Saturday, January 5, 2008

Small Biz Tech and Marketing

For most small businesses, gaining new business is done by word of mouth, personal networking/referrals, and some direct selling. Having a marketing budget that wraps everything up into a coordinated process for generating a consistent flow of new business is not someting I see too often. There are technologies, typically sold as a service from vendors, that give the smallest of companies consistent, effective marketing power using the power of email. Examples of this are Constant Contact, eProspector, and Sales Genius. These could be used to manage a newsletter the company wants to put out, an email prospecting campaign for either cold or warm lists, or for getting insight from prospects on what they prefer. Its always good to add some outbound marketing to your mix as long as your leads are targeted and your message is concise.

It should also go without saying that a small business that has not invested the time and money in a secure email system, preferably with MS Exchange either hosted or onsite, may have a harder time leveraging these types of technologies. I've worked with many a client that has been blacklisted by their ISP because some virus infected their server or some hacker broke in and started sending out mass amounts of spam using their servers. That type of problem could take days or longer to resolve, and you can bet that being able to send out even just one-off emails to that hot prospect you met yesterday would be impacted in a not-so-nice way.

That just points to the idea that having a clean, up to date, IT infrastructure that is well maintained gives you time to focus on growing the business.

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