How are your customers finding YOUR local business these days? For services and products within their locale, they were doing their research in phone books and newspapers. Walking the streets and physically finding a particular business was normal in the era before that.The current answer will soon sound the knell of traditional methods mentioned above. Thanks to Google Places, Google Maps and Google local search algorithms; phone directories, Yellow Pages and local business directories are in terminal decline. In many seemingly affluent areas such as my locale, Carlisle’s Stanwix and other suburbs north of the river Eden, very locally focussed advertising magazines have foundered 3 times in the last 3 years. During a local business training seminar, one of the consultant trainers stated quite baldly that he no longer wasted his time on expensive newspaper advertising. Simply put; potential customers are trying to satisfy their need by typing their questions into Google to find the local business that will satisfy them. This is a skill which even a five year old will have more experience of than many Google business users.If I need takeaway food or a taxi, when the regular suppliers are unavailable; I search for “indian takeaway” or “taxi” online (frequently using my internet capable mobile phone) and find out what appears first… and I don’t often go past the first page of results! There are, using the example just given, about 1.5 million listings for Indian takeaway. It’s curious that even though Google knows my locale is Carlisle. the top results aren’t actually that relevant to Carlisle. The first result up is a Just Eat page for Manchester: 120 miles away, which is incorrectly judged more relevant to my question than Carlisle’s own Indian food establishments. To understand how Google views relevancy, the example of a search for Indian takeaway food outlets for a person based in my locale: Carlisle, Cumbria in the UK provides a useful starting point.So, for this simple example, let’s take the part of an Indian restaurant owner in Carlisle. With only about 70,000 people in the urban area you would imagine there was not much competition. You’ve had a stunning website set up to show off your authentic recipes, but it is not generating any new business! As the previous search showed, there are almost one and a half million pages to compete with to gain a customer; just from Carlisle based searches for Indian Takeaway. This simply means that there is a tough job for a local business to get top Google listings when that hungry customer tries to Google business in their area, to satisfy their need.Bearing the previous example in mind, sensible use of a well optimised Google places listing can help you in your quest to rise to the top of the search results. For most searches the results pages have a distinct structure. The SERPs (search engine results pages ) are arranged in 3 distinct sections. Ignoring the paid advertising at the top of the page, the first section shows 3 organic (ie normal ordinary search results) and in our example search, they do not have much relevance to me in the role of a hungry Carlisle customer. Following the organic results is the Google places listings section. Following the places listings, the remaining space on the page is taken up by organic listings.It is important to understand that Google is always refining its algorithms for displaying the solution to a search and the question it implies. This was illustrated quite clearly while I was researching for the launch of my local SEO service, I watched the results for the keyword “builder carlisle” change several times over 22 days last November, with an Australian company topping the Serps for much of the time. The goalposts keep changing for good reason: to prevent people like myself gaming Google too effectively and skewing search results too much towards commercialism, rather than relevance.Any local business, seeking customers from their own locale, needs a Google Places listing as a crucial first step to becoming a Google business. A well optimized Google Places listing is far more likely to show up at the top of the search results for those customers who want satisfaction NOW… and are ready to pay for it. If your competitors show up on the front page and you do not; you are already fighting a losing battle. A Places listing is one of the most important signposts to be putting up online.Many customers will in fact not be happy about all the irrelevant listings that appear and will try to get more localised results: typically by changing the search term to “Indian takeaway Carlisle”. Even with this filter in place there are still 293,000 results for Google to choose from that relate to the search term “Indian takeaway Carlisle”. Now, even with Carlisle businesses in focus, will your establishment be amongst them? For this specific search, the SERPs are dominated by Google places listings. The local business appearing at the top of this group is the one where the money will be spent and if our example takeaway business is absent, that is an untapped income stream for that local business.If a small city like Carlisle in the relatively stagnant north of the UK gives 300,000 pages of results for a local search for a spicy meal, that is an indication of the level of work and skill that has to be employed to help you rank and show up for search terms that relate to your locale and business. With guidance from knowledgeable consulting partners the learning curve can be reduced and the whole process can be put into the hands of people who are familiar with the bizarre world of the search engine, removing one more obstacle to business success.
Archive for: February, 2023
Climbing the success ladder and standing atop the management hierarchy is every professional’s dream. If you are too a working professional, don’t you aspire to be one among the senior management one day? Don’t you want to be on the other side of the table – commanding, leading from the top, and setting an example for many to follow? It’s not easy definitely; getting there requires immaculate efforts, and of course, the requisite skills.One among such most vital skills is marketing. Does not sound very common when it comes to senior management roles, right? But yes, it’s a skill that’s highly valued by employers today across organisations. It is, in fact, one of the pivotal competencies of a strong senior manager. We, at Times TSW, will help you explore why and how marketing skills form an inevitable trait for senior management roles, in this article below.Marketing Skills Form the Core of the Senior Management’s ResponsibilitiesIf you thought that marketing is a task restricted to the creative marketing department of your organisation, it’s time to rethink. Competition in the corporate world has brought marketing competencies right to the lap of every employee therein. And, once you start working on augmenting them, you’d soon start treading the path of success.This is because managers must know how to promote their specific product/idea in the market amid cut-throat competition. For this, they need to polish some of the basic marketing competencies such as:Effective communication
Communication is the lifeblood of a team lead/manager. That’s common knowledge. But it shouldn’t just be restricted to interpersonal or in-house communication. Marketing is a type of professional communication that happens between organisations (B2B), as well as with potential and existing customers (B2C). If you exactly know how to market your service idea outside the four walls of your enterprise, you’d be doing immense good to the latter as well as to yourself.Out-of-the-box approaches
What’s the most impactful quality of a senior manager? Their ability to think out of the box for the most trivial or critical issues at hand; to offer creative solutions when needed. Marketing skills require you to develop analytical thinking towards project goals and requirements and present innovative ways to achieve them, both to your team as well as your customers.Keeping pace with technology
Technological changes have seeped into every phase of work functions today. You may be part of any domain in your organisation, be it IT, marketing, finance, HR, or any other, you do need to adapt yourself to fast-paced changes all along so as to surpass the competition.Moreover, you need to keep an eye open for cues all along. For instance, keep a check if the traditional means of advertising the project idea are failing to attain desired results? See if digital marketing is the new trend in the market that can put across your message more effectively? Figure out and work on your marketing strategies in accordance with changing technologies.Efficient collaboration
Marketing competencies also involve effective coordination with other departments of the organisation as you work on your product. This may require you to sit with the design team to prepare your product design/logo for promotion, or spending time with the research team to analyse consumer survey data.Since all of these activities form a part of marketing, it’s a good idea to have a working knowledge of all these essential skills so as to qualify for senior management roles.How Can Executive Education Help?Marketing is the backbone of any company today. Your product literally has no value until it’s promoted effectively in the market. And this is exactly why each department needs to possess marketing skills to stay in and beat the competition.To help the ambitious professionals of the 21st-century sharpen their marketing skills and make their way to the senior management roles, the prestigious IIM Kozhikode has introduced its Executive Post Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management (EPGCMM) programme. The one-year Interactive Learning course is aimed at providing specialised marketing management training to executives, helping them grow into senior management positions in their respective organisations. The Executive Post Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management (EPGCMM) programme can be attended in any of the Times TSW centres across India, and the sessions are delivered live via a technology platform by none other but the senior faculty from IIM Kozhikode. So come and join the EPGCMM programme to augment your marketing skills and rise as the best in the field.
Everybody knows that designer clothes are extremely expensive. This is not surprising, considering the superior materials used, quality control and advertising expenses that the designer companies have to invest on their products. Many people, however, prefer to buy designer apparel because of their excellent quality especially if they can buy the items at discounted prices. It is possible to obtain wholesale designer clothes that you can sell at low prices by finding liquidation sales on Salehoo.Salehoo is an ecommerce company with over 8,000 suppliers on its wholesale directory list. Their database is regularly updated and the suppliers are verified so that you have the assurance that they are legitimate companies. The suppliers are made up of manufacturers, wholesalers, dropshippers and liquidators. If you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur looking for cheap designer clothes to sell, the best source are liquidators selling brand name apparel.Liquidation or closeout sales are held whenever a store closes down or wants to clear out its old stocks. Sometimes, liquidation sales take place to move products that the store owner cannot sell anymore for various reasons. They can be overstock or production overruns. The items are authentic and come in their original packaging. Even labels and tags are still attached. Best of all, the prices are usually below cost. Sometimes they are priced at only 10% of the retail price. With such prices, you can afford to sell the designer clothes at wholesale prices and still make money.Liquidation sales are a great way to get your stocks of brand name clothes. Different brands include Gucci, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Tommy Hilfiger and Timberland. You can get slacks, shirts, dresses, T-shirts, socks and a lot more. You are assured that the items are genuine, and you can even purchase pallets or cases for under $500. Of course, you will get a bigger discount if you purchase larger amounts.Liquidation sales are easy to find on Salehoo. They are ideal for small businesses because you only need a small investment to buy your stock of designer clothes. Also, if you get them from liquidation, you won’t have to worry about licensing and exclusivity requirements. All of these factors contribute to low cost so that you can pass on the savings to your customers in terms of discounted prices. You can be sure that the designer clothes you obtained from liquidation sales on Salehoo will be sold out very quickly.