Doing More with Less: Digital Communications for Business Development
Last week, I attended and spoke at the British Consulate’s IPA Forum in New York City. Participants were economic development agency representatives from European countries. These folks are charged with creating business and jobs in their resspective countries – business that is generated by US-based companies.
The theme of the morning was doing more with less in a global recession. In my presentation entitled The New Biz Dev, I spoke about leveraging the digital environment for business development purposes. My remarks focused on tips, tools and low-cost ideas for utilizing digital communications (including social networking).
The thread running through my talk was that the Internet can be used to build long-lasting relationships and save money. I cautioned folks, however, that “resources” include time and money and building relationships takes time!
I touched upon using hosted solutions for relationship building efforts. Whether its an ASP for an e-mail campaign or document sharing for collaboration, hosted solutions is the way to go. Ease of use, cost and reliability are only a few reasons that our shop rarely licenses software these days.
We also discussed customer service and how social networking solicits feedback, saves money and builds relationships. We mentioned Salesforce and MailChimp as examples of customer relationship management tools that are integrating social media into sales efforts and marketing campaigns.
Much of Tuvel’s outreach efforts include hanging out where our customers and prospects are – on their turf. We talked about making it easy for you and your company to be found and to do business with you, but I also discussed the importance of finding where your customers are online (even asking them directly through surveys and customer communications – two-way conversations). I emphasized the importance of developing and nurturing a permission-based house file rather than renting e-mail lists.
We had a fun discussion about contests and promotions, trying to impress upon attendees that all people like to have fun – whether they come from business to business, government to citizen or business to consumer sectors.
We developed a nice list of low cost tools that you can use for listening, creating content and sharing. You can find it here: