Is your marketing working for you?

Is your marketing working for you

Imagine telephoning someone that you don’t know.

“Hello,” you say to them, “I was wondering whether you would like any (insert your product / service here)?”

What sort of reception do you think that you would receive?

In the markets that I have studied, only about 5% of the people in that market are looking for a new supplier or to change brand. That equates to 1 person in 20.

The challenge is that if you call them or knock on their door, they probably won’t reveal that they are in the market for the products or services that you are selling, as most people are somewhat coy (and they don’t like cold callers).

This is where marketing comes in. Effective marketing creates brand awareness, which is worth its weight in gold. Brand awareness goes a long way to explaining the groceries in your kitchen, the clothes that you are wearing and the products that you use in your personal and professional life.

Marketing can bring customers to you who are interested in what you do. It usually takes several messages / visits to your website until they feel comfortable with your name. If you are lucky, they may give you a go. If they enjoy the experience, they may buy again. Sometimes, they love you so much that they become customers for life.

This is why big companies tend to invest so much in marketing. They want to keep their name out there, bind current customers to their chest with hoops of steel and find new customers.

In order to do this, they need a marketing strategy, promotional campaigns and effective selling processes.

The questions to ask yourself are:
*  Is our marketing working?
*  Do sufficient people know about us?
*  Can customers easily find us?
*  Are we attracting sufficient sales enquiries / first time buyers?

If you are not happy with your answers, email me via nigel@nigeltemple.com or call me on: 01628 773128

Marketing is like a river

Marketing is like a river

Marketing is a journey, not a destination. You may have ticked many boxes, including segmenting your customers, positioning your brand, creating visual brand identity, implementing a CRM system, updating your website, publishing regular blogs, sending out newsletters, talking to journalists, attending / organising events and so on.

The challenge is that things keep changing. In addition, marketing is more like a flowing river, than a building on the river bank. It is important to keep learning, adapting and moving as technology, the economy and customers change.

If you think of marketing as fixed, you will be left behind. Not that long ago, for example, marketing communications was largely print-based. This included brochures, leaflets, flyers and printed press releases. Print has not gone away, however websites have, for many enterprises, taken the place of brochures. It could be said that print has morphed into pixels.

Many business owners and sales professionals used to rely on the phone. Today, buyers hide behind voicemail and caller recognition systems. If they don’t know you, you probably won’t get through.  And that is before we take GDPR into account.

Online search has made it easy to find goods and services and compare availability and pricing.

A rigid approach to marketing means lack of agility. Feedback and continuous improvement are a smart strategy.

Solving software problems

marketing software training

As a marketer, do you find yourself increasingly working with software? This may include your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system); CMS (the Content Management System for your website); email marketing systems such as MailChimp; and marketing software tools.

Do you enjoy working with software? If from time-to-time you feel like throwing your computer out of the window (the French have a word for this: defenestration), here are some ideas for you:

* For the important software that you will be using regularly, invest in professional training.

* When you get stuck, take a break, even if it is only for 10 minutes. It is surprising how different approaches can come to mind, when you are not focused on the problem.

* Find someone who is good with software who can help you.

* YouTube can be very helpful, if someone has posted a solution to your problem.

* Many software platforms offer online chat support for paying customers. I have found these to be very helpful; they can usually email you a transcript of the discussion.

* Learn some HTML via W3Schools.

* Spend a higher proportion of your time learning, as opposed to fixing problems (which never seem to end, do they?)

* If all else fails, find a good window fitter.

Click here to see Nigel’s marketing training services.

How to write a Description tag

Within The Marketing Compass 2019 SEO Course (which NavigatorPlus members can access for free within the Resource Centre), we discuss Description tags. They provide a concise description of a web page, within a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If a description tag is not there, the SERP result may show random wording, drawn from the web page.

On the one hand, since 2009, Description tags have not counted as Google ranking factors. However, because of the way in which they can make your search engine listing look better, they are important and well worth paying attention to. To put it another way, well-written Description tags will help you to get more visitors to your website.

Here is a screenshot of a Google search result. Notice that the Title tag (MailChimp training – Learn how to…) reads like a headline and that I have included a phone number. The Description tag text begins: ‘The training can be….’ These two elements in combination have always struck me as looking like an advert.

SERP page 1 for MailChimp training
You can have up to 300 characters including spaces within a Description tag.

Write about the benefits that are to be found within the web page. For example, as opposed to writing: ‘Here is our widgets page. It lists all of the widgets that we sell.’

You could write this: ‘Find the right widget for your requirements. You can specify your widgets by size, material, colour and price. We’re the leading widget supplier and we are here to help. Our vast warehouse ensures that we’re always in stock. Order online or apply for an account. Questions? Call: 01234 56789.’

(292 characters including spaces between words; it is quite a lot of text, isn’t it?)

Use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ within your Description tags, as this will feel more personal for the reader.

It is better to write in an upbeat, positive way.

Use short sentences and short words.

Where you are marketing a product or service, include a call to action.

If you are a WordPress user, Yoast is helpful.

You will find more detail and ideas within the SEO course – click here.

Nigel offers Google SEO training.

PS This article first appeared in my marketing tips email which you can subscribe to here.

Do you like making decisions?

Decisons, decisons

Are you good at making decisions? Do you tend to make the right decisions, in your personal and professional lives? Do you like making choices?

I have been thinking about this subject, following a series of conversations with The Marketing Compass member and decision making speaker David Knowles-Leak.

We all have to make decisions, every day of our lives. Most decisions are minor in nature (which shirt shall I wear?) whilst some decisions are of crucial importance (shall I propose?)

When I am selling, I sometimes wonder why it can take so long for people to get back to me. I have come to the conclusion that many people like to reflect on a decision, before they take it (or avoid doing so). Or perhaps they are inundated with more pressing matters?

When it comes to marketing, there a host of decisions that need to be made. For example, are we product or customer centric? How much time and money should be devoted to marketing? Will everything be done in-house or will some of it be outsourced? How important is digital marketing? Will we use a push or a pull marketing strategy?

Personally, I tend to make decisions quickly. For example, when I am buying something, I know what I want. When I find it, why not cut to the chase and buy?

I make a lot of decisions and I always talk through the big ones (and many of the smaller ones as well) with my wife, Joanna. We often do this when we go out for a walk, which helps me to think clearly.

As far as I am aware, decision making is not taught as a separate subject in schools. Bearing in mind how important it is, perhaps it should be?

The eight stars of marketing

8 stars The Marketing Compass V1

The eight stars of marketing are:

YOU

As self-understanding leads to better understanding of the customer

STRATEGY

In the midst of confusion, have a clear strategy

PLANNING

Plan your work and work your plan

CUSTOMER

The centre of your marketing activities

COMMUNICATION

Getting your message across in a noisy marketplace

PROMOTION

Choose from 300 promotional techniques

INTERNET

The art and science of digital communication

SELLING

Converting enquiries into sales

Interestingly, the stars can work in pairs.

The Eight Stars of Marketing © Nigel Temple

Should creativity be measured?

In our metrics obsessed culture, should creativity be measured? After all, virtually everything else is, isn’t it?

What would happen if we measured the number of creative ideas that were produced each month?

What would change if we measured the number of failures and celebrated high number of these? After all, it is well established that success and failure go hand in hand. If you are not failing, you are not doing enough.

During a creative thinking speech entitled ‘Are you Wired for Creativity?’ yesterday for Community Housing Cymru in Swansea, I was talking about the need to allow space and permission for creativity within marketing departments.

New ideas are important as they feed innovation. Standard marketing metrics are all well and good. However, success in a fast-changing environment requires new ideas on a continual basis.

Your enterprise is a competing data processing system

Your enterprise is a competing data processing system

As everything continues to become digital, think of your enterprise as a competing data processing system. This idea is contained within Yuval Noah Harari’s book, Homo Deus.

As a marketer, I think a great deal about the customer, brand and promotion. However, when I want an answer to a question, or I am looking for a product or service, I reach for my 2nd brain (my smartphone).

The enterprise with the best data processing system is:
A) Going to be on page 1 of Google
B) Their website will engage my attention
C) If I want to find out more, their data processing system will engage with me and learn about my needs. It will communicate, follow-up and be there for me.

On this basis, don’t think ‘website’, ‘Search’, ‘CRM’, ‘Email’ etc. Instead, see  it as a holistic integrated whole that delivers a better service than anyone else.

In order to achieve this, you need to learn continually as software never stays still. As systems, apps and services move into the cloud, there has been an explosion of options and alternative ways of serving the customer.

You can throw money at IT if you wish, but it is better to understand it first. Talk to people and ask questions about what they use, how they use it and where they bought it.

This article first appeared within my marketing ideas newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

Too many browser windows open?

Do you find that that, as your working day progresses, you end up with dozens of browser windows?  I used to have so many that I would have several different web browsers on the go.

Station can be downloaded for use on your computer. It is free to use and it enables you to work with several hundred apps such as email, accounting, online storage, MailChimp, social media accounts (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter), Skype and many others (about 300 in total).

The result is that your website browser is much less cluttered. In addition, you can search across multiple apps within Station and move from one app to another in a variety of ways.

Station groups all your pages by app, automatically.  You can turn notifications off, when you need to concentrate.

No more getting lost in 50 open tabs. Decision making speaker and NavigatorPlus member and decision making speaker David Knowles-Leak kindly brought this to my attention.

Visit Station’s website here to find out more and download the app.

This story first appeared in my marketing tips and ideas newsletter. You can subscribe here.  “Your newsletter is the most useful I have ever subscribed to!” Steve Munden https://ibizify.net

Choosing an internet marketing consultant

Digital marketing consultant

Impartial, independent third party advice and feedback on your internet marketing activities can make all the difference. Here is a checklist for choosing an internet marketing consultant:

* Begin by deciding what you want the consultant to help you with, i.e. creating an internet marketing plan, increasing traffic, a website review, web copywriting review, an SEO audit and feedback, improving social media engagement, improving conversion rates,  generating more enquiries / sales (or all of these).
* Look for someone with a wide range of experience in different industries
* Does their website give you confidence? Is it well designed, does it look professional and is it easy to navigate?
* Do they display testimonials within their website?
* Does the consultant also teach? Where have they taught internet marketing?
* Does the consultant understand web copywriting?
* Can they demonstrate a thorough understanding of SEO?
* Do they have professional marketing qualifications, for example a marketing degree?
* Has the consultant built any websites? How successful are these sites?
* How many clients has the consultant worked for?
* How quickly do they respond to your enquiry?

Choose three or four consultants and talk to them on the phone. Ask them to give you some initial feedback on your website. Request a written quotation for their services by email.

Read about Nigel’s digital marketing consultant services.

Here is some typical feedback:
“I revamped the site taking into your comments and the bookings have gone crazy. We’ve just had our best ever week! Thanks so much, your magic has worked!” ~ Neil Ross

Nigel Temple internet marketing consultantNigel Temple is an internet marketing consultant, author, speaker and trainer. He shows business owners, professionals and teams how to get better results from 21st century marketing – including online brand awareness, improved search engine rankings, social media effectiveness, website traffic and sales enquiries / sales.

Nigel has taught internet marketing since 2000. He served as a Faculty Member and Course Director at CIM (the Chartered Institute of Marketing) for 12 years. He led over 500 Business Link workshops, focusing on website effectiveness, SEO and social media. Today, he delivers internet marketing events for The Marketing Compass which provides impartial marketing advice for business owners. He has worked in dozens of countries around the world including the USA, Dubai and Japan.

To find out more about Nigel’s services email joanna@nigeltemple.com or call Joanna on +44 (0)1628 773128.

He welcomes media enquiries about 21st century marketing, social media and digital marketing. He has appeared within the national press and broadcast media.

Nigel is the founder of The Marketing Compass – join thousands of business owners, tell us about your business and ask some marketing questions,

Here is an online SEO course.

Follow Nigel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nigeltemple