Category

Success

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 your website after you have created your 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. Get some external advice on marketing.

Increasing conversion rates

By Internet marketing, SEO, Success, Websites No Comments

Digital marketing definition of conversion rate

The percentage of website visitors that reach a given goal, i.e. reaching a specific web page; filling in a contact form; making an e-commerce purchase; registering as a user; subscribing to your newsletter; downloading a free trial; or asking you for more information.

The big question is: do you know what your conversion rate is for specific areas of your digital marketing process?

To increase conversion rates:

  • Increase the amount of website traffic that you receive by using more of the 300 promotional techniques that are available to you
  • Have a website that loads as quickly as possible
  • Write in the language of benefits, not the language of features
  • Pay more attention to your headlines; if they don’t like the headline the rest of the content is a waste of time
  • Pay more attention to the structure of your webcopy; I have spent 30 years studying this and I offer webcopywriting training – how much experience does your website writer (or writers) have?
  • Include social proof i.e testimonial statements, case studies etc
  • Include a guarantee that you will deliver whatever is promised
  • Consider the design of your page: does it work in relation to the conversion that you are trying to achieve? For example, is there too much clutter and too many distractions?
  • Ensure that optin boxes, forms etc are highly visible; ideally they should be visible when the screen loads; if this is not possible include signposting
  • Include more calls to action and make them stronger
  • Minimise the number of fields within enquiry forms
  • Did you know that green is the most effective colour for Buy Now buttons?
  • Test different approaches and variants
  • Continually measure what is working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly
  • You can measure sales, sales enquiries, contact forms filled in, registered users, number of downloads, number of unique visitors, number of pages read and many other things.

If you need help with conversation by all means get in touch – click here.

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.

Decisons, decisons

Do you like making decisions?

By Business, Creative thinking, Learning, Psychology, Success No Comments

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?

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

Should creativity be measured?

By Creative thinking, Success No Comments

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

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.

Too many browser windows open?

By Internet marketing, Learning, Software, Success, Technology, Writing One Comment

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

Using the phone for business sales calls

By Customers, Selling, Success, Telemarketing No Comments

The Marketing Compass member Walter Blackburn is an experienced business person and expert in presentation skills training. He enjoys using thephone to talk to his extensive network of contacts and clients. Here are his thoughts on using the phone to sell.

Earliest time to start calling: 8am if you’re calling someone in their office on their landline. If you’re calling their mobile I would leave it to 8.30 or even 9 because you don’t know if they’re working from home and most people don’t want to be disturbed there if they’re getting the children off to school or whatever else they might be doing to get ready for the day.

I would be careful calling mobiles if you don’t know them. Most of us are quite protective of our mobile numbers, but I believe it’s ‘fair game’ if I call you on an office landline number. If you already know the person you’ll know when it’s OK to call and whether to use their mobile or landline. For example, one of my clients has back to back meetings every Monday and most Tuesdays so I wait to call him later in the week. He’s a high Mover (see www.empathystyles.com) so he loves to speak on his mobile rather than dealing with email.) If you know the person you will know what their situation is (i.e. do they work from home and what the best time to call is).

The point of calling early is to either get past any protective secretary or PA, or to catch your prospect before they get involved in meetings. If you’re calling someone ‘cold’, i.e. for the first time and you don’t know them, I would start calling them at some time during the day rather than early in the morning or early in the evening (say, after 5.30). It’s only when I’m being rebuffed by a secretary or a PA that I would call them early, say, before 9am, or early evening to get past the protective PA who may not be at his or her desk at that time. Turn it into a ‘warm’ call by doing some research first and make the call appropriate and relevant for them.

You will need to know how to contact the decision-makers in your target organisations – is it by email, by landline, by mobile or through social media? Many people are happy to ‘hide behind’ email and voicemail. Whether you use the phone to communicate with them will be guided by the organisation and the sector. Businesses probably fall into one of 3 categories re the phone:

1. There will be those companies which use email extensively, almost exclusively, and it would therefore be pointless looking for phone numbers.
2. There will be those companies which only use mobiles – literally there will be no landline numbers.
3. And there will still be many businesses which have a main reception with a switchboard to direct calls to the appropriate person.

A lot of business is still done on the phone. So unless you’re just selling from your website you need to be confident and competent on the phone. What that means is that you have to be able to establish rapport, qualify your prospect, find a need, present your offering in a way that meets the need and close on an action step, as well as countering any objections along the way. In other words you need to be skilful in the sales process, either face to face or on the phone, or indeed in email. I’m not saying that you should give your sales presentation over the phone – you need to be doing that ideally face to face – but there will be times when it’s appropriate to do some of it over the phone or in email.

So that means two things: first you need to know the sales process for your product/service and the sector(s) into which you are selling and second you need to get some practice and experience in using it.

Do scripts still work? Yes, but they need to become a guide for you, not to be followed slavishly. The best scripts will form the basis of what to say or what to ask and are used in that way. As soon as you give prospects a scripted conversation most of them will recognise it as such and switch off. One of the reasons for that is that salespeople don’t adapt them to their personality or experience. It’s up to you to understand what you’re doing and how to personalise it for each prospect. Most of us will need some help with creating the basis for a script – we are too close to our own products / services and will tend to present our features and benefits too early rather than asking questions. Having a script means that someone has put some thought into how the call might go, which has to be a plus.

(Since Walter originally wrote this article, GDPR has come into force and this brings a whole new set of implications, including the need to generate more in-bound sales enquiries).

Click here to continue reading about business phone calls