Tag Archives: marketing strategy

We are all in the same boat

We are all in the same boat

One of the things that we hear when we discuss marketing with different people, from different industries is this: “but you don’t know anything about my industry.” This may very well be true, though we have worked across an impressive range of industries over the year. But the real answer to this is it doesn’t matter.

Frost and Sullivan, the well-known and respected research agency, produced a global report in 2015 which found that no matter what your business was like, large or small, local, national or international, profit or charitable, every business had basically the same 5 challenges with their marketing. Our problems, which we tend to be quite possessive of, it turns out are universal.

This actually works in our favour. Because we know that all businesses face the same challenges, we know where to start with their marketing problems. We understand what is required to meet the challenges head on, and how to implement changes that will ensure that these challenges are being met. If the challenges were unique to each business, we would not be able to tackle problems using our tried and tested marketing methods, which we know to be successful on a range of diverse businesses. We can use the knowledge we have gained from different industries and apply it to your industry, all because of the universal nature of our marketing challenges.

If you are struggling with your marketing, take a look a our marketing manager service. This provides you with outsourced marketing delivered by knowledgeable professionals, so that you can be confident that your marketing is being carried out regularly and consistently. We measure and monitor your marketing, so that we can hone your marketing to suit you.

If you would like to learn more about marketing manager, why not contact us today to arrange your meeting? Call us now on 0121 222 5743

Or to learn more about the universal challenges facing us, watch the video below.

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Genuine seasonality

Genuine seasonality

There is a difference between a business that experiences genuine seasonality and one that is stuck in a feast and famine cycle. Though the problems caused by the cyclical pattern are the same, one is unavoidable and the other can be altered.

Genuine seasonality applies to businesses such as an ice cream seller. In this business you know that you will sell more ice creams in the summer than the winter, and therefore you organise your cash flow accordingly. There is little you can do about this, other than finding something else to sell during the winter – hot chocolate?

However the feast famine cycle can be broken, and evened out. The feast famine cycle occurs as follows. You want to increase your sales, so you increase your marketing which in turn increases your sales. Suddenly you are too busy, so you stop marketing, and concentrate on fulfilling the orders that you have generated. Suddenly you realise that your order book for the months ahead is empty, so you quickly do some marketing to boost your sales…and so the whole cycle begins again.

This is a surprisingly common trap for people to fall into. It can be prevented by setting up an on-going consistent marketing program which will deliver a steady flow of good prospects into your sales funnel. Often outsourcing your marketing can be beneficial as this ensures that the marketing is done on time, and on budget, regardless of what is going on in-house. A marketing program can be turned up or down according to your requirements, increasing or decreasing the quantity of leads it provides.

If you would like to outsource your marketing, why not arrange a meeting to discuss our marketing manager program? Call us to book your meeting today on 0121 222 5743

If you would like to learn more about feast and famine cycles please watch the video below.

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Does your marketing strategy look like this?

Does your marketing strategy look like this?

Many B2B companies fall into the same problems as regards their marketing. Their marketing has often developed as the company has grown, and has not been planned out rationally, but has been added onto at various stages by different individuals. That is not say that each idea was not a good one in its own right, just that they have been collated with little or no strategy. Effective marketing will help to drive your company forward, so it is worth spending the time creating a good sound strategic plan, and then breaking that down into component parts which can then be given to different team members, so you could simply outsource.

The problems arise as follows:

Often they will have a loose assortment of activities – pick and mix marketing, not based on any coherent structure, but rather selected at random. This results in a lack of strategy and direction in your marketing.

Repeating the previous year’s activities. Though this is not necessarily a bad idea, it is if you are doing it simply because you don’t know what else to do.

Copying competitors, again this is not automatically bad. You and your competitors may have similar marketing strategies targeting the same areas of the market. If however you are just blindly copying your competitors it is unlikely to give you excellent results.

Spend increasing faster than return, if you are in this situation you need to stop and review what you are doing.

Little or no measurement, means that you have no way of understanding what is happening. If you simply try different things but never track them, you won’t be able to build up a picture of what works and what doesn’t. Not everything will work, but over time, with good measurement you will be able to work out what works well for you.

Hoping for leads and enquiries is all well and good, but if your only strategy is a hope strategy, then you are reliant upon people who stumble upon your company.

Creating a good marketing strategy will help you understand what works for your business. If you are struggling with your marketing call Aardvark Marketing Consultants on 0121 222 5743

To learn more, watch the video below:

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One step at a time…

One step at a time…

All industries have different problems facing them, and understanding this is key to successful marketing. How you market your engineering company will be different to how you market your creative business. However the tools and techniques that we use will all have a common basis.

In the Midlands there are many engineering firms, and often you will find SME supplying big businesses such as Jaguar LandRover. As the items required by the big firm are often very technical it can be necessary to spend quite some time working with the big business to show them what you are offering, For example you may have to start with a technical drawing followed by a prototype. Sometimes the company will then want to test the item for a prolonged period of time. All of which is fine if you are going to get the contract, but is not so good for your cash flow.

Small businesses often struggle with cash flow, especially in their infancy. Viable, good, profitable businesses are bought down more often by cash flow problems than anything else. Ensuring that your cash flow is resilient enough to withstand such an extended negotiating period is vital to the health and well-being of your company.

You may find that you have to work your way up to be able to put yourself in this position. Taking smaller steps over a few years towards your final goal may be more sensible than trying to launch yourself straight up to your desired end point. Steadily working up through the industry, and ensuring that you have good cash reserves before marketing yourself to the larger companies can be prudent.

Your marketing will need to adapt through the different steps that you take. Marketing yourself to the customers that you need to acquire now, as supposed to the customers you would like to have in three years time is important. With our marketing services we can develop a plan to help you to progress through your industry. Making sure that your marketing is targeting the correct people, in the right way.

If you would like to learn more about successful selling watch the video below.

If you are struggling to create an effective marketing message, why not contact us at Aardvark Marketing Consultants today? We have experience across a wide range of different businesses and industries. Call us now to arrange your face to face meeting on 0121 222 5743

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The Devil’s in the Detail

The Devil’s in the Detail

In general detail is good. Bold brush stroke plans are vital for forward thinking, and strategy, but without the detail there is no way of moving towards your goal. However, sometimes too much detail can be your downfall, and this can be true when talking about prospecting.

If you fill your proposal with detail, you can end up in the situation where your prospective client regards it as a shopping list, and starts taking out items in order to drive down their costs. Suddenly your neat, detailed plan, which you know will work for them and deliver the results that they need, is full of holes. This “leaky” version you know won’t deliver such good results, and will be more complicated to deliver, as you won’t have control over elements of the plan.

In these cases it might have been better to deliver a less detailed proposal, so that you don’t allow the “shopping list” tendency to manifest in your prospective client. A project where you retain full control will enable you to deliver a fantastic result, which will be better for everyone concerned.

If you are struggling with converting your prospects into customers, why not book a meeting with us? At Aardvark Marketing we have worked across different industries and sectors, and use tried and tested processes to help you close more sales. Call us today to arrange your meeting on 0121 222 5743

Or to learn more about successful selling why not watch our video below…

 

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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 why not watch the video below?

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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, why not watch the video below?

 

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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 watch our video below.

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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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