Tag Archives: marketing strategy

Are you being used?

Are you being used?

Do you feel as though you spend a lot of time, and energy putting together proposals for prospects that never come to fruition? Many businesses that we work with feel the same. It can be all too easy to fall into other people’s traps, and end up being used.

Obviously, in order to gain new clients you will need to write proposals and show what you can do for that company or client, and it would be naive to expect all your proposals to turn into customers. However it is important to take a look at the situation of you feel as though you are not converting as many as you would expect into customers. Another instance where the ability to track your sales funnel is important to help you understand and improve it.

One such scenario is where a company is happy with their existing supplier, but want to tackle them on price. So they come to you to see what you can do, for what money, they take your proposal and your pricing and go back to their existing supplier with that information.They never had any intention of changing suppliers, they simply were looking for ammunition in order to drive down their costs.

We all do this to a certain extent, and it is a prudent business move to try and reduce costs with your existing suppliers. However if you are on the receiving end of other people’s ploys too often it can be a drain on your resources.

If you are experiencing problems in your sales funnel and feel that you are not converting your prospects into good quality customers, why not contact us today? Call us now on 0121 222 5743 to arrange a face-to-face meeting. Or for more information about improving your sales funnel click on the image below to watch the video.

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Beware of over-reliance…

Beware of over-reliance…

Are you over-reliant on one person? Is there that member of your team, that you think, “if anything ever happens to them…” Are you aware of this?

When you map out your sales funnel, you will be able to spot areas of weakness. One area of weakness is over-reliance on people. This is not to say that you don’t need good people: you do. But having a good process means if that person goes on holiday, gets hit by a bus, then another good person can see where in sales funnel the prospects were, and pick up the process.

If the process is not mapped out, and remains largely in people’s heads, then that knowledge leaves with them. The process of laying out a system, means that you are transferring the knowledge from a person, to a system. Ultimately your business then has control of that system, rather than being reliant on the actions of a person.

If you are struggling with process mapping your sales funnel, why not contact us? We have worked with hundreds of different businesses of different sizes, and across a range of different industries. We can help you to improve your business, driving sales and profit forwards. To arrange your meeting contact us now on 0121 222 5743

If you would like to learn more about successful selling, click on the image below to watch the latest video. Or click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Are you taking too much time?

Are you taking too much time?

How long does your sales funnel take? From an initial enquiry, for example filling out a form on your website, to your meeting with your prospect. One of the important reasons for tracking and monitoring our sales process is that we understand how long each step takes.

If it takes too long to move your suspects through the sales funnel, you risk the suspects becoming disengaged. By studying your sales funnel you can learn where the problem areas are. Is the process too complicated? Are you solving your suspects problems and answering their questions? If they come to the initial meeting with too many questions, they will be harder to convert. If your sales funnel has provided them with answers along the way, then by the time you have the meeting, they will be better engaged.

Reviewing your sales funnel step-by-step, including the time that it takes to move between each stage, gives you the ability to make changes at each step. Small improvements at each stage can lead to a big improvement overall, resulting in a quicker and more efficient sales funnel that will convert at a quicker and higher rate.

Process mapping is vital to ensure that you fully understand your processes, and only then can you successfully change them.

If you are struggling with your sales funnels and would like to improve them, why not contact us? We can help you to improve your sales funnels, ultimately improving your sales, and profitability. Call us today on 0121 222 5743 or via our contact page.

To learn more about sales funnels and successful selling, please click on the image below to watch the video.

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Why a written process is so important

Why a written process is so important

Many businesses start up with one or maybe a few people in an office, often your processes or systems have evolved from the beginning, and are now a collection of activities. When we write down our processes we can see more clearly what we are doing. In terms of our sales funnels writing down our processes can help us to track the numbers.

For example if an enquiry begins with filling in a website form, and then moves through phone calls and then onto meetings, we can keep track of the numbers each step of the way. It is important to know this, as if we know 100 website enquiries leads to 5 sales, we know that if we can improve the website to increase the number of enquiries to 200, this should result in 10 sales, thereby doubling our turnover.

Marketing is far more effective when you track the results, when you systematically work your way through to see what has an affect and what doesn’t. Haphazard assortments of marketing techniques flung together make it impossible to understand what is working and what isn’t. Spending time concentrating on your process will improve your understanding of the process, highlight any weak areas, and give you the opportunity to successfully track and monitor your activities.

If you would like to review your process with people who understand, contact Aardvark Marketing Consultants today on 0121 2225743

To learn more about successful selling watch the video below:

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How connections lead to customers

How connections lead to customers

When we talk to potential customers, it is all too easy to fix on rational reasons why they might like to work with us. We can write a new website for them, we can improve their IT system, we can improve their operating process. However in order to optimise our chances of success it is important that we delve deeper into their problem.

We need to find out how the problem affects them personally. For example their website may not be very good. This in turns means it is not producing enough leads, which may be worrying the owner as he is considering selling his business and wants to make it more attractive to buyers. So though the conversation may have started at “I don’t like my website” it has travelled to “I want to sell my business.” If your proposition can solve the owner’s pain problem of helping him to sell his business you are more likely to convert him into a client. If you only address the initial concern over the website, he may choose another person to do business with.

Remember that although we think people make rational decisions, usually they make emotional decision and then add in the rationale afterwards. So connecting on an emotional level with your prospects will help you to convert them into customers. It is important to understand what you will bring to this relationship, and it may be worth speaking to your existing customers so that you understand the reasons that your customers enjoy working with you. These will usually be softer reasons, such as they enjoy the structure of a regular monthly meeting.

If you are struggling with converting your leads into sales and would like to talk to someone who can help, call Aardvark Marketing Consultants today on 0121 2225743

Take a look at the video below for more advice on successful selling.

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Suspect or prospect?

Suspect or prospect?

Unsure whether you have enough suspects or prospects? Or are you not entirely clear about what suspects and prospects are?

A suspect is a person who could possibly buy your product or service. You don’t know if they will, but they are a rough fit for your business. They are a possibility.

A prospect is someone who you have identified as having pain points which your product or service could solve. Hopefully you are communicating in some way with your prospects.

If you have ongoing communication with your prospects, you can ensure that you are the person they turn to when they are ready to buy. People don’t buy when you want them to buy, they buy when they want to buy. Your marketing needs to make sure that you are the person they think of when they make the decision to buy.

Multi touch marketing is an efficient way to remain engaged with your prospects. If you are struggling to manage your marketing why not take a look at our marketing manager service.

For a confidential, no obligation discussion about your marketing, call us now on 0121 222 5743

Click on the image below to learn more about suspects and prospects.

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Too many hats?

Too many hats?

Running your own business is difficult. The calls on your time are endless, and switching between roles, can be tiring and unproductive. You can start each day full of good intentions, and end up resorting to firefighting. As a business owner you can feel like you are endlessly switching hats, from management, to finance, to HR and trying to find the time to do your marketing.

One way to tackle this problem, is to outsource your marketing. Marketing delivers the best results when it is consistently delivered, on time and in budget.

At Aardvark Marketing we offer our marketing manager package, which gives you regular, reliable marketing, tailor-made for your company and with a budget to suit.

If you are struggling with wearing too many hats, and would like to create some more time to focus to driving your business forwards to more sales, and more profit, why not take a look at our marketing manager package.

Click on the image below to watch the video and learn more about how we can help you.

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Competitive Advantage – Part 1

Competitive Advantage – Part 1

Competitive advantage ultimately comes down to two questions. How are you different? And does anyone care? In order to stand out from our competitors we need to be different, we don’t necessarily need to be dramatically different, but different enough to cause a potential customer to pick you over your competitor.

If your difference is not relevant enough to your potential customer, then it will not have an effect. If you sell blue widgets which are used on an internal structure which is not seen, and everyone else sells green widgets, your difference will have no effect on the marketplace. If you sell blue widgets which are ideal for a blue structure and everyone else sells green widgets, your difference is relevant. At this point you have a competitive advantage.

The strength of your business model is often on how durable your competitive advantage is. How long will it take your rivals to catch up with you? How long before other widget makers work out how to make blue widgets as well?

These questions are an essential part of understanding your competitive advantage. Telling your customers about your competitive advantage is successful and strategic marketing. Often companies outperform their rivals in certain areas but fail to point this out to their potential customers. Good marketing will ensure that you both understand your competitive advantage, and give you the tools to tell your potential customers about it.

At Aardvark Marketing we can help you to understand your competitive advantage and work with you to turn that competitive advantage into a strategic marketing plan. We have worked with hundreds of different businesses across different industries and sectors. You can build a coherent marketing plan to keep you ahead of your competitors using our marketing manager package.

Click on the image below to watch the video and learn more about competitive advantage.

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Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Frustrated with poor marketing results?

“Marketing doesn’t work”

“Marketing doesn’t work”

We’re used to hearing from frustrated business owners about marketing. They may say “it’s just a waste of money”, “I’m not sure what works and what doesn’t” or ” I keep being sold ‘silver bullets’ that don’t deliver”. If your marketing activity isn’t generating enough quality leads to drive your business in the direction you want, or at the speed that you want to get there, help is at hand from the experts at Aardvark Marketing.

It’s not just the lack of tangible marketing results that annoys business owners. Most are too busy to find the time to implement decent quality marketing on a regular, consistent basis. This means marketing is ‘fitted in’ around the other needs of the business, typically delivering products or services, selling, finances, IT or people issues. Because marketing is never as urgent as these issues, it tends to get done on the infrequent occasions when there is an unexpected lull in other business activity.  Aardvark believe marketing success comes when you stick to the 2 C’s in Success – consistent and continuous marketing.

There are usually 2 routes a business owner will take to fix their marketing frustration. Option 1 is  to hire a junior and option 2 is to pay an agency. Let’s look at both choices in more detail.

Option 1.

Hire a junior marketing executive who may understand more about digital marketing and social media but who struggles to set the marketing direction because they’ve not had enough (if any) experience of marketing and business strategy. This option means that more gets done and the company looks ’busier’. The website pages get a review, a new brochure is produced and the number of connections and posts on social platforms increase. However, often this doesn’t result in the tangible increase in sales that the business owner expected for the increased payroll costs incurred. There is never any shortage of activities to spend marketing time and money on – picking the right ones is the tricky bit!

Option 2.

Option 2 is to pay a marketing agency to take away the day to day hassle of running your marketing activity and hope that fixes the problem. Again, new campaigns will be implemented but there is often a lack of accountability and sales revenues do not always improve as fast as the marketing spend.  At Aardvark we’re advocates of avoiding splashing the cash.

So is there an option 3?

Here at Aardvark we’ve had years of experience working with small business owners and managers and understand the need to get more bang for your marketing buck. We’ve come up with a third solution – our outsourced Marketing Manager. Here’s our commitment to customers:

  • Unlike a marketing agency, we’re ‘on your side’ and an integral part of your team
  • We’ll work with you to set the right marketing strategy
  • We’ll implement it effectively (on time and on budget)
  • We’ll measure and monitor results and explain these to you at our regular report meetings
  • We’ll agree exactly what we will do and what results you will get for the next 3 months
  • We do all the project management to reduce your workload
  • We ask only for a 3 month commitment with no nasty long term contracts
  • We’re flexible, affordable (packages start at £300 per month) and we’ll improve your marketing to generate more, better quality sales leads.

With the Aardvark Marketing Manager option, you’ll see real change – more leads, sales and positive ROI within 6 months.For a confidential chat about addressing your marketing challenges, please contact Gill Hutchinson at Aardvark Marketing on 0121 222 5743 or email gill@aaardvarkmarketing.co.uk.

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Aardvark Marketing Consultants | The evolution of marketing segmentation

The evolution of marketing segmentation

The evolution of marketing segmentation

We’re in a golden age of marketing segmentation and automation. Marketers are benefiting from being able to personalise marketing messages using automation systems that segment us according to the choices we make, what we do, what we view, who we talk to and what we spend.

Martin Hayward of Hayward Strategy and Futures recently wrote an interesting article about marketing segmentation through the ages. His historical analysis of how marketers have changed their segmentation techniques makes interesting reading:

1. You are what you earn – still used extensively today, this model grouped consumers by social class. This model assumes that class, employment and consumer spending power were related. For example, the professional classes include lawyers, doctors and accountants could be assumed to have different lifestyles and disposable income from tradesmen including plumbers and electricians.

2. You are where you live – again, still of use today, especially for direct mail campaigns, this model makes assumptions about the relative affluence and lifestyle of a consumer based on their specific postcode.

3. You are what you say you are – this was popular in the 1980’s era when marketers became very interested in responding to consumers based upon their responses to lifestyle preferences and choices. This had limited value due to the paucity and inferior quality of the available data.

4. You are what you do – the emergence of Big Data led this revolution which has been championed by supermarkets and their loyalty cards. The collection of a huge amount of data about our spending habits has enabled a more targeted marketing approach. The data revolution, together with the growth of social media and pay per click advertising means marketing has never been more laser-like in its ability to respond to our behaviour online, as evidenced by Facebook, Google and Amazon.

Martin’s prediction for the next phase of segmentation is “you are what you choose to share”. He believes this will be a logical step for consumers as we come to appreciate the extent to which we share our personal details and make a concerted effort to control and regulate the data we allow organisations to capture.

So, apart from being a bit of fun for older marketers like myself to appreciate, what would be a useful take-away from this model for a business and the marketing strategy to adopt?

Firstly, I would argue strongly that any way a business can define their ideal customer is valuable information. I spend a lot of time with my clients helping them to research and refine their ideal and we still use size of business and geographical location as a part of that process. The ‘big brother’ world of web tracking and social media allows us further insight about on our prospects, which add more colour and detail to our picture.

Secondly, if we know what brands a person buys, who they associate with, and what they are interested in watching or doing, we can tailor messages that resonate with their world. Over time, tailored marketing gives a better return on investment as we focus on the issues that matter to them. Understanding what issues excite them, what tone of voice we should use and when we should talk to them etc allows us to build stronger, more lasting relationships with potential customers. In short, we can become better at establishing trust.

Thirdly, business owners need to keep an eye on the future trends that will change the way we do business. The era of permission based marketing is fast approaching and business needs to be aware of how both existing and potential customers could react to the use of their data. One of the benefits of using marketing automation is it allows marketing to be permissions based. Customers need to behave in a certain way before we send them more information, and they can choose whether to receive it. In the future, customers may be warier of their behaviour and more reluctant to share information than before. Marketing content will need to be more relevant to the recipient than ever before if consumers exercise more discernment in their choices. Are you ready?

Gill

If you’d like a confidential discussion about achieving more bang for your marketing buck, contact us on 0121 222 5743 or email us here

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