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Category Archives: Small Business Marketing

Start with the customer to make your online marketing effective

By | Online Marketing, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

It might seem obvious the it is always the hardest conversation I have with small business owners is around their customers. Narrow your focus down to those ideal customers that your services is made for. This means not everyone with a pulse. Tom Fishburne cartoon is a common scenario I see when I chat with business owners. There is a tendency to want to attract everyone and by default, you attract no-body.

Everything becomes easier when you have focus. So many small businesses are now trying to grapple with online marketing. They ask me, “should I be doing adwords, social media, email marketing, Facebook” etc. It always comes back to who is your target customers and where do they hang out? Are they using social media? What words are they typing into google to find your services.

Online marketing can be very affordable and is a necessary part of your marketing. Let’s face it, we all use google to search online, we are all shopping online and we are all seeking out recommendations online before we buy. If your small business doesn’t have an online strategy then you are invisible. Talk to us about how we can support you with a digital marketing strategy today. One that suits your budget and gets results.

 

Quote from E-Myth

“If you have identity issues, if you, as the leader, don’t know who you are and what values you stand for, what do you think the likelihood is that your business will suffer from the same identity disorder?

Look at yourself. Do you want to be liked by everyone? Have you not taken the time to understand who you are as a leader and what values you represent? If this describes you, then root out the assumptions and beliefs at play here. Dive into yourself and discover the unique ‘you’ that has come into existence to bring value to the world. Now, do the same sort of inquiry for your business. Discover your true business identity, and then watch as the right customers are magnetically attracted to your clear brand promise. Don’t worry about alienating some. Focus on those who you can best serve, and see your business grow exponentially towards your dreams.”

Google survey: “54% of all Smartphone owners now use their handsets to access the web on a daily basis.”

By | Business marketing, Marketing Technology, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

 Consumer behaviour is increasingly becoming multi-screen in nature. We spend more time on tablets like the iPad than watching tv, more time on the mobile phone browsing than our laptops. This dramatic shift around the way we communicate brings up new challenges as small businesses to connect with our customers.
A report by the Latitude Group suggests that:

  • Smartphones will account for 10% of all website visits by the end of 2012.
  •  7% of all website visits will come from Tablets by the end of 2012.
  • As many web visits will come from Android based phones as iOS by the end of the year.
  • Mobile and Tablet collectively will represent 20% of all Paid Search clicks.
  • Mobile conversion rates will continue to improve as more sites become optimised for mobile.
  • Google will introduce algorithmic penalties for websites that are not optimised for mobile. Affected websites will see drops in Adwords quality scores and Organic rankings.
  • Nokia will announce plans to release Android based handsets following low consumer adoption of Windows Phone.
  • iPhone5 to be released late Q3? Guaranteed to get huge press coverage, this will be another major growth driver for the mobile web, both in terms of buzz and in terms of hardware hitting consumers’ hands.

TV broadcasters and advertisers will adapt to a four-screen audience. Programmes and TV ads will increasingly be augmented with tablet and Smartphone based services. Look out for the BBC’s four-screen approach to the Olympics this year.

Tablet usage is growing and sometimes surpasses time spent on desktop and TV findings from Admob research
43% of respondents spend more time with their tablet than with their desktop/laptop• 1 in 3 respondents spends more time with their tablet than they do watching TV. Tablets are used widely for playing games, searching for information and emailing• Most popular activities on tablets include gaming (84%), searching for info (78%) and emailing (74%) • Least popular include shopping(42%), reading e-books (46%) and consuming entertainment (51%)People are spending at least an hour a day on their tablet and using it primarily at home• 68% of respondents spend at least 1 hour a day on their tablet • 82% of respondents primarily use their tablet at homeTablets are used mostly on weekdays and in the night• 69% of respondents said they use their tablet more frequently on weekdays relative to weekends • Tablets are used more during the night according to 62% of respondentsTablets are replacing time spent with desktops/laptops• 77% of respondents reported that their desktop/laptop usage decreased after getting a tablet • 28% of respondents said that the tablet is their primary computer

What does this mean for the small business.

  1. You need a mobile strategy to reach your customers. This means a mobile website. 79% of major online businesses did not have a mobile optimised website.Latitude Group – March 2012..
  2. You need the tools to see how your website is working.HowToGoMo – a Google initiative to help businesses understand how their website is seen by mobile users, including resources to help build mobile optimised websites. This is a great tool for quickly assessing how well a website is serving mobile visitors .
  3. You need need to get educated about what your buyers are doing so you know how to access them. Email may not be the best way anymore.
More information see our digital marketing services.

Checklist for hiring the right marketing consultant

By | Business marketing, Marketing Strategy, SEO, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

The most successful marketers measure what they do and they know how the marketing activities are impacting the revenue. They not only get leads into the funnel, they  nurture them through the journey to become a customer and advocate. Great marketers technologically savvy, creative, analytical and obsessed with tools to better manage inquiries and nurture leads by providing insights into prospects digital footprint.

Here are a list of key competencies you should look for when hiring a marketing consultant:

1. Are they tactical or have a strategic skill-set. Having a sound understanding of how to implement marketing campaigns is an important tactical skill but this skill can be picked up quickly or outsourced easily. Setting up a sound marketing strategy and an active marketing plan is a skill that is more difficult to acquire. Having a marketer that can build a strategy to attract leads and envision how you are going to interact in a digital way with prospects is vital in todays’ landscape. At the end of the day, it is all about attracting and converting leads into profitable customers and every business needs a plan to do this effectively.

2. Do they have business analyst skills? Today marketers needs to have very good business analysis skills. Knowing how to uses tools like – CRM, google analytics, Facebook, lead scoring, social media tools amongst others to drive to a revenue result is critical.  Understanding trends, tweaking campaigns and trying new things is a must and such activities are based on sound measurement and analytic skills.

3. Marketing Technologist – Are they a power user of technology? –  If they are they will look at new ways to do business by optimising your use of technology. Using the marketing automation system, lead scoring, profiling you database. Marketing is going through this incredible transformation. Marketers need to use multi-technologies to run successful campaigns. They need to be able to leverage the technology to meet the needs of your business. Marketing automation systems are powerful and in order to get the most out of them you need to have a technical skill-set. You need to have HTML, CRM skills to mention just two technologies.

4. Are they a nurture specialist? Nurture specialists are obsessed with creating a intimate digital dialog at all phases of the buying cycle and providing qualified leads to the sales team.This role focuses on the long-term digital relationship with prospects and customers and must effectively work with all team members to pull campaigns together.

5. Are they Content Specialist? Content specialist  means they are responsible for all the content associated with a campaign marketing is the fuel for nurture marketing. The key here is using the smallest piece of content that will create an exchange of value that gives the opportunity for the prospect to show behaviour that can be tracked and scored as an intent or level of interest.

Content specialists know that the right message at the right time will keep prospects and customers engaged. They think about the buying cycle and personna types and how will interact in each channel.

6. Are they a creative specialist? Creative specialists want to know how effective is the demand generation. What will perform best. Testing what works. They drive and enhance the communications from the customers’ point of view.

7. Are they brand experts? Branding is all about creating a feeling between the company and the customer. A marketer that is interested in building a brand personna that is consistent and represents value consistently in all its touch points is a very great asset to any team. Someone to hold you accountable for the brand attributes is vital to keeping a brand real.

 

Questions to ask when interviewing them:

1. Are they recognised by an official Marketing organisation – In Australia that would be Certified Practicing Marketer by the Australian Marketing Institute

2. Do they use a marketing dashboard to measure the results for each client; leads generated, conversions, and cost per lead per program, etc Do they talk about the demand generation as a pipeline?

3. Have they got a good social media profile: LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, u-tube, quota etc

4. What marketing tools do they use for their own marketing: CRM, Blog, Content Management System, advertising, SEO, branding, podcast, articles, tools and resources.

5. Do they have good customer success stories and testimonials? If they do do they talk about real results, leads generated and covered to customers.

The pedowitzgroup have a good video explaining the difference between the traditional marketer and that of a demand generation system marketer or as they call the revenue marketer. You can also listen to a an interview on Rain today about core competencies to look for in a marketer today.

 

Have an expert critique your marketing and make better decisions!

By | Business marketing, Marketing Strategy, SEO, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Have you had a good look at your sales funnel and are worried?  Have you got no marketing in place to generate new leads? You need the Marketing Critic. Get feedback on what is not working and why and put in place some immediate marketing tips to increase your lead generation.Book the marketing critic today.

Marketing for small business is a critical investment

By | Business marketing, Marketing Strategy | No Comments

Let’s no sugar coat it, marketing is a critical lead generation engine that ensures your business has customers.

As an investment just like buying a home or car you need to do your homework. Your marketing will only ever be as good as your strategy and planning behind it. To help you make better marketing decisions I have put together a Marketing Objectives Mud Map. It is a diagram to help you consider some of the important elements when creating a marketing plan for your small business. Don’t panic, a marketing plan doesn’t need to be a 40 page document.

Here is a template to plan out your activities but step one is really getting the strategy right. We thought of you when we created the Small Business Marketing Planner Package. Take a look and when you are ready to invest in marketing we are here.

Book a consultation today


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KickStart Your Small Business in 2014

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Marketing Strategy, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Is your business sucking the life out of you? What are your goals for 2014 as a small business owner?

There is something about the comfort of an old t-shirt as p.js or a nice pair of warm socks that keeps you turning back for things of comfort. I guess the same can be said for setting goals for your small business. It is comforting to just go with the flow, rather than set some ambitious goals that make you get out of your comfort zone. But without the end game in mind, your small business becomes a job can have you working 80 hours a week and sucking the life out of you.

As Brian Tracey says in his goal setting sessions, “success is goals.”What do you want out of life? What do you want out of your small business? What will make you happy? Seems simple, but most us seem to do what is easy or do what we have always done even if that means our business runs us, instead of us running our business. We put our heads under the doona and hit the snooze button, rather than take the challenge of changing and do that brisk walk when the alarm button goes off in the morning.

For me, to grow my small business and even keep it afloat it is about knowing what are the important questions to ask? It is being able to make the right decisions on a day by day basis that takes me that ideal company I have in your mind. To do this I have to be able to picture that vision with real clarity. Here are some aids I have found that will help you ask those tough questions and set the stage for a great 2014 and a business you want to run. A year that you will look back at and say, “yeah, 2014 was a great year for me and I am getting closer to that vision I have for my company and my life”.

  • Have a vision for where you want to goIs your business sucking the life out of you? What is it would you like your life to look like? John Jantsch Goal Setting Video is a must resource. John has a exercise of describing your business as it is 3, 5 years from now and what does it look like? Goal Setting I find it useful to have a personal vision and a company vision.

 

  • Set some realistic but stretch revenue goals. We all need money to live. We need our small business to provide for us. What do you want your income to be now and in the next 1, 3, 5 years? I do this every revenue setting exercise  every year. I sit down and write an amount that I need and would like to make. Guess what? I come within 5% of  this figure year on year. Each year I try and stretch the figure and each year I reach it. I guess it is because once I have a target I plan my plan to support it. I do everything in a purposeful way. As a consultant,I find it useful to set, monthly, weekly and daily targets that sharpen my focus. It is a real measurement for me in terms of how I am tracking . http://freelanceswitch.com/rates/ is a great tool for this purpose. I love Freshbooks.com for time, invoice and estimate tracking. (heaps better than MYOB in my book).

 

  • What do you need to invest in yourself to reach your roles

 “Success is something that you attract, by becoming an attractive person.” As Jim Rohn says “work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” Personal development is an area all about developing skills that will serve you well in growing your business and making better business decisions. An extra skill I have developed digital marketing have served me well. Podcasting and writing has enabled me to reach you. What do you need to be able to make better decisions this year. How can you be the expert in your industry? Invest in yourself.

  • Build a great team around. Zig Ziggler says, “if you can help enough people get what they want then you can probably get what you want.” This give to get mentality is already used in content marketing to great affect. We can no longer interrupt, persuade or buy people’s attention. We need to earn, give and educate to receive it.  Building a great team around me is critical to business success. I spend a lot of time on communicating and sharing with my team so we are all on the same vision with clear goals to get there. I also focus on having fun.
  • Get a Coach or Mentor. The biggest growth I got in one single year was when I took on a lifeline.  A Lifeline concept was introduced to me by Keith Ferrazzi when I read his book, Who’s Got Your Back. This is a person that I could banter with, share ideas, and would be accountable to. As a small business it is easy to feel isolated. Networking groups help but there is nothing like having that person who as got your back.  I am lucky in that I found this person just when I was ready and he has shaped my approach to business. He shares the same value set as me and I respect his opinion. However he has a different approach to me and asks me the tough questions and always has my back. I do the same for him. I remember interviewing Linda Hailey another successful small business marketer and she did this with her competitor. They would have lunch and share information, ideas and learn. Who can you ask to mentor you? Most people will say yes.  It is a must for small businesses.
If you are ready to set some goals for your small business and get ready for a great 2014 book in a session with me!

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Other resources

Brian Tracy – Goal Setting

Vision Mission Values Template

Who’s Got Your Back by Keith Ferrazzi

Your True North Exercise

 

 

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