The Virtual CMO Podcast
Season 5, Episode 15
Hosted By: Eric Dickmann
With Guest: Tracy Sheen
Our Featured Guest
The Digital Guide
Author - The End of Technophobia
Tracy Sheen is a digital marketer, business strategist, speaker, and author of- The End of Technophobia: A practical guide to digitizing your business. She is also known as "The Digital Guide," who has been working in the marketing and sales space relating to small business technology adaptation for the past 30 years.
Tracy is a pioneer in the Australian podcast movement she launched, called the globally successful "Not Another Business Show," and is a regular judge for the Australian Podcast Awards, the Australian Business Book Awards, and The Australian Web Awards. Recognized by her profession as a 'Certified Practising Marketer' (CPM), Sheen has recently authored her first book, "The End of Technophobia: A practical guide to digitizing your business." This book teaches business owners how to run their business better by allowing them to actually use the digital platforms wisely.
She is a regular commentator, speaker, and trainer in the areas of digital marketing and small business technology. Tracy Sheen has worked with numerous startups, small and large enterprises, and government institutions such as- Lockyer Valley Regional Council. Stanthorpe & Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce, YBG Business Group, Toowoomba Region, and City of Ipswich.
"The End of Technology: A Practical Guide to Digitising Your Business” is written for every small business owner I’ve worked with over the last decade.
Technology is moving at a blistering pace; every week there is some new app or software platform that promises to be a ‘game changer’ in your business.
But how do you know which ones to invest the time in? Or even where to start? It’s so easy to feel completely overwhelmed and fall victim to ‘analysis paralysis’ where we end up doing nothing for fear of doing the wrong thing.
I wrote the book for everyone who’s ever said “I don’t know where to start” or “There’s too much to learn”.
The End of Technophobia is a 55-Chapter book written by Tracy Sheen. This book discusses the origins of Technophobia. what is it, how it came to be, and how to stop the impending threats it brings to businesses around the globe. In Tracy's masterpiece, she allows small business owners to look at their business as a whole and address common questions across a range of business areas- from marketing and sales, to finance and productivity, and even how to effectively work remotely.
The End of Technophobia is a part-reference, part-knowledge book that aims to help readers overcome their apprehensions around technology, embrace their inner geek ,and improve their bottom-line while being better able to service their client base.
At the end of the day, it's a cliche, but people buy from people. We've got to keep the customer and people at the center of our conversation. And if we're keeping them at the center, then the tools should supplement and complement that human connection. It's not the other way around."
What We Discussed with Tracy
On this episode, host Eric Dickmann interviews Tracy Sheen about why it's time to digitize your business. Here are some highlights of our conversation:
- [00:05:05] The frustrations small businesses have with technology - A common frustration that companies have with choosing technologies is that they get overwhelmed with the countless options. How do they pick the right tools for their business needs given their current stage of maturity and need for growth?
- [00:06:42] Technology as a holistic tool – Tracy looks a technology holistically as a tool to improve the current state of business. For example, marketing backed up by technology can make business interactions much easier and convenient for both customers and prospects.
- [00:09:31] Your website is your digital home on the web – According to Tracy, your website is the only piece of real estate you're going to own digitally. You don't want to put your business and livelihood in the hands of the social media giants and other platforms. Sheen urges hesitant business owners to start with a simple landing page that introduces your audience to what you do and how they can contact the company. There are platforms such as WordPress, Wix, and Square that can help get you started. Once setup, your online presence can grow from there.
- [00:11:47] Consistent messaging – Every now and then, businesses change their pitch and messages. When this happens, it's crucial for them to ensure that their sales talk aligns with their website's content.
- [00:13:10] How can you help people contact you? – Having a strong social media presence and good CRM are important, but it is also crucial for business owners to recognize the importance of improving their customer's buyer's journey. Companies should look to feed prospects with content and relevant information based on where they are in that journey and not treat everyone as if they're in same place.
- [00:19:16] Why is CRM a vital piece for businesses? – Tracy emphasizes that businesses should keep customer information centralized in a CRM platform. She further adds that having a marketing automation tool such as HubSpot will allow them to monitor the company's most visited pages and how frequently people come back to their website.
- [00:21:30]- CRM as an asset – CRM keeps a record of a customer's interaction history. This information is invaluable for determining the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, sales outreach efforts, and service level effectiveness. It's the data that powers analytics and provides the ability to set up performance metrics.
- [00:27:36] SEO services - SEO is an important aspect of a business's marketing plan but Tracy advises business owners to be cautious when purchasing SEO services that promise quick results. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. SEO takes time and it's important to focus on a strategy that drives the right kind of traffic to your website.
- [[00:29:37] The changing trends – According to Tracy, customer buying patterns are changing and Covid only accelerated the pace of change. Companies need to match the evolving needs of their buyers since many of these changes are likely here to stay.
- [00:34:00] The importance of getting experts to work with you – Tools can positively impact your business when implemented correctly but can also be costly mistakes. Paying a few thousand dollars for experts who know the tools and how to implement them correctly can help you get a positive ROI from your investments.
- [00:35:12] How can businesses make the best investments? – Take time to sit with the team, discuss the possibilities, the what-ifs, and the changes that need to be implemented to make the business run better.