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After many years running businesses in software, data management, market research and data visualisation, I feel that I am well equipped to advise on a lot of things. So, why did I decide to attend the #cmalive marketing conference in Edinburgh last week? Whilst the conference was fun to attend, I didn’t attend for fun even though Edinburgh is an attractive destination.
“Aha”, you may think if you have a suspicious mind, “he wants to find out how his company can increase profits by finding ways to sell more, charge more or exploit what is on offer”. Or, you might think that we want a slicker marketing machine that sells our products and services more efficiently.
Well, yes, I hope that by attending the conference the company will increase its profits. Don’t most people who run businesses try to make profits? Don’t most conference attendees go to improve their business? But, this misses the whole point of why I attended.
It’s 2017 and the days of charging as much as you can for as little as you can without providing much of a product or service are generally gone unless you happen to be a big corporation that has a monopoly or a similarly advantageous position.
Marketing is different now. Marketing is now about providing clients and potential clients with sufficient information so that they can buy the right product or service and continue to use that product or service effectively. If your washing machine breaks, what do you do now? You go online and find the right washing machine at the right price that fits your needs. If you buy badly, it’s probably because you didn’t look properly.
There’s no difference with our software and services, our aim is to tell you what we have an offer, when it will work for you and to provide that at a realistic cost. It’s important that we arm you with all the information you need – not just the good news but the problems or things you need to consider before purchasing from us. Please take a longer look at our blog – it is full of pros and cons.
So, what have we changed and what will we change? I think there are 5 key areas we are working on:
The information on our website is, I would admit, not good enough and needs to improve, but it is improving all the time and we will continue to try to give you what you want and need to succeed with your business. If our products or services do not fit your needs, we will tell you and, if we can, we will recommend the right solution.
Marketing, in my experience, has taken on a much wider role – rather like the way that market research is not just about asking survey questions. Marketing now includes communication, education, information, training, advice, tips - in fact, anything that makes the relationship between client and supplier better or easier.
So, attending a marketing conference is not about learning how to rip you off. It’s about providing what we are good at to you in the best way possible and improving how we do it. If you’ve got any ideas about ways MRDC could be a better supplier to you, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.