Even though communications technology gives us many ways to present information about our companies, we need strategies for doing so powerfully and meaningfully. Even though we want to define ourselves to others as really important and to get the attention we deserve, we know that the sheer overwhelming volume of information makes it difficult to get our message across. How do we tell our story to the people we want to reach out to so that they remember us? How do we convincingly say, “We’re different and better”?
The main thing we need to do is to be clear about who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Then we need to focus on exactly what we do that others can’t provide, the things that our customers come back again and again for and that make us unique.
Here are five thinking points for how to create that definition and to stand out in the minds of our customers.
- What is our passion? Passion comes before profit. In order to be and seem authentic and driven, we need to be excited about ourselves and what we offer. We have a story to tell. In realising our own value, we can make others realise it too. We’re in this for a reason, and that reason is what brings customers to our door. For example, we at Caldere are committed to understanding data and project management at the highest level and anticipating the real needs of business so that we can design exciting new data interpretation systems capable of answering critical questions even before our clients think to ask.
- What is our key “thing”? What do we offer that others don’t? Because we are who we are, what can we do that others can’t? Are we a unique source for something extraordinary? Is our customer service the best in the business? What do we promise, and deliver on, better than everyone else? The answers to these, and similar, questions tell us who we are to those with whom we are the most successful. At Caldere, we are uniquely characterised by our customer-focused approach to effortless efficiency and productivity, through our creative problem-solving expertise and our commitment to making data serve business goals rather than making business chase arbitrary metrics.
- Who is our audience? Having discovered our identity and our best strengths, we need to make sure that the right people discover us, too. In the past we created untargeted mass content, directed to no particular person, and optimised for no particular medium. Today we have to use all of our tools precisely, so that we reach the right person at the right time, every time. In order to do that, we need to gather good information. We can use business intelligence tools to mine our existing data for clues on what has worked best in the past and who our best customers are. We can talk to people in many ways to get their feedback on what they need most and what they expect in the future. At Caldere, we are finding more and more that we partner best with small and medium businesses who want to get the most out of their data and who are open to the latest ways to use their findings to connect closely with their own internal and external customers.
- Why should our audience care about us? Our customers, however much they might admire us, our conviction, and our competence, will only make the effort to work with us if we have something they need and want. Just standing out is not enough. Customers may think of us as just a vendor of a particular product or service, but we know that they have a purpose in mind for which the product or service is just a means to an end. If we can show that we understand and care about their values and goals, they will in turn see us as an indispensable part of their success. Here at Caldere, we know our clients thrive when we create and sustain long-term relationships in which customer service is the highest priority—we know you can’t do your jobs unless your systems do their jobs for you.
- How do we make our voices heard? It’s not enough anymore to just “hang a shingle”. Why and how we do what we do matters. Just like we seek to become part of our customers’ story, we need to make them feel like they are part of ours. People share their ideals and identities through social media, and businesses do the same thing in exactly the same way. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media are not just a way to announce our presence, but to share our thoughts, our best practices, our philosophy, and why people are glad to work with us. Authentic, relevant content, posted where people will naturally seek it, will encourage our existing customers to stay loyal, and make it easy for our prospects to engage with us. This blog is just one example of the many ways in which we at Caldere seek to inform and educate our prospects, customers, and colleagues.
Start by introducing these ideas bit by bit into your outreach efforts. As we become more comfortable with them, we can increasingly rely on them to help us to grow into our professional identities and to make our presence felt more and more strongly within our business communities. We should re-evaluate the answers to these questions regularly so we don’t miss critical shifts in the industry, in communications technology, or even in our own goals and values.
Business communication is now so fast and sophisticated that it will never again be sufficient to simply present ourselves as product or service providers. We need to get across clearly why we care about what we do, why we are different and relevant, why we matter to the industry and to our customers, and why and how we can help our clients take the next steps to success. Caldere are fully committed to helping you use your valuable data to answer all of these questions not only for your customers but also for yourselves.