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Business models in strategic management
Business models in strategic management

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5.1.7 What do they think of you? Channels

Now you have thought about who you help and how you interact with them, it is the time to consider what your customers think of you. In the light of your professional development, this question is related to your professional reputation in the eyes of those you help. For example, which professional membership organisations or networks do you belong to? A writer of children’s books may strengthen their profile by joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, an international non-profit organisation whose mission is ‘to support the creation and availability of quality children’s books in every region of the world’ (SBCWI, no date). They may also develop a LinkedIn profile. Likewise, someone aiming to advance their career in figure skating and take part in national competitions in the UK will need to become a member at the British Ice Skating, the UK National Governing Body for the sport of Ice Skating in all its forms.

A speed skater racing on the ice.

Another aspect to consider with this question is your visibility. For instance, where can your customers find you, see information about your successes and plans, and get in touch with you? You may have your own internet page or blog. You may rely on word-of-mouth communications by interacting with those who can help spread the word about the quality of work you do. In this case, your existing customers may recommend you to someone or send a link from your page to their networks on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Alternatively, you may post a message about your product or service on a public notice board in a membership organisation.

Activity 18 Your channels

Timing: Allow around 15 minutes

Think about your answer to the question ‘What do they [your customers] think of you?’ and make notes in the box below. While answering this question, think about it in relation to your answers to the questions ‘Who do you help?’ and ‘How do you interact?’. As there are multiple channels, such as internet pages, blogs, word-of-mouth communications, networks, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and public notice boards in membership organisations, you should focus on those which you think may be more important to your success and will attract the customers you are interested in.

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