As you have probably gathered from our posts this month we have a mixed relationship with the words:
"Can we Just...."
In this article, we look at how Can we just can cause issues. We explore how the idea of Can we just causes frustration through a lack of joined-up thinking.
Alternatively, Can we just…? can demonstrate a fluid and innovative pace of SME marketing, opening a wide range of possibilities.
Here, I am focussing on this second idea and how the practical and positive approach to Can we just can deliver real benefit. I highlight four examples where planned and joined-up strategy allows “Can we just…” coupled with web technology, delivers a real business advantage.
1. Can we just…. run a customer satisfaction survey?
The initial idea was to use a third-party service such as Survey Monkey, While this type of service is good, there is a risk of missing branding opportunity that comes from fully integrating a survey into your website. However having time to plan, allowed us to do this.The survey was built into the client’s WordPress website. The flexibility of the WordPress platform meant this was reasonably straightforward. Furthermore, this approach enhanced the impact of the survey and actually made branding easier as much of the layout already existed within the website. Even better, the results were automatically collated – though to be fair, most of eth 3rd party options do this too.
We have used this approach several times and, coupled with effective. well-targeted communications, we regularly see response rates between 20% and 30%
2. Can we just… add a shop to our website?
This is an interesting one. At first, it may sound like quite an ask. However, adding e-commerce functionality to a WordPress website is not too challenging. Woocommerce is the go-to e-commerce plugin for WordPress and, now in version 3, it is a powerful beast. It is a simple process to install. You then add a few products & a link to PayPal and you are good to go! Okay, I admit that a bit of configuration is necessary and prior knowledge is helpful but it is definitely possible to do this within a budget of £100’s rather than the £1000’s normally required if you want someone to set up e-commerce for your business.
However, this is also a great example of a situation, where it is not the technical but business and marketing issues that need the most thought. this is especially true when selling direct to end users is a new channel. Things like:
- Shipping costs/logistics
- Customer service
All need to be considered, and in the main, these are business rather than technical issues.
To be successful, an e-commerce website should be considered as from the business process angle rather than as a technical challenge. Get the business plan right and you are in a strong position to specify your technical requirements and end up with a good and workable solution to your e-commerce needs.
3. Can we just…convert our website to WordPress?
WordPress boasts some impressive statistics. It offers extensive functionality both out of the box and as add-on options yet is still pretty accessible for non-techies who want to manage their own website content. So what do you do if you have a website where you like the content but don’t can’t edit or control it? The structure of WordPress often makes it possible to efficiently transfer a website into WordPress, retaining the content and style of the old site but introducing the Content Management functionality and upgradeability and enhancement options of WordPress.
If you have a significant investment in your existing website and content but need more control, you don’t need to go back to square one.
… and one more. Simple but important
4. Can we just…resize & crop these images to fit the website better?
Images are a crucial part of a modern website and manipulation (particularly resizing & optimising) is a key requirement to fit in with the written content. There is a great tool to allow you to handle tasks like these without resorting to the cost and complexity of Photoshop. This tool is Irfanview. It is free to download, and you will find it here.
Can we just…? is an inevitable consequence of the dynamic world of running an SME Business.
Whether you see Can we just…? as a frustrating consequence of not having a clear plan, or, as we see in this article, an opportunity to innovate and develop your business in a joined-up way can be the difference between real success and continual fire-fighting. Which would you prefer?