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Category Archives: small business marketing

How evolved is your marketing?

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Pedowitz Marketing Evolution Model
Pedowitz-Marketing-e1410041645531

The Pedowitz Group talk about marketing evolution in a few different stages. While I agree with the first three stages I have a different take on the last stage of the evolution. While we are all looking for a predictable, scalable and repeatable systematic approach to marketing, being marketing centric is more important to achieve the revenue and growth.

Traditional marketing the Pedowitz group describes as characterised by the 4 P’s – Product, Promotion, Placement and Price. It is still how marketing is taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is a key element of all marketing groups.

Lead Generation marketing is characterised by marketing that providing leads to sales through outbound email campaigns powered by an email system (an ESP). The leads are raw, not fully developed, but do have a pulse. Metrics tracked include # of emails sent, open rate, click-through rate, # of form submits, # of leads to sales, etc.

They define Demand Generation as the joint activities of both sales and marketing to do two things:
1. Put high quality leads into the top of the funnel
2. Pull opportunities through the funnel faster.

The last stage Revenue Marketing stage as the previous two stage and the revenue generated and attributed to marketing is now REPEATABLE, PREDICTABLE AND SUSTAINABLE.
My take is Customer Centric Marketing is the final stage and that will give rise to marketing revenue. That is it is centred around your ideal customers and creating marketing that is useful, helpful and engaging so that customer and your employees want to engage with you. Making your marketing too automated doesn’t allow for that spontaneous interaction with customers. That opportunity to innovate and create the sort of experience that is based on understanding your customers intimately. Obviously this is harder the larger the organisations but small companies can achieve this especially if they narrow their focus on their ideal customers and prospects and follow the 80/20 rule.

Start the new financial year with a simple marketing system

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Too many small businesses put marketing in the too hard basket. Worse still they take a passive approach and believe if they just keep doing a good job the referrals will fuel their business growth! When times are good this might just work, but waiting for the phone to ring rarely works.

As a small business consultant I work with many small businesses that for so long have either had a random approach to their marketing effort, where they don’t know what actually worked, or they have gone for the silver bullet and put all their resources into Internet advertising. Neither approach works. The funny thing is a simple organised approach to marketing is the best and most effective and it doesn’t have to cost the earth or be too time consuming.

I have developed an online free system for small businesses to get a jump-start on their marketing for the next financial year. This system I am happy to give away for a limited time to help me gather feedback before I make it a paid online resource. As I see it, it is a win-win for both parties. The small business owner gets some tools, templates and resources to help create a simple marketing approach and I get feedback on how to make the system even more effective. Go to The Simple Marketing System to download your free tools today!

Here is one of the models.

E-marketing more effective than traditional networking!

By | small business marketing, social marketing | No Comments

“An e- marketing approach will generate far more leads, is less time consuming and you can target a much wider potential market.

Customers want value first and welcome the ability to ‘test drive’ your product first – your website is where they can see and do this. It is also the best place to develop a strong business relationship. A ‘must’ is to

1.Provide customers with free stuff – i.e relevant articles, links, offer free advice etc.The purpose of the free stuff is to entice them to give you their contact email address.Golden rule : You must get their ‘permission’ to use their email address in order to make future contact.The free stuff helps to do this !
2.Build rapport. Send regular personalised email …Dear John/ Mary…focusing your messages on benefits of doing business with YOU. Provide ‘did you know’ type advice. In essence – Build TRUST
3. Statistically it is proven that if a customer sees benefit in your product / service then after 5 contacts they tend to buy.
4. Always focus on benefits, offer product guarantees i.e ‘if you don’t like , full refund guaranteed’.

e- marketing and emails is powerful, cheap and direct. It will take a long time to build this type of rapport with a customer solely attending network events to get customers”

Could agree more with this from Matthew Geraghty from Linkedin Small business Online community.

How did you start to market your small business? Read the stories

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Laura Lake marketing guru had a great post inviting small businesses to share their stories about how they started their businesses. Thought it was a really good idea.

Here is mine. Why not share your ideas?

How I started my business

Do You Marketing a Product or a Service?:

I market a service – my own small business marketing consultancy.

Explain Your Product or Service:

I work with small businesses to create marketing plans. We take what is in your head add our experience in sales and marketing and ensure we have a practical, actionable plan.

How Did You Start Marketing Your Small Business?

It is really interesting. I left the corporate world after 15 years and decided to start my own marketing consultancy practice. As a marketer you would think I would hit the ground running but I really had to eat my own dog food!

I organically found some people who wanted me to consult for them and then sort to find my own clients.

How Did It Work?

Best strategies were:

1. To mindmap (www.mindjet.com)out what my target offering was going to be and to be as niche as I could be. ie marketing to small business in IT, HR and construction. Mindmap lets you explore all your ideas and puts them on one page so you can really think about them. Whiteboard is another good idea.

2. To do some research and find out how small business currently seek marketing advice and resources or in your area of expertise.

3. Build my marketing plan to actively attract small businesses in my niche. I did this by creating a website and blog. Sharing information. Being a go to person in social media for small business and extending my networking on line and offline.

4. Packaging my services so they could be easily to understand an were customized to the particular target. ie small business start up package, small business CEO etc

5. Created some buzz. Did some PR locally, got my SEO working on my site and blog. Did some auto-email campaigns to my key audience. Created something of value to download off my site to create a mailing list.

Advice

If you don’t know what to do next, get some advice. It will save you time and money. It doesn’t have to cost the earth.The web is a fantastic source of information but there is nothing like speaking with someone 1:1 and hearing their tailored solution for you. Keep going. Don’t get disappointed. If you love what you do and you are passionate about it, chances you are good at it. Keep upbeat and keep working on your business not just in it!

Read others stories on how they started marketing their small business.

What is your secret sauce?

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Are you memorable or boring? Are you safe or unpredictable? In small business it is important that you are creating something your customers feel compelled to shout about. How do you do this? What is your secret sauce?

Well I believe it has something to do with the customer experience you provide.  The Dijuluisgroup is a company that focuses their efforts on creating world class customer service organisations.

Let’s face it; there is so much choice with products. Just look at the supermarket shelf and the choice of different sorts of bread, milk, yoghurt or tea. Everything has become commoditised. The real last point of differentiation is your service or more so the customer experience that you deliver to your customers in a consistent delightful way.

Everyone will say that they have great customer service but interestingly as John DiJuluis points out that is an internal view point and when you ask your customers you might be surprised about how they rate your service. Most people however only notice your customer service when it is bad. If you screw something up, believe me it is memorable! Customer insight is a key. dijuliusgroup

Customer experience speaks more to this secret sauce. It is about your companies culture and focus on delighting the customer at every touch point. How do we personalise their experience. How do you deliver your experience to the customer currently? If you are not sure how you stack up why not take some of the surveys on the dijulusgroup site. They have one for the organisations customer experience aptitude and one for theindividual. If nothing else it will make you think.

Two key questions to keep in mind.

  1. You can make price irrelevant. John tells the story on Jay EhretPower to the small business of two hairdressers. One had a sign in his window “HAIRCUT ONLY $10”. The salon across from them was a totally different salon and had an average haircut cost of $50. The suggestion was to put a sign in the opposite window saying “We fix $10 haircuts”. The challenge to make price irrelevant is to create a haircut and an experience that is so different is like taking a 60 minute holiday.
  2. Create a fantastic customer experience everytime. Imagine instead of charging $100 per hour for a consultation you charged $1000. Now note down what you would do differently and do it. Make the experience exceptional.

Look at how I create an exceptional experience.

Dan’s Quick tips:

Use the customer and your name a few times when on the phone.

Add some value by doing your homework before you meet a potential client, the web is an awesome tool for this

Ask your customers for feedback every chance you can and act on it, own it, improve it.

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