Posts Tagged marketing success

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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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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Franchise Marketing 2

As a Franchisor, you have created a marketing plan of action and an aim. Let’s say you want to get your franchisees more corporate leads, by creating a targeted direct mail campaign to ensure clear penetration into a specific market. You call your friendly branding expert to get some ideas and explore some concepts.

You decide to send out a suitable small gift with a personalised note advising businesses of your new corporate level services.  The letter attached to it gives them a local contact and some information on the new services and why they should choose you, it includes a call to action “call now” for a free sample, analysis, quote etc.

You then advise the Franchisee they can call the prospect and you provide an easy script for them to follow. It’s simple and should provide some solid leads over time. It can also be followed up and the contact details added to the franchisees database to market to later on.

The challenges, as stated in the first article, clear communication to the franchisees needs to take place so they know what’s taking place and why. A great marketing plan can only be great if the people on the front line know what is happening and why.

You could create a short video which you email to them to outline the process, or a step by step text email.

You could follow these up with a phone call, or have a webinar to outline the process and let them know why you picked the gift you did and how you worked with your friendly branding expert in the process.

Getting the communication right at every stage of the process should cut down on the amount of hassles you experience internally as well as ensuring you are setting great plans in place to develop and implement the marketing campaign.

There are lots of ways to market a business and if your task is to organise it for someone else (in this case franchisees) then get the process right so you can expect the right message to be delivered to the right people, so solid results can be tracked. This will then give  you great evidence about what works and good directions to take in the future.

  • Get people on board – Communicate the aim clearly to them.
  • Make the process easy to implement – Show them how to implement it and measure the results.
  • Make the most of it – Show them ways to build the relationship beyond the initial campaign.

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Franchise Marketing

When it comes to marketing for your Franchisees you need to get a few things sorted, know your aim, create the message and figure out how you will deliver the marketing message and who it will be aimed at.

You might think this is fairly simple and standard, yet there seems to be a range of challenges people face with their franchisees and keeping them on board with the whole marketing “thing”. Some franchisees simply follow your lead, while others buck at every new thing which seems to be an expense rather than an investment.

What might seem a rather simple process can soon become a slinging match, especially if you have conflicting input into the process; or people in the organisation simply do not like or understand the intended concept, especially if it’s the Franchisees.

What’s important here is to make sure you market your marketing well, i.e. communicate clearly what it is, what its aim is and how it will be implemented. Then you have a greater chance to ensure you get stronger “buy in” from the team.

I have been part of a franchise organisation where the people creating the marketing had only a simple aim (to give the franchisees more prospects.) They failed to cater for the existing clients (encouraging them to buy more), nor did they have much idea of the target markets they were trying to reach or how to reach them.

The other challenge they failed dismally at was advising the Franchisees about ways to do their own Local Area Marketing with ease, so they could get stronger involvement from existing clients and build greater referrals.

Where to from here?

  • Make sure the marketing plans and outcomes are clear about what’s happening and why.
  • Use simple communication methods to let everyone know why the marketing is what it is and the aim of it. Then people will feel more at ease with the process and know what their investment will hopefully get them.

Far too often Franchisees can build resentment to things being thrust upon them, simply because they don’t know enough about the intended aims and processes involved.

In part two I will outline a way to implement this sort of strategy, so you can see the benefit of utilising your friendly branding expert to help take some pressure off for you.

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Making the Marketing Difference

You are up to your elbows in marketing challenges, pressures from all sides are making your job NOT what you want, a lot of hassle. How do you find time to get out of the pressure cooker and search for solutions to give you breathing space?

Image courtesy of Image Majestic http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Image courtesy of Image Majestic http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Chances are if you have the time to read this, that’s probably about as good as things will get! So let’s jump in and see if we can provide some fast answers to your marketing department challenges.

Marketing relief options…

  • Get support – There are a whole host of “marketing supply” organisations all wanting to take your cash and supply you with goodies, but use the ones who can take the pressure off. The good ones do this by doing at least SOME of the thinking and organizing for you as well as supplying great products, the great ones will show you how to use the products as well… Try calling your friendly branding expert and see if they can do it for  you.
  • 1 hassle or five+? – If you look after marketing for a single organisation there is probably less hassle, however if you are looking after multiple organisations (in the case of a franchise group), then you might have a whole range of conflicting forces pushing and pulling. Find ways to keep these forces off your back, perhaps by educating the end users on how to fully use the marketing devices provided to full effect.
  • Think, not do… – It’s easy to say it but sometimes hard to do it! Perhaps it’s outsourcing the “practical side of things” and even some of the thinking, so you can plan better what’s coming up next. A friendly Branding Expert should be able to assist you with this and not just be a provider of products.
  • Plan – Yes the thinking part means you can be more strategic in your approach so planning has to be next. Figure out if you have to get more new customers, keep existing ones interested or support an organisation you are sponsoring. Then build your calendar of marketing options from there.
  • Keep your people informed – if you are a one person marketing dept or a 100 strong team, your wider network of staff in the organisation will probably need to know about how to handle the promotions and various processes you will put in place so use your intranet, email and or training sessions, to give them information and get feedback on what’s taking place, often great ideas can come from some very unlikely sources.

Now you are back on track, see what’s out there to make your job easier and less hassle.

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