Starting a business is not easy, and if you are going through the process of setting up your own company, you are probably very aware of the terrifying and often quoted statistic about how 80% of start ups fail in their first 18 months. Failure, in this sense, means running out of money to the point where it is not viable for the enterprise to continue to operate, and this can happen even when the idea for the business was very strong if there were flaws in the plan for how to attract customers. Here, leading marketing company PanAtlantic discuss one thing many failing companies don’t do right – having meaningful dialogue with their customers:

‘It is easy to think, in the modern age, that marketing is easy. We are always being told that as long as we leverage social media and target our customers carefully, they will show up itching to part with their money.’ says managing director at PanAtlantic, Justin Cobb. ‘But this isn’t the case in practice.’

‘Good marketing is not about putting out hundreds of tweets or having a great website. It is about considering your efforts as part of a conversation with your customers and prospects. People read hundreds of promotional messages every day, but it is where they get a chance to interact with a business that they really begin to feel a sense of brand loyalty. This is what a lot of people get wrong – thinking of marketing as a one way stream. Instead, you should want your customers to talk to you and be prepared to listen to them, as much as you want them to listen to your message.’

This is one of the primary reasons why Pan Atlantic believe a good marketing mix should include elements of face to face marketing, such as events.

‘Presenting yourself to people and having genuine conversations with them is far more powerful than simply putting your message out there and hoping they act on it. You can learn a lot and really enforce who you are as a company. We have seen companies go from a position where they are struggling to one of great prosperity simply by altering their marketing approach to be more engaging. Customers see the value in face to face dialogue, and as a business, you should too.’ Justin Cobb, MD of Pan Atlantic concluded.