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Every Company Needs a Narrative

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Corporate narratives offer a powerful opportunity for differentiation. A good narrative helps companies go beyond the fear of things like ever-increasing competition and an unyielding the pace of change. Unfortunately, very few companies are good at crafting an inspiring, customer-focused narrative. To do one well, resist the temptation to simply hand task off to your PR team. An authentic narrative should be led by the C-suite. Second, go beyond your product or service to truly understand your customers’ unmet needs. Finally, find some stories of people who have already addressed the opportunities you’ve identified.

Companies are missing a big opportunity – to craft an inspiring corporate narrative.

How do I define narrative? It’s not a story. Stories are generally self-contained in that they have a beginning, a middle and an end. I see narratives, in contrast, as open-ended. There’s some kind of threat or opportunity looming in the future, and it’s not at all clear how things are going to work out. The resolution of the narrative hinges on the choices and actions of those involved, which makes it a potentially powerful call to action.

In the corporate context, a narrative should be about the customer, not the corporation. Building a successful narrative requires a deep understanding of your customers: How are their needs evolving? What are the big opportunities that would excite and inspire them? What are the challenges or obstacles they would confront in seeking to address those opportunities? What actions will they need to take in order to overcome those obstacles and achieve the opportunity? Are those actions something that the company could help them to pursue?

Unfortunately, very few companies are good at crafting an inspiring, customer-focused narrative. One of the best examples comes from Apple. In the 1990s, Steve Jobs articulated a narrative that was condensed by his marketers into the slogan “Think different.”

To understand the impact of this slogan and its supporting narrative, we need to go back to the early days of digital technology. Many people felt it took away our personas and made us data points. It put us in cubicles and made us cogs in a machine. The Apple narrative suggested that a new generation of digital technology would enable us to express our unique potential and personality. To harness the real potential of this new generation of technology, we needed to think different. Would we do that?

To make this narrative more credible, Apple told stories about famous people like Einstein, Picasso, Bob Dylan and Muhammad Ali who did “think different” and what they were able to accomplish. When sharing this narrative in the marketplace, Apple made very little reference to itself. It was all about the customers and the opportunity available to customers, if they would take action. It’s one of the reasons that Apple in the early days became the equivalent of a religion – it spoke to something that was a deeply felt need among people at that time.

That’s just one example. There are a few others including “Just Do It” by Nike and “Belong Anywhere” by Airbnb – slogans that embody inspiring narratives. So why are they do hard to do?

We live in a world where customers are becoming more powerful and demanding. They have the ability to access more options, gain more information about those options, and switch from one vendor to another easily if their needs are not being met. More broadly, trust is eroding in our institutions. People are increasingly tuned in to how companies and others are pursuing their own interests, often at the expense of the needs and interests of their customers.

In part, this is the result of intensifying global competition. As companies experience mounting performance pressure, their time horizons shrink, and they become obsessed with internal efficiency.

In that kind of world, there’s an opportunity for powerful differentiation. Customers will be drawn to a compelling corporate narrative with a long-term view that demonstrates a deep understanding of their needs and aspirations and, importantly, that helps them to see what actions they need to take to address those needs and aspirations. Creating such an authentic connection with your customers is also an opportunity to rebuild some trust.

These narratives can also inspire and motivate a growing number of third parties who seek to help customers achieve more meaningful impact. In the Apple example, its corporate narrative was a key element in spawning a large ecosystem of companies seeking to develop new applications and digital tools that could help customers to “think different.”

But there’s an even more compelling reason to embrace corporate narratives at this point. As I discuss in my new book, The Journey Beyond Fear, fear has become a dominant emotion around the world. In a business context, there are many forces drawing out this fear. Competition is intensifying on a global scale, workers increasingly feel they are at risk of losing their jobs to robots, the pace of change is accelerating, and extreme events come in out of nowhere to disrupt our best-laid plans.

While there are reasons for fear, fear is also very limiting. We are all seeking ways to move beyond fear to cultivate emotions like hope and excitement that will help us to achieve more impact that is meaningful to us. I believe corporate narratives can play a powerful role in helping us to move beyond fear — if we can do them correctly.

Getting Started

First, resist the temptation to hand this off to your PR team. Corporate narratives will only have impact if they are deeply authentic. Recall the example of Apple. A key reason for the success of that narrative was the fact that both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak thought different every day of their lives — it wasn’t just a marketing slogan. Sure, the marketing team can play a role in taking the message out to the market, but the key is to get the C-suite actively engaged in crafting the narrative and developing a deep understanding of the untapped opportunities available to their customers. In the end, you want all your employees to embrace the narrative and understand the implications it has for the work they do in terms of where and how they can help customers to address the opportunity ahead.

Second, expand your horizons beyond the product or service you offer. Explore the broader context of your customers and what their bigger unmet needs and aspirations are. Tie those back to your own personal needs and aspirations – the most powerful opportunities are the ones that excite and inspire you as well.

Third, be clear about the actions that your customers can take. Make sure they aren’t too overwhelming but also not so easy that they can be done without much effort.

Finally, find some stories of people who have already addressed the opportunity you’ve identified. Then put it all together into a simple and compelling narrative that can speak to your customers and, if possible, condense it into a slogan to get their attention and motivate them to want to learn more.

To create more value in a world of mounting performance pressure, we need to expand our horizons. Developing a deeper understanding of the unmet needs and aspirations of your customers is part of that expansion. Then you can look ahead to frame an opportunity that will be truly inspiring to them. And you can look within to find ways you can be more helpful to your customers in addressing that opportunity. If done right, your customers and your company will move past the fear-driven instinct to shrink your horizons, and focus on the longer-term opportunities ahead.

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15 Tips and Tricks For A Successful Business

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Doing business is not a cakewalk. You need to understand, learn, and manage several things before you actually do it. It is a task that requires continuous efforts. Therefore, it might take days, months, or even years to become successful.

It does not matter how small or big your business plan is. What is more important is how determined and dedicated you are to make it work. As a businessman or a businesswoman, you need to be spontaneous, informed, smart, analytical, and before that a good leader. 

Thereafter, you need to keep an eye on your business infrastructure including the building, factory, machines, control valves, security, etc. 

Making a business successful and keep it running is not a one-day affair. That is why you must take every step carefully.

Want to make your business successful? But you don’t know how to do it? Don’t worry and follow these 15 tips and tricks to make your business successful- 

1. Time And Effort Is Everything

Your business idea is your brainchild. Just like you take time to understand your child’s needs and make efforts to give them the best upbringing. You need to treat your business in the same manner in order to make it successful.

2. Focus Is Your Key To Success

For anything you want to do and make it reach great heights, you need to be focused. Getting distracted by other things can cost you a lot in your business. You need to focus on your goals and work hard every day to achieve them.

3. Have A Fool-Proof Business Plan

The first step towards a successful business is a business plan. Before anything else, prepare a fool-proof plan. This means that it must have all the pros and cons involved in your business. 

Nothing works without a plan. So, for instance, if you are trying to set up a business for valves and plumping supplies, you need to consider the best and the most trusted manufacturers like DomBor for your supply needs.

4. Be Prepared to Take Calculated Risks

A great business owner is one, who is not afraid of taking risks. To make your business successful and to make it sustainable in the longer run, you must be ready to take some calculated risks. You must know how your decision will affect your business and how much loss you will incur. Only after analyzing everything make your final decision.

5. Know The A to Z Of The Industry

If you are an amateur in the business industry, then first you must start with the basics. For that learn about every minute detail about how your industry works. You must be aware of the latest trends in your industry.  Also, what works and whatnot, and how to enter the industry initially.

6. Connect And Communicate

Another trick for making your business successful is to connect and communicate with people from the industry. Get to know about the industry leaders and upcoming talent personally or through social media. Exchange your ideas with them and try to expand and publicize your business. 

7. Keep A Check On Your Growth

Being a business owner you must keep a sharp eye on the growth of your business. Analyze the data, read it thoroughly, see where you are lacking, and what you can do to improve it.

8. Failures Are A Part Of The Process

If you ever face failures in your business, then don’t get disheartened. Because failures play an important part in the process of your success. Out of all the other things, they tell you about what not to do in a business.

9. Learn From Your Competitors

Your biggest learnings will come from your competitors. No one can teach you business better than them. Learn from them whenever and however you can. Use your creativity and intelligence and do what seems best for the success of your business.

10. Be Flexible In Your Approach

Never become too rigid with your approach to doing business. Be flexible with it and be open to changes. Sometimes what you feel is right may not be the best for your business. In that scenario, changing your approach might help.

11. Ensure Your Best Services

Always ensure the best services to your customers. Whether you are a small-scale business or a large-scale one, never compromise with the quality of your services. This builds your customer’s trust in you and ensures a long-term association. 

12. Market Your Business

It is important to prepare a market strategy for your business to make it successful. It helps you to introduce your business to a large number of people at the same time. 

13. Take Feedback To Know Your Customers Better

To make a business successful customer satisfaction is of utmost importance. You cannot meet all your customers in person. Thus, taking feedback from them online or offline is helpful to know your areas of improvement.  

14. Stick to your Core Values

Early success is a myth. It lasts for a short period of time and there is no guarantee that it will sustain itself. That is why instead of using shortcuts, stick to your core values and take your business to great heights.

15. Research And Repeat

Last and the most important tip is to keep researching about the new prospects in your business area. It is crucial to make your business successful.

Conclusion

Every business owner wants their business to reach great heights. But only a few of them know how to actually do it. Running a business is not an easy task. It requires years of hard work and continuous efforts. Also, you need to learn and unlearn facts.

Therefore, to make your business successful and to make it sustain that success, you need to be well informed. Also, you must be aware of the current business scenario of your respective sector. Just follow these steps and see your business become successful.

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How to use Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce features to gain more customers

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As a business owner, you may be wondering how customers are engaging with your ecommerce website. Are they enjoying the products you have to offer or is there more you could be doing to help boost online sales? With Enhanced Ecommerce Reports in Google Analytics (GA), you have the ability to analyze sales reports and monitor consumer behavior for different products you sell online. Utilizing these reports strategically will allow you to build and improve your business over time.

The best way to utilize Enhanced Ecommerce Reports will depend on:

  • What questions you want answered
  • The reports you want to use to research data
  • What you want to do with the info you collect
  • The goals you want to set and how to optimize and reach them

Additionally, Enhanced Ecommerce Reports help you drill down into purchase and transaction data for your business.

Examples of things you can research include:

  • Product and transaction data
  • Average order value
  • Ecommerce conversion rate
  • Time to purchase and more

Below, we’ll discuss how your business can benefit from this information. Plus, run through a breakdown of the different features you can use to forecast goals and gain more customers.

Related: Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console to find out what’s bringing people to your website

What businesses benefit from Enhanced Ecommerce features?

There are two types of Ecommerce Reports that GA supports: Standard and Enhanced. The Standard version is the original tracking report and is helpful if you only need data that occurs after purchases are made (aka the end of the sales funnel). Many startups and smaller businesses begin with this option first, then move up to Enhanced Ecommerce later on.

Businesses that want to track the entire customer journey, from beginning to end, should look no further than Enhanced Ecommerce Reports.

These reports do everything that Standard Ecommerce Reports do, but with a much wider scope of information.

You can drill down into specific questions like:

  • How many people are viewing your product details page?
  • What stage of the journey are people abandoning their carts?
  • Are your coupons and promotions generating a healthy amount of revenue?

Typically, larger and more advanced ecommerce businesses benefit more from these reports since they have a wider range of products.

It allows them to see where they can optimize their product listings, marketing investments, checkout process and more.

It’s important to note that enabling Enhanced Ecommerce features requires resources and planning to get started. It’s the main reason why businesses with a limited budget often opt for the Standard version first.

You can learn more about Standard Ecommerce Reports here to see if it’s right for you.

How to enable Enhanced Ecommerce reporting

While having this amount of information at your fingertips is great for business, it does require a more advanced understanding of technical know-how (like coding and javascript). This is because you’ll need to implement tracking codes for every page of your site that you want to track.

Additionally, only select third-party ecommerce platforms (WooCommerce included) can integrate with the Enhanced Ecommerce Plugin.

So, hiring an experienced web developer to help run things more smoothly (and efficiently) is a major recommendation here.

 

But if you have the technical chops to DIY it yourself, you can reference this handy guide from Neil Patel to get started.

Once all the coding and page tracking is in place, you can then turn on the Enhanced Ecommerce view within GA by going to Admin > Ecommerce Settings (in the “View” column). Google also has a detailed step-by-step guide you can reference to easily accomplish this.

Ecommerce setup

If you’re just beginning, you can also experiment with a demo GA account to get a feel for how it works. Note that you’ll need to be using the Universal Analytics version of GA to follow along. But it’s good practice to browse through the different features to see if it’s the right move for your business.

A quick breakdown of the Enhanced Ecommerce Reports

Conversions and Ecommerce tabs on GA navigation menu

Now that we know the pros and cons of this plugin, let’s dive into the specific reports it has to offer. You can navigate to the Enhanced Ecommerce Reports by clicking the “Conversions” tab in the GA menu on the left and then scrolling down to “Ecommerce.”

Overview Report

In the “Overview” section, you’ll start out with a dashboard that shows the following information:

  • Revenue & conversion rates
  • Transactions
  • Marketing (campaigns, promotions, coupons, affiliation)
  • Product performance (top sellers/low sellers)

You can think of this page as a type of business health report, along with additional data on how your users are interacting with your page.

Overview report

Shopping Behavior Report

Shopping Behavior Report

The Shopping Behavior Report is where you’ll go when you want to see how your customers are moving along the sales funnel. It’ll provide details on how your new and returning visitors are interacting with your site, based on sessions coming from:

  • Product views: High product views with low checkout rates could indicate you need to better optimize your product listings. Work with your content team to see how you can make your listings better with added tutorials, videos or reviews.
  • Add to cart: A high add-to-cart rate with a low checkout rate could signify an issue with your pricing. Work with your marketing department to draft up better promos and check out competitor pricing to see if you need to make some adjustments.
  • Checkout: If your checkout rate is low, you may need to optimize the checkout process better. Work with your web developer to make the process easier and more convenient for customers to use.

These three indicators will help you get a better sense of where your users are getting stuck in the customer journey. Use the data you collect here to set goals for your team and overall business.

Related: 10 tactics to turn impulse shopping into stone-cold sales

Checkout Behavior Report

Checkout Behaviour Report

The Checkout Behavior Report is similar to the Shopping Behavior Report, except that it concentrates more on the different stages of your checkout process. You can use this data to see what stage of the checkout process your users are abandoning their carts.

Most ecommerce businesses have multiple steps for customers to fill out before their transaction is complete. But it’s possible your audience may prefer a single-page method, too. You can work with your developer to configure customized labeling for each of your checkout steps under Admin > View > Ecommerce Settings.

Possible points of interest to keep an eye on include:

  • URL issues: Unwarranted redirects or page links that look untrustworthy can dissuade a customer from following through on a transaction. Ensure that all your links are working properly and optimize your checkout pages so that customers know your site is safe to use. GoDaddy Payments offers streamlined verification and advanced encryption to protect you and your customer’s personal data.
  • Payment pages: If you’re noticing a high abandon rate within your payments page, it could mean it’s time to analyze how efficient it is. Opt for features that make the process more convenient with things like one-click pay or seek out mobile-friendly solutions that make the process run smoother on different devices.
  • Specific customer preferences: The way your audience interacts with your checkout process could be different from how they interact with other ecommerce sites. The best way to tell what works best for your audience is to conduct A/B testing. This could help determine whether your customers prefer things like single or multi-page checkouts.

When in doubt, consult with your web developer and UI/UX team to see how you can better optimize your checkout process using the data collected from this report.

Product Performance Report

Product Performance Report

The Product Performance report is a great way to see how well your products are doing when it comes to sales and customer interaction. You’ll notice the report is separated by Sales Performance and Shopping Behavior metrics.

Sales Performance

Metrics under this category will give you a sales breakdown by product, SKU, category or brand. You can find and toggle these different views in the Primary Dimension bar under the graph at the top.

Each view will give you information using the metrics below:

  • Product revenue
  • Unique purchases
  • Quantity
  • Average price
  • Average quantity
  • Product refund amount

If you want to dive a little further, you can add a Secondary Dimension using the dropdown menu under the Primary Dimension bar.

This will serve as a type of filter that shows you other insights like:

  • What landing pages are bringing in the most product sales?
  • Which devices (mobile vs. desktop) are customers using most to buy certain products?
  • How effective are your campaigns with promoting products?

Use this information to help you prioritize the areas that can increase your conversion rate most.

Shopping Behavior

This category of metrics will show you the number of customers that are adding products to their carts compared to the number of people finishing their purchase.

These two metrics are categorized by:

  • Cart-to-detail rate
  • Buy-to-detail rate

The average percentage at the top of each column is a good indicator to use as a reference when looking at the numbers for each product. GA will automatically show you a list with the best performers at the top. But if you want to view products with lower than average numbers, you can add a filter by clicking the Advanced button near the top of the metric columns.

For more information on filters, check out this GA tutorial that breaks it down even further.

Sales Performance Report

Sales Performance Report

The Sales Performance Report is what you’ll use when you want to track your sales over a specific time period. You can customize the date range you want to look into by clicking the dropdown menu in the upper right corner. Below the dropdown menu, you’ll have options to view the visual graph based on day, week or month.

This information will help you get a sense of sales based on two dimensions:

  • Transaction ID: This represents the purchase information from a specific transaction. It’s typically linked to your ecommerce shopping platform and works in tandem with your CMS.
  • Date: Sorting this report by date will automatically show you the dates with the highest sales.

Clicking either the Purchase ID or Date number will show you the revenue and quantity metrics of products sold within that transaction or date.

When you’re in the main summary page, you’ll view other metrics like:

  • Revenue
  • Tax
  • Shipping
  • Refund Amount
  • Quantity

You can use this report to pinpoint high transaction dates or dates with high peaks of sales in certain products (like seasonal items). This will allow you to concentrate your marketing efforts (think coupons and promotions) towards those specific areas.

However, you can also use this report to help you target the lower trending sales by switching up your product offerings or branching out to new markets (going global can help).

Product List Performance Report

Product List Performance Report

The Product List Performance report helps you view data for specific groups or categories you have listed for products on your ecommerce website. This snapshot allows you to view which products are performing well and which ones could benefit from additional optimization.

Like the Checkout Behaviour report, you can work with your web developer to customize your groupings the way you see fit.

Here are three different ways most ecommerce businesses tend to group their products:

  • Categories: Brands can separate a wide range of products into categories that are typically found within a navigation menu. For example, a fashion brand might categorize its products by handbags, dresses, and shoes.
  • Search results: You can create a list that categorizes all the products that show up whenever someone types specific keywords into a query.
  • Related products: This list can be made to represent add-ons or suggested items under a product details page.

Once you have your lists configured the way you want them, you can then compare your top performers against your low performers using specific filters in the advanced settings.

Why it all matters

Setting up the Enhanced Ecommerce plugin takes a bit of time and money, but it’s well worth the investment in the long run.

The reports found within Enhanced Ecommerce will give you a wide scope of information that tracks the entire customer journey.

It’s filled with insight on areas of opportunity for your business, along with key areas of success.

 

Remember, anything that makes the customer experience more convenient and user-friendly will help boost your overall sales and conversion rates.

Do your research, analyze the results, and work with your team to tackle goals that can help grow your ecommerce business successfully.

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Tips from Google to make the most of the 2021 holiday shopping season

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Before looking ahead to this holiday shopping season, let’s take a quick look back at 2020, and what a year it was. Amid all the challenges came new opportunities and unprecedented growth for ecommerce. Emerging data offers insights into shifting consumer behavior and its positive impact on ecommerce.

The pandemic definitely triggered a shift to more online shopping. In fact, online sales in early spring of last year exceeded sales during the 2019 holiday season by 7%. Additional research shows ecommerce growth on hyperdrive, with 10 years of growth happening in just three months.

There’s more good news for online retailers: 39% of consumers say they’re buying more online now than they were a year ago. And 81% of consumers in surveyed countries across the globe say they’ve discovered new brands online during during COVID-19.

It’s clear that 2021 will continue to be a year of peak demand, making it a critical time to connect with your shoppers. That’s why it’s more important than ever for your business to be discoverable online this holiday season with help from GoDaddy and Google.

Get ready to reach more shoppers online

Google ad from ceramic plates

People shop across Google more than one billion times each day, searching for products just like yours. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with customers when and where they’re looking to make their holiday purchases.

With GoDaddy’s new Google channel, you can easily add your products to Google for free and promote them with a Smart Shopping campaign to drive traffic to your GoDaddy online store.

3 ways Google can help you prep for peak moments

Use these three free Google tools to gain greater insights into the current consumer mindset as shoppers gear up for the 2021 holiday season.

1. Explore what the world is searching for with Google Trends

explore what the world is searching

Google Trends lets you see in almost real-time what people are — or aren’t — looking for across Google Search, YouTube, Google Shopping, and Google Images. You can pinpoint where there’s growing interest in products and search terms to guide you in selecting which products to promote. Take new information about what your target market is searching for and incorporate these topics into your SEO and content marketing strategy.

2. Discover what shoppers are looking for

Most shoppers today are doing more research before purchasing.

Shopping Insights gives you information on what people are searching for on Google, related to products and brands.

It’s a guide filled with articles, data, and insights that can help you navigate three critical steps in today’s shopping journey: inspiration, research, and purchase.

3. Evaluate your retail website with Grow My Store

As people spend more time online, they have higher expectations from ecommerce websites and apps. With Grow My Store, you can analyze the customer experience on your site and pick up practical tips for how to improve. You can also see how your site stacks up against retailers in the same industry and find insights on market and consumer trends to help reach new customers.

With this holiday season ramping up, make sure to position your online business in the right spot with help from GoDaddy and Google.

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