This is why your phone doesn’t ring!

A few weeks ago I described what I do as “making the phone ring and generating enquiries” but I am no salesman. I am creative marketer who has REAL life experience working to make sales, and in some cases to help keep a company alive!

Firstly, marketing is the process of attracting customers, retaining customers and winning new business. It permeates every department, every person and process. Marketing, done well, will pay you dividends in the future. Marketing builds and builds, yes, you advertising as part of a marketing strategy to make immediate sales, but it isn’t the most effective way to utilise marketing resource.

Rather than looking at this from a typical ten steps to make the phone ring angle, I thought I would share my reasons why your phone is not ringing DAILY with enquiries.

What we all want, which is a sure sign of a successful business, is organic enquiries, no google ad’s, no heavy SEO guru fees…here are my reasons why your phone isn’t ringing

You are boring

I don’t need to add to this. If you are boring and uninteresting you will send people to sleep. Long copy aka waffle is the most frustrating thing for a prospective customers.

You are not talking often enough

It takes, on average, 4–7 times for someone to remember your message. Too many people give up sharing their message or campaign too soon. Radio jingles, whilst generally are a thing of the past, everyone can remember one, why? because it has been heard so often.

You are not talking in the right places

Go where the customers are! Not where you can brag to your competitors or do some backslapping. Get onto social media, produce content which will help people in their daily work. Give away value. I recently had a client who was more focused on industry magazines, winning awards and accolades than winning new business. Spending £5k on adverts in professional publications only works if your clients read them.

You are not communicating consistently

Red, Green and then Blue. I have seen clients where their advertising is all over the show. Following the latest trends at the expense of consistency is suicide. Sure you will make great looking designs, but there will be zero brand recognition. Consistency of presentation is essential to be remembered. Inconsistency in presentation tells me one thing, you don’t know who you are!

You are not listening

The key to getting the phone to ring with enquiries is to listen to what the market is saying. If you’re offering isn’t fitting the needs of your prospective clients, they are never going to make an enquiry.

That’s my thoughts, agree, disagree and comment

The Number One Marketing Tip

We all want that hidden tip that will propel our product, brand or service to become world-leading. Well assuming you have something of substance and standard to sell I want to share with you the number one marketing tip.

You can spend hours researching, planning and deliberating what strategy to follow but here is the universal strategy…

Pursue Reach

Reach is the number of people who see your brand, product or service. Pursue reach so that it penetrates a market. It takes between four to seven times before someone can remember you but more like 15 times before they will consider making a purchase. Pursue reach.

So, some clever cloggs will tell me there are better, more focused strategies. For campaigns they’re probably right but for all-out making your name known, you have to just go all-out on reach.

In developing my brand and content I am looking to get a target of 100,000 eyeballs a day. I am not there yet, but I am well on the way.

When launching an app or new business you have to push massive energy into getting as much awareness as possible as fast as possible. You need to create a juggernaut of attention grabbing actions to give you the reach that gets your name, product or service known.

Once you have cracked this, you can then deepen diversify and be more surgical in your campaigns.

A few years ago I was working on a project to take something to market. After ripping up the clients existing creative and starting over, we pursued the following strategy:

If we want 40,000 sales we have to get 2,000,000 eyes on it. It worked!

3 reasons I stopped giving a damn what people think

For years I struggled with what other people thought of me, how I dressed, what I said and what I did were all subjected to scrutiny of what I thought other people thought. Fast forward to today and I can see how I tortured myself emotionally and sabotaged my future.

I now have removed this from my life and these are my reasons why you should do the same…

You will never please everyone

Whatever you do, someone isn’t going to be happy. You cannot please everyone. So don’t try. Try to do what is right and do the best you can. Pleasing people leads to marrying the wrong person, choosing the wrong career path and generally being unhappy. Don’t hurt people but at the same time you have make your own way or in a few years time you will resent where you have ended up.

Opinions are subjective

We know this is true. We can be wrong and so can other people. All our opinions are subjective, its nearly impossible to have an impartial view, no matter how hard we try, we bring all our emotions and past experience into every decision we make.

When you care what people think you will compromise on your future and decisions (compromise can have its place but..) I would rather pursue something I believe in and fail than do something to keep people happy.

Lots of people have defied opinions and won. Don’t ignore advice or opinions but reach a decision for yourself.

Sometimes you need to go against opinion to learn a valuable lesson to make you a better person. Sometimes you go against opinion and change the world.

Opinions can be loaded. Loaded with other peoples hopes, dreams and disappointments. Sure take advice but make your own decision.

You will not run from controversy

Despite what we see standing out or being embroiled in difficult thinks, taking risks or going public with something can be controversial. As humans we inherrently seek approval and respect. When we end up in controversy we receive questions and criticism. We want to be accepted but we shouldnt seek acceptance at any cost.

Look at all our notable people from history, the vast majority had to court controversy, go against ‘norms’ to do some incredible things.

Think Galileo, Newton, Jobs, Zuckerberg, Gates… you get my point.

If you are trying to do something difficult, you will have controversy. You have to set aside others opinions however tough they are and pursue your goal.

Why business leaders should stop having one-night stands

We have all been impressed by beauty. We have all imagined what it would be like. Captured by the allure of what might happen. The suspense. The tension. The excitement.

I am not talking about the conventional one-night stand you may be thinking of. I am talking about the metaphorical one-night stand many business leaders have in their business.

  • The one-night stand where you act on impulse and make a strong decision that later don’t see through.
  • The one-night stand where you commit resources to an initiative and then try to cut the cost.
  • The one-night stand where you want to build something for the long term but still want short term success.
  • The one-night stand where you position as premium but want to promote like a discounter.
  • The one-night stand where you hire people to do a job for you and then want to micro-manage and control how they do it.
  • The one-night stand where you start building your brand but don’t follow through next week or next year.
  • The one-night stand where you get in expertise but don’t like what they will say.
  • The one-night stand where you commit to marketing but when times are tough it is one of first things you cut.

One night-stands in business are just like the real one-night stands.

  • They are based on feeling. It feels good at the time.
  • It is a moment of gratification but doesn’t change the rest of your life.
  • Making a go of a one-night stand will not be a bed of roses.
  • It highlights you are missing something from your own life.
  • It will never change your world.

We have all flirted with one-night stand ideas, relationships and deals. Something is presented to us, we are teased and tempted. It’s pleasing but we cannot commit ourselves to it fully or we imagine it to be more than it is.

Marketing and brand building is the biggest one-night stand for business leaders.

It has the potential to explode their business but they want to get it forever without commitment to a course or relationship.

Here are some stats from an industry survey:

  • The average marketeer stays in post less than 23 months.
  • Marketing agencies say that almost 30% of their clients drop out of monthly marketing programmes within the first 3-6 months.
  • Agencies report that Client retention is just over 50% in those surveyed.

What can a marketeer achieve in 23 months realistically? A lot of tactics but not a lot of strategy.

What can an agency do in 3-6 months? Strong campaigns but very little long-term impact.

Every agency will drop the ball and every professional agency can and will blow you away with ideas and programmes. Every agency and marketing person will get it wrong and get it amazingly right.

These statistics across the industry show me despite the challenges of marketing in such a quick changing world, there are too many one-night stands.

Some of this comes from agencies lifting or creating unrealistic expectations. Marketing people know how to engage and excite people. It is their biggest stength and their biggest weakness. Agencies can create awesome ideas and plans but they will take time and money to implement. Often the critical claim made against agencies (which is probably true) is that they oversell the outcome and undersell the process to get there.

The reason most agencies handle more corporate clients is because their usually more stable in their process and decision-making. Corporates tend to think longer term. Whereas, SME’s tend to react more quickly, are less long-term and are more susceptable to changing moods / market changes. Agencies working with SME’s have the most one-night stands.

A good or bad month in a corporate doesn’t have the potenetial to change the operations of the business in a large corporate, where as it can affect the whole business in an SME. That is why agencies love corporate work.

Sometimes the agency flirts with a client, giving short term signals, but offering a long- term process. Sometimes agencies offer long-term and a client gives long-term signals, but really isn’t ready for commitment long term. One-night stands are a two way street.

There isn’t an agency on the planet that hasn’t experienced the frustration and disappointment of a one-night stand. A client who likes the big picture or end result but isn’t prepared for or didn’t realise it was a long term process.

Marketing success is over-estimated in the first 3 months and under-estimated in the first 3 years. It’s a long-term thing.

If a client comes to our team, we tell it straight: Our programmes are not about the next week or month. Yes, we will work to secure quick wins along the way, but if quick wins are the most important thing to you, you should probably go elsewhere.

It is harsh. I am certain we lose clients because of it. Our clarity (and honesty) allows us to focus on making our clients succeed longer term rather than scurrying around finding quick wins that probably undermine their brand and deviate from their long term strategy. It takes time for an agency to learn about you, your client base and your way of working. Client involvement will help guide and speed that process but it is a process of learning.

If you want 4 month success, you want a sales campaign or promotion. It can be executed by an agency or marketing team but that doesn’t substitute a long term marketing plan.

I have seen and met with companies that change agencies every 6 months because they were unhappy with short term results. Honestly, changing so often doesn’t help the business and none of the agencies get the opportunity to do their best work.

If you want solid business growth you need a long term marketing programme that can survive your budgeting decisions, delays, frustration or occasional disinterest. When the problems and setbacks come (and they will) you could become your worst enemy and flirt with a one-night stand opportunity.

If you want or are offered a marketing one-night stand…. You know what to do.

3 free tools on Linkedin that will boost your business

Linkedin can be a very expensive marketing tool especially if you are not familiar with how it works. Despite this, it is a great place to connect and network with people in your area or field of expertise.

The big benefit of Linkedin is the ability to connect with decision makers and the potential opportunity of winning new customers. It’s the ideal scenario that every business owner looks for, influence, revenue and growth.

If however you have only just familiarised with twitter and Facebook it can be quite a daunting exercise to get used to LinkedIn’s as the way it works is very different.

We thought that we would help you out and so we have put together some great tricks to help you use Linkedin to its maximum potential.

Cutting to the chase we have collated 3 free things you can do on Linkedin to help boost your business..

1) Download your connections contact details.

Stop spending hours working on mailing lists; you can quite simply download all of your Linkedin connections!

Many still do not realise you can download your contacts list from Linkedin. Yes, you can download your contacts and connect with them offline just as easily as online.

Before I share the link, it is important to remember that whilst people may have connected with you on email, they never gave you their permission to bulk email them. The world of ‘bulk emails’ and mass mailing is still flourishing, but really what people are now looking for is that personal touch that makes you stand out from the crowd!

The download is a great way to drop your contacts.

exportdata

You can download your contacts here https://www.linkedin.com/people/export-settings

 

2) Find new connections

The “How You’re Connected” tool helps introduce you to other LinkedIn users who may be connected to you or other connections you have.

When you visit a person’s profile, the tool (which lives in the right-hand column of the screen) allows you to see who in your network knows that person, and how. Clicking “Get Introduced” opens up a new message where you can ask the person to make an introduction. Using this tool is a great way to view people you want to be connected with and who might be the best person to ask for an intro.

howyourconnected

 

 

3) Use the Advanced People Search Tool

LinkedIn is more and more becoming a database for finding people, connecting with prospective business associates and individuals with very specific competencies and keywords included in their profile.

advancedsearch

Searches can be performed by typing a person’s name, keywords, or titles into the search box at the top of the page. Advanced searches can be performed by using specific criteria such as location, school, industry, etc.

If you are looking for new customers, we can help you develop a strategy and campaign to generate new enquiries and most importantly sales.

Complete the form below and a member of the team will contact you to talk more about how we can help.

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Why use a marketing consultant?

Many people are skeptical about the role of a consultant. Consultants can be expensive and if they are not delivering value they can waste a lot of time and money. There are however great benefits to having a consultant.

Before we get into the benefits, it’s always important to define the purpose for hiring a consultant. It is really easy once you’ve appointed your consultant to throw them more work or projects. Whilst every consultant values more work, ‘mission creep’ as I call it can dilute the effectiveness and muddy objectives and goals. It starts so easy with ‘can you just do this for us too’. I have been in a position where I have had mission creep and it isn’t a great place. Business owners at first feel happier knowing they can pass projects over and leave them with someone else. The problem comes when objectives and lines start to blur. From experience it is always better to have clearly defined projects and timescales.

When mission creep happens, it starts well but six months down the line when goals have slipped, it is easy to forget the additional work that has been added and blame the consultant. Always keep clear goals and objectives, it will get you the best results and avoid confusion.

So here are some of the main benefits for hiring a consultant…

1) Clear thinking.

It is really easy to develop ‘group think’ or ‘industry think’ as company. A consultant can bring a different perspective not hindered by the day-to-day running of your business. The clarity a consultant can bring also is removed from internal politics. Politics happen in every organisation and they are a power and self preservation mechanism. Clarity of thought from a consultant can help you see your options and next steps without the lens of politics or day-to-day management challenges.

2) Experience

The primary reason for bringing a consultant on board is so that you can gain access to expertise which you do not have internally. In marketing trends, methods and processes change. As a consultant, you have to be ahead of the game and be on top of the latest developments in technology so that you can share those developments with clients.

Many consultants focus on specific areas, so engaging their field of expertise is a low cost option compared to hiring a permanent staff member for that work. In some companies they do not have a big marketing team, perhaps just a marketing coordinator. In these circumstances companies can gain high-level experience as and when they need it.

3) Focus

In many organisations it can be easy to get distracted. The amount of times I have heard business owners say “we really need to work on our marketing”. Marketing is a top priority for winning customers, but it is really easy to get consumed in the day-to-day that you never get around to actually ‘doing’ the marketing.

A consultant or marketing company can help take responsibility for delivery. Having a consultant on board can help keep the focus on delivering the work or project. When your business is stretched for resource a consultant can keep things moving forward.

4) Defining Customers

A good marketing consultant can help you define your customer. Understanding your customer, their buying patterns and importantly their persona. This is another vital element of your marketing strategy which can help you win more business and customers. Poorly defined customer profiles can lead to wasting time and money using the wrong tools, to the wrong people at the wrong time. Defining your customer can help you deploy the right tools to the right people at the right time.

5 ways to make your marketing budget work harder.

In a follow up to the previous post, why most marketing campaigns don’t work we thought it would be good to share some of the ways money can be used to make your marketing budget go further.

1) Get a good understanding of your prospective customer.

You’d be surprised how many marketeers don’t understand their prospective customers. Without a good understanding of the customers needs, marketing efforts will be built on ‘gut-instinct’ or supposition. Sometimes shooting from the hip can be a real asset as you can easily over-analyse but it is far better for gut instinct to be confirmed by some research. A poor understanding of your customer or prospective could cause you to market to the wrong audience and distort the results of your campaign, creating interest from the wrong people and increase the overall cost of acquiring a sale / customer.

2) Making the buying process apart of your marketing strategy.

There are many different buying processes, all marketing should fit into this process or have a process to service enquiries and convert them into a sale. In some cases this is done as wholly online process, whereas others have mixed strategy. What plan is in place to handle new orders and enquiries? Can these be handled in a professional and timely fashion?

If you’re embarking upon a new customer acquisition campaign, it is likely they will want more detail than a returning customer. Is this information easily accessible? Does the prospective customer find it easy to obtain this information? These are all critical questions to securing your sales. A lack of accessible information can deter people from making an enquiry or placing an order.

3) Creativity with purpose.

Yes, sometimes creativity can be a waste of money. An agency (who shall remain nameless for legal reasons) once made a proposal to a client of ours for a new marketing campaign. It was slick, professional and well planned. However, there was some fundamental flaws in the proposal. They were too creative.

The concept a mouse sat on an elephant’s trunk. It was intended to symobilise new possibilities and making the impossible a reality. Sounds great, doesn’t it? The concept art was truly amazing. Our client, as a manufacturing business was confused, “are we the mouse or the elephant?” Having some reluctance the concept art was shown to some of their trusted customers. The feedback? None of them caught the symbolism, they either didn’t understand the relevance or thought it was a statement about their capability and their competitors.

Sometimes being too creative is an indulgence, creativity should be a tool for capturing attention to your offering, it should not take the stage itself (unless your a talented designer looking to get an award).

4) Getting to the point.

There is nothing worse than copy which does not get to the point. In times past solicitors and copywriters were paid by the word, so it was in their own interests to make documents as long as possible. Today, we are all pressured for time and ultimately want to know:

  • What are you offering?
  • What can it do for me?
  • How much is it?
  • When can I have it?

A little bit of sales pitch and boasting about your innovative approach or excellent customer service is good, but when there is more management jargon than substance it can be really annoying.

When someone lands on your website, watches your TV advert or receives any communication from you, it should be easy to understand exactly what you can offer. You have seconds to capture someones attention. Those view seconds are critical to gaining an enquiry, quote request or order. So please get to the point.

Here is an example…

“We offer bespoke and tailored solutions to help you drive sales and profitability”.

Question: – What do you do? How can you benefit me? Are you relevant? – “I’ll read it later”

This example could apply to a financial institution, card processing company, online shopping site or a marketing company.The jargon and waffle has created confusion and the wrong kind of questions.

Our strap line: “We help you grow your business through marketing”

Immediately people know what iMARVEL! does and who we do it for.

5) Monitor return on investment.

How many sales are you getting today from your marketing budget? Many would not know the answer, to be fair, sometimes the answer is hard to calculate as marketing done well can repay itself over long periods of time. As an example direct mail has been known to generate orders and leads 3 and 6 months after posting, where as online generally has a much shorter response cycle. The important thing is to have a system in place to record and track performance of campaigns.

ROI is a good way to bring accountability to your marketing costs and will inform you of what is effective.

If you are looking for new customers, we can help you develop a strategy and campaign to generate new enquiries and most importantly sales!

Complete the form below and a member of the team will contact you to talk more about how we can help.

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