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.

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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!

What is Marketing?

What is Marketing: Davey Marketing BrightonI was at a social event recently, which was previewing some up coming new films; chatting afterwards, the conversation inevitably led to ‘what do you do’?  My normal response is ‘Marketing’ which usually leads to the question ‘What sort of marketing’?

This is always a difficult question to answer, as most people quite often confuse Marketing with Advertising.  Whilst the two go hand in hand, and are necessary to the success of your business, Marketing is about getting the right product or service, to the right people at the right time.  It’s about identifying and understanding your customer and giving them what they want, it’s not just about advertising and promoting your business.

Effective marketing requires you to examine every aspect of your business and how it affects your customer’s experience; covering everything you need to do to deliver your products and services to your target customer.  Planning is essential and you’ll need to look at each of the following areas in order to create a comprehensive framework to develop an effective marketing plan:

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!

5 Ways to gain Brand Recognition

Christine Davey Marketing ManagementIt doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, whether you are a big corporate brand or a one-man band – in order to be successful your brand needs to stand out from the crowd.  Your ultimate goal is to have your target market think only of you when they are ready to buy.

Gaining brand recognition isn’t just about a fancy logo – it’s all about making sure that whenever your target market associates with a product, service or organisation they remember something distinctive about you which will jog their memory.  This could be a logo, a colour, some kind of packaging or just memorable customer service; something that triggers associations in their minds and sets you apart from your competition.
Here are 5 ways you can easily gain brand recognition

1.  Exceptional Customer Service
Develop a reason customers will trust you enough to come back time and time again and recommend you to others.  Today’s customers are much more discernible; looking for guarantees, prompt turnaround time and first-class after sales service.  In fact, customer service can often be the major factor in the final buying decision.
2. Be Personable
Create a persona to engender trust; become the go-to person/company in your field of expertise.  Your target market needs to accept you as the person behind the brand before they will buy what you are are offering.
3. Generate Awareness
Create a strategy to remind your target market that you are actively doing business; make them aware of what you offer by keeping your brand top of mind, communicating with your target market both online and offline with a consistent, objective message. Fail to do this and your target market will forget about you and go somewhere else!
4. Add Value
Exceed people’s expectations – share your expertise through a series of touchpoints; become the well-respected ‘go-to’ person in your field through blogging, white papers & webinars.
5. Be Consistent in your Branding
Be instantly recognisable to your target market by using the same imaging and logo styling in all forms of communication.  Brand consistency is the key to brand recognition and one which is strictly adhered to by top successful brands.  It seems an obvious one, but it is very often overlooked.

What other ways could you help your target market recognise and remember you and your brand?  Why not take the time to develop a marketing checklist and develop a strategy you can easily implement to ensure your brand stands out from the crowd?

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

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

3 reasons to consider outsourcing your marketing

JuneBlogWhen you’re pushed for time – seeing to clients, building relationships and managing your staff – your marketing inevitably gets pushed on the back burner, especially in times of recession when budgets are stretched.

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.

1. You 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.

2. 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.

3. 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
Davey Marketing

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 questions you need to ask yourself about your Marketing Planning

Davey Marketing Strategic Plannng

The Planning Cycle

If you’re an established small business you are probably doing OK, but you are most likely only doing the bare minimum when it comes to marketing, relying mostly on referrals.

But there are times when you could probably do even better and this is where a boost in marketing your business will help to keep those customers coming back again and again.

It’s more important than ever with new technologies, online marketing and social media impacting the marketplace, to make sure you plan and implement some marketing efforts to continue to grow your business.

How do you know if what you are doing is working? Taking time out to review your marketing can often give you insights that can save you time and money and shed some light on new opportunities you hadn’t considered.

There are some basic questions you need to ask before you can begin to plan some new marketing efforts

  1. Who is your target market?
  2. What unique benefits do you offer your customers – why should they buy from you?
  3. What is your brand, how can you increase your brand awareness?
  4. Are you communicating your brand and core messages to both your customers and prospects?
  5. How have you been doing that?  Is it working?
  6. How can you gain more visibility in your marketplace?
  7. Are you measuring the results and making changes based on these results?

Once you start focusing on your business in this way, you will be able to develop and implement a new marketing plan. Leaving it to chance for too long will almost certainly end up costing you more in the long term.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

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