I recently viewed a gruesome, suspenseful crime drama called “Seven”, about crimes committed and labeled with the seven deadly sins. And I began to think about the concept of sin in the workplace—not the scandalous kind that lands you in court, in jail, in the news or in the movies. Instead, I’ve been thinking about sin more as a serious fault, the kind of sin that results in lost opportunities, or goals and objectives not being met.

Using this definition, I came up with seven deadly sins that can kill a business—things we do or fail to do for our businesses that create harm for us or prevent us from achieving our goals. As we make a Fresh Start in 2021, we should be re-thinking how we conduct business, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and designing strategies to sustain the good and correct the bad.

Sin: Poorly Performing Website

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With more people now looking online before setting foot in a store or making their purchases online and never going to a store or office, a website is nothing to “let ride” or take for granted. It’s not a one-and-done. 

A Website Audit will help you determine the shape your website is in. 

  • Does the look and feel of your website appeal to the customers you are trying to attract? 
  • Do the pages load quickly?
  • Is it easy to transition from page to page?
  • Does it make sense for the customer? 

The cure for a poorly performing website is Website Optimization, which addresses:

  • Security, 
  • Speed, 
  • Functionality, 
  • Design, and 
  • Overall customer experience. 

Result: Your website will make a strong first impression for new and prospective customers, and a positive customer experience for old and new customers, alike.

Sin: Underutilizing Social Media

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According to DigitalMedia.org, in the United States, people spend an average of 2 hours on social media per day. In 2020, there were over 223 million social network users in the United States, according to Statista.com. Interacting with consumers on social media helps you: 

  • Build brand awareness
  • Increase your customer base, and
  • Connect with current customers. 

The cure for the underuse of social media is a Social Media Strategy that provides a detailed blueprint for all the content you post on social media:

  • What to post, 
  • When to post it, 
  • Where to post it, and 
  • Why it’s important for your business.

Result: harnessing a powerful tool for staying in touch with current customers, attracting new customers, and building credibility and awareness among both groups.

Sin: Dusty or Pointless Content

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Whether informative, humorous, socially conscious, or product-focused, the content on your website and social media network must be timely and impactful. You should strive to evoke an emotion of some kind in those who read it, and ideally, it should align with your brand – your company’s vision, mission, and values. 

When you haven’t updated content on your site or posted or shared anything on social media for long periods of time, you are at risk of being forgotten or irrelevant. Missing out on the opportunity to inform consumers about what you can offer hurts your conversion rate. When you use keywords and phrases that are trending on search engines, you increase the likelihood that consumers will find you when searching for information on the internet. 

The cure for dusty or pointless content is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/ Content Strategy that ensures your content is relevant, timely, and findable.

Result: You will receive higher click rates, greater engagement, and increase brand awareness.

Sin: Poor Communication with Customer Base

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Frequent customer contact is important for the customer experience. Customers need to hear from you because it shows that you are invested in them and their success. Staying connected also helps you understand how your products and services are meeting customer needs., and so you can discover other ways you might be able to support them.

The cure for poor communication with your customer base is an Email Strategy that will assist in determining: 

  • What you’ll say, 
  • How you’ll say it, 
  • To whom you’ll say it, and 
  • Under what conditions. 
  • Automated email delivery is even more efficient. 

Result: Email is the most cost-effective way to communicate with your customers, promote your products, and reach your business goals. On average, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect a return of $51.

Sin: Poor Sales Funnel Management

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If we apply the 90-10 formula, only 10% of the leads that are interested will be instantly sales-ready. The other 90% need to be consistently nurtured and sometimes go down through all the stages of the sales funnel before they become customers. With the large volume of leads received daily by most businesses, efficient sales funnel management is critical for achieving goals. 

The cure for poor sales funnel management is Marketing Automation that allows you to reach more people with less effort, generate better leads, complete repetitive tasks autonomously, and target messaging to ideal consumers based on their placement in the funnel. 

Result: You will experience an improved rate of conversions to sales, resulting in higher revenue and greater growth.

Sin: Half A***'d Product Launch

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Launching a product has the potential to attract and retain more customers. However, product launches often fail because they aren’t tailored to different market segments or personas. 

The cure for a weak product launch is:

  • A Product Launch Strategy that seeks user adoption and brand growth; and 
  • A Brand Growth Strategy that considers the options a company can use to increase its market growth, usually on two dimensions – products, and markets or customers.

Result: A clear decision and clear path(s) selected from among four distinct growth strategies: 

It’s critical for a business to consciously determine which growth strategies they will adopt and align their product launch strategy accordingly.

Sin: Inefficiencies

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Inefficient processes negatively impact quality, customer service, and morale. They can be deadly for your bottom line. For small businesses, there is no room for wasted resources, including raw materials, time, or talent. The margin for error is too small.

The cure for inefficiencies is an Operations Strategy that identifies policies, plans, and processes to maximize the organization’s resources and produce positive outcomes.

Result: Your business will make the best use of its resources in support of long-term growth and success.

So, there you have it – the seven deadly sins that can kill a business. Now, in the movie “Seven”, Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt investigate some very creepy crimes built on the real 7 deadly sins, and it’s grim. But honestly, in business, the worst sin is realizing you may have issues and not addressing your business challenges head on:

  • Is it time for a check-up or an audit? 
  • Do you need to tune up an existing strategy? 
  • Do you need to devise a new plan altogether? 

CSD Marketing and Consulting is excited to connect with you and co-create strategies that align with a variety of your business goals and needs. Click below to learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our strategists.       

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