In your journey as an entrepreneur it is vital to make connections with peers and other small business owners in order to build your business and grow as a successful executive.

It is imperative to seek out and attend events that bring together like-minded business people at similar stages of their enterprise to share concerns and problems and discuss potential solutions.

Dr. James Nitit Mah, international business executive and entrepreneur, met at a communications conference with noted new media executive Theresa Locklear, Vice President, Audience Science Analytics, Viacom.

Locklear discussed capturing meaningful data from consumer analytics that should be put to great use for brands’ marketing and social media efforts.

As a veteran media company like Viacom moves more towards experiential marketing, it is placing a heavy reliance on data and analytics to reach audiences and enhance events. The company’s data collection has three main goals: ticket sales, future events, and engaging audience. By utilising ticket sales data, an organisation can deploy its marketing plan in real time to ensure that the event reaches sales goals. Data can also help to determine effective locations for events and which presenters would be most appropriate.

Email marketing is still the most effective communications program for Viacom, but the company uses a CRM event platform called tradeable bits.  It is crucial for Viacom to create a two-way conversation between fans and brands.  It uses this kind of platform to collect data for ticketing/sales programs.

Dr. James Nitit Mah has researched how business people can become more successful salesmen by engaging with prospective customers to determine what it is they need from their product or service. 

An excellent way to listen to customers is via social media.  Marketers and brand experts should engage with people using their product or service via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.  They offer either support and/or criticism quickly and the smart company will include this customer feedback into product and service refinement and re-development.

Such exchanges should form the basis of a customer-centric marketing strategy that continually puts the focus on consumer need.  All the market research in the world should be better bolstered with the real thing—the voices of the public who are the ultimate supporters of your brand.

By the same token, positive feedback from peers and fellow entrepreneurs can provide a great boost to a corporate strategy.  Sharing pluses and minuses garnered from various tactics with similar corporate decisionmakers will result in a collection of best practices that can be studied and provide insight to others in your industry.

For example, if a retail marketer has had positive experiences using Artificial Intelligence among its potential customer base, sellers of similar products can benefit from his/her experience and avoid pitfalls that may have already befallen those who have ventured into AI or virtual reality or other methods of experiential marketing.

Launching a new business is an all-encompassing venture that takes over one’s professional and even personal life.  You could identify the perfect service or product and the exact market niche that it would fill, but you can always better prepare for a new business venture by listening to those that have been there already introducing new companies in similar industries.

In addition, the pressures of being a successful entrepreneur create a world to which few people can easily relate.  This makes it critical that small business people build a strong social circle in which they can retreat to examine challenges specific to starting a business and also, very importantly, how to manage emotions that can easily go from exhilaration to disappointment in a few hours.

Though people are people and we all experience similar desires and emotions, it takes a special individual to tackle the obstacles thrown at them in building a young business while at the same time managing any semblance of a social life.

Just like with other problems that life brings, banding together in a group of those similarly challenged can elicit fresh perspective and solutions to common predicaments.

Again, it’s the human connection that works the magic.  Similarly to how they engage prospects, entrepreneurs must work to relate on many levels to fellow entrepreneurs.  They will find little solace in comparing themselves with others working traditional jobs. 

When launching a new venture, people must look into themselves to see if they have the determination, stamina, creativity and ambition to succeed.  Dr. James Nitit Mah believes that concurrently working with others leading similar types of companies can bring invaluable perspective, and a better sense of practicality and logistics that will bring risky embryonic enterprises into adulthood.

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