Category

Products

Show the product or service being used

By Customers, Products, Psychology, Selling No Comments

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.

Are Google AdWords effective?

By Google AdWords, Internet marketing, Products No Comments

Are Google AdWords campaigns effective? The answer is that yes, they can be, in the right hands. This is also true of advertising in a wider context. You may be asking yourself: will advertising work for my enterprise? If you have a good offer and are prepared to stick with it, then advertising can work.

However, bear in mind that there are 36 promotional mix categories to choose from and over 300 promotional techniques, so there are many options – including paid for advertising.

Google Adwords has been part of many successful promotional campaigns, however you have to invest time and money to make them work.

The challenge is that there are many factors to take into account including objectives; the length of time that you are prepared to spend learning how the system works; your daily / monthly budget; how much you are prepared to pay for a click through; how good your headlines are; the offer that you make within your advertisements; where the click through takes the customer; your landing pages; your skills as a copywriter and your approach to measurement.

If you are starting out with AdWords, you should spend some time familiarising yourself with the user interface. Shift + ? …will show you the keyboard shortcuts, incidentally.

It is important to have a well organised Google AdWords account. It is all too easy for the account to become cluttered. For example, ensure that ad groups, adverts and keywords are related.

AdWords can be confusing, particularly for first time users. Here is a tip: start with (Google) search network campaigns. When someone uses a search engine for they are looking for an answer to something, i.e. where can I buy a product that I am interested in? Getting your ads into the top of the search results page is much more effective than seeing them appear at the foot of the page, by the way.

Effective Google AdWords campaigns start small and begin with testing. Don’t run one ad – run at least two ads containing one changed variable, i.e the headline.  This is time consuming, which is why many people seek outside help.

As Henry Ford said: stopping advertising to save money is like stopping a clock to save time.

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.

10 new product questions to ask yourselves

By Marketing strategy, Products No Comments

Do you have new products or services planned or ready to go? If not, you may be able to hear a warning klaxon going off in the background.

Products and services go through a natural life cycle. They are thought of, created and launched. Some of them succeed and go onto maturity, before eventually declining and being removed from the marketplace.

If you have a number of successful products / services on your hands, it is all too easy to forget about the future. After all, the cash is rolling in, customers are happy and you have a successful business, don’t you?

The challenge is that technology keeps changing, new competitors are eyeing your success with great interest and new threats are materialising, either around the corner or around the globe.

At least once a quarter, take some time out to think about new product ideas. Incidentally, I believe that services should be ‘productised’, so we will use the term products to include services.

10 new product questions

1.  Current products: could they be made smaller or larger?
2.  Could you combine two of your products together?
3.  Could you adapt one of your products in a new way?
4.  Could you substitute a component or service element?
5.  Could the product be put to another use?
6.  Could you rearrange the product in a different way?
7.  How would the product be used in a different country?
8.  What if we doubled the price?
9.  How could we add value this product?
10.  What could be removed from it?

When I run a new product workshop or a product marketing in-house training session, I ask the delegates these questions. We use Post It notes and Mind Maps to create a flurry of ideas. Typically, 1 in 10 of the ideas are interesting enough to be taken forward. Some famous name products have been created as a result of these workshops.

Creative thinking for marketers