Tag Archives: marketing strategy

Making the most of your marketing machine

Making the most of your marketing machine

Once you have designed your multi-touch plan, created the touches you are nearly ready to begin. But who are you targeting? The quality of your data is crucial in determining the success of your campaign.

Finding the people who might be interested in your product or service is necessary to ensure that you are putting the right people through your marketing machine. You can design and implement a brilliant campaign around eating beefburgers, but if you target a whole list of vegetarians you are unlikely to get any response. And remember that you will need a continual flow of prospects to feed into your marketing machine. The aim is to create a steady flow of good quality leads who are poised to buy.

Once we have these leads who are ready to buy we need an efficient process to convert them to customers. Don’t lose them at this step by making your sales process too complicated or lengthy. As with all processes making sure that you review them will enable you to alter the processes to make them more streamlined and efficient. Constantly monitoring and reviewing your processes will enable them to become better and better.

Monitoring and measuring is a vital part of the success of your marketing. You need to see the effect from your actions, so that you can refine those actions to make your process continually more effective. If you don’t monitor and measure you don’t know what is working and what is not working.

Don’t forget the value of your existing customers, they already like you, they are already engaged, but if you run them through your multi-touch program they might learn more about you and what you offer and come to you more frequently or for different services or products.

If you don’t have enough time to design, implement, monitor and measure your multi-touch program, why not let us do it for you? Our marketing manager package provides outsourced marketing at a surprisingly reasonable rate. Call us now on 0121 222 5743 to arrange your meeting.

To learn more about creating your marketing machine watch the video below.

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What is a touch?

What is a touch?

In our last blog we discussed the magic number of touches that you need in your marketing campaign. The magic number is twelve touches. But, what is a touch?

A touch is any piece of marketing communication that you send to your prospect. It can be a variety of things; a LinkedIn connection, an email, a piece of direct mail, a call. Each touch provides an opportunity for you to share information, educate, or simply remind your prospect of your presence.

Data gathered via extensive research into sales show that the majority of sales happen between the 4th and 12th contact. So a salesman who has made three calls and received 3 “nos” maybe only one touch away from a sale. The problem with the traditional method of sales, cold calling, is that often the potential customer says “no” when in reality what they mean is “not now” or “not yet”.

We forget sometimes that people do not buy when we want them to buy, they buy when they want to buy. The purpose of marketing is to ensure that when they are ready to buy, you are the person they come to.

You can see that if you have a multi-touch campaign which continues over a longer period of time, statistically you are more likely to be in the right place at the right time, than if you only make a few calls over a shorter period of time.

Implementing multi-touch campaigns can seem daunting, so we offer our marketing manager package which provides outsourced marketing so that your campaign is designed, delivered, monitored and measured for you. If you would like to discuss how the marketing manager package could help your business, call us today to arrange your meeting on 0121 222 5743

If you would like to learn more about the multi-touch program please watch the video below.

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What’s the magic number?

What’s the magic number?

So, you are designing your multi-touch marketing program, you have created some really first-class content that is informative and engaging and has been designed to show you to be a leader in your field. You have then used this content across a variety of media, perhaps you have created a flyer, or a video, or put together a series of emails for your campaign. But how many touches should you do?

There is a magic number. This number has been reached by research carried out in the US and in the UK. It is based on when a sale happens in a B2B relationship, and how many points of contact have happened before the “yes.” The magic number is twelve.

So, when you are designed your multi-touch program you need to bear this in mind. Obviously, you will have some quick wins, and you will have some customers who take twice as long as this to come to fruition, but as a basis on which to build your campaign twelve is ideal.

These touches don’t have to all be very elaborate, they can be as simple as a LinkedIn connection, but together they become very powerful. It takes people a while to become used to you, to trust you, before they will even consider buying from you. Taking the time to work through your multi-touch program will enable your prospective clients to accept you, trust you, and ultimately buy from you.

There are quick fixes that can be made, but in the long run it is better to build a good marketing program that will deliver you a steady flow of good quality leads, who are poised to buy. If you are struggling to either devise a long-term marketing program or to implement it, why not take a look at our marketing manager package? Or to arrange your meeting today call 0121 222 5743

If you would like to learn more about multi-touch marketing please watch the video below.

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When is it OK to cheat?

When is it OK to cheat?

Readers of the Sunday Times may have read an interesting article in the magazine on 24th March about Donald Trump and how he plays golf (click here to access article). There are lots of examples of his breaches of golf etiquette from minor to major misdemeanours. Personally, I wasn’t particularly surprised by any of the stories, but the one item that caught my eye was the comment about his attitude to cheating – he assumes everyone is cheating so it’s OK to join in.

It made me think about how we all operate in business. Throughout my career there have been occasions where decisions had to be made which had an ‘ethical’ component. Very often the debate included a discussion about what the competitors do or what we expected them to do.

It’s easy from a distance to take the moral high ground and advocate a highly principled approach, but if your competitors really are setting their bar a bit lower, there is a risk of significant adverse consequences.

How do you stay true to your principles and minimise the risk?

In most cases the source of risk is customer misunderstanding. If your prospect or even existing customer doesn’t fully appreciate the full picture, they can be misled into making an ill-informed decision, being seduced by your less principled competitor. While it may be tempting to drop your own standards to complete on a ‘level playing field’ an alternative is to turn the popular cliché around and say “if you don’t want to join them, beat them’.

Can you educate your prospects to help them make better decisions? That can not only win you more business, but it also earns you respect from the customer for helping them make the right decision for them. An easy way to do this is to offer a free ‘buyer’s guide’ on your website.

To make this really effective, spend some time (or get someone else to spend time – https://aardvarkmarketingconsultants.co.uk/research/) talking to customers so you know what really matters to them.

If you want to be the Donald Trump of your market, that’s your choice – but you don’t have to. If you want to talk to us about retaining your principles and being successful, we would be delighted to take your call or answer your email.

Chris

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So what are the 5 challenges?

So what are the 5 challenges?

In our last blog we spoke about the research done by Frost and Sullivan that showed that all businesses faced the same 5 challenges with their marketing. But what are these challenges?

The first is proposition, which basically means that you are struggling to effectively convey to your customers what you do and how you offer them value for their purchase. You can improve this by working on your communication, and clearly demonstrate to your customers why they should come to you, over your competitors. If you are not sure where to start, begin by writing down everything you offer.

The second is delivering sales-ready leads. This is important as it will prevent you wasting time on leads who were never going to buy, who were using you to gain some traction over their current supplier, or who were only ever going to choose on price. Having good process that delivers quality leads will help to increase the success of your sales pipeline.

Creating good quality content is vital to engage potential customers, and show yourself as an authority in your marketplace. The content required for different mediums will vary, and will need to be created according to the market and the way that is it presented. People tend to view creating content as time-consuming, so that it get pushed to the back of the pile.

Measuring your marketing is important. Unless you measure and monitor it is hard to work out what is working and what is not working. Furthermore, what you measure makes all the difference. Simply measuring Facebook likes, or website visits won’t give you an understanding of the engagement levels of your potential customers.

And finally, sales teams being skeptical of marketing. Many business owners struggle to get their sales teams to use the marketing materials, or to work with the marketing team. But good marketing, will deliver a good flow of warm leads to the sales team, enabling them to command a good conversion rate to customers.

If any of the above points sound familiar, give us call on 0121 222 5743 and arrange your meeting today.

To learn more about the challenges facing businesses watch the video below.

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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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