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Category Archives: Small Business Marketing

How to work with Us

By | Marketing Strategy, Packaging, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

We know that every small business is different and you will be looking for the right marketing resource. That is why we have come up with a number of ways to engage with us.

Marketing Strategy workshop – for a small investment of $250 you can have a meeting and see if we are a good fit and get some immediate marketing strategy to apply to your workshop. This is a good place to start if you haven’t yet worked out your marketing approach.

Small Business Package – allows us to work together with you over a series of workshops to uncover your strategy and put together a one page plan.

Fast Track workshop is a one day planning session for a small business to create a marketing plan.
Web Design Package – is perfect if you are in the process of redesigning your web and want to make sure it will attract your ideal customers with call to actions.

Branding Package – is great if you are rebranding your business and want to think through the “why” of your identity. This builds the style guide and the key marketing messages.

Digital Marketing covers all social media creation and planning so it is wrapped up in your core marketing strategy.

The Customer Centric Workhop focuses on mapping out your customer’s buying path so you can become more customer centric and test your internal values and value proposition.

Retainer Options are very useful and economical for a small business with no marketing resource but know they need an ongoing affordable marketing person. We only do a number of these per year so we can service our existing clients well.

Online Coaching Package is for those remote businesses that want an online resource to communicate with about their marketing.

Creating a purpose driven organisation, why does your company exist?

By | Branding, customer centric marketing, Employee Experience, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

“Simply put the purpose driven concept is based on the principal that when given a purpose the employee desires to strive to do more for the company because they feel that they are a valued part of the company.  They are able to feel that they make a difference, and are more likely to look within themselves to make needed changes in order to serve their purpose within the company.”thereblogging states. Why does your company exist? If it is just to make money then you might be missing the point.

Here are some great purpose built companies:

DPR Construction We exist to build great things. We must be different from and more progressive than all other construction companies. We stand for something.”DPR

Wholefoods – Americas healthiest grocery store – We seek out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Grill’d – We are bringing healthy back to burgers. We think a burger should contribute positively to your health and wellbeing by not only being good for you, but being made with wholesome natural ingredients sourced locally and prepared freshly for you once you place your order (and not before).

Tom’s Shoes – we’re in the business of changing lives. With every pair of shoes sold, Tom will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need. With their new sunglasses range they will donate from every sale sight to someone in need. One to One program.

How do your employees become advocates of your company?

How to they make others jealous about being able to work with you? What do Zappo’s, Google and Spotify – (Soundtrack your life with Spotify) all have in common. They have all connected their companies to a wider purpose outside of making a profit. With increased global awareness, and instant communication via the Internet, mobile phones, and text messaging, many employees are able to see or hear first hand how their company compares to other companies.  They can see within another company what the working environment is like, what benefits they are offering, and how management treats their employees. There are countless websites that bash companies and share details of bad business practices. This transparency has created a business need for companies to attract employees and customers with their business practices.

First why it is important?

Purpose Driven companies have a big advantage. According to Dan Pink one of the key resources is they have more engaged employees and thus more productive. ” I would argue that purpose-driven companies have a huge competitive advantage right now. Employees and customers are hungry for purpose. Yes, employees want jobs. Yes, customers want deals. But even in a recession, we want more than

that. We want to feel that our lives have a deeper meaning that goes beyond paychecks and discount shopping.” Rich Karlgaard explains in his article purpose Driven Leadership. We are seek meaning

Spotify especially when the basic needs are met. We are looking for our self actualisation needs to be met. We want to align themselves to those brands that represent something we believe in, or could believe in. People can’t buy into the idea of just making a profit, especially if it is not ethical or is creating in such a way that goes against their values.

Take for example, Spotify. CEO Daniel is passionate about making music available in a legal way that protects the artists. It is an easy concept to take on-board. Let’s face it, none of us want to rip off the music artists but we needed a way to hear the music before we bought it. Now we can do this on our mobile device. If we want it free of charge we have a few ads and if we are a hard core music fan we can choose a premium account. We can connect with our friends and see what they are into with the power of social media on Spotify.

Innovation becomes a big part of a purpose driven company. Everyone is so passionate about the company and what they stand for that people are keen and given the opportunity to contribute to the overarching purpose.

How to do it?

“This is the new era of a “PURPOSE DRIVEN” business world. Successful companies of the future will be finding new solutions that relate to our human concerns and considerations. Exceptional leadership will include words like, gratitude, loving leadership, acceptance, and intuitive vision and wisdom.  “Our work experience can be totally inspiring or it can be a “have to” experience in life. Tina Olivero explains.

1. Empower your employees. Make sure that they know their ideas, skills and thoughts are valued.

2. Create a purpose that is serving a greater good.

3. Build a company that you and your employees can be proud of.

4. Have a set of values that are inclusive and allow for collaboration

5. Have a clear vision and goals and do this process together

6. Build a strong relationship with the community and understand and consider the social implications of your decisions

7. Sponsor good ideas. Create a space for innovation, playing and inventing. Create an environment where it is safe to try new ideas.

I for one support those who support my ideology and values and that serve a wider purpose. Do you?

Resources:

Podcast on purpose driven company – Internet Business Mastery

Customer Centric Workshops

Bernadette Jiwa talks of the importance of your story.

Why do your customers choose you?

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Marketing Strategy, Small Business Marketing, Thoughtleadership and Content Marketing, Value Proposition | No Comments

Why your customers by from you and not your competitors is a key strategic marketing question that is harder to answer than ever before.The  competitive landscape has changed and commoditisation of products and services has given rise to the focus on customer retention and differentiation based on the “how you provide a service or product”.The shift away from an industrial, upstream model toward a customer-centric one has been under way for some time now. Niraj Dawar argues in his new book Tilt that most companies still look for competitive advantage where it used to be: through activities related to products and new product creation. But today’s advantage comes from interactions of a different sort—those you have with your customers. Companies that recognize and move on this shift win.

Key strategic questions that I earmarked in reading Tilt  by Niraj Dawar are as follows:

1. Why do your customers choose you? Make sure it is not table stakes.

2. What business are you in? What business do your customers think you are in? How have they defined you? The answer you give to this question is predictive of how you see your business strategy

3. How is profitability measured? By customer or by volume?

4. Where do you spend most of your effort and energy? – on the service or product you sell or on understanding your customers and consistently delivering value to them by asking one fundamental question: What else do our customers need?

“Today manufactures can replicate the looks and feel of an innovative product and print it to market for a fraction of the price, in a fraction of the time it use to take. Even Nike and HP manufacture their products in Asia.” Tilt pg 178

5. How can we take what we know about our customers and provide value in different ways:coffee pods

  • How we distribute a product: Nespresso
  • How we store a product: iTunes
  • How a product or service is delivered: Audible, Spotify
  • How a product is consumed: Coles new ready made meals
  • How we dispose of a product or service: eBay

Niraj states the value equasion is VALUE= WHAT+HOW

6. How close are we to our customers and understanding them? If you sell through a channel that is made harder. Nespresso had the Nespresso club to sell direct first which gave them invaluable data on who their customers around who buys their coffee and at what price. They changed the coffee making market by understanding the pain of getting out of bed and getting dressed on a Saturday morning to stand in line and pay $4 for a espresso and risking that they are closed or run out of stock. Kodak didn’t understand their customers and so focused on a need that was surpassed.

Risks Table

7. Do you focus on scale or scope? Niraj makes the comment that it is not how many widgets you sell but how you deliver on the needs your customers have and scope your deliverables around that. What are the costs and risks they face in doing business with you? How can you eliminate these? How do you make it easy for your customers to choose you?

“Businesses rarely pay enough attention to customer costs and risks because these aspects of a transaction tend to be invisible to a sell too.”Tilt g806

This is where strategic service design can uncover those opportunities and create a competitive advantage that is hard to replicate.

Listen to my podcast with Niraj here:

Video on Tilt strategy

Kick start your business 2014

By | Business marketing, customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Service Marketing, 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 go. Is 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 goalsWe 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.Grow purposefully
  • 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! Here are some lessons from SmartInsights.

book first session buttonlearn more button

Other resources

Brian Tracy – Goal Setting

Vision Mission Values Template

Who’s Got Your Back by Keith Ferrazzi

Your True North Exercise

 

 

The Future of Marketing

By | Business marketing, customer centric marketing, Marketing Technology, Marketing Tools, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

I was asked the other day to explain the role of a marketing manager. It is a good question because it has changed so much over the past few years. I love this Gartner map that outlines all the areas that a marketer needs to be across today.

Gartner_DigitalMktgMap_1500

Lets look at each section in turn.

Strategy – Understanding market opportunities, cultivating markets and customers, generating demand and awareness.

Marketing Management – Business processes and tools associated with implementing the marketing activities

User experience – the discipline associated with creating customer experiences that meet business objectives.

Analytics – the process of  discovering meaningful patterns in data.

Creative – services and tools that supports the implementation of marketing programs.

Ad Tech – managing advertising through all the channels (web, social, offline, mobile) – targeting, design and bid management, optimising and reporting and automation.

Real Time Data – can now be provided by geotargetting and other technologies to assist us reach prospects on the fly

Search – to help get found and find things on the web.

Social – applications, technologies and environments that build social communities

Mobile – communication, applications and wireless devices (smart phones, tablets, portable computers)

Emerging technologies – new technologies that consumers are adopting, 3D televisions, solar cars, google glasses. Only very early adopters. 5% of the market.

So as I see it the role is enormous. In the coming years I see more experts being created around each area of expertise. The intersection between customer centricity, strategy and technology is my sweetspot. Learn more.

To learn more go to the webinar. or download slides

Here is a good slideset on the future of Marketing

Big data allows us to take create new insights and connections that were not possible even five years ago.

By | Business marketing, Content Marketing, customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Marketing Automated Technology | No Comments

All of the information that the human race has created from the start of time till 2003 is 5x a-bytes now every 2 days we are creating 5 X a-bytes. Every day the average person today processes more data in a single day than a person did in 1500’s in an entire lifetime. We now have real time data. Each of us leave a stream of digital information about us with our texts, GPS, phone calls, browser history, FB chats and now this footprint is being use to make better marketing decisions. Crowd sourcing is one example and the gamification of health another.

wazeWe are getting insight that we didn’t have before. The Human Face of Big Data is a new book by Rick Solman and documents this change in this interesting book.

Big data is changing our whole world in every field and every industry will be changed by this insight.

pebble

Internet, Mobile phone, Social Media has changed our world. Technology has embedded itself into our lives. Don’t believe it is revolutionary? What is your TTS (time to screen – mobile, iPad, laptop) minutes, seconds?

The world is changing to re-using assets that are already available. Big data has changed the relationship we have with information. What if we can embed video in books. Point your phone at a book and it plays a video? The Human Face of  Big Data does this. Download the Human Face of Big Data App.

big data

Our planet is developing a nervous system that has software at its centre. This change is disrupting markets and creating new opportunities.How is big data changing your business?

Note to self: We have to seek away for those moments of solitude, a walk in the park without our iPhone, iPod or heart monitor device. Off to play with my son! (no not minecraft!)

Big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. Wikipedia

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