The customer journey

When people buy from you, they go through 5 stages:

1. Awareness 
Awareness building is a central aspect of marketing activity. What are you doing to raise brand awareness?

2. Prospect
Someone who is going through the sales qualification process. As all Sales Managers know, enterprises must have a pipeline of potential customers that they have identified, talked to and qualified.

3. Customer
Someone who has bought from you once. Money has changed hands on a single occasion. Therefore, this is transactionally based. This means that there isn’t a deep relationship. If you have been in business for some time, you may well have a significant number of dormant customers. Go back and start communicating with them again. It is typically five times less expensive to sell to a customer, as it is to a stranger.

4. Client
The next stage is to turn customers into clients, through repeat business. This may include up-selling (i.e. increasing the size of the sale) and cross-selling (i.e. selling them something else).

5. Advocate
A handful of customers, a larger percentage of clients and some of your (non-client) friends will become Advocates. These are the people who recommend you. Everyone loves referrals. The question is: do you have a referral system in place?

How to get started with podcasting

The Marketing Compass member Margi Ross (of Conscious Feminine fame) and I were talking about Podcasting during our monthly conversation. Podcasts have become popular, partly because since 2014, the Podcast app comes pre-installed on iPhones and other iOS devices.

One of the benefits of audio podcasts is that they are similar to radio broadcasts: you can listen whilst you are doing something else. This suits many of us, as we are leading such busy lives.

If you are wondering how to get started with podcasting, here the steps:

1.  Decide on a theme for your podcasts.to

2.  Mind Map or list topics that you can talk about for 7 to 10 minutes (you can record for much longer, however, 7 to 10 minutes is a good starting point).

3.  Decide whether you are going to get someone to record, edit and upload for you or whether you are going to record and edit yourself.

4.  If you want to have a go yourself, search for ‘Anchor podcast’ in the App store on your smartphone (it may show up as the 2nd or 3rd item). Anchor can be used to create, distribute, host and monetise your podcast and it is free. (As always with content sharing platforms, I advise you to read their Terms and Conditions).

Alternatively…..

5.  You will need a microphone that you can plugin to your computer.

6.  Download Audacity which is a free, cross-platform audio editor.

7.  Mind Map your first podcast. Yes, I know that you could type it out; however, reading a script so that it sounds natural is challenging, whereas a Mind Map will guide you through the podcast and you won’t have to shuffle papers.

8.  Have a few trial run-throughs, before you start recording.

9.  If you are using Audacity, export the audio file as an mp3 and upload it a platform such as Spreaker or Anchor (many others are available). From there, you can share your podcast.

There is a vast global audience out there waiting to hear from, why not start podcasting?

I am currently working on my inaugural podcast, by the way.

This item first appeared in my Compass Points newsletter which you can subscribe to here.

Margi Ross is a NavigatorPlus member of The Marketing Compass.

Website Press Room

If media coverage is part of your promotional mix, add a Press Room web page to your website. This is a professional touch and will help journalists. Therefore, it will help you to get more media / press coverage.

Be media friendly

Include ‘Press room’ within your navigation bar, as this demonstrates that you are media friendly. It should contain useful, relevant material for editors and journalists, written in a factual way (i.e. no sales pitches).

‘Press Room’ can appear in your principle website navigation bar, or it can be an off-shoot of ‘About’.

Here are the section headings for a Press Room website page:

Enterprise name

A brief (two or three paragraph) overview, including when the enterprise started trading; principle activities; markets served; points of differentiation.

Spokesperson(s) profile

Brief background – topics of expertise – contact details.

Press releases

A chronological list of press releases (most recent at the top). Include title of release + release date. Hyperlink to a separate page, containing the full text of the release.

Photographs

Display a selection of low resolution images for websites and describe how to request hi-resolution images for print.

Media contact

If someone else besides the Spokesperson (i.e a PR consultancy / PR Officer) liaises with the media, include their contact details.

Today, there is an overlap between PR and digital marketing as backlinks from media websites can help your search engine rankings.

I ran a PR consultancy for nine years – so Press Relations is a subject close to my heart. I have taken startups and ‘invisible brands’ and created massive awareness for them. I show my clients how they can achieve extensive PR coverage. You can ask about PR via The Marketing Compass community or contact me directly, here.

Stepping out of the shadows

If you want to generate better results on social media, engage with people. You can do this via Likes, Comments, Shares and Messages.

When you do this…

Be interesting. Be positive. Be inquisitive. Be yourself.

I have noticed that many enterprises don’t engage, they only broadcast. For example by continually sharing their blog posts.

Think of it this way. Do you prefer to be shouted at or to have conversations with interesting people?

Many people don’t want to draw attention to themselves.

I quite understand this, however, when it comes to promotion you have to step out of the shadows and start interacting with customers.

MailChimp Audiences

MailChimp now thinks in terms of ‘Audiences’, not ‘Lists’.

If you have several lists, they are now referred to as ‘Audiences.’ To find your lists, under the ‘Audience’ navigation bar item, you will see a new page that shows information about the list with the most contacts. You can find all of your other lists (now audiences) in the dropdown.
MailChimp Audiences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to see all the audiences in your account, select ‘View audiences’ in the (same) dropdown menu (it is at the end).

Campaigns and Reports are now viewed within the context of an audience at a time:

MailChimp Campaigns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have more than one audience in Mailchimp, your Campaigns and Reports pages will show information based on the audience you’ve selected. This means that you will see an overview of your email marketing to those contacts. If you need to view campaigns across all audiences at once, just choose “All audiences” from the dropdown.

If possible, keep all of your subscribers in one audience (list).

This item first appeared in my newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

Website link building: 10 ideas

Google sees inbound links – AKA backlinks – to your website as votes of confidence. In general, the more inbound links you have, the better as long as they are of good quality.

An inbound link = a hyperlink which is pointing at your website.

Website link building should form part of your ongoing SEO strategy.

1. Gradually build inbound links to your website. Google doesn’t like sudden spikes.

2. Work manually i.e. don’t use bots / software programs / suspicious services from people you don’t know.

3. Include keywords within the anchor text*, where appropriate.

4. The links should come from relevant websites.

5. The links should come from sites with high authority i.e. credible websites.

6. Don’t use paid links.

7. Don’t use email spam to request links.

8. Don’t use link farms.

9. Do keep a meticulous record of your in-bound links.

10. Do check from time to time that the links still work.

*Anchor text: The text within a hyperlink,
i.e: www.nigeltemple.com or Digital marketing consultant

SEO Course – click here

Show the product or service being used

I know that you know what your product or service does. I know that you know how great it is. The challenge is that potential customers are not telepathic. They can’t see what you are seeing.

On this basis, show someone actually using the product or experiencing the service. Videos and pictures are a great way of doing this.

Stories describing how the item or service is used in real life are helpful.

Don’t make the customer work hard to figure it out.

Show them how it works.

This idea is taken from my newsletter which you can subscribe to here.

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.