- By Hasan Sahwan on April 6, 2014Read more
No Tamkeen? No Problem
5 ways to market your business in Bahrain on a shoe-string budget.
With Tamkeen’s recent announcement to halt all EDSA programs until September 2014 (Tasweeq, Technia, Isteshara, Jawda, and Tarweej), a lot of businesses are getting anxious about what they will be able to do with little or no marketing budget, but fret not, here are 5 tried and tested ways to market your business in Bahrain with a shoe-string budget.
1) Build relationships to leverage your marketing
It is much cheaper to keep an existing customer than to acquire a new one; to acquire a new customer you need to spend huge resources whether it is time, money or general effort, that is why ensuring a strong relationship with your customers is vital. One way to do this is by connecting with your customers through a monthly e-mail or newsletter. If you are a B2B then call some of your existing customers to follow up, without a sales pitch, just to check if your products or services are working for them and offer any assistance, this is a great way to show you care and will keep your customers coming back.
2) Ensure people can find you on the web
In the most recent large survey conducted across the MENA region by Northwest University (Click here to view full report), Bahrain was the number #1 in the number of hours spent on social media across the entire MENA region! If you are not already enhancing your web marketing presence then start immediately! Ask yourself is your business on google.com, is your business location on google maps, do you have a website? Is it effective? Etc. If you feel like the internet is a foreign language to you, then hire a professional marketing company to do it for you, it should cost you less than BD 1000 for basic online presence, but it WILL pay off.
3) Social Media
Traditional one-way marketing is losing grounds as customers are reading less newspapers and watching less TV while spending an increasingly large number of hours on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, Snapchat, and other social media platforms. Remember the saying “be where your customers are”? This is exactly what you should do, be online, be on social media, connect with your customers and prospects. There is a good reason why there are thousands of companies on social media including everything from oil and gas mega giants to small bakeries. It works.
4) Collaborate & Network
I really believe in networking. I don’t think there is any better way to market any company than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people. Networking may be time consuming and might not provide immediate results, but there is a no better asset than having an effective network.
5) Give it away
Don’t be afraid to give someone a sample or a free trial as an example. If someone tries your product or gets an opportunity to experience your service, then chances are they will come back or at the least talk about you or refer you to someone else. In risk averse Bahrain especially, people are more likely to feel comfortable buying something if they have tried it first.
This article was written by Hasan Sahwan – Managing Director (WCM Agency)
- By Hasan Sahwan on February 27, 2014Read more
Choosing marketing companies in Bahrain can be tricky, here are 6 effective tips to improve your overall selection process:
One of the most important things you can do to ensure the continual success of your business is adequate marketing with an agency that is the right fit for your business, in fact, it is one of the most essential ways to attract clients and prospects to your business and eventually sell your products and services. This article talks about the 6 things to look out for when selecting a marketing company in Bahrain.
1) Name is not the most important thing
Having a number of meetings with your prospective ad agency is crucial. This is because some people assume that just because an ad agency has a large portfolio of clients that they will be able to provide a better service than smaller ad agencies, this is not necessarily true, quite often it is the opposite as smaller companies will usually work harder and be more flexible with your requirements being able to give your company the time and devotion it needs. Large ad agencies usually spend a considerable amount of time trying to get newer clients, whereas smaller ad agencies are more focused on your business and the clients they are currently handling.
Choosing an ad agencies that provides regular strategic sessions for your business is highly important as it confirms to you that the ad agency is invested in achieving the goals of your organizations as you see them. This also helps with selecting the services that will ultimately provide the most outcome for your business.
3) Cultural Fit
Having an ad agency that understands your marketing language and share the same principles and ideas will insure that your campaign will succeed. Ask yourself “How does their company’s culture fit with mine?” and “Do my staff sync with theirs?”. Choosing a marketing company that does not understand your outlook usually leads to a campaign that is ineffective and riddled with miscommunication and misunderstanding.
4) Key Personnel
Find an agency that is trustworthy and reliable, and ask to know exactly who you’ll be dealing with. You should feel comfortable & reassured with the person who’s handling your account. It is very important that you feel comfortable as you will be dealing with that person often. Organizations that are competent will often select the personnel who is best capable of understanding your campaign.
Shop around, marketing companies often price their services based on the perceived value and you should always ask a few marketing companies for a quotation. Most ad agencies and marketing companies will gladly sit with you, discuss your requirements and provide you with a quote. You never know what your budget is capable of doing until you shop around.
6) Ask if they are Tamkeen approved
In an effort to support Bahraini companies, the government through Tamkeen and EDSA (Labour Fund) offers to pay 80% of your marketing expenditure up to BHD 15,000 for business. Every company in Bahrain is eligible to apply. Ask your marketing agency if they are Tamkeen approved, and if they are then you will be able to use your BHD 15,000 marketing budget and only have to pay 20%! Furthermore, companies who are Tamkeen approved are often established marketing companies in Bahrain with a proven track record. Webcentric Advertising is proudly an approved marketing company in Bahrain.
- By Hasan Sahwan on February 27, 2014Read more
There is no doubt that social media have become a very powerful marketing and networking tool for businesses, nowadays it is not about whether a business should or shouldn’t be on social media, it is about what are the best practices to get the utmost out of social media. Here are the 7 keys to conducting a successful social media campaign:
Identify Your Audience
There are many social networks out there and you may be thinking that it would be impossible to be active on all of them. Well that’s where you are wrong, you don’t have to be on every social media site. You should only be where YOUR customers are. What is your customer’s age range, gender and demographics are the points that must be defined before selecting your ideal social channels. The next step is of course finding which social sites YOUR customers would use.
Have a Plan
After identifying your target audience and where you can find them you need to come up with a plan. Just like any business decision, list the key objectives that you would want to achieve from using social media. Whether it is to increase your sales or expand your brand, you should write them down while not forgetting to include techniques and strategies on how you plan to add value to you customer.
Note: Take into consideration how your customers add value to you.
Content is the KEY
The content is the key to achieving your social media goals. Your plan should include the type of content you are going to be placing. It should be something your network would be attracted to. Something they would find interesting, likeable and sharable.
You have to have regular interactions with your network. One of the most important elements that brands miss out on, is getting their community engaging with their networks. In order to maintain ongoing interests from followers, consistent interaction is necessary, for example create contests, take some time to comment or respond to their inquiries, to show that you’re there and that you care! or just ask some questions to motivate them to respond. Do what is takes to get your network engaging!
Listen, Listen, Listen
Don’t forget to always listen! Listen to what your customers are saying about you, your competitors or the industry as a whole. Keep your ears open to suggestions, complaints or appraisals. Use each and every one of these comments to your advantage, because ignoring them would not get you anywhere.
Stay to Date
The world of social media is continuously changing. Everyday there are new social media platforms coming up. You need to keep your eyes open on these new networks and see if they could actually be efficient to you and how you could use it to enhance your online presence. There are always topics that are trending on social media platforms, you should always be aware of the latest trends and how you can utilize them to your business.
You should always be consistent on your social media channels. Your brand must have a personality. Make sure you always stick to your brand, messages and goals. Post regularly on your channels and don’t leave them to turn into ghost towns. Choose a feasible schedule with fresh contents that will help your page rank higher in search engines.
Written by: Hasan Sahwan – Managing Director – WCM Agency
To learn more about this article or for more information feel free to drop an email to [email protected] or visit our website www.wcmagency.com