How hard does your logo work?

I was reading a really interesting article recently, which was entitled ‘Our logo looks like underpants’ which illustrated the difficulties facing global brands when different cultures interpret particular visual stimuli in very different ways.

It got me thinking about logos and how we need to think about how hard our logo works – like anything in your business, your logo has a job to do; it not only needs to be distinctive but it needs to be memorable too.

Try to look different from your competitors – don’t blend in, stand out!  And, you want people to recognise it.  In order to build customer loyalty, recognition is the first step to establishing you as the ‘go to’ company.

Have you ever wondered what messages some of the famous brands are sending with their logos.  Although they’re mostly American, this video demonstrates brand messaging through the eyes of a five year-old.  Shown by her designer-dad, these were her immediate responses.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on reviewing your brand or developing a new logo Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

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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!

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!

Simple steps to understanding your Target Audience

How to appeal to your Target AudienceWhen it comes to growing business and increasing sales, the most successful brands don’t try too hard; they don’t constantly bleat on and on about it; they simply design their products and services around the needs of specific segments of their target audience.

Whatever you’re selling – be it food, legal services, travel, or luxury goods – one thing is for sure: no one likes to be told what to do!

Start by going back to basics and putting yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Understand your audience
What it is they like about your product?  Or, even more important, what it is that’s stopping them from buying it?

Research
Qualitative research (focus groups) and product trial (hall tests) is potentially valuable in understanding what makes your customers tick and together with quantitative research (questionnaires and surveys), you’ll be able to clearly define your target audience with more precision than ‘someone who might like what I sell’.

Design
Design your product or service specifically for your audience and ensure it is based on a clear need, making sure you design your communications to sell the product, not as a plea to appeal to your audience.  For example, if you’re appealing to an older audience and you’re selling car insurance, using the headline  ‘Car Insurance that rewards your driving experience’ is far more effective than saying ‘Car Insurance for the over 50’s’.  There’s nothing more off putting than being told you no longer fit the ‘norm’, even if it might be beneficial to you!

Communicate
Be open to engaging the audience through new and less used channels.  If you’re appealing to an older audience, research suggests that 37% of over 65’s will be using Facebook by 2017, and if your customer is more likely to appreciate a more tangible representation of your product or service (say you’re a photographer or graphic designer), consider producing printed literature which will showcase your specific skills.

We all tend to fall into the trap of looking at how we can sell more to our customers, rather than looking at what we can do for them – whilst subtle, a very important difference when it comes to successful targeting and generating more sales.

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!

Is Direct Marketing ‘old fashioned’ or just under-used?

Direct Marketing in BrightonI read an article today which cited some traditional marketing methods as ‘old fashioned’, specifically print marketing such as newsletters and branded promotional products.

I tweeted the article in agreement that, whilst fewer businesses are using the more traditional direct marketing methods, they could still achieve excellent results if they included them as part of their marketing mix.  If the message is relevant and targeted, a well designed piece of direct marketing can also translate perfectly online.

The most effective marketing plan is likely to cover different types of media to communicate specific business propositions and messages and Direct Marketing still has its’ place as a tangible representation of your product or service.

Still considered as one of the cheapest, yet most effective ways to create customers, Direct Mail generates a response rate of around 4%, whilst the cost per lead is generally the same or comparable to the cost of email marketing.  Customers created through direct mail are also more likely to perform repeat business.

Direct Mail is a great medium to drive your customers online to purchase your product or service, with the added benefit of tracking sales and collecting data through simple coding methods such as a promo code or a QR (quick response) code.

Promotional products are also still a very popular medium for businesses to gain brand recognition.  Physical items such as pens, calendars and sticky memo pads, printed with your logo and web address, are great reminders for potential customers who might have a need for your products or services; easily able to recall your business whilst sitting at their desk!

Even better results can be achieved by including some of these traditional methods in your marketing mix, especially as fewer businesses are using them you stand a better chance of being noticed.

Old fashioned, or just under-used, direct marketing will never die!

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on producing print marketing Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

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.

6 Top Tips to create good Content

ChristineDaveyContentMarketingIt’s all about having relevant and timely messages!

Good content can create more sales leads, drive traffic to your website, create brand awareness and educate your existing and prospective customers.

Follow these six top tips to get the most out of your content marketing.

1.  Make sure it’s not promotional!
Anything which is blatantly salesy and promotional will not inspire or excite your target audience; two of the most critical components of content marketing

2.  Make it relevant and targeted
It has to be relevant and of interest.  Make sure you make it useful to the reader – even if this means it doesn’t necessarily support your company’s main service message.

3. Answer a niggling business question
Give your readers added value. By imparting useful information gives you the ability to nurture important leads and positions you as the ‘expert’ in your field.

4. Make sure it’s well written
Thought leadership needs to be written well – poorly written copy may be detrimental to your company’s reputation.  Well presented and free of errors, it needs time and effort; outsourcing might be a wise investment!

5. Keep your business goals in mind
Does your content support your business objectives?  Is it relevant to your company?  Creating content which does neither, is a waste of resources.



6. Make sure it’s substantiated
Writing to support your business goals, may seem biased; content needs to be supported with ‘proof’; either quotes and testimonials or actual statistics.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

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

The importance of the Follow-Up

Follow-upAs a sole trader, I need to be able to ‘sell’ myself to both existing and potential clients together with generating leads through various forms of marketing – all of which need to be followed-up.

Going in person to networking events, engaging online and working with people on projects on a daily basis gives us loads of content and conversations; juggling multiple communications both on and offline.

With millions of images, messages and insights relentlessly bombarding us on a daily basis, it’s easy to fall through the communication cracks and to a certain extent we seem to have lost the art of follow-up, which still remains the most important activity to engage in after meeting new people, and the keystone to relationship building and retention.

Timing is Essential

Follow-up with people you have met or been introduced to as soon as you can and try to make time to respond to people who have taken the time to contact you (unless it’s an obvious spam)!

Research, research, research

Knowing something about them and what they do will give you a powerful advantage for opening a conversation; taking the time and trouble to research their company beforehand will give you a smart strategic edge.

Be engaging

Exchange knowledge which will add value and help to forge a strong mutual connection; using all the social and online tools shows you are willing to engage and gives you a series of touch points to develop that connection.

Change their perceptions

Small gestures can go a long way to change a potential customer’s perception of you.  Provide an endorsement or introduce them as an expert in their field to someone looking for their help; this doesn’t need to be reciprocal and will have a big impact of how people perceive you, demonstrating you as someone they can trust.

Don’t give up at the first hurdle

Time is such a challenge these days, it’s too easy to give up early when it doesn’t look like you’re getting anywhere with people you have a relationship with or feel a potential with.  Be persistent, but respect people’s time and know when it’s time to step away if you can’t add value straight away.

Keeping in touch is so much easier than it’s ever been – so never fail to follow-up!

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.

Getting the right message to the right people – Face to Face

Davey Marketing Business NetworkingDifficult economic times often result in cutting back on certain activities in business, particularly marketing.  When we should all be knuckling down to generate as much new business as possible, our marketing activities tend to become less rather than more.

Of course, it is fundamental that our marketing activities complement the services we offer, getting the right message to the right people at the right time.  But when budgets are tight, it can be a juggling act, deciding which activity will make the best return on investment.

Many small business owners tend to largely focus their activities around online marketing such as social media and email marketing, and whilst a mix of these activities, together with more traditional methods such as creating postcards or flyers may be relevant to your business, there is one very cost effective marketing activity which is vital to raise awareness and position your brand; Face to Face Marketing or Business Networking.

Sharing your message with a group of like-minded people gets you offline, making an impression with ‘real’ people that are more likely to help to market your business for you via first and third party referrals.

Making contacts and building relationships is key in any marketing activity and whilst communicating virtually through social media platforms has a significant impact on the speed at which information can be obtained, a high percentage of prospects are more likely to be converted to new customers via face-to-face interaction.

There’s a big choice of business networking organisations out there, whether you want to be ‘locked in’ and pay an annual fee or just want somewhere to ‘drop-in’ for a chat and a coffee – here’s a few links to some of the current groups in Brighton & Sussex.

Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce 
4 Networking
Athena Networking
The Mumpreneurs Networking Club    
Sussex Enterprise
City Business Club
Friends of the Albion 
Hove Business Association 
Juice FM Breakfast Club 
Brighton Business Curry Club 
Gatwick Diamond Business 
First Friday Network
Women Unlimited  
Wired Sussex
The Un-Networking Salon
Speed Networking in Brighton

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

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