The Marketing Mix (or the 7 P’s of Marketing)

Product
Simply, what your business offers: this covers the combination of goods and services that your business offers.  A good product provides client value i.e. satisfaction of use outweighing the perceived sacrifice of amount paid.

Place
This refers to how your customer accesses your produce or service; it should be convenient for the client at all times.  How your customer accesses your product or service.  This could be your business premises, shop or online presence.

Price
What approach will you take to pricing your product?  Price communicates a lot about a brand. It is a key factor in the marketing mix – too low may put off the target market, too high will carry a high client service expectation which may be tough to fulfil.

Promotion
Refers to how you communicate with your customers.  The objective of the promotional mix is to communicate what the company does and what it offers, to the right people at the right time, in order to acquire and retain customers.

People
All people who come into contact with a potential customer are part of your marketing; they can have a profound effect on customer satisfaction.  Your staff or collaborative partners are ambassadors for your business.

Process
The processes you use in the day-to-day operation of your business ensuring that enquiries and orders are effectively managed.  Issues such as waiting times and helpfulness of staff, quality control, planning and feedback channels should be considered here.

Physical Evidence
This is the evidence you can provide to show you can do what you claim you can do.  Asking for feedback from satisfied customers to underpin your expertise and publishing it for potential customers to refer to.

The process of developing a marketing plan will help you understand the key benefits and features of your product or service, and how to go about attracting and retaining the right type of customer.

But remember, quoting the wise words of Darren Rowse from Problogger “There are no magic wands, no hidden tricks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy and determination you can get there”.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on planning your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!

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Why should you outsource your Marketing?

savings-box-161876_1280How many times this week have you said ‘I haven’t got time to do any marketing!’  As a freelancer, I’m just as guilty and I know only too well that when you’re pushed for time – seeing to clients, building relationships and managing your staff – your marketing inevitably gets pushed to the back burner, especially when times are hard and budgets are stretched.

It is already common practice  to outsource your accounting team, customer service, and many other facets of business which you do to save overheads, commitment, recruiting time, training time, and the expense of employing full-time staff.

So why do you continue to leave your marketing to chance in the belief that a couple of tweets a day and a few likes on Facebook will be sufficient to create brand awareness and generate leads?

The reality is that investing in your marketing at times like this can in fact generate a huge return on sales and, when time is tight, outsourced help from a marketing professional can provide additional support from planning what to do, to making it happen; freeing up your time so you are able to concentrate on other areas of your business.

With the current climate pushing many small businesses to keep costs down and re-prioritise workloads, outsourcing can be a cost effective and efficient way to make sure your marketing is working.

Get the right marketing skills you need, when you need them

As a small business you often find yourself being a jack-of-all-trades, juggling different projects or delegating marketing projects to other members of your team who don’t have any marketing expertise.  Employing an experienced marketer full time to implement each aspect of your marketing plan can be costly to maintain in-house and by outsourcing specific tasks, gives you the opportunity to focus on other aspects of your business without the cost of employing a full time marketing professional.

Taking on the promotion for your own business can be daunting if you have little or no marketing expertise.  Sourcing an expert can help develop and implement your marketing plan and bring fresh creativity, new ideas and a completely different perspective.  They won’t be afraid to push the boundaries and show you what will work for your product.

It’s cost effective and time efficient

Whether you’re a one man band or a big brand, saving time and money is key to running a successful business.  By having top level marketing experts on hand whenever you need them, you’ll be avoiding the hidden costs of employing staff such as sick pay, office overheads and holidays.

For instance, if you have a marketing campaign planned to run over a specific period, you won’t be paying an in-house marketer during the times you don’t have marketing planned, thus saving both time and money.

You get personal, professional expert help

The right outsourced marketer will have a wealth of experience in a diverse range of markets.  They will be able to advise you on the best marketing techniques to suit your business and help to get the right messages to the right people at the right time.

By creating timelines, and delivering weekly or monthly reports on the project effectiveness you will be fully in control of your investment, so you know exactly where you are every step of the way.

Christine Davey
Christine Davey Marketing, Brighton

If you’d like to outsource any aspect of your own marketing,  Tweet me, contact me here or call me for an initial chat on 01273 772033 today.

7 Steps to delivering an effective Lead Nurturing Campaign

Davey Marketing: Lead NurturingTo stay engaged with future buyers, Lead Nurturing is a powerful way to deliver engaging and interesting content to your prospects – specifically those who have given you permission to stay in contact with them.

What you’re essentially doing is educating targeted sales leads, which are not yet ready to buy.  Valuable content that keeps your audience engaged can help you build a strong brand presence and engender trust long before they make a purchase.

7 Steps to delivering an effective Lead Nurturing Campaign

  1. Identify who could be interested in your product/services and obtain their details. (This could be easily done through consistent networking within your business community)
  2. Follow-Up these contacts with an acknowledgement and the reference point of contact.
  3. Offer them information they can instantly use, even if they don’t choose to do business with you; ‘how to’ guides which relate to your business and might help them.
  4. Offer them a special place to interact with you; website, twitter page, LinkedIn, email etc.
  5. Get permission to stay in touch through an opt-in link to email newsletter/ downloads etc.
  6. Stay actively in touch and offer added value such as an e-Book or white paper or a special offer/package deal.
  7. Above all track the content and results of all interactions and use this to spot the times your prospects indicate their willingness to buy and ask for their business.

Remember!  It’s not all about hard selling anymore; it’s about building relationships and trust with your prospects in a way that is both consistent and relevant.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on managing your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

Christine Davey Print Marketing

Does print still have a place in a world of digital and mobile marketing?

There is no doubt that we all struggle to find the best way to market our businesses with many small companies moving away from traditional print marketing as a way to cut costs and lessen their impact on the carbon footprint.

During these tough economic times companies are tightening their financial belts and turning their attention solely to digital and content marketing to create awareness and promote sales.

That said, printed collateral still has its place in certain businesses serving a specific demographic that appreciate and need a tangible representation of their product or service.

Certain sectors, such as retail, still rely on this tangible form of marketing to promote their products but manage to balance this with advertising across the relevant digital channels.

Whether you’re a superbrand or a one man band, getting the right marketing mix is critical and whilst content marketing is a hot topic at the moment, traditional print marketing can still be used effectively to drive customers online.  Here’s three tried and tested ways marketers use to reach specific target audiences:

Effective business networking – cards and flyers

Making a lasting impression when marketing face-to-face by handing someone a card or flyer is more likely to make your message stick. And, there’s some really clever designs and techniques out there which will give you an edge

The tangible, physical nature of print will help you network within your chosen circles allowing you to target local businesses, meet new prospects and exchange ideas much more effectively.

Smart targeting – direct mail

We all still love to receive a physical card with a special message in the post, so a personalized well-crafted campaign communicating special offers, discounts or events will show that you value your customer and appreciate their business.

If you schedule these messages carefully and sparingly, personally engaging your target audience, you’ll avoid being regarded as junk mail; if the message is relevant to the recipient, they are much more likely to respond.

Testing alternative media – press advertising

The most effective marketing plan is likely to cover different types of media to communicate business propositions and messages.

Whilst blogs and social networking is one effective way of driving traffic to your website, different customer types respond to very different types of media.  An older, more mature demographic may not surf the web as much as maybe reading a magazine or a newspaper.

A well designed advertisement in a relevant publication appealing to your specific target audience could be an effective alternative way to communicate with your customers.

So whilst traditional marketing methods seem to no longer curry favour, and with marketing budgets constantly being slashed, it’s all too easy to pass up on print.

I think there’s certainly still room for print marketing alongside newer digital marketing techniques, it’s all about making sure you don’t lose sight of your P’s!

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on creating effective printed communications, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

What name should I choose for my New Business?

brainstorming2Setting the tone.  Think carefully about exactly what’s important to you and your business – your business name sets the tone for all that follows.

What’s the first thing you want a customer to understand about your business?  Whether your name is playful, edgy or professional, just make sure it reflects what your business is and what you want it to be in the future.

KISS – Simple is strong.  A compelling name is easy to spell, pronounce and above all, remember.  If you need to explain your business name, you’ve failed to make an impact

Avoid initials!  A random collection of letters isn’t going to inspire an emotional connection. Also, you can run into branding design headaches if you have two different business names i.e. the initials and the name spelled out.

Elect for a descriptive name.  A descriptive name will capture your company more effectively than a generic word, which won’t reflect exactly what you do. Adding a description instantly tells potential customers what your business is all about.

Don’t hem yourself in.   Having said that, you don’t want the name to be too descriptive; if your company is successful, you may decide to expand your offer further down the road. Consider where your brand is today, as well as where you want to go in the future.

Watch your language.   A word in English may have a negative meaning in another language or culture. The best way to avoid creating an embarrassing or damaging brand situation is to test your name on your target audience; your targeted customers may see something you hadn’t considered.

Take your time.   Don’t rush in with the first name you come up with. It can take several months before the name feels natural and easy to live with. This is particularly true when a name is a little unusual or quirky – often the case for some the industry’s most memorable and impactful names such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Nike who have proved that a strong product can overcome a potentially ill-conceived name.

Don’t peak too soon.   Don’t get too attached to any one name during your brainstorming process. It’s always tempting to start envisioning your company logo, web design, signage, business cards, etc. when you fall in love with a name.

Do your research before employing expensive design agents; make sure that perfect name is legally available for you to use and just use simple template designed stationery to start with so you can get the name out there. Once the business is underway and bringing in sales, that’s the time to review and shell out for professional services. If the business fails, that’s a lot of money you could have invested into promoting your business, down the drain. . . . .

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help with branding or marketing  Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to arrange an initial chat over a coffee!

 

Networking Etiquette – 10 tips to improve your business networking

Catching up with fellow networking colleagues is an essential element to relationship building and maintaining trust within your business circles.

Whilst attending an event recently, our conversation turned to how important it is to make time to get to know people at general business networking events; one of the most effective ways to gain new clients and build trust.

The key to success is knowing how to achieve optimum results without being too aggressive and understanding the golden rules of etiquette when attending any networking event:

1. Be prepared. Arrive on time having previewed the guest list and identified two or three people you would like to meet during the event.
2. Introduce yourself. Be brave and always extend your hand and clearly introduce yourself with your first and last name and the name of your business – don’t rely on your name badge; people rarely remember written details but will be more likely to remember a confident handshake and a happy face!
3. Rehearse your intro. Briefly describe what you do, avoid long descriptions with an obvious sales pitch, instead make the tone friendly and informative.
4. Enter group conversations sensitively. Don’t barge in and take over! Approach and stand quietly for a moment or two, wait for a break in the conversation or for someone to make eye contact with you.
5. Make meaningful business card exchanges. Only exchange cards when it will be of benefit to both of you, either if they ask for one or you offer assistance with something they say they want or need.
6. Politely exit conversations. Avoid monopolizing people’s time and from being monopolized by someone else. After a reasonable time the key is to move away from the conversation by excusing yourself politely; this sometimes happens naturally when others join your group or simply say ‘Do excuse me, I’ve enjoyed speaking to you.’
7. Always introduce yourself to fellow table guests. Before taking your seat, make a point of introducing yourself to each of your fellow table guests before taking your seat.
8. Follow-up with new acquaintances. This is the most important element to successful networking; showing you are interested in the people you meet. A personal note to every person you’ve met within 24-48 hours, including calling anyone who has helped give you leads and referrals.
9. Gain permission before sharing contact details. Check they are OK for you to share their details with someone you think they might be able to help. Providing an endorsement or introducing them as an expert in their field to someone looking for their help is key in demonstrating you are someone they can trust.
10. Don’t give up at the first hurdle. Time is always a challenge, and it’s too easy to give up when it doesn’t look like you’re getting anywhere with people you have built up a relationship with or feel a potential with. Continue to exchange knowledge which will add value and help to forge a strong mutual connection, but know when it’s time to step away if you can’t add value straight away.

Here’s a list of some current networking organisations in Brighton & Sussex>>>

 

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help with your own marketing Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to arrange an initial chat over a coffee!

How do you make sure your emails get opened?

How can I make sure my emails don't end up in the trash can?I constantly get asked about email open rates and why, even though recipients have signed up for information, they didn’t seem to be actually opening messages, let alone responding or engaging.

According to recent research, an average email account receives about 120 emails a day and this figure is set to increase to 140 by 2018, so it’s inevitable that a lot of those messages are instantly trashed, without even a second glance. So it’s a dilemma lots of businesses face if their emails are constantly being unread and ignored; how do you make sure your emails don’t end up in the trash can?

Simple answer: make sure your emails are relevant to each recipient – this way they are more likely to open and digest the information – they might not respond immediately, but at least the seed is sown.

Taking the following simple steps will ensure a better chance of getting responses and eventually results.

Clean up your data (regularly)

Your database is the most valuable part of any marketing. Make sure your information is up to date and you have a clear idea of who are existing customers and prospects.

Keep a record of the products/services they are interested in and which emails they have responded to in the past; assuming your opt-ins have an interest in what you’re ‘selling’, or at least have some affinity with the industry you operate in, this should be easy to evaluate.

Divide and conquer

Once you start consistently evaluating your data, you can send your recipients relevant information by segmenting your database into different categories.

For instance, if you’re a wine retailer and have a section of customers who only ever buy white wines, it would be obvious to target them with information about white wine. This way you would be communicating with them personally, providing them with relevant messages.

Don’t be tempted to send the same email to each list in the hope that those who only drink red will start loving white because they couldn’t possibly live without this amazing offer!

And if they’ve just bought a case of Australian Chardonnay, don’t send them an email containing the same offer the following week; the last thing they want is an endless stream of useless emails, which will inevitably lead to them opting out altogether.

To put it into context, think about the last time you went into Boots and bought some shampoo. Did you notice the next set of loyalty vouchers you received were for money off the same brand of shampoo, valid for 6 or so weeks? Where are you likely to buy your shampoo when you next run out?

This is smart targeted marketing!

So, spend your energy dissecting and evaluating your data on a regular basis, especially after you’ve sent out an email campaign. This will allow you to devise a series of future emails with relevant targeted messages which will help to increase your open rates and give you a better chance of converting a sale.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help and advice on your emailmarketing, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

The power of colour in marketing

Importance of colour in marketingEvery year around this time, I relish the fact that the colours in nature are becoming more pronounced as the season progresses into Summer.  Seeing these signs of new growth emerging each day, brings to mind the importance of colour when thinking about marketing.

Whether we’re seeking to stimulate people’s appetites or create a sense of trust, colour sends a specific message, not only when designing our promotional materials, but also the brand itself.

Our minds are programmed to respond to colour, offering an instantaneous method for conveying meaning and message without words.

Research shows that 60% of the time, people decide if they are attracted or not to a message based on colour alone.   Many of the most recognizable brands rely on colour as a key factor in their instant recognition, increasing brand recognition by up to 80 percent.

What does your brand colour say about your business?

psychology-color-marketing-branding-color-emotion-guideImage Credit: The Logo Company

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help and advice on your branding and marketing, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

Converting a sale . . . . cold, warm or hot?

ChristineDaveyMarketing Converting a Sale

It has been said that to close an average sale you would have to contact a single prospect 8 times.

A typical prospect will normally move through the sales cycle from being cold then to being warm and finally, just when they’re ready to close the deal they’re hot and move into being a client or customer.

Moving through the sales cycle, the prospects in your database will start off in the cold zone – potential customers you’ve identified as a well-qualified contact, but have little or no awareness of your brand or what you do.  You would normally reach these with an initial campaign to introduce your brand and USP – possibly by a telesales campaign or direct mailing push.

Prospects become warm once they’ve been spoken to (or met) and they are familiar with your company and what you have to offer but they are not yet ready to buy. They might require more time or information to process their needs but by consistently maintaining these contacts with ongoing communication, consisting of a series of marketing activities that might include follow-up phone calls, email marketing and social media contact, you’ll have a better chance of successfully moving through to the final stage of the sales cycle.

Your hottest prospects are those who have either come to you as a referral or have been moved through the first two stages of your sales cycle at which point they will become paying customers.

It will take multiple contacts using sales and marketing tactics to move each prospect on to the next stage of your sales cycle. In order to build and maintain a successful business, developing a sales & marketing programme that combines these tactics in all three zones, is imperative to reach and motivate each group in your database.

Have you developed your sales & marketing plan this year?

If you’d like some help on planning your marketing communications, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

5 Pitfalls to Avoid when Starting a New Business

5 Pitfalls to avoid when strting a new businessAs a marketing consultant, I meet many people who are ready to branch out on a new business venture; who want to make a name for themselves by going it alone; bringing a new idea to light and releasing it into the world as a successful venture.

It’s a big step, but with a bit of planning and strategic thinking there’s no reason why your great idea can’t translate into a good business and transform your working life.

5 PITFALLS TO AVOID
1. Going it completely alone
Having a ‘gut feeling’ about the validity of your idea is destined to fail.
Make sure other people also agree that it’s a good idea.
Talk to start-up experts; other people in your industry who have already had great success.
Take some time to test the idea – find out who your target market is then ask them if they like your product; find out how it might be improved.
Make a prototype and use the responses to adapt and adjust your idea. But, bear in mind that the feedback might not be what you anticipate. Whilst you think it’s a brilliant idea, the reality might be quite different and may need a lot of work to make it marketable.
Resist the temptation to give up; learn how to adjust and recalculate the best way to offer your idea to you ideal market.

2. Not having a Marketing Plan
Don’t assume your idea will sell itself.
No matter how brilliant you think your idea is you must pay careful attention to marketing.
Every time you talk about your business you are involved in marketing.
Make sure you have a concrete business plan and make sure you formulate a strategy to make sure you communicate the right messages to the right people at the right time.

3. Not listening to your customers
Keeping your customers happy is the single most important step to keeping your business successful.
Take time to find out what they need from you, and then provide it.
By meeting and exceeding their expectations, the word will soon get out and they’ll keep coming back for more.

4. Lacking Focus
Being creative is great, but chasing one idea after another and never actually bringing one thing to life is the biggest pitfall of all.
Know exactly what your goals and objectives are. Having these clearly defined helps you to evaluate what’s going to work and what’s not – the ideas that don’t work need to be shelved or discarded.

5. Failing to outsource specialist tasks
As an entrepreneur, there is a great temptation to do everything yourself, especially in the start-up period when costs are sometimes prohibitive.
If your idea takes off, you aren’t going to be able to handle everything on your own.
You have a limited set of talents, so by bringing in a team of experts who you can trust, will help to bring your vision to reality.

For every new business that succeeds, there are dozens of others that don’t.
Make sure you are poised for success by avoiding these business pitfalls.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help with your strategic marketing planning Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!

7 elements to creating an effective Marketing Plan

Marketing Planning Christine Davey BrightonWhat is marketing? Why is it important to you as a small business?

In its most basic definition, marketing is everything you do to place your products or services in the hands of potential customers. Every time you speak about your business, you are involved in marketing.
Planning is key to help you identify your ideal target market and a marketing strategy will help you focus on the different ways you can communicate with your customers and target the ones that will create most sales.

You’ll need to look at each of the following areas in order to create a comprehensive framework to develop an effective marketing plan:

Product
Simply, what your business offers: this covers the combination of goods and services that your business offers.
Place
This refers to how your customer accesses your product or service; it should be convenient for the client at all times. This could be your business premises, shop or online presence.
Price
What approach will you take to pricing your product? Price communicates a lot about a brand. It is a key factor in the marketing mix – too low may put off the target market, too high will carry a high client service expectation which may be tough to fulfil.
Promotion
Refers to how you communicate with your customers. The objective of the promotional mix is to communicate what the company does and what it offers, to the right people at the right time, in order to acquire and retain customers.
People
All people who come into contact with a potential customer are part of your marketing; they can have a profound effect on customer satisfaction. Your staff or collaborative partners are ambassadors for your business.
Process
The processes you use in the day-to-day operation of your business ensuring that enquiries and orders are effectively managed.
Physical Evidence
This is the evidence you can provide to show you can do what you claim you can do. Asking for feedback from satisfied customers to underpin your expertise and publishing it for potential customers to refer to.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help with planning your own marketing Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!