As you created your 2014 Business Plan no doubt you thought about how to retain existing customers and how to acquire new custo
As you created your 2014 Business Plan no doubt you thought about how to retain existing customers and how to acquire new customers. But as everyone knows this is not as easy as it sounds. With upstarts and new market entrants, the backup and recovery services market has become even more competitive putting more pressure on you to become even more creative than ever with your marketing strategies including demand generation, customer retention, product, pricing and distribution.
Have you looked at how your competitors are going to market? Outlined below are 7 things that your competitors are doing to out-market you.
- Blogging. Have you ever done a Google search using keywords that describe your company or your solutions to find that your competitor ranks higher than you with the search engine because they have deployed a blog and are blogging about industry trends? This means that prospects researching cloud backup solutions for SMB and enterprise are probably going to find your competitors’ website before they stumble upon yours.
- Product Portfolio Expansion. Adding new products to their portfolio that increase their total addressable market or standardizing on a single solution that can provide them with a comprehensive offering without the need to invest in multiple point solutions. This enables them to address the needs of more new and existing customers. For example, they may have added a product to their portfolio that can backup endpoint devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
- Fostering new strategic alliances. Your competitors are developing new and fostering existing partnerships with companies like NetApp, Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, etc. to gain new entry points and new introductions to new market opportunities. How are you leveraging your partnerships?
- Offering recovery-based pricing. Going to market with a new pricing model can be stressful as you want to ensure your margins continue to be met and that you are not leaving money on the table. However, the alternative is to maintain the status quo and continue to battle for and lose deals over price. What if you could double the number of customers without competing on price by offering a fair recovery-based price that provides your customers with more predictability and IT operational efficiencies?
- Participating in social media. Have you monitored your competitors’ activities in social media? Do they have a Twitter account, LinkedIn company profile, and Facebook page? Do they participate in online communities like Spiceworks, LinkedIn Groups, Solarwinds, etc.? Are you actively sharing your company’s news such as customer wins, new solution or product updates, with your followers and the market? Are you retweeting on a regular basis – at least once a day? Your competitors are tweeting which is increasing their brand visibility in the market.
- Hiring a full-time marketing professional. Do you have an individual on your team that is solely focused on executing marketing related initiatives such as email campaigns, social media, writing blog posts, updating your website content, nurturing leads, coordinating upcoming events, writing customer case studies, etc.? Your competitors are hiring dedicated marketing staff to effectively facilitate the new self-paced buyer’s journey.
- Deploying an inbound marketing strategy. If you are still relying on cold calling to find new customers, than you are definitely being out-marketed by your competition. Buyers do not want to speak to a sales person until much later in the buyer’s journey. The way individuals purchase cloud backup services and solutions has changed. Today, you must earn the attention of potential customers, make yourself easy to be found and draw them into your website through compelling, educational content.