Category

Marketing strategy

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.

Cloud-based marketing apps and services

By CRM, Customer care, Customers, Internet marketing, MailChimp, Marketing strategy, Software, Technology One Comment

How many cloud-based marketing apps and services do you use? How many of them connect to each other? Has it all grown organically, or was it planned? The last few years has seen a dramatic rise in the number of marketing related services that are available in the cloud.  Some of them are free, others are cheap as chips and some are relatively expensive.

Here are some of them:

CRM (Customer Relationship Management systems)
* Capsule CRM
* Salesforce
* Zoho

Website
* Squarespace
* WordPress
* Wix

Forms
* Formstack
* Gravity
* Wufoo

Email marketing
* ConstantContact
* Dotmailer
* MailChimp

Many enterprises now capture (in a GDPR compliant fashion) customer contact information which triggers a series of events. For example, an automated Welcome email; a record being created within a CRM system; and a task for a salesperson to contact the customer. If you are already doing this, that’s great – however most businesses are not doing so (or anything close to it).

It is important to see the whole thing from the customer’s perspective. Is the software helping them? Is it easy for them to use? Does it actually work? What do the metrics tell you about customer behaviour? How can you improve performance and results?

To what extent does the software give you a competitive advantage? What is the strategic thinking behind the deployment of these services? Have you implemented back-up and recovery processes?

My work as an internet marketing consultantMailChimp trainer  and Capsule CRM consultant and trainer has meant that I have had to learn a great deal about cloud-based marketing apps  and services, as my clients ask me questions about how to solve a business issue or how to get X software talking to Y software.

I suggest that you list all of the apps / services that you use and think about how they are currently connected. See the whole thing as one big picture.

Push versus Pull marketing

By Customers, Internet marketing, Marketing strategy No Comments

What are Push and Pull marketing strategies? ‘Push’ means that you go out and find customers i.e. by cold calling, mass emails, direct mailshots and most forms of advertising. The problem is that you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, aren’t you? Typically, only 3% of people are actively looking to buy when you contact them. This is why large companies spend so much on sales and marketing; they know that they have to shout louder than their competitors. If the customer doesn’t already know you, the chances are slim that they will buy the first time that you contact them.

During the last century, marketing was largely all about pushing. Companies pushed the (unwilling) customer towards their brands, using expensive advertising, telesales, direct mail and sales forces. In the 21st century, pushing has become more difficult, due to the fragmentation of media, an explosion of communication channels (i.e. TV and radio stations, websites, blogs etc) the advent of GDPR and knowledgeable buyers who have heard it all before.

Enterprises of all sizes realise that getting customers to come to them is better than the old style ‘hunt and kill’ method. Broadly speaking, an attraction based approach includes customer education and knowledge sharing. It is co-operative, trusting, interactive and more female than male in nature. It also happens to be ideal for the world wide web, which was originally conceived as a way of sharing files amongst scientists.

I know that this approach does not appeal to everyone. “Why should I share my hard won knowledge?” they say to me. “That’s fine,” I reply. “Keep all of your professional knowledge locked up in a darkened room. Lock and chain the door. Let some large, angry hounds wander around the corridors putting the fear of God into anyone who enters the building.”

What will happen? The knowledge will shrivel and die, as it needs interaction with others to flourish and grow. Mind you, you’ll have to go and bang on all of the doors in the neighbourhood to find new business. By the way, how will your neighbours know that you are so brilliant at what you do, as they can’t see your expertise?

My advice is to share a little more. If you need any more encouragement, I am sure that your competitors are already doing this.

I receive a sales enquiry every business day, based on a knowledge sharing, ‘Pull’ approach. It is enjoyable to talk to people who are interested in what I do, have a requirement and are ready to spend money.

Google likes this approach as it favours websites with extensive content, by the way.  If you move towards ‘Pull’ you will need to spend more time learning, writing and sharing which is the right thing to do in a fast moving technological society which is experiencing exponential change. If you don’t have the time, then you can always work with someone who can help. (Like me, for example).

The above was originally published within my e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

What is the difference between ‘positioning’, ‘differentiation’ and ‘brand’

By Branding, Marketing strategy No Comments

A member of The Marketing Compass asked me:

“What is the difference between ‘positioning’, ‘differentiation’ and ‘brand’?

Positioning refers to where a company (or brand) sits in the marketplace in relation to its competitors. This is usually seen via a chart with an X & Y axis. Think about supermarkets and how they range from low cost / no frills  through to up market operators such as Waitrose (in the UK).

If you looked at price versus service, the first type of supermarket would be bottom left and Waitrose would be top right.

Differentiation refers to the ways in which an enterprise or brand stands out from the crowd. Norwegian Airlines currently offers return flights from London to Los Angeles for a few hundred pounds on Boeing Dreamliner aircraft (which are relatively lightweight and fuel efficient). Therefore their key point of differentiation is price.

A brand is a promise. It is the offer that the enterprise holds out to the marketplace. For example, you always know that you can return goods to John Lewis (in the UK) and that they will not make a fuss.

Here is my 4 step marketing model:
1. Marketing plan
2. Website
3. Promotion
4. Selling / conversion (the latter is an ecommerce term)

If you have a clear strategy that is embodied with your marketing plan, things will go better for you. The plan would include your decisions on positioning, differentiation and brand, amongst other things.

Does all of this apply to services? The brief answer is that, yes, it does.

Website not working? This may well be to do with the lack of a marketing plan and the clear direction that it gives you with regards to positioning, differentiation etc.

Nigel Temple offers an in-house / 1-2-1 marketing plan training course, during which we build your plan.  He is also a digital marketing consultant

Is it worth having a CRM?

By CRM, Customers, Marketing strategy, Selling, Software No Comments

Is it worth the time, trouble and expense of having and using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system?

The answer is that, yes, it is.

In my experience, it is a challenge to keep track of details and information when you are marketing and selling, as the information escalates exponentially. You end up with lists or a spreadsheet full of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people.

If you are busy and the sales leads are coming in, you need to keep track of current sales opportunities. At the same time, it is important not to ignore dormant customers and your future sales pipeline.

For example, you may ask yourself: Who else is involved in making this decision? What did they tell me six months ago? Are they on LinkedIn? Is there a direct dial telephone number for this person?

The best CRM for your enterprise is the one that you actually use.

All too often, the software can be difficult to setup and too complicated to use on a day to day basis.

Have it open at all times. Record details as you receive them*.

In an interconnected age, choose a CRM that integrates with other software applications that you use.

For example, Capsule CRM integrates properly with MailChimp and Gmail.

Once I have sent a proposal by Gmail, with one click I can add that person into Capsule. When I look at their profile in Capsule, it shows me the email and the PDF proposal – which I can open with one click. I can then add this opportunity to my sales pipeline, which means that I won’t forget about it.

The benefits of having a CRM system

Capsule CRM training

* Please bear the GDPR legislation in mind when you record and store data.

A CRM system that works with MailChimp

By CRM, Customers, Marketing strategy, Software No Comments

For several years, I have been a MailChimp trainer.  During the training sessions, I am often asked about CRM solutions that work with MailChimp. There are several options and one that I like is Capsule CRM.

Capsule is a cloud based system. You can login to it via a website browser or via their App (which is very useful). You can create a free account and experiment with it (with up to 250 contacts).

The best CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) for your business is the one that you actually use.

I have read countless stories in the marketing and business press regarding complex databases, that have cost a great deal of money,  which have failed.

Many CRMs are too complicated and take too long to learn.

You can install a CRM on your own office server and there may well be good reasons for doing this, i.e. if it integrates with your accounting / e-commerce system.

Alternatively, you can use a cloud based system. This option can be easy to implement and inexpensive to run.

MailChimp and Capsule and be linked together via an API (Application Programming Interface).

I have got to know the Capsule CRM well as we use it every day within The Marketing Compass and I offer Capsule CRM training.

 

How to set sales and marketing targets

By Marketing strategy, Products, Selling, Startups, Success No Comments

Setting sales and marketing targets works and this will make a big difference to your results.

I have used them for years and when I work with a client we always go through a target setting process.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” ~ Tony Robbins

A. Financial targets (start here):

1. Turnover for the year ahead

This is an important target. If you don’t have a turnover target to aim for, anything could happen and it probably won’t be good.

2. Turnover per month

Start with your break-even figure, then add a buffer. In general, I have found that people tend to set targets which are too low.

3. Profitability for the year ahead

If you don’t have an objective in mind, profitability could be anything, couldn’t it?

4. Profitability for per month

The idea is to make money every month.

B. Customer targets

The number and type of customers that you will require to achieve the above targets.

If you segment your market, this process will be much easier.

C. Website targets

How many Unique Visitors, page views etc you will need for your website per month and annually.

In addition, set a target for the number of sales enquiries / sales that will come from your website.

If e-commerce is part (or all) of your business, then you will require a more in depth set of website targets.

D. Promotional mix targets

Begin with outputs, for example the number of blogs that you are going to write per month as well as  the target word count per blog.

Go through each promotional technique that you use and set targets. There are hundreds of promotional techniques to choose from, by the way.

If you are using a lot of them, then you may need to catalogue the techniques and set output, sales leads and sales targets per technique and also for each marketing mix category (i.e. advertising, events).

Having clear sales and marketing targets will help to keep you focused on the important tasks, not just the urgent ones.

E. Sales targets

Set targets for the number of customer contacts and key objectives such as sales meetings,  proposals and closing ratio per month. See: Selling professional services

Get your team involved

If you work with other people, get them involved with target setting and measurement. Unrealistic targets can be demoralising however, it is a good idea to set exciting growth targets which the whole team understands and is committed to.

Marketing advice

By Marketing strategy, Success, Training No Comments


You can get marketing advice from books, seminars and the internet. The challenge is that this advice is generic and not tailored for your business. The following list may help and I have provided a couple of ways that you can receive 1-2-1 advice, at the end.

Marketing can help you to attract more customers, increase your turnover and profitability and spend less time chasing new business, amongst other things. It can help you to improve customer loyalty and retention rates and make your business more valuable, should you ever decide to sell it.

Here is some general marketing advice:

*  Think about your marketing strategy. It is all too easy to become lost in the detail.

*  Write down your marketing objectives, starting with turnover and profitability.

* Create a marketing plan.

*  Stay focused on your objectives, no matter what happens.

*  It is a good idea to have a concise, written, marketing plan.

*  Review your plan once a month.

*  Marketing is all about customers.

*  Which customer segments are you targeting and can you describe them to me?

*  Think about how you are positioning your business, in relation to your competitors?

*  Build a brand, not just a business.

*  Make your pricing part of your marketing strategy.

*  Productise your services.

*  Decide whether you are going to do the marketing yourself, or outsource anything, i.e. website development.

*  With regards to promotional activities, are they:
a) Primarily time based i.e. your time
b) Based on a modest budget + your time
c) Primarily budget based i.e. using marketing agencies and / or marketing staff

*  Have enough people heard of you? (Marketers call this ‘brand awareness’).

*  Spend more time working on your website and in particular, its content.

*  Are you generating enough sales enquiries?

* How much time will you spend on marketing activities each day, week, month?

* How will you measure progress and success? Look at your websites stats, such as Google Analytics, at least once a month. Count the number of sales leads that you receive and find out where they come from.

My best marketing advice tip is to keep learning on a continual basis. You can do so here: The Marketing Compass

If you are looking for marketing advice, look for a consultant with a proven track record. They should be prepared to spend some time listening to you and your unique situation and requirements.

You should expect to receive specific ideas and action points that are relevant to your enterprise and resources.

Nigel Temple is an independent marketing consultant. He has helped over 3,000 enterprises of all shapes and sizes to improve their results.

You can book Nigel for a one-off Marketing TurboCharge session to review / improve your marketing results. You can email him via nigel@nigeltemple.com or call him on: 01628 773128

Integrity in marketing

By Customer care, Customers, Marketing strategy, Psychology No Comments

Does integrity matter in marketing, or in business for that matter? Seeing this question from the customer’s perspective, they like to be treated well. If there is a problem, they want it resolved quickly. Companies can save money by cutting down on service levels, avoiding their responsibilities and controlling customer communications through the use of technology.

What effect does this have on their reputation? What happens when customers start to leave them in droves (a certain UK utility company comes to mind).

Integrity is part of a person’s character. The character of a company’s founder / owner is mirrored within their brand personality. Can you think of a famous person for whom this applies?

If you run a business or are responsible for marketing, take a moment and think about your values. What matters to you? What do you believe in? The answers to these questions will feed into your brand, website, social media campaigns, advertisements, printed matter and your entire promotional mix.

The magic of marketing message repetition

By Copywriting, Marketing strategy, Psychology No Comments

How many times should you repeat your key messages?

The answer is at least three times.

If you send out a marketing message once, you will be fortunate if 1 in 3 people see it.

So you would have to send it three times to have any hope at all of everyone seeing it.

However, more messages are being sent out than ever before.

So 3 is not enough.

21 is more like it.

Should you try to get your message across via one medium?

Almost always, the answer is no.

Use an integrated mix of promotional techniques to get your message across.

Focus on a tightly defined target market, in order to generate maximum message repetition.