Category

Marketing strategy

startup

Startup marketing checklist

By Business, Marketing strategy, Startups, Success No Comments

If you are a startup or if you are thinking of launching a new business, here is a marketing checklist:

  1. Have a written marketing plan. Writing it all down will make you think through the key issues.
  2. Create a visual brand identity, including a logo, font and brand colours.
  3. Build (or review) your website after you have created your marketing plan.
  4. WordPress is a free website CMS (Content Management System) that looks good from the start and will grow with your business.
  5. Your website has to: a. work as an online brochure and b. bring in sales leads / sales (if you have ecommerce).
  6. Choose your promotional mix carefully. You can get a free ebook containing 300 promotional techniques when you join:
    The Marketing Compass
  7. Write something every day. This could be a blog, new website page, newsletter content, press release or social media piece.
  8. Start working on your in-bound marketing using SEO as soon as you can. Start with a keywords list.
  9. At the same time, start to reach out and contact potential new customers. For example, this can be done via Facebook and LinkedIn. Be aware that legislation (such as GDPR in Europe) frowns upon unsolicited messages to people who have not given you permission to communicate with them.
  10. Use MailChimp for your newsletter. It is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and it integrates with the software that you are likely to use.
  11. Start to use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) as early as possible. A CRM that works well with MailChimp is:
    Capsule CRM
  12. Start talking to journalists. Tell them why you are launching your new enterprise and what is different about you (take this from your marketing plan).
  13. Have a system for improving your conversion rates.
  14. https://ctt.ac/G9mgoGet some external advice on marketing.

Promotional mix categories

By Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, Promotional techniques No Comments

36 Promotional categories
There are 300 ways to promote your business. They are divided into promotional mix categories. An example of a promotional category is Advertising which includes adverts in newspapers, magazines and online, i.e. via Google AdWords.

Choose your promotional mix carefully, as it is a good idea to stick with it (stop / start marketing doesn’t really work).

Many of the techniques available to you are free, some are low cost and others require a budget.

Here is a list of the 36 categories (which we discuss within The Marketing Compass community: www.marketingcompass.co.uk):

  1. Advertising
  2. Alliance Marketing Partners AMP
  3. Articles
  4. Audio recording
  5. Authorship
  6. Celebrity endorsements
  7. Channel marketing
  8. Corporate clothing
  9. Corporate identity
  10. Corporate hospitality
  11. Customers
  12. Direct mail
  13. Email marketing
  14. Events
  15. Internet marketing
  16. Location marketing
  17. Media relations
  18. Mobile marketing
  19. Networking
  20. Packaging
  21. Point of sale
  22. Printed matter
  23. Professional selling
  24. Promotional gifts
  25. Referrals
  26. Retail
  27. Sales promotion
  28. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  29. Social media
  30. Sponsorship
  31. Telemarketing
  32. Vehicle livery
  33. Videos
  34. Website
  35. Word of mouth
  36. Writing

With regards to the last category, copywriting used to be a specific skill, used within the advertising industry. With the advent of internet marketing, the ability to write clearly, combined with an explosion in innovative software means that writing is a promotional device in its own right.

Written by marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author Nigel Temple.

What is inbound marketing?

By Internet marketing, Marketing professional services, Marketing strategy, Psychology No Comments

The vast majority of your market is not looking to buy your product or service today.

Or tomorrow, for that matter.

A small percentage is actively looking.

Inbound marketing brings these people to you.

The result is more sales enquires and sales.

Inbound marketers share information with prospective customers via digital marketing, in creative, interesting ways.

The information needs to be helpful and informative.

The problem is that many enterprises do not wish to share their knowledge.

“We have never done this before!” they exclaim.

“Why should we give away what we know for free?” they ask.

The counter-argument is that their competitors are already out there doing it.

Sharing knowledge sure beats asking strangers if they would like to buy from you (I know, as I used to do this for Rank Xerox when I was a young salesperson).

Besides, I have found that the more I share, the more I have to learn.

Here is an entry within The Marketing Compass Encyclopedia regarding inbound marketing.

Here is a blog regarding Push versus Pull marketing.

How to structure your knowledge

By Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, SEO, Writing No Comments

If you are a subject expert, you may have written a single book, several books or a series of blogs. You may have slide decks, course handouts or articles that you have written. You have probably answered questions via email and during meetings.

The information surrounding any given subject is continually expanding and you may have considered creating a knowledgebase, wiki or encyclopedia.

For some time, I have been in this position and I have looked at a number of ways of achieving this. Finally, I opted for a premium WordPress plugin called Enclyopedia Pro.

Here is the project so far:  The Marketing Compass Encyclopedia

There is a long way to go, as I have several thousand entries to add.

I am finding that this project is making me think about my subject area (marketing) in new ways and how everything fits together.

There is an SEO benefit from publishing your knowledge.

Personally, I do not have any problems with sharing my knowledge. I wonder whether you feel the same?

The customer journey

By Customers, Marketing strategy No Comments

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?

Is your marketing working for you

Is your marketing working for you?

By Marketing strategy, Success No Comments

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

By Marketing strategy, Success No Comments

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.

8 stars The Marketing Compass V1

The eight stars of marketing

By Marketing strategy, Success No Comments

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

Your enterprise is a competing data processing system

Your enterprise is a competing data processing system

By Learning, Marketing strategy, Software, Success No Comments

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.

Digital marketing checklist

By Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, Software, Technology No Comments

Are you ticking the right digital marketing boxes i.e. plan, CRM, website, content, SEO, social media,  email marketing, smartphones and advertising? Increasingly, the boxes are connected. Here is a digital marketing checklist to get you started:

Digital marketing strategy plan

The digital marketing plan should include:
*  Objectives
*  Sales targets
*  Target markets
*  Online promotional mix
*  Budget
*  Metrics (including analytics)

A digital marketing plan includes an integrated approach to online brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention.

It sees things from the customers’ perspective, as marketing always has done. The perspective, however, has changed with the new ways in which consumers and business decision makers research and buy products and services.

CRM

*  Has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system been chosen and deployed?
*  Have all customer facing staff been trained to use the CRM?
*  Which cloud based marketing apps and services connect with our CRM?
*  Are we using our CRM every day?

Website

*  When was our website last updated?
*  Is our website optimised for mobile devices?
*  How many sales leads / sales do we receive from our website every day / week / month?

Website content

*  Does the website navigation bar still make sense?
*  Do we have an uncluttered homepage?
*  Is the website content easy to read?
*  Does Google like our website?
*  How often do we publish new content?

SEO

*  Do we have an up-to-date understanding of  Search Engine Optimisation?
*  Do we have an SEO strategy?
*  With regards to SEO, what are we measuring?
*  What are our SEO results?
*  Here is an online SEO course

Social media

*  Do we have a social media strategy and plan?
*  Which social media platforms are we focusing on?
*  How often do we post original content within each platform?
*  Do we use social media metrics?

Email marketing

*  How many opt-in subscribers do we have?
*  How often do we send out newsletters?
*  What are our open and click through rates?

Smartphone marketing

*  Do we have a mobile first digital marketing strategy?
*  How do customers interact with our website when they use a mobile device?
*  How are we catching and keeping customer’s attention via smartphones?

Online advertising

*  Which paid for online advertising platforms are we using?
*  Is our online advertising strategy effective?
*  How much do we budget each month for online advertising?
*  What is our CPC (Cost Per Click)?
*  What is our CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)?
*  How can we improve results in this area?

Marketing automation

*  Do we have a marketing automation strategy?
*  Have we deployed software for sales lead nurturing, scoring and lifecycle management?
*  Can our software help with cross-selling, up-selling and customer loyalty?

Additional digital marketing checklist questions

*  What is working?
*  What isn’t working?
*  How can it be improved?
*  Current cost of customer acquisition
*  Target customer acquisition cost
*   Do we have a digital marketing learning strategy?
*  Should we get some impartial advice / training?

Digital marketing is a vast subject and I have been thinking about it whilst I have been rebuilding my Digital Marketing Consultant page.

Here is an online SEO course that I have created.

If you need some help, you are welcome to get in touch with me.