Tech-marketing tools SMEs should be using in the lead up to Amazon

With so much at stake and so little time, where should you be putting your efforts to establish a defence against the e-tail giant Amazon? We’ve put together a short list of some helpful tools and tricks that you can start to bring into your business to build a strong and engaged staff and customer base.

We’d suggest you focus on tools that not only acquire leads and build customer understanding but also empower your best asset – your people. Strong personal relationships formed through understanding and face to face interactions are harder to break than those built simply on a pure transactional basis. This is where smaller businesses and retailers have the competitive advantage.

Here are 10 key things to consider when armouring your business against Amazon and other e-commerce giants:

  1. People pride through a focus on culture – The Blog gives great weekly tips, tricks and tools on how to keep your teams engaged and ensure they’re all jumping on the same wave to drive your business forward.
  2. Build customer understanding – Listen and learn from your existing customers by asking questions, observing behaviours or giving them avenues to give you feedback and ideas on how to be better at what you do. This can be done simply through online survey tools from Google suite i.e. Google forms.
  3. Enable a one-to-one dialogue – Establish a direct channel to communicate with your customers as a group or individuals. This can be achieved through social channels such as a Facebook group or, for more sophisticated players, a CRM e.g. Hubspot is free.
  4. Staff engagement – Your most important asset and often the front line of your business. Ensure your team knows what’s going on and where they play a part in achieving success. This is achieved through quick staff stand-ups at the start or end of a day or more structured through online learning tools such as Udemy or Coursera.
  5. Get creative – People process information easier and faster when it is in image or design format. Without needing the skills of a fully-fledged designer, you can produce compelling materials for your print or digital channels using tools like Canva.
  6. Consumer recruitment and retention – Need to give consumers a reason to visit and to come back? Digital vouchering tools like It’s On Us give retailers and brands the ability to send a promotional offer to targeted consumers and have them come in store to redeem.
  7. Manage your media – Focus on key channels where your consumers are, don’t try and be everywhere. Tools like HootSuite can help you manage multiple social channels (Facebook, instagram, Twitter), while tools like Hubspot CRM can help manage your email campaigns.
  8. Collaboration is key – Using the Google Suite of products will ensure document consistency. Google Keep, for example, is,a simple and clean way to keep you and your team on task.
  9. Financials – Cut time and the cost of expense management with simple and mobile based tools like Concur.
  10. Celebration – A team that plays together stays together! Taking the time to celebrate your wins and milestones is a critical success factor. Keep a stocked fridge handy or treat your team at the local pub.

Murray Jess, Head of Commercial & Strategy, The Zoo Republic

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