The first rule for a service provider is to provide a solution to a clients "problem". Right?

When a small business owner finds the need to "outsource" any area of their business, they tend to consult with their friends, employees, other service providers and in general key influencers, as to who that new service provider should be. Then they interview them, and if the connection is right, they hire them.

Key influencers in today's day and age, may mean twitter, facebook, linkedin and various other social media friends and followers.

We all know that a clear strong brand is the foundation for great marketing, so for a service provider, ensuring that all people that may potentially influence your target audience is as knowledgeable on your service and its value proposition is as imperitive as the end customer knowing.

Also, knowing how your customers want to be interacted with and ensuring that you are communicating on a level that they are comfortable with and receptive to, is part of the parcel of understanding and appreciating your target audience. Too often, marketers and small business owners get caught up in things that don't matter. What does matter is understanding, appreciating and connecting with your target audience in a way that resonates with them in many levels.

When it comes to marketing, customers need to know that their "service provider" has devised the right strategy to meet their business objectives and this may be communicated simply through a collaborative approach to marketing and education.

Knowing more about your customer on a one-to-one basis is what will make any service provider more successful. Whether you use or any other customer relationship management platform, the gathering of information and its currency will allow you to connect your brand to the people that matter most - your customers.

While I am not an advocate for the way supermarkets are "pushing" customers to sign up for loyalty cards that are intrusive and that create a pricing issue, I am all for open forums of gathering data from customers who are willing to share.

September is great month to update your customer relationship management database and ensure that you have up-to-date data that is relevant and helps you ensure that your customers feel special.

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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