Tag Archives: marketing strategy

Aardvark Marketing Consultants Ltd | Increase average sale

Could simpler pricing grow revenue and profit?

Could simpler pricing grow revenue and profit?

How many business owners haven’t worried about the pricing of their goods and services?  Not many, I think.  We all know it’s a critical factor but are probably frightened of the consequences of getting it wrong. As a result of this fearfulness, we often play ‘safe’, whatever we think that is.

It’s a subject that has been endlessly debated, tested and analysed and there is a wealth of theory available.  In this blog, I’m going to take a look at four different approaches and how they can be combined to simplify prices and at the same time increase average sales value.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants Ltd | The power of three in stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

Power of Three

The human brain appears to naturally break up complex concepts into three parts.  This is reinforced in our experience of the world from childhood where we encounter numerous examples of ‘threes’.  Fairy story examples include Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Three Little Pigs and the Three Billy Goats Gruff. In Sport we often award Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. Three Primary colours, Neapolitan ice cream; Three quotes in purchasing, the list goes on.

Threes work by simplifying choices; most of us like to have some choice, but too much can be confusing.  Other pricing research suggests that when potential customers are unsure or confused, they are more likely to default to the lowest price option, or not purchase at all.  Restaurant menus are often grouped into Starters, Mains and Deserts; Supermarket food ranges offer ‘good’, ‘better’ and ‘best’.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | price discounting

 

 

 

2. Price Anchoring

Price Anchoring is the practice of establishing a price point which customers can refer to when making decisions.  Effectively, it seeks to fix in customers’ minds a “normal” price against which customers can judge the relative value of other options, savings, discounts, promotions etc.

For example, in a retail environment (real or virtual), when discounts or sale prices are offered, the ‘original’ price is always shown.  We subconsciously then accept this is the normal, fair price and focus our attention on the saving rather than the absolute value to us of the item at the discounted cost.

It works for two main reasons.  Firstly, outside of pure commodity markets (and even in some of them), people use comparisons or benchmarks to assess the value of products.  Secondly, our collective learned behaviour is to find the best reward for the least money or effort.  Price anchoring with a high-priced item or original price, makes the medium-priced product, or reduced price seem much better value.

Price anchoring can also work ‘upwards’, although this is less commonly used.  If a relatively small additional spend brings apparently many more benefits, the higher priced item looks relatively good value.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants Ltd | Pricing for profit

 

 

 

 

 

3. Bandwagoning

Sometimes, even when both of these techniques are applied, it is still hard for the customer to choose.  Perhaps they like more than one option, or don’t feel sufficiently expert.  Whatever, the reason, the potential customer is not sure which product or service would be ‘best’ for them at that moment.  Again, this can lead to the potential customer deciding not to buy for fear of making the ‘wrong’ choice.

Labelling an option as “most popular”, “best value” or “Chef’s recommendation” reduces anxiety and perceived risk.  It makes us feel like we’re doing something lots of other people have done before or is advised by someone who knows more about it than us.  It’s the same reason people look at star ratings and reviews on Google, Amazon or Trip Advisor.  We may not know any of the reviewers, but if there are enough of them or their comments address a particular concern we have, or demonstrate similar values to us, we feel reassured.

4. Avoidance of extremes

A further fine tuning and combination of these theories is to allow customers to avoid extremes.  Most people like to avoid standing out from the crowd (especially if they don’t feel like they are an expert) and so will naturally favour more ‘middle of the road’ options.  Coffee shops sell mainly ‘medium’ (or whatever they call them) sized drinks, many people choose the middle-priced quote.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants Ltd | Increase average sale

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing it all together

All of these ideas can be combined in price communication:

  • Promote only three options with different price points. High medium and low, but close enough in price and features for the customer to easily make a comparison – “what more / less do I get for the extra / saving?”
  • Don’t expect to sell a lot of the high-priced or low-priced option, so be confident that the middle option delivers the turnover and profitability required
  • Add a ‘bandwagon’ label for all three that makes them feel good about their choice
  • Make the middle option stand out – bigger, a different colour, font, put a border round it, so the customer’s eye is drawn back to it as well as their rational brain

You can read more Aardvark Marketing tips for setting a pricing strategy here .

To discuss pricing or communication or any other marketing issue affecting your business, please call us on 0121 222 5743, send us an email or explore the rest of our website.

Please follow and like us:
Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Why Digital Marketing never gets off the MD’s To Do list

Why Digital Marketing never gets off the MD’s To Do list

Why Digital Marketing never gets off the MD’s To Do list

All MD’s know that an effective digital marketing funnel will generate more leads and more sales. Companies that invest in marketing funnels do better than those that don’t. If it was quick and easy to create, every company would have one. Why don’t they?  Here’s 6 reasons why accomplishing something so simple is difficult in practice.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Why Digital Marketing never gets off the MD’s To Do list - skills shortages

 

 

 

 

 

Skill shortages

Many businesses don’t have any marketing expertise in their team. Staying up to date with the latest marketing trends isn’t easy as the landscape is constantly changing. This means companies either have to hire new staff who have got the relevant expertise ( and, if  the directors  don’t understand these skills themselves, how do they know who is a good hire?) or get training  for their existing team from a qualified, external expert.

Aardvark Marketing | Strategy versus tactics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lack of clear strategy

Directors often confuse a sales funnel or process with a marketing funnel. A sales funnel starts when a salesperson first makes contact with a prospect, so by exchanging emails, talking on the phone or in person. It’s a process that has an identified point of contact with a prospect and works by developing mutual trust in an ever-closer relationship. The relationship usually has a series of easily identified milestones (KPI’s and stats) by which a sales director can monitor their team. A marketing funnel is softer, providing information to a prospect ‘doing their research’ and making a shortlist of suppliers with whom they will engage further. Marketers refer to ‘nurturing’ prospects through their online research as they move through a digital marketing funnel.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Why Digital Marketing never gets off the MD’s To Do list - direction

 

 

 

 

Poor or non-existent planning

In order to create an effective digital marketing funnel, you need first to understand marketing channels, content and customers. Channels are the places a prospect will look to find out information about your company, products or services, and they can include non-digital places as well as online resources. Typical digital channels include your website, social media activity, external industry websites, financial information and so on. The content a prospect will read or view will depend upon their own, personal preferences, so this may include recordings/podcasts and video as well as the more traditional website pages and blogs. Finally, you need an in depth understanding of why your good customers return to use your products and services, so that the messages they receive from the content will resonate with them. This will mean you can provide them with all the necessary information they seek to shortlist your company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No process for creating quality content

Many businesses don’t have creative people in their teams, such as graphic designers, copywriters or website developers. If an eternal marketing agency is hired, there is often a poor brief given which means that the agency don’t produce the right content for your prospects to engage with. Quality content hasn’t only got to look pretty by being well branded, it has to engage your relevant audience.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Why Digital Marketing never gets off the MD’s To Do list - PID

 

 

 

 

Poor implementation & project management

Managing all those messages, channels and creating good content so that you have a coherent, consistent and continuous marketing presence is a skill in itself. If your team get overwhelmed by the many different tasks, often the wrong priorities are followed because people tend to stick to their skillsets and stay within their comfort zones It takes experience and skill to understand where limited resources should be deployed first to deliver the biggest bang for your buck.

 

 

 

 

 

Lack of measurement and data management

Just as a sales process will have key milestones that can be measured, so a good marketing funnel will have some points that can be monitored and measured. For digital marketing, Google Analytics is a good place to start. If you have a digital CRM with web tracking such as HubSpot you can access the data in your system as well. Monthly reporting of marketing KPI’s should be added to your management meeting  agenda, just as you would monitor management accounts for financial data.

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Why Digital Marketing never gets off the MD’s To Do list

 

 

 

 

 

Buyers and customers are increasingly fickle and shopping around for the best price is often  actively encouraged. Providing the right information through a good digital marketing funnel is increasingly important for the survival of a business. If you are finding any of the above challenges difficult, consider working with Aardvark Marketing. We can provide the expertise you need on an outsourced, affordable basis. Why not make a start by contacting us  or call 0121 222 5743 for a confidential discussion today?

Aardvark Marketing Consultants | Why Digital Marketing never gets off the MD’s To Do list - award winning experts

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

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

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

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:

Please follow and like us: