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.

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.

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!

Home Workers Beware! Be distracted at your peril. . .

Freelance Marketing Management BrightonAs a homeworker, I know how difficult it can be to remain productive when the house is full of tempting distractions.  Over the years, I’ve learned how to resist the urge when no one is looking over you, and giving in just means wasting precious time and money.

I tend to combine my time working on site with clients when I have a meaty project, but when I need to be ‘at my desk’ at home, I’ve managed to put a few disciplines in place to combat wasting time.

Find an appropriate workspace

Preferably a dedicated ‘office space’ –  ideally a spare room or even a converted shed at the end of the garden that you can close the door at the end of the day.  This is not always possible if space is an issue.  A dedicated area of a room is just as effective, as long as you make sure you delineate your time between work and recreation.  Here are some real homeworkers who have set up shop in a bedroom (me included) in WorkFromHomeWisdom.com

Keep to a definite business schedule

When working within an organization, your working hours are pretty much set in stone – 9am-5.30pm, 5 days a week – you’re contractually obliged to keep within these times (depending on what you do).  Working from home gives you much more flexibility, but it’s all too easy to take advantage of your freedom and discipline goes out of the window.

Try and stick to a schedule.  I make sure I set my alarm every morning and arrive at my desk to start planning my day by 9.30 when I’m working on a project from home.  It’s also a good idea to let your friends and family know your schedule to avoid those impromptu visits.

Never work in your Pyjamas!

I’ve read many articles over the years where small business homeworkers relish the opportunity to be able to fall out of bed and start working, without having to get dressed in a ‘business suit’.  Don’t do it!  Imagine the embarrassment when a client calls via Skype and you’re sitting there in your nightwear!  Being smartly dressed gives you a sense of professionalism and creates a good impression and, when the client calls for an urgent face-to-face meeting, you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Stick to a routine

It’s all about managing your time and workload.  Manage your day carefully around work and family commitments.  Being a parent, the usual domestic chores and school run is going to play an important part of your working life and it’s essential to stick to a strict routine to remain productive.

With the advent of smartphones and tablets, it’s always tempting to overdo things.  If you’re in your ‘non-work’ mode and an important email pings through, it’s too tempting to jump on it immediately, which can be very distracting for both you and your family.

Get out and network

Meeting people face-to-face will make your working life much more bearable.  Working from home can be very isolating whether you live alone or you’re juggling work and family.  Taking advantage of the many business networking events will allow you to integrate with other human beings and give you an opportunity of making new business contacts with a view to gaining new customers.

There are lots of organisations out there that regularly run business networking and training events to take advantage of.  Whether you want to be locked in and pay an annual fee or just drop in for a coffee and a chat, here’s a list of some of the current groups in Brighton & Sussex.

Networking in Brighton & Sussex

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help to manage your marketing planning  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!

7 Steps to creating an effective Press Release

How to write an effective Press ReleaseIncluding PR in your marketing planning can play a key role in boosting your company’s profile by getting coverage in trade journals, magazines, blogs, podcasts, radio and other publications that cover your business sector.

A press release can also help to establish you as an industry expert to help you gain the trust of your customers and also good for media relations; whenever the media needs someone to comment on a story you’ll be the ‘expert’ they will call on.

7 steps to creating an effective press release

  1. Make sure you have a good reason to send a press release.  A grand opening or launch of a new business, an innovative new product, a new location or a special event which might appeal to the medium’s readership are all good reasons to get the press interested.
  2. Content is key, so it needs to be appropriate for the publication or broadcast media – identify target media groups relevant to your ‘story’ and adapt accordingly.  Don’t make the ‘scattergun approach’ mistake and randomly send to media without considering their audience (most media houses publish their readership profiles online).
  3. It should follow the standard format which will ensure readability: typed, double-spaced, with a contact person’s name, title, company, address and phone number within the top third of the release.
  4. Below the contact details an eye-catching headline in bold type: this needs to contain the key message of the story you are telling which will lead the reader to find out more.
  5. The release should be no more than one page covering the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where and why with the first paragraph more or less outlining the main story.  Don’t embellish or hype up the information – you’re not writing the article but demonstrating why the information is relevant to that particular media in the hope that they will want to feature it.  And remember, watch your spelling and grammar – a release full of typos is more likely to get dumped in the bin!
  6. Avoid making it sound like an advertisement for your business –  it’s not a sales pitch!  Any opinion given should be in ‘quotes’ and attributed to whoever said it.
  7. Most important of all, make sure you follow-up any interest which might be shown: ensure the contact indicated on the release is available and willing to give any further information or comments if asked.

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!

I run a small business, should I be doing market research?

Why should I do Market ResearchIt doesn’t matter how big your business is, market research is an important part of your whole business strategy.

Rather than just a one-off activity, in order to remain successful, conducting research on a continual basis will allow you to keep up with market trends and maintain a competitive edge.

Why should I do market research?

Depending on what kind of business you run and what stage you’re at in your business, market research will not only help you to identify exactly who your target customers are, but it will also enable you to understand how they tick.

For instance, if you’re a new start-up, canvassing passers-by to take part in a trial of a new product or answering specific questions about the service you are offering, will help you to decide whether it’s right for your target market before you take it to market.

If you are a more established business, market research can help you to understand why your customers choose your product/service over competitors and it will enable you to set realistic targets for specific growth areas, introduce new sales tactics and launch new products.

Similarly it will help you to make informed decisions about whether you should be consolidating, diversifying or reducing your business activities.

There might be several different reasons for conducting some form of market research; you may have identified a business problem such as a fall in sales, a competitor may have entered your marketplace or another similar product may have become available.

3 cost-effective research methods for a small business

Desk research – gathering and analyzing information, already available in print or published on the internet.  This can be very cost effective as it relies on existing market data which can provide you with key information about your market size, value and trends.
Together with your own sales data and that of your competitors, this form of research will give you valuable information that can help you to understand sales and geographic and demographic trends.

Online Surveys – a relatively low cost method, which involves respondents signing up to take part in an online survey – sometimes in return for a small reward, or entry into a prize draw.  This method is a great option for smaller businesses taking advantage of some easy online survey tools; the results of which can be used to answer some key questions about your business or to research your target market.
Information is gathered automatically and the response rate can be almost instant.  One of the main benefits of online surveys is that it saves time.  The data is instantly available and can easily be transferred onto a spreadsheet, or other business application, if a more detailed analysis is required. You can design your own survey with one of the many free online survey tools such as SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang.

Hall Tests – designed to get consumers to ‘try out’ specific products.   Respondents are recruited on the street and guided to where the test is taking place and asked to canvass opinion in a public space (often a church hall or similar).
They are invited to try out specific products such as food & drink, magazines, cleaning products etc. so you can identify any strengths and weaknesses before launching the product.  Whilst you could achieve some really useful in-depth comments from respondents, this type of research needs to be carefully planned and executed to be successful.  Respondents are also often given incentives to do this.

So whether you’re a new start-up or you need to find out more about how your customers tick, conducting a piece of research will allow you to keep up with what’s going on in your own market and enable you to continue maintaining a competitive edge!

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on planning your 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.

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.