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  • Writer's pictureDiandre Myburgh

Updated: May 26, 2020

As we all work to navigate our way through the current crisis, it can be tough to find the positives to hold onto. It can be helpful to take comfort in the many ways people are coming together in our country with efforts that are truly unprecedented. Many professional communities and leaders in the industry are taking proactive steps to keep businesses afloat in these tough times. One thing is for certain, though, when it comes to the economic impact on companies and SMEs tackling an economic downturn. History tells us that the most successful companies had a few things in common. They:

  • Planned ahead

  • Went on the offense early

  • Found ways – during and after the crisis – to position themselves as winners

Need proof? Check out the graph below charting profitability before, during, and following the 2008 recession.

Now you may be thinking, “Okay, that all sounds great, but how is an company supposed to ‘accelerate profitability’ when they’re experiencing less customer engagement than ever before and have likely had to make major cutbacks, including layoffs and cuts in ad spend?” And while we don’t pretend to have all the answers, we can tell you the perfect place to start – and that’s by implementing an effective MarTech stack to streamline marketing efforts, cut costs, and maximize revenue – for your business and your clients’ businesses. When the economy is down, maximizing every opportunity and converting every lead possible is more critical than ever, and a solid marketing and sales automation platform is a must-have to accomplish that.

Focus on MarTech Stack Essentials During an Economic Downturn

A quick search for what tools are necessary in any MarTech stack will show just how intricate and detailed we can get with data, but just because a shiny new tool exists doesn’t mean it’s necessary.

For example, a retailer has no reason to use appointment software, and a restaurant chain probably has little use for abandoned cart or suggested product emails. The technology needs to be the right fit for the business. Yet, there are some basic marketing data points that every business needs in order to compete in today’s fast-paced, data-driven, and economically uncertain world.

Website Analytics

Having a robust analytics tool that can also report on email performance, campaigns, and even map out the life of your leads is non-negotiable.

All marketing strategies hinge on the quality and accuracy of the data.

Content Management System (CMS)

Your CMS is the home base for your business online. It is how content will be managed, uploaded, published, and engaged with, so it’s another super important piece of your tech stack.

When choosing a CMS, it’s incredibly important that the system integrates with all the other tools being used. Your marketing automation and CRM platform goes hand-in-hand with your CMS because it’s the central hub where all data should be funneled to – so if a piece of technology does not work with your CMS and CRM, it likely won’t be helpful.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Speaking of CRM, this is where you’ll track and manage every lead and customer interaction.

Whether the CRM is in place to help the marketing and sales teams manage and distribute leads, or it’s your primary customer service tool to help direct inquiries to the correct department (or both!), companies need some way to manage the relationship with contacts, now more than ever.

An all-in-one CRM marketing automation platform can cover all of your customer management needs, along with MarTech solutions that directly integrate with the customer data. Streamlining how many different places employees need to log in and how many pieces of software are being integrated can save valuable time and even speed up the buyer’s journey through more effective marketing.

Automation Tools

Marketing automation plays a big role in an effective marketing strategy, particularly during tough economic times when efficiency, affordability and conversion are truly vital.

The speed at which customers are making decisions and trends are changing has made it impossible to survive without automation software in place. Automation tools help to consolidate company processes as manual steps are removed and improve customer experience with better personalization – in turn maximizing every interaction to nurture leads toward a sale.

In a multi-channel world, automation paired with accurate data is the only way to compete. Approximately 81% of consumers want brands to better understand them and know the right time to approach them.

Working with a disjointed MarTech stack could mean sending marketing messages at unwanted times or putting customers into incorrect funnels. Those mistakes seem minor to companies in good times, but right now it’s especially vital to make sure every impression counts.

Email Marketing

Email is a top performing and highly converting marketing strategy. Especially when paired with automation, email marketing is a powerful influencer for purchases.

Of course, there’s more to email marketing than simply sending emails. A complete email marketing strategy requires a plan for list growth, which requires the ability to embed forms and create landing pages, and an automated follow-up sequence for any form that’s filled out.

To put it simply, email marketing isn’t as simple as it seems. Having an integrated tool that includes automation, list segmentation, landing page integration, and form integration will make for a more effective strategy. Using a CRM for email marketing automation means all these pieces are integrated by default – plus many other tools that can move the needle.

Social Media

In today’s hyper-connected world, consumers expect to be able to message company social media pages for instant customer service. If a brand’s pages are left unmonitored, it creates negative experiences for customers who reach out with a question or concern and never receive a response.

If engaging customers in a more dynamic way or triggering automations based on social activity are goals for the marketing department, then an all-in-one CRM might be the right choice to start or improve your stack. Using a CRM with social media scheduling and social listening capabilities further helps to integrate company data for accurate and effective marketing messaging.

All-in-One Sales and Marketing Platforms: Benefits in Times of Economic Uncertainty

Before looking at layering several complicated technologies, make sure you know the basics:

  • Marketing automation

  • Customer relationship management (CRM)

  • A content management system (CMS)

  • An analytics platform for the website

Once these basics are covered, your technology needs will depend on your company goals.

Whether you’re focused on delivering better experiences, helping sales have more relevant conversations, or serving up context-based content, smartly investing in the right technology can ensure you come out on top.

Ultimately, an effective MarTech stack efficiently combines marketing activity data, along with engagement and conversion data, to maximize every single opportunity in your pipeline. It allows marketers and sales teams to better understand the ROI of their efforts and thus prioritize spend in the right areas to maximize revenue. And that’s a business benefit no one can afford to pass up, especially during these difficult economic times.

To learn more about how to utilize marketing and sales automation to deliver results, save money, streamline your marketing efforts effectively, and come out on top during and after this economic downturn, feel free to contact us.

This article was originally published by Sharpspring.

V5 Digital is the official Sharpspring Partner for Namibia. Book a demo with us today, and unlock the power of marketing automation!

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Updated: Jun 21, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has been described by Forbes as “A before-and-after moment in the history of the economy and the digital transformation”. Business Insider reports that “a third of the global population is on coronavirus lockdown”, while according to UNESCO, about 1.3 billion learners around the world are not able to attend school or university. The impact on economies around the globe has been staggering.

However, what has emerged clearly is that “enterprises leading in digital transformation are significantly less vulnerable”. As the International Data Corporation (IDC) found in 2 surveys conducted in February in China: “The outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic has showcased the value of IT and digital transformation and organisations should turn the crisis into an opportunity to accelerate the transition.”

The “on-demand’ economy: on-demand food and services

Around the globe, businesses have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some have been destroyed, while others, like some airlines, will be bankrupt without major bailouts. Restaurants, hair salons, retailers, multinational corporations and many more are struggling. However, the directives that are forcing thousands of workers to work from home have also led to greater demand in some areas and there is “a sharp uptick in demand for delivery services, especially in the food and grocery sector”.

Companies such as Pick ‘n Pay that have already invested in digital transformation strategies with online shopping platforms face many challenges in Namibia in the current crisis, such as importing goods. But they are better able to meet customer needs than those that are only now waking up to the enormous changes “driven by a culture of ‘everywhere commerce in which digitally connected consumers are increasingly expecting to be able to shop whenever and wherever they want; whether it be in stores or online, using their smartphones or even voice-activated digital assistants.”

And it’s important to note that all is not gloom and doom. In the USA, “…some companies have seen soaring growth due to COVID-19. The publicly traded video conferencing platform Zoom, now part of the country’s collective lexicon, has seen its stock rise, as have delivery services as most Americans try to ‘shelter in place.’ Large companies like pet supplier Chewy, meal kit company Blue Apron, as well as smaller businesses and start-ups have been blindsided by surging sales over the past several weeks as COVID-19 and increased containment restrictions turned worlds upside down.”

For example, Farmbox Direct is a company in the US that delivers fresh fruit and vegetables via an online subscription service. When the owner woke up on 14 March, she thought there must be a gremlin in her computer system. “‘There’s no way we could have taken that many orders overnight,’ recalled Tyrner recently, ‘but we did. We are doubling the company every 24 hours.’ Many of Farmbox’s new customers are located in areas where supermarket shelves sit empty. Other new customers set up deliveries for parents and grandparents who are not risking infection by leaving their homes to shop.”

Since there are now so few In Real Life (IRL) experiences in shopping, people in self-isolation are exploring social media to a far greater extent than before for content and connection. And brands are becoming more creative with their social media channels, focusing on their existing customers with automated marketing and loyalty programmes. Shopify suggests selling on Instagram if you aren’t already doing so. It reports that: “Over the last two weeks, influencer agency, Obviously, found a 76 percent increase in daily accumulated likes on Instagram #ad posts, and a 22 percent increase in Instagram campaign impressions from last quarter. With such a highly-engaged audience, Instagram can make your brand more discoverable by existing and future customers.”

Working from Home/Telecommuting

One of the most profound changes to occur as a result of the pandemic is the shift to working from home. “Whatever objections businesses have previously had to telecommuting, COVID-19 may be the moment that brings it into the mainstream and shows leaders that with the right technology, culture and expectations, employees can be just as productive and effective from home.” As the IDC survey in China revealed, two of the top three positive impacts of the pandemic on businesses are:

  • Improved corporate ability of long-distance collaborative work.

  • Wide recognition of the value of digital transformation and information technology among employees.

When asked what their digital transformation focus for 2020 will be, the companies surveyed indicated that one of their top priorities would be “creating new telecommuting and enterprise collaboration systems.”

Many of the reservations companies had in the past about allowing their employees to work from home were about monitoring their activities and a potential drop in productivity. However, with software that tracks keystrokes, as well as email and Web surfing monitoring programs, and remote screen readers, companies can successfully track employees’ work performed at home.

In fact, Forbes revealed in surveys of companies using telecommuting that more than two-thirds of managers reported an increase in overall productivity. Why is this so? “With none of the distractions from a traditional office setting, telecommuting drives up employee efficiency.” And, without needing to spend time during the day driving to and from work or using public transport, employees are less stressed. The environment benefits too as the carbon footprint is reduced.

In addition to the benefits for employees, the survey found substantial benefits to companies as well in the form of decreasing costs. “According to Aetna, an insurance giant in America, it shed 2.7 million square feet of office space and as a result saved $78 million. American Express reported similar results by saving $10-15 million annually thanks to its telecommuting policies.

Much has changed as the world responds to the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve seen massive surges in e-learning, streaming and online shopping. And we’ve learned that: “Organisations that have web enabled their businesses are in a much better position to weather this pandemic, both in the short and long term.”

It’s important to remember that different organisations take different paths to digital transformation and maturity. Every business will have a unique digital journey that is aligned with the needs of the business and its customers. V5 Digital – one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Namibia – will assist you in developing your unique digital business model, whether that involves helping you to use digital to sell your products or services online, or connecting with your customers on social media. Don’t hesitate to contact V5 Digital for a free assessment.

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Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Instagram remains the best place to impress, impact, and share moments that won’t live forever. Content creators and influencers share their fashion, travel, and everyday experiences and businesses and brands engage, enlighten, and encourage their followers to check out their products and services.

Are you wasting time optimizing your Instagram bio?

However, there exists an unspoken truth about using Instagram. It can be difficult to effectively drive your business objectives on this platform. Hashtags are brilliant for expanding your reach, there's no better place to get likes and followers, and using paid media to promote your post can really boost your return on investment.

That being said, there's an irritating aspect to posting on this platform. Instagram captions don't allow for clickable links, and your account bio has space for only one URL. The way most people get around this is by remembering to write “Link in Bio” on posts where they need to move their audience to another page or website.

You also have to remember to constantly change the link in your bio to reflect the new content, promotion, or product you'd like to share with your followers. This becomes truly problematic when driving multiple objectives at once. The limited offer you posted this morning has to make space for the holiday campaign you're launching this evening. This system confuses customers and ends up suppressing traffic to your sites.

All of this unnecessarily inflates the value of that little piece of digital real estate. Thankfully there's a better way! It's become possible to optimize your Linkin-Bio so you never have to struggle with swapping out links or remembering to change captions again.

Are you using your Instagram bio to drive your business objectives? You should be!

V5 Digital is proud to pioneer a new Linkin-Bio solution to social media’s most annoying problem. This Africa first solution creates a fully-customizable mini-web page that combines all your Instagram, TikTok, video and website content into one easy-to-share link.

Pack the link in your bio with relevant content that is super flexible, clickable, and shoppable! The post about your seasonal sale leads your followers straight to your trendy summer dresses and the post highlighting your new services gets everyone to sign up for your newsletter. You tell your audience where to go with a single link.

If this is starting to sound pretty good, read more about the New Linkin-Bio solution powered by V5 Digital.

At V5 Digital we take your particular business objectives and goals into consideration when building a fully-customizable Linkin-Bio solution. While competitors offer generic, anonymous, one-size-fits-all options, we make sure your business or brand is represented exactly the way you prefer.

We ensure that you can drive traffic to exactly where you need it, make analyzing your analytics super easy, and create a space where your purchasable products and services can truly shine.

Next, V5 Digital conducts a social media audit where we make sure that your account is set up in the most optimal way to achieve your objectives. To give an example, we check if your Instagram Stories Button Highlights are providing potential customers with a clear understanding of your brand pillars.

Competitors might link your bio to a bland screen with multiple pages but at V5 Digital we believe every click should represent the look and feel of your brand perfectly. We include social icons so the audiences on your other accounts can grow and cross-pollinate. Instead of copy-heavy link buttons, we use visual representations of your content that are clickable, transporting your audience to where you need them.

We make sure your Instagram account is working at 100% while you focus on creating content or growing your business. The brand you trust and the influencer you adore are already using this solution so why not you?

If you’re interested in a hassle-free way to manage all your Instagram, TikTok, and social media content under one link the V5 Digital Linkin-Bio solution might be perfect for you.

Alternatively, don’t hesitate to set up a no-obligation consultation with us or check out the link in our Instagram bio to see for yourself how far one link can take you!

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