Posts Tagged The Marketing Dept

Make Your Marketing Work

You want more people to notice your business and take positive action, but what form of advertising or marketing should you use? Here are a few pointers to get you started.Two types of marketing

Passive MarketingTwo types of marketing

Passive marketing reaches the customer through effective positioning of your details. For example, a customer uses a search engine to locate the business and find the phone number. The marketing was done before their need arose, to encourage the customer into the business. Effective passive marketing is thoughtful and enticing. It takes planning and strategic implementation

  • Website
  • Signage – Vehicle, Building, Billboards
  • Print adverts & articles – newspapers, magazines, catalogues etc.
  • Fliers
  • Business Cards
  • Blog articles
  • Social Media – Facebook posts – You tube Videos etc.
  • Image based – Uniforms and promotional items
  • Broadcast media – T.V. or radio
  • Direct mail – Postal – email

Active Marketing

Active marketing requires interaction. It may mean networking with other businesses. It also includes selectively advertising to drive in new business. This type of marketing is deliberate and purposeful. It takes effort. Active marketing often includes meeting prospects face to face and making direct calls to introduce yourself and what you have to offer to prospects. This kind of marketing requires skill and persistence. Having someone doing this for you is called a big bonus, usually it’s a happy customer that likes what you do and tells others.

  • Networking – Face to face interaction with prospects at trade shows, community and business events
  • Direct meetings – Define a prospect, make a list, call and introduce yourself, meet and discuss, the aim is tto research and work an angle to cause them to say “Yeah, send me more info” or “Yeah drop in and talk to me about it.”
  • Word of mouth – Someone likes what you did and tells someone else, now you have a hot prospect

Making it measureable

All of these marketing types are useful, but you could spend a fortune and not know what ones are working the best for you, that’s when the notion of making them measureable comes into play.

If someone drops in to your business or gives you a call, you need to have some way of asking how they found out about your business, then you can start to quantify what’s working for you.

The best way is to find a point in your interaction with them to find the most natural way of saying “Oh and by the way, how did you find out about us?” then recording it. If 90% of your prospects say they saw an advert on social media, then you know you have something working for you.

One other way to measure results is if you have a radio advert that hits your prospects at a time when they need you and they call you. An example is a radio advert, for school stationery supplies that comes on the radio as your prospect pulls up to pick up their children. If the next hour or so sees a rise in the number of people dropping in with children, chances are your radio advert had some effect.

Taking it further

Having the above information can be a way to get started, but in reality you will need to consider a range of things, the business ‘brand image’, who you want as prospects, how many prospects you want and figuring out the best ways to influence those prospects with the words and images you use in the adverts.

Regards

Steve Gray

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The Web Marketing Connection

Image courtesy of Sommai from freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Sommai from freedigitalphotos.net

In the hustle and bustle of running a business it can be easy to be confused and concerned about the things that matter. You’re trying to run the business, your mind full of daily details, it’s easy to miss out on what should or could be happening in the business.

Not everyone is good at all areas of the business, many are technically adept at the ‘doing’ side of the business, others more marketing or management focussed. So when things happen you need to know about to grow your business you can soon be overwhelmed. Let’s take marketing for instance.

In the ‘good old days’ marketing was a somewhat simpler affair, sales reps would drop in and sell you everything from T.V. space to to print advertising and sign writing, to name a few. These days there seems to be a more to it.

The technology revolution means people are now hassled via email and directly by organisations saying they can get their website on the first page of google, others say your website needs updating, oh and  how is that email campaign going… The list of questions, technical details and so on is seemingly endless.

Also know that some of these people can provide you with a solution that may not work, it may look alright to you but in the back end functionality details can be missed and performance may not be all you want it to be.

Like anything in business there are times when you have to trust your gut instinct about the people you are dealing with and the way you want to do business. Knowing if the technology solution is right for you can be a minefield but also know that with some research and effective questioning you can find more answers without being too bogged down with ‘techno babble’ here are a few points to consider…

The sales rep says…

  • We can get you on the first page of google – Any body can get on the first page if they google their own business name, ask them to show you examples of sites they have done which have achieved this ranking with appropriate key words. Now call that business and ask them what they thought of the web company in question
  • We can give you an email campaign that works for just $x per month – That’s good any examples of that? Do you have a red hot copy writer that will work directly with me to create sales letter type emails that will suit my prospects?
  • We can link with your social media – Yep so can I, generally it’s a no brainer to add in a link to your site
  • We make it so you can add in new info to your site – Great but is there a catch? Do you train me how to do that? Any others you have done that for? There are free options on the web for creating websites that you can add information to, photo’s videos, text etc so you should have full control of the content on your site.
  • We look after you – That’s great, but can I still have the access details for the hosting, the domain name registration etc so IF I change my mind I can take my web details elsewhere? Some will baulk at this, wanting you to be a customer for life. Others will give you all the details you need to be in control
  • It won’t cost much – For now… What about ongoing monthly fees and what do you get for that ongoing fee? Support? If you are on a tight budget you probably want to think twice about any ongoing fees and charges

There’s a start, I guess it’s all about due diligence in the end, just watch out for the technical details where the sales rep will want to confuse you with foot work, dazzle you with charm and deliver a knockout punch you may regret in the long run.

Here are some other web based marketing articles you might like to check out Content marketing Social media for business Using face book for business

Regards

http://stevegray.biz

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Persistence pays

signpost marketing

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles from freedigitalphotos.net

You know that when you learn something new, persistence pays, if it’s a musical instrument, practice practice PRACTICE! it’s that ability to ‘keep on keeping on’ that pays dividends.

The same with some aspects of business, being able to continue with somethingthat might seem a little tenuous at times can pay off.

Marketing is one of those areas. Some people place an advert and hope it will yeild results on the first go, often it takes 8+ placements of that advert to get some form of result.

Social media is a key marketing tool these days for many businesses, and being persistent with the posts you make is therefore a useful thing to ensure people notice your business.

Think about the ways you can leverage this to your advantage, and tackle some of these ideas as well:

  • How can you be persistent with Public Relations material to try and get free advertising and being seen by the media as an expert in yoru field so they can come to you when they want to know about your line of business.
  • How can you plan to ensure you have a marketing activity happening at least once a week? and no having a website up 24/7 is not something you should count on for this activity…
  • What is ‘best practice’ in your industry? and  how can you match your marketing efforts to this?
  • What innovative ways can you get the business name out to more of your target market? Think promotional products, think stand and hand out samples in retail, think, research explore and come up with some that are cost effective and useful
  • Which company local to you is your biggest competitor? How can you beat what they do in their marketing to take some of their market share?

Being persistent in  your marketing efforts is the same and persistence in  your management, leadership, operational tasks and compliance issues. you have to do it, you have to make sure it’s working and now is the ideal time to start!

Regards

Steve Gray

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You want them to do what?

When it comes to marketing, there are a bunch of questions I believe are important to consider, and I want you to ask these questions about your marketing.

What do you want them to…

  • Think – The message the marketing in front of the person either makes you think or not. The depth and length of that thinking is probably quite important, I figure as long as it leads to the next step then it works…
  • Feel – Does this follow thinking? How do you feel now that I challenged you to contemplate that… 🙂 (deep huh) but the marketing message (image and or text) probably pushed a few internal buttons to get  you to feel a certain way once you thought about the message
  • Do – Action follows feeling as they say… therefore do you want them to sign up – phone – drop in – scan a qr code – read more – follow a link or…
  • Believe – The did what you asked (action) do they now believe even stronger that what they did was the right thing to do, I sure hope so.
  • Value – At some stage (probably after they have received whatever it was they get from taking the initial action) they will make an assessment about what they have received, if it fits to or exceeds their beliefs about it, and feel good about it then they will value it positively, if not bad news for you!

Get the message/s right so people value what you provide. That will then squeeze out the competition and give your business the edge, and what better place to start than with their  initial contact with your marketing message.

Naturally enough it’s one thing to have a starting point, another to be able to make it happen at other customer contact levels within your business.

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Going past one no…

Oh please, dear sales person, if I say no once perhaps you had better dig a bit deeper, ask more questions…  if I have an objection about the price, then ask why… what do I already know and how do I know that.

If I have a niggle about one point, perhaps there are other points you can focus on… and hey how do you get past the issue of price “Why would I spend $5 – 6,000 if I can get one for $3-4,000?” simple, it’s like cars they do basically the same thing, some are perhaps better quality, some provide more status, you want quality and status, you pay… Here’s why (outline a benefit).

Oh and if you’re calling me in Australia but you have an American accent that sounds like you are in an overseas call centre and the line is crap, I am going to be suspect about you right from the start. Sure you get some points for being first on the phone after my email enquiry, but those points were soon lost.

I will probably buy, but from which company… let’s see who can sell to me the best. Sure price is not everything but a big difference in price gets me wondering and you need to be able to spell out how what you provide is better.

If your business is thinking of using a call centre to help with your leads, then do some CAREFUL research first.

“Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.” Dilbert.

So now I have had four calls from people wanting to set up an appointment – answer my questions – send me more info.

The first two – dodgy… American accents bad lines and hard to understand. ergh…

The second two, one female one male – the female asked great questions and provided good answers – the guy however ummed and arghhed a bit but got through the info, clarified a few points but still a bit average. He did suggest to check out the quality of the units I was after and to get lots of brand names and model numbers of the gear others were saying they would supply.

So who will I buy from… I will see if any other companies will ring today and compare the figures they say they will email me.

UPDATE!

Day one got me a bunch of calls from interested parties, day two fielded some more and day FIVE I had a guy on the phone who said “So, got your enquiry, what do you want….” FAIL… he prattled on about quality and said he would email me the material… price “can’t match the low priced stuff, but it’s crap anyway…” (Ok thanks for the feedback, and also thanks for giving me the brand names I should be looking for that made things easier).

My research showed some interesting info, the lady who had chatted so nicely, had good info, and asked good questions to establish my needs the best… well turns out the Co she works for gets slammed in forums all over the net… and what’s also worrying they have about three different business names they trade under!! A quick search of those found more issues… oh boy it just became a bigger minefield!

The upshot, I found another company who looks like they can do the ‘right things’, I just need to get them to respond to the email I sent two days back! 🙂

Remember… “Great service is it’s own reward” Elbert Hubbard

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Dear Customer Relationship Executive… ERGH!

Dear Customer relationship Executive.

Many thanks for the phone call recently, I note the last CRM person did not last long in the role… Pity, like you, he sounded  good on the phone, sent me a business card and an intro letter. He also asked me how my car was going. Nice…

Slight problem, the only time anyone has been in touch, has been to send me a Christmas card or to let me know the CRM person has altered.

Sure you did ask if I was thinking of upgrading my vehicle… (nope but I figure you get that kind of ‘smoke screen’ from a lot of people).

I figure you probably make such a lot of calls and get so little from it, iot would look good for your weekly stats however. The good thing about your call is it set me thinking, (And thanks for the nudge!) here is what I thought.

Nice that you called, but where’s the add on, the incentive, the relationship building, the “Hey next time you’re near here drop in for a coffee.”

Ok, so being the generous soul I am, may I give  you a few free chunks of info on how this could all alter.

  • The email program your dealership has is okay, but can it be tweaked to take into consideration my interests and let me know about things related to my interests? – Maybe
  • Can you send me a birthday card, a hand written one? – Yes
  • Can you chat to me about my interests and send me little snippets you might find (other than via email) ? – Maybe
  • Can you send me updates on programs your organisation is supporting? (Oh, so you did send me something once… er… what was it again?) short answer… Yes
  • Could you share stories of other people using the same type of quirky little vehicle I buzz about in town in… er yeah!
  • Could you have an in store tea and bickies session to chat about the latest version of the quirky little car, and developments in the future like an electric version? – Maybe
  • How about adding a photo of yourself on the intro letter so I can find you in the dealership and say hi, and thanks for the info, the invites, the great stuff the company is doing? –  Easily, so that’s a yes
  • Maybe you could ring me and invite me to be surveyed at a time which suits me… to find out what I love (and possibly hate) about the vehicle. – Yes (I’m a sucker for a good survey!)
  • Perhaps you could find a whole bunch of ways to build the relationship with me and others like me, ask me when my anniversary is or any one of a number of events which are of value in my life so you can assist me to celebrate these events and feel like the relationship with you is a special one. – Yes
  • How about the anniversary of when I bought that special quirky little car from you, how about we celebrate that too! 🙂 – YES

So take that to your team and brainstorm a few more ideas, so you can blow me away with excellence, sweep me off my feet and find out what I have been up to lately.

Sure there are a few maybes and a few ‘yes’s’ but it’s a whole lot more to go on than simply one phone call a year and one card… BLEH!

So take a look at your card and see your title, ‘Customer Relationship Executive’ now build that relationship like you mean it. NOTE! The highest level of any relationship is  unconditional LOVE… so get on with the role of loving me, because I might just want what you, have and it could be sooner than you think!

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Retail therapy…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigital photos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigital photos.net

As we come into winter in Australia there are going to be plenty of businesses finding their retail stores are not full of people and hope they can make it through the leaner times with the profits they (hopefully) made during the peak summer months.

On many occasions I have spoken to retailers who say “Oh well what can you do, it gets quieter and you hope for the best, you get on the phone and have a chat to friends, get the juniors to clean up a bit and even open a bit later.”

I have seen many retailers in shopping strips sitting waiting and hoping… some survive some fade away.

How do you get around this issue and ensure your business can make it through tough times and perhaps thrive even though the temperature outside is telling you this really is “the winter of our discontent”.

Add to and ‘milk’ your database – If your business is interesting and has had customers come to your store for those one of a kind items you are known for, then you probably have a database of interested persons. If not then start building one! Make contact and start inviting them in for a fantastic shopping experience. Email and snail mail them AT LEAST 4 times a year (although you can readily do more with Email). Add a subscription service to your website, blog and online store then do everything you can to get people signed up and steadily build your numbers.

Shopping experience – You have a shop… what’s the ‘experience’ like… Do people love your service, your personality, the extras you add on, the items you sell? Or do they just come in because they have to and hate every minute of it. My view… Go for a stunning experience. Figure out how to do that with some brainstorming, internet research and KICK BUTT! – BRILLIANT service should be the first step, great displays, fast transactions, wonderful Staff, acknowledge all people who enter the store with a solid heart felt “Hello!”

Use your time – When it’s quiet in the store, develop your marketing plan and act on it. Devise a HEAP of ways to contact your database, build your database and keep them coming back for as little cost as you can. Email and facebook pages are one way, tweaking your informative and engaging website is another, adding to your web blog is yet another. Oh and here’s a critical one… do not vacuum the floor when people are in the store or anywhere near the store and see you  (or any staff) doing it, I hate it with a vengeance and will avoid the store at all costs (the noise is one thing, the tripping hazard of the cord is another and it’s just plain poor form!)

Get Excited! – If you are running a boring ‘old fart store’ with little life, a gruff disposition and a cold shoulder, prospects will find it hard to want to become customers, let alone repeat shoppers (clients). The more you can add excitement to cause people to want to shop in your store, more the more value you can get from them.

Cause people to take action – Ok so it’s quieter at certain times of the day. Can you run an event (an in-store demonstration or special display) or sponsor a catch up for a small group. Or perhaps you offer great package options you can make happen only at special times, to cause people to come in and stay there for a while. Or what about an in store treasure hunt… each day you could give people clues about where to find the treasure, perhaps online.

Give simple and effective reminders – Promo products can do this, drop a printed pen into their bag of purchases, give then an imprinted gift for purchases over $x. Chat to your friendly branding expert to get more ideas and ways to engage them more often. Add business cards in the bags each time (about 3 each time) people soon keep them for friends if the service is sensational and the experience and products are good.

Create an online shop – People like to buy, so sell to them in a way which fits for them, at home, anywhere in the world! Make it an easy to navigate online shop with Pay Pal as the payment device. And put on those things people can’t really get anywhere else. Avoid discounting the prices, buying is buying! then promote it on your FB page, twit about it, email people overseas and interstate (try to keep your locals shopping LIVE… They will find the online shop soon enough! are there other online or local shops you can connect with? Perhaps they can link to your shop too, you could have a whole community of connected businesses all working together feeding each other leads.

Get out there! – Sitting in your shop will cause  you to go nuts. Get you and your staff out in front and hand out goodies to prospective customers, give business cards,  chocolates “With the compliments of shop X”, a flier, an invitation to an event. (You can have them excited before they even enter the store!)

All of these tips are simply about loving people so they can love you back, and if you love your staff they will love you and the customers, Go on explore ways to give UNCONDITIONAL love to everyone you come into contact with. I think in an ideal world you could get so busy you would have to hire someone to keep this list of innovative connection options happening, as you could be too busy manning the till! Now that would be nice…

 

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