success and boost their business profile.

In real terms, you must capture the attention of your targeted clients and develop in them an interest to know more about your products and to create in them a burning desire for experiencing the reality of what you said that your product can do.

Adapted from The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu

Amazon Book Link: https://amzn.to/3geP4ux

Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu

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The Effect of Good Communication Skills on Your Business Marketing and Advertising Approaches



Brian Kazungu, 13/05/2023

In order for you to capture the attention and interest of these customers and to arouse them into action through your advertising and marketing campaigns, you must consider using properly designed Effective Communication approaches that are based on the following attributes:

  1. Information packaging – language, tone, gestures
  2. Product/ Service packaging – size, ingredients, shape, colour
  3. Approach design – premise layout, transaction facilities

Let us get into detail with the above issues in order for us to understand the subject better.

Age, beliefs, background and aspirations of your target audience determines Effective Communication (language, tone and gestures) tools that you use when interacting with them.

Please note that Effective Communication is the intentional and purposeful exchange of mutually beneficial data using common or easily agreeable symbols.

As such, when you communicate, you must use the right language (signs and symbols) in a way that makes the client to quickly understand the benefits of engaging you as well as the disadvantages of not engaging you or your products and services.

Using the wrong language, tone and gestures can interfere with the appeal of an otherwise good product or service.

There is always a language that is unique to people in a given geographical area. The tone and gestures that you use when interacting with such people can be interpreted differently when compared to what happens when it’s used on people from other communities.

Thus, when packaging your marketing information, you must come up with what I call a Message Header, which is divided into three components namely;

  1. The intention – why do you want to share the information with the client?
  2. The specific benefit – What do the parties involved benefit after the transaction?
  3. Common or easily agreeable symbols – do the signs and symbols that you are using to communicate with them have the same meaning on both ends?

The above mentioned message header approach helps you to come up with a brief but effective promotional or advertising material.

This is because you are going to use a mutually understandable language to:

  1. Express your awareness of what the customer needs and wants.
  2. Tell or inform them of the product or service that you have crafted to address that.
  3. Enlighten them on the benefits to be achieved from using your product or service.

The same applies with the size, ingredients, shape and colour of the product since they all have an element of relative appeal to people of different ages, beliefs, background and aspirations as well.

Some communities may not tolerate a certain production process or ingredient in your products and yet they still need that product when their concern is addressed, for example, we can include the issue of Halal on meat products and even allergens on some food items.

More so, age and religion are some factors that influence people when they are buying your products and services, and so, you must consider such in your communication material.

Having talked about the intention and benefits of your message in crafting the promotional material, we now need to look at the approach or unique way of presenting your products.

This is what seals the deal, since after you have captured the customer’s attention and developed in them an interest and desire to experience reality, the transaction must be done.

By approach, we mean the actual ways of engaging the customers towards transactions i.e. how does the products and money end up changing hands between buyers and sellers.

The approach that you use to engage customers is a serious determinant on the long term sales volumes since it also influences continued patronage and traffic levels to your business.

Some of these approaches includes the location of your premises, the design and layout of your shop as well as the available transaction facilities, since these are what ultimately determine who will come for engagement.

For example, customers consider if there is a reserved place to park their cars and whether there is enough and secure space to do the transactions without undue disturbances.

They also consider the available facilities for transactions to see if they suit their preferred mode of payment i.e. cash, bank cards or online payments.

All these fall within the context of an effective approach that inspire customers into engagement and thus must be given due attention.

By now, you should have realized that marketing in itself determines the attention, interest and desire while selling determines the sale (action).

Marketing entails the various ways and mechanisms of getting people to know about your company and its products while selling entails the presentation of these products to the customers in way that confirms what you said in your promotional (advertising) material.

So basically put, selling covers issues to do with the real shopping experience.

Your marketing approach should encourage an increase in traffic and activity to your business site. As such, you must be familiar with the various ways of communication that people use in their day to day interaction in order to effectively draw them towards engagement.

When you get familiar with the methods and channels of communication, you must then correctly and accurately package information to effectively reach your target audience.

As such, you must be able to observe how people share information as determined by their professions, culture, religion, tradition and even the law.

People’s professions, their culture, tradition, religion and the law determines the way how they exchange information in a given environment, and such, you must be able to identify the impact of each of these in relation to your marketing campaign.

This knowledge will determine how you will effectively package your information in order for it to move smoothly, efficiently and quickly to and from your targeted customers.

Misinterpretation of this information will have an effect on the response (sales) that you get, and as such, you must consider having a clear understanding of the market firstly and then come up with a message header that appeals to that community or market segment.

Generally speaking, marketing helps you to capture the hearts and minds of your customers in order for them to visit the business site while selling creates a shopping experience that excites them to transact with you and which also motivates them to pay you another visit.

When the promotional material and the shopping experience guarantees an increase in traffic and activity in your business, it results in high sales turnover which brings about economies of scale that translate into profitability, continuity and further expansion.

As such, you must therefore not look down on the importance of marketing in your business.

However, you also have to understand that the selling or shopping experience must be in line with the promotional (advertising) material since people will come to the business site with a preconceived perception that was put in them by your marketing techniques.

When customers realize that the shopping experience is below the picture painted by your advertising, they feel cheated and thus can go somewhere else when there is an alternative.

It is therefore better that your customers can find the shopping experience to be more appealing when compared to the advert than vice versa.

When it comes to entrepreneurship, you must understand that business is not only about having the right product at the right time but it also entails having an appealing communication about that product or service in a way that arouses customer engagement.

Your marketing approach thus determines the first engagement and relationship that you create with your customers and it also creates a reminder and a conviction in them to revisit.

The selling or shopping experience on the other hand establishes the relationship, solidifies the engagement and creates memories which when they are ignited by an advert again, it can then spur the customer to come once more.

This relationship is good for your business reputation and thus it must be promoted.

A good business reputation determines the kind of stakeholders that you will engage with since good suppliers, exceptional employees and loyal customers need to be associated with a good name.

In any industry, it is highly critical to consider creating, establishing and maintaining a long lasting relationship with your customers through devising a good marketing approach which helps clients to quickly and efficiently access effective solutions to their needs and wants.

When designing your marketing approach, you must ask the following questions and then beautifully craft and package your information and products in a way that addresses these questions for the mutual good of your business and its stakeholders:

  1. Does the market know about my business and the related products and services that I am offering?
  2. Is the market convinced enough that the products and services that my business offers can satisfy their needs and help them to succeed?
  3. Does the market have any concerns about the quality of my products and the ability of my business to continue offering products and services?

Such questions are very necessary, because if people are constantly subject to negative information or doubts about the reality to be experienced when they engage you, there is likely to be a very limited inflow of clients to your business.

It is therefore the duty of every entrepreneur and the related sales and marketing personnel to ensure that the market is properly furnished with the correct and appealing information about your products and services.

One acid test that you can do is to make random surveys on your target market in order find out how much information do people have about your business and the related products and services that you are offering.

If they have some information about your products, you also still need to find out, if the same market has confidence in your business or in your products and services.

Your marketing material must then be crafted with all these issues in mind in order to create, maintain and promote continued engagement with your clientele.

When you fully and clearly understand the issues to do with marketing and then devise a properly engaging and effective marketing approach, you will create for your business, a unique customer service signature and a commercial identity that defines your company.

Customer Service Signature or Identity – is a company’s unique way of interacting with its clients as determined by the duties, responsibility and accountability assigned to the individuals in an organisation.

There is a certain unique and almost indescribable feeling that customers get when they engage a business that values them.

When you value your clients across all the spectrum of your business, they get tickled when they see your advert, they get excited when they consume your product and they get passionate when they refer others to engage in your products and services.

Such a feeling makes them want to continue patronising your business and it makes them want to visit your premises or regularly browse your website. This is because the experience that they get when they engage your services is a unique signature that you imprint in their hearts and minds.

It is important to also understand that imprinting your customer service signature in the hearts and minds of your clients does not happen on its own but it takes an understanding of what marketing is, what it does and how it is done especially as explained in this pocket book.

Commercial Identity – is a company’s image/reputation to its stakeholders based on its unique and independent trading practises and characteristics that comes from exposure and adherence to a defined Policy and Mission Statement.

Just as like what we do with people when we describe them especially according to how they are perceived by our senses, we can also do the same with businesses.

This is because, from how we see and perceive a certain business based on its operations, we get an identity or we can give it an identity that reflects whether or not, that business attracts or repels us.

As such, when designing a marketing approach, it’s important to understand that it has an effect on your business identity and that such an identity reflects to your various stakeholders who in turn make an engagement decision based on your marketing material.

The mentioned identity must strike awe in the hearts and minds of your clientele, whether actual or targeted, so that they feel like missing out on something when they are not engaging you as a product or service provider.

Critical Attributes of an Advertisement

Generally, a typical advertisement has the attributes of communication (information dissemination), corporate responsibility, marketing and public relations, among others in the sense that when you read, listen to or even watch an advert you can see that there is:

  1.  An element of profitable selling (commerce) through use of good communication mechanisms.
  2. An element of passing helpful community information (corporate social responsibility)
  3. An element of initiating, establishing or even restoring commercial relationship (public relations) through good communication practices.

One of the most important issues to consider in designing and implementing an effective advertising campaign is to understand that advertising is a form of business communication which must have the following attributes:

  1. It must be easy to process and understand (the message must be quickly decoded and must prompt or bring about informed action)
  2. It must create an interest in the product or service in a way that quickly and clearly convey a sense of benefit or achievement to the consumer (satisfaction) and commercial gain to the entrepreneur (profit).
  3. It must promote responsibility and uphold morality (pursuit of profit must not directly or secretly tear the social fabric)
  4. It must enhance the community ambience or mood (must excite and create positive expectations among stakeholders).
  5. It must enhance community knowledge about a certain issue, must inform and educate (whether they buy or not, the message must leave the targeted audience better informed about a certain issue)
  6. showcase talent, promote creativity and encourage excellence in a given field (whether print, audio or visual, an advert must be a platform for the gifted creatives (artists) to thrive and shine)

When the above mentioned attributes are incorporated in an advertisement, the advert will have an emotional appeal that creates a bond between and among the organisation and its targeted audience.

On the contrary, failure to consider the above attributes will result in an advertising campaign that fails to achieve the intended results, thus creating unnecessary but avoidable expenses to the organisation.

It is therefore important to understand that an advertisement must touch the hearts and minds of the targeted audience and influence them towards expenditure in a manner that is sustainable to both the respective individuals and the community at large while at the same time bringing viability and profits to the organisation.

Adapted from The SME HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu

Amazon Book Link: https://amzn.to/3geP4ux

Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu

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