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Small business marketing tips by Danielle MacInnis




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  • 1. Small Business Marketing Tips Danielle MacInnis Marketing guru for small business
  • 2. Danielle MacInnis Danielle MacInnis manufactured by
  • 3. The original blog can be found at All rights reserved by the author. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording and/or otherwise without the prior written permission of the author. This book may not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade in any form, binding or cover other than that in which it is published, without the prior consent of the author. Manufactured by on March 16, 2011
  • 4. Contents Not For Profit Organisations – They just don’t get marketing? Whisper marketing. . . what’s the buzz? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Touchpoints a key to understanding how to shape your brand. 6 top reasons why you need a marketing plan . . . . . . . . . . Brand Repositioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nuture Marketing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 top marketing mistakes small business make – how to avoid them. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Five small business email customer lifecycle tactics . . . . . . . Funnel Vision – How to build a great business (from a good one) Top 10 Lead Nuturing tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Do you want to create a webcast for your web or blog at no cost? Pay it forward – the basis for a great social marketing strategy 8 marketing ideas that manager of small business can do today Small Business Branding Webinar series . . . . . . . . . . . . . How to use twitter for SMB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Do you really need a new website design? . . . . . . . . . . . . What a small business should look for when investigating CRM. Fragmentation of traditional media channels – a real opportunity for small business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jim Collins on Good To Great . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maybe it is time to audit your business and marketing strategy? Start with the vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Your personal Brand – do you know your core value proposition? Profiling your ideal customer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reasons why your customers buy from you. . . . . . . . . . . . How to write great customer success stories . . . . . . . . . . . What a marketing consultant does? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meeting unmet customer needs, creates market leadership . . . Sales readiness – how ready is your sales team? . . . . . . . . . 1 2 3 8 11 19 21 23 27 29 31 31 33 36 37 37 39 42 48 49 50 51 56 59 61 63 66 68 i
  • 5. Have you hired a marketing consultant as small business? . . . 69 Tribal Leadership – book review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005 . . . . . . . . 72 What is your secret sauce? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 What is a brand? Key functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Optimising your press release for SEO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 E-marketing approach is more effective than just attending networking events! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Prospect Plan – where’s yours? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Top 5 must haves in your marketing tool kit . . . . . . . . . . . 84 5 top tips for top Google listing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 A design brief template . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 70 of the best small business marketing applications – most free 92 How to give your customers a taste of you to win more business 94 Why small businesses need a marketing plan! . . . . . . . . . . 96 5 keys to designing a killer website! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 How much do you care about your customers? Show me the love!!100 Use hyped long sales landing pages and prepare for the backlash!103 10 of the best free marketing e-books for small business . . . . 105 Small business marketing survey 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Make your website your marketing hub . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 5 steps for creating a marketing plan for small business . . . . 116 Build your small business from the inside out. Personal development is the best investment you can make! . . . . . . . . . . 120 Awesomely Simple is just an awesome small business website . 125 A marketers’ delight: video software animoto! . . . . . . . . . . 126 Marketing and sales goals for 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 Inspiration – we all need it! Start by asking your customers. . 130 Top 10 marketing trends for 2011 for small businesses . . . . . 131 Lead generation made simple for small business . . . . . . . . . 136 Is your small business customer centric? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Hero Brands That Small Businesses Can Copy . . . . . . . . . 145 Good websites should .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Brand or the Marketing Strategy, which comes first? Chicken and egg or real marketing dilemma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Why do you need a marketing plan? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 What Is A Value Proposition? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Protecting Brand Equity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 ii
  • 6. Marketing Mistakes That Impact Your Effectiveness. . . . . . . 153 Get the scoop on the CRM close loop tools . . . . . . . . . . . 156 Branding for small business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 Seth Godin – online presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 Ten top ideas for marketing in a recession . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 Measuring Marketing – trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 The Amazing Power of Growing a Big List . . . . . . . . . . . 166 6 Ways to weather an economic downturn . . . . . . . . . . . . 169 Internet Marketing – A viable marketing strategy in a down economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 Top Five Lead Gen practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 Five steps to building brand equity for the small business . . . 173 74% of small business have no marketing plan! . . . . . . . . . 177 How to attract visitors to your site? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182 Treat Customers Like Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182 A map for working out your marketing strategy . . . . . . . . . 185 Small Business Get Marketing Wrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 Social media as a trend or savvy marketing tool . . . . . . . . 186 Should you dump your web and just have a blog? Is the website days numbered? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188 Does the small business need SEO? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193 Twitter plug ins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 Make your marketing effort successful . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198 10 tips on how do we get qualified traffic to our website or blog or other social media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 5 ways to capture customer insights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Great source of blogs for small businesses . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 Marketing technology helping small businesses win big! . . . . 205 Who’s talking about you and how to listen online. . . . . . . . 206 10 Great marketing internet tips from Jay . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 Coaching the PA in marketing – your best asset . . . . . . . . 208 The quick guide to using social media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 Customers buy for their reasons not yours. 5 ways to join their conversation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 5 things to consider before podcasting as a small business. . . . 216 CRM and how it intersects with social media – the next step . 220 7 best small business marketing internet tips . . . . . . . . . . 225 Best social media podcast I have heard – marketers get on board229 iii
  • 7. Hubspot inbound marketing training now available on slideshare!230 5 key steps to building your marketing toolkit . . . . . . . . . . 231 Was Borders listening to its customers? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 5 reasons why your content strategy is the most important marketing tool as a SMB. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 Social marketing metrics – Are you measuring? . . . . . . . . . 237 Social media is the new word of mouth – how does SMB leverage it? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Twitter – best tips and tools for small business . . . . . . . . . 240 Outsourcing your social media marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . 241 Why blog as a small business? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244 New way of selling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246 Creating a new toolbar to communicate all your interactions in one interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 Designing your brand – 4 Steps for a small business to follow. . 249 Join my online marketing training – for small business, it’s free! 253 Seize the opportunity with the convergence of communication and conversational tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255 Your Story, The Most Compelling Marketing Tool For Small Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258 How to harness emotional intelligence to fast track your small business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 Social media metrics – how do you measure your activities? . . 266 Increase profitability with employee engagement . . . . . . . . 268 Free Marketing training for small businesses . . . . . . . . . . . 271 My top podcasts for small business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272 Building your own personal mission statement . . . . . . . . . 274 Do you understand the mechanics of your small business? . . . 276 Marketing Book Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277 Why is it important to have a business model? . . . . . . . . . 280 Where sales and marketing intersect that’s the new competitive advantage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285 Be strategic in 2011 and make your small business a 10! . . . . 286 Marketing Lessons from the best in the business . . . . . . . . 287 Engaging the customer – that’s all it’s about! . . . . . . . . . . 289 Build a high performing team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290 10 top must have tools for small business marketing (most are free!) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 iv
  • 8. Does your small business depend on you? . . . . . . . . . . . . 296 Your personal brand Vs your company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297 Small Business is relationships. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300 Who do we intend to be? Why are we here? What’s the point? 301 Fun is the core of a successful business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 10 Tips for start-ups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305 How to create a u-tube video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309 So how are you doing on getting found on the web? . . . . . . 310 Trust Agents – play nice! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313 How did you start marketing your small business? Read the stories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314 10 Hot Tips Before Small Business Engage With Social Media 316 Love thy customer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Start with The Simple Marketing System! . . . . . . . . . . . . 323 Great discussion about what marketing works for small business?324 What is your story? It’s your decisions and actions. . . . . . . 330 How small businesses can use About Us as a marketing tool . . 333 Why blog as a small business? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335 How are small businesses marketing today? . . . . . . . . . . . 338 Marketing tools for small businesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 339 You Need More Than Hope. You Need A Business Model . . . 339 v
  • 9. Not For Profit Organisations – They just don’t get marketing? Marketing Not for Profit organisations is a interesting Business. I have found the managers of these organisations are not really able to visualise their business as one that is able to leverage marketing. The very nature of not for profit almost precludes them thinking of themselves as a business and yet of course they are. They still need members, they still have target markets and value to offer that they need to communicate. This is a largely untouched marketplace that is only now coming to realise the potential that having a strong value proposition and marketing strategy can have to help shape their potential appeal and thus financial contributions. Incoming search terms: • 2011 for not for profits marketing • marketing for NFP organisations • Marketing for not for profit organisations • not for profit marketing plan • NOT-FOR-PROFIT marketing • not-for-profit marketing plan Incoming search terms: • 2011 for not for profits marketing • marketing for NFP organisations • Marketing for not for profit organisations • not for profit marketing plan • NOT-FOR-PROFIT marketing • not-for-profit marketing plan 1
  • 10. Whisper marketing. . . what’s the buzz? If you are on the ball you will have heard of whisper marketing by now. That is to plant a person in say a shopping centre and recommend a product to a fellow shopper. This “word of mouth” is constructed yet could have the same effect as a viral campaign, spreading the idea to others. The issue seems to be that it is a misrepresentation because it is a constructed scenario, however creative it is. I just wonder what in marketing isn’t constructed, ie ad campaign, direct mail, website, and sometimes even the way testimonials are edited. I guess the unsavoury thought for consumers is that something they might think is a normal social interaction is actually being sponsored by a company and that does leave a bad taste in your mouth. Tim Pethick from Nudie I think might have the solution: Word-ofmouth is fundamentally important to our entire strategy. I think consumers feel like they’re over-advertised to at the moment. They’re immune, in a sense, to the messages that they’re getting. Well, what about if we got consumers to be our evangelists? When we were doing sampling events and were interacting with consumers, we gave them brochures that said, ‘We want Nudie‘. Go and visit the store you want to stock Nudie in. Give this to them and ask them to stock Nudie for you. It worked. People went out and did that.” (ABC Mondo Thing epi 12) Or Ross Honeywell points out whisper marketing is similar to virual marketing and be warned. “Viral marketing is perfectly ethical if what you’re doing is communicating a fabulous idea to other people who are happy to spread it. People who spread it most are these neo-consumers. They’re savvy. They’re really smart. They really get it. And anybody who tries to market them in unethical ways will, A, be spotted very quickly, and, B, be rejected.” (ABC Mondo Thing epi 12) Food for thought. Incoming search terms: 2
  • 11. • whispers marketing branding Incoming search terms: • whispers marketing branding Touchpoints a key to understanding how to shape your brand. There seems to be a consensus that we need to understand how a brand is build today to help manage it. To do this we need to understand that the process begins with identifying each point of interaction, or brand “touchpoint,” between the company and its customers. Here, a company can uncover the various opportunities for its brand to be positively upheld or negatively represented. As Mark Ritson explains in Professional Marketing Magazine July Sept 2008, touchpoints for a bank can have many more negative impacts on a customer’s perception than positive. ie statement of account, letter from the manager, out of work cash dispensers, and long lines to speak to a bank teller. If you think about it from the customer’s view how many opportunities does your brand have to disappoint them? Ray George from explains: each activity falls within the three touchpoint experience categories: pre-purchase, purchase (or usage), and post-purchase. Pre-purchase experience touchpoints represent the various ways potential customers interact with a brand prior to deciding to do business with a company. Some typical pre-purchase touchpoints include Web sites, word-of-mouth, direct mail, research, sponsorships, public relations and advertising. adds that most marketing dept of B2B companies spend most of the marketing budget on the pre-purchase part of the customer interaction when most of the customers experience is spent in the other two areas. Each pre-purchase touchpoint interaction should be designed to shape perceptions and expectations of the brand as well as heighten brand 3
  • 12. awareness and drive its relevance, while also helping prospects understand its benefits over competing brands and the value it brings in fulfilling their wants and needs. As the pre-purchase experience for prospective customers is examined, the focus should be on refining those touchpoints that most effectively will drive customers to put the brand into their consideration set. Purchase (or usage) experience touchpoints are those that move a customer from considering a company’s brand to purchasing a product or service and initiating a brand relationship. Examples of purchase touchpoints include direct field sales, physical stores and contact with customer representatives. The main objective of these points of interaction is to maximize the value that prospects see in offerings and instill confidence that they have made the right decision in choosing the brand. During these interactions, it’s critical to instill trust in the minds of prospects by demonstrating beyond a reasonable doubt that a company’s product or service offerings are better than those of the competition. Post-purchase experience touchpoints come into play after the “sale” and maximize the customer experience. These can include loyalty programs, customer satisfaction surveys and warranty and rebate activities. These touchpoints are frequently under-leveraged or ignored as brand-development opportunities, even though they offer the potential for businesses to drive sustainable and profitable growth. Three goals of post-purchase experience touchpoints are to deliver on the brand promise, meet or exceed customer performance and usage expectations and increase brand loyalty and advocacy. The long-term benefits of assessing a brand’s touchpoints are tremendous. This knowledge can help build a strong, powerful brand that keeps its relevance in the minds of customers. But even more important is how this exercise fully equips an organization to better control the most important interactions customers have with the brand. Here’s what typically emerges as a result of a touchpoint assessment: New Opportunities. Many of the identified touchpoints won’t fall in the category of typical “brand-building” activities, but if they’re aligned with the company’s current brand message, they can instill 4
  • 13. strong customer preference and loyalty. By demonstrating how they impact customer perceptions, they can be used to give the company a fresh perspective on its brand-building activities. Control. It’s a common misconception that brand development is the sole responsibility of the marketing department; in reality, the responsibility for the development, execution and ongoing maintenance of each touchpoint may fall within several different functional areas of the company. In fact, some touchpoints—word-of-mouth, for example—may seem to be impossible to control altogether. In such instances, analysis of what’s driving word-of-mouth exposure may reveal a greater degree of control over this touchpoint than initially thought. The tactical importance of minor touchpoints that are not typically considered within the marketing domain. The automated phone answering experience. The product User Interface. The monthly invoice. However you can see the potential impact they can have on the perception of the brand of a company. Complexity. Managing all the different points of interaction customers have with a brand is a multifaceted and interdependent responsibility. Ted Mininni is president of Design Force adds: It really is about all the intangibles around those products and services that form customer perceptions, thoughts, emotions and attitudes based on repeated, interactive experiences with corporate brands. This mix of intangibles transcends actual products or services—all of which can be purchased from a number of competing companies. Meaningful brand experiences are unified experiences; that is, they are corporately designed, properly managed and aligned across all customer touchpoints. Examples: Pre-Purchase: Borders, smell of coffee, quiet, sections of books to easy to find. Information centre, large variety, cafe to enjoy while reading. Entertainment value. Meet friends. Purchase: Quick and streamlined, discount for valued customers. Staff all dressed in borders black t-shirt, easy to identify. 5
  • 14. Post-Purchase: Follow up with email offers, vouchers in your black bag with logo – status bought book at borders or CD or whatever. From within the offices of Starbucks, a branding guru had summarized the Starbucks brand into an extremely concise brand statement: A great coffee experience. This brand statement encompassed the Starbucks store design, bean selection, barista personalities. . . even its toilet paper. 2 ply for Starbucks. A lousy experience with one touchpoint can negate all the brand equity you build in other touchpoints. When Microsoft releases a security patch that creates more openings for hackers, its brand is diminished. They are marketing the experience and the brand as much as the products they sell and doing it effectively through every touch point. What are the distinctive, heritage elements of your brand that resonate with customers? Once all current and potential customer-experience touchpoints have been identified, the next step is to determine which are the most important, and why. Trying to control every touchpoint can be an overwhelming and costly endeavor. However, prioritizing the touchpoints and identifying which have the greatest impact on customers ensure that customers are being spoken to where and when most relevant. Additionally, prioritizing the touchpoints maximizes the use of corporate capital and human resources. Consider the following factors in prioritizing the touchpoints: Value in decision-making. What impact will the touchpoint have on the overall customer decision-making process? Ability to control. To what extent is the touchpoint within an organization’s ability to control? Degree of misalignment. How is the touchpoint diluting or contradicting the brand message, and how quickly must it be aligned? Achieving business objectives. Does the touchpoint support the underlying business objectives? Companies across t 6
  • 15. he board are facing numerous challenges that require leadership to take a hard look at how well their brand strategies position them with customers. Competition is fierce and growing and customers are both wary and confused, particularly in the face of largely undifferentiated products, services and messaging. Businesses that intend to successfully stand out from among the competition would be wise to scrutinize the core of where and how they interact with customers and communicate the essence of their brands. That sort of thoughtful and measured assessment is what will lead to brand investments that are most likely to create powerful results. If you want to do some touchpoint analysis for your company here is a good url analysis.pdf Incoming search terms: • human resources touchpoints • touchpoint usage • how to find good touch points for your brand • brand touch points seth godin • touchpoints banking • brand touchpoints • touchpoint marketing and brand • cymbic touchpoints • starbucks in store touchpoint • brand touch points analysis • starbucks brand touchpoints • starbucks brand messaging • Touchpoint Analysis • touchpoint banking software 7
  • 16. • touchpoint banking software blog Incoming search terms: • human resources touchpoints • touchpoint usage • how to find good touch points for your brand • brand touch points seth godin • touchpoints banking • brand touchpoints • touchpoint marketing and brand • cymbic touchpoints • starbucks in store touchpoint • brand touch points analysis • starbucks brand touchpoints • starbucks brand messaging • Touchpoint Analysis • touchpoint banking software • touchpoint banking software blog 6 top reasons why you need a marketing plan I read this on the web the other day and I liked it because it put marketing in layman terms. I thought I should share it. The Top Six Reasons – by Jap Lipe e-merge Marketing #1 A marketing plan formalizes ideas Nothing is more forceful than committing your ideas to paper. If you say to yourself “Gee, I’d really like to upgrade our website this year”, that’s just an idea, without any course of action. 8
  • 17. But, if you write on a piece of paper the: Objective (”We will upgrade our website”) Rationale (“because our site is looking outdated versus our competition.”) Project leader (”I will take the lead on completing this project”) Timeline (“by December 31, 2003”) and Budget (”for under $3,000”). Now you have a plan that commits time, people and dollars to the project, and its likelihood for success has grown exponentially. #2 You can hang it in front of your nose After you’ve finished your marketing plan, I recommend taping parts of it up all around you—on your cubicle wall, on a computer monitor or over your phone. The goal is to hang it where you’ll see it every day. There are two reasons for this. First, seeing it every day serves as a conscious reminder to accomplish this week’s tasks. Yes, it’s a subtle form of nagging, but I guarantee you’ll get more done because of the subtle pressure you feel. Second, having your plan in plain view helps sink the plan into your subconscious mind. As your eye passes over the plan, your subconscious mind notices and starts converting your plan into action. You don’t consciously know it’s happening, but it is. #3 A plan breaks down tasks After completing your marketing plan, you’ll know every Monday morning exactly what needs to be accomplished to stay on track. If written correctly, your marketing plan breaks down seemingly huge tasks (e.g. develop a website) into smaller, more manageable tasks. #4 A plan gives you hope With a completed marketing plan guiding your efforts, you’ll be amazed at how much more confident you feel. Now amidst all the day-to-day fire fighting, you’ll know you have a plan, a path to follow, and a quiet assurance that you’re building momentum for your business. That positive attitude alone goes a long way towards steering a company in the right direction. #5 A marketing plan sifts ideas Over the course of 12 months (we’ll assume you’re writing an annual marketing plan here), you’ll probably stumble across a marketing 9
  • 18. opportunity you didn’t foresee when you wrote the plan. Maybe you field a call from a magazine offering you discounted advertising rates. Or, you meet the president of a call center who offers its telemarketing services to your company. Should you do these things? With a written marketing plan in place, you can sift each idea through it. If you’ve spent thoughtful time developing your marketing strategies and committing them to paper, you’ll know quickly if any of these ideas are on-strategy. #6 A plan gives you something to go back to in slow times If your business is like most others, it has a seasonality to it. That is, some months are traditionally slower than others. During those slow months, instead of wringing your hands and worrying about slow sales, you know what to do. Crack open the plan, and review it cover to cover. Are your assumptions about the market still valid? Do your strategies still make sense? Which tactics do we need to implement? At a glance, you’ll know whether you’re ahead of schedule or behind, and turn passive statements like “I don’t know what I should do” into active ones like “We planned for a newsletter in the 2nd quarter, now I’ll get started on that.” How long does it take to write a marketing plan? How long it takes to write your marketing plan depends on these factors in your business. Its: Revenues Geographic scope Distribution channels Markets served Number of products or services offered Number of employees. The larger the number for any of these variables, the longer it will take. As a general rule of thumb, a sole proprietor can write a marketing plan in one to four weeks. A larger company will need eight to twelve because it must account for more input. Whichever company type you are, budget for enough think time—that is, time away from the planning process itself where you can ruminate, cogitate or (if so inclined) meditate about the major questions you face. 10
  • 19. A marketing plan lays the foundation for well-thought-out action. If you are serious about your marketing, start with a plan. Incoming search terms: • major reasons for a marketing plan • top reasons why you need marketing Incoming search terms: • major reasons for a marketing plan • top reasons why you need marketing Brand Repositioning THis is a good article on the how and why of brand positioning. How to Unleash Power of Brand Repositioning: A Four-Phase Processby Gregory J. Pollack Published on May 20, 2008 Many brands and companies today are constantly reinvigorating their businesses and positioning them for growth. There is a constant need to innovate, reinvigorate, update, recalibrate, or just simply fend off the competition in an effort to better explain “why buy me.” To move forward, companies and brands need to first take a look at their current brand positioning. But for a moment, even a brief moment, it would make sense to go back to the brand drawing board to answer the question, “Just what is brand positioning, anyway?” Simply, brand positioning creates a specific place in the market for your brand and product offerings. It reaches a certain type of consumer or customer and delivers benefits that meet the needs of key target groups and users. The actual approach of a company or brand’s positioning in the marketplace is determined based on how it communicates the benefits and product attributes to consumers and users. As a result, the brand positioning of a company and/or product seeks to further distance itself from competitors based on a host of items, but most 11
  • 20. notably five key issues including price, quality, product attributes, its distribution, and usage occasions. As companies and brands today look to brand repositioning, they first have to ask, “What are the reasons to reposition my brand?” The answer might be declining sales, loss of consumer/user base, stagnant product benefits, or the competition, including such issues as increased technology and new features. After having identified the reasons for pursuing a Brand Repositioning, you might now ask yourself, “What do I do?” A four-phased brand repositioning approach will help guide you through this process and allow your company and brand group to best calibrate based on timing, budget, and resources to get the job done. Phase I—Determining the Current Status of the BrandThe purpose of this phase is to understand the company and brand, including exploring key issues, opportunities, and challenges. The reason is to obtain a clear snapshot of the company and brand in present terms, which will offer a clear insight to opportunity identification and assessment. Understanding the brand includes reviewing the complete history of the company and brand, including its current brand positioning, the original positioning, how it has evolved—and, most important, what the company and brand stands for today. Key questions to ask and answer: What differentiates our company and brand from the competition? What are the equity drivers of the company and brand? What are the historical ways to communicate the company and brand equity to consumers and customers alike? As we dive deeper into the current status of the company and brand, we also need to get a clear understanding of the company and brand, including a review of the current brand customer. Key questions to ask and answer: Who is the current target customer base? What is his/her profile? What are the reasons for purchase? What are the buying patterns? 12
  • 21. What are the user patterns? Once we better understand the current brand customer, we can then review the company and brand sales history, including revenue, growth, and industry and category market share. Also important to look at are the specific core product or service offerings. This review should include a review of the current product strategy and mix, with specific emphasis on understanding the current SKU product strategy, if you are a company and specifically a manufacturer. If your business is in the service-offering or professional-consulting arena, this would include a review of the total service offerings and programs offered. A key questions to ask and answer: “Do all products live under the same brand strategy, or are there different product strategies that fall under one brand strategy?” Here, you’ll need to consider whether your business is a category leader, or a player as a secondary brand. This phase should also include looking at production capabilities and constraints, distribution strength and strategy, top key accounts, key selling points, along with a careful review of all sales and marketing promotional materials. Finally, review the competitive landscape: the number of competitors, keys to their success, and what they are doing right and some of their key challenges. Key questions areas to look at are market share, industry strength, customer profiles, consumer buying trends, and a review of the industry and category trends and forecasts. Phase II—What Does the Brand Stand for Today? With a solid understanding of your company and brand, we now need to understand how consumers feel about your company and brand today. In the consumer packaged goods world, this might mean talking to kids and moms and other user groups, to determine what your company and brand stands for among consumers. Obtaining a clear insight into the way consumers feel and relate to your company and brand will provide the starting point of the repositioning work. First we need to gain parameters, including the following: identifying key growth areas for your brand, marketplace, and industry opportunities; looking at your brand positioning in the competitive landscape; measuring the current equity of your brand; and determining opportunity areas of where to take the equity of your 13
  • 22. brand. Your clear objectives are to. . . Understand current consumer perceptions and needs of your brand. Determine how far to move your brand without alienating customers and loyalty base. Identify how to position your brand to attract new users and ultimately convert them into loyal purchasers/users/buyers. The first path to travel on the course of brand repositioning is to hold brand equity groups, which will directly ask consumers and users of your brand key questions, including “Why do they select your brand” and “What was the key decision-making element?” Beyond these general questions, the brand equity groups will seek to understand users’ and consumers’ reasons for purchase, determine their hierarchy of needs and what your brand currently delivers, understand usage occasions and patters, and showcase brand-equity dimensions. In addition, one of the most important functions of brand equity groups is to identify similar affinity groups and lifestyle and behavior patterns among your consumers and loyal customers that can translate into better understanding your customer profiles. From a logistical perspective, the brand equity groups could take place over the course of two days with about four groups total. To ensure a good program read and reach, it would be best to run these groups in three to four cities. Through this process you will identify needs, both unmet and met, in category and industry, determine the delights and dissatisfiers of your brand, as well as determine current brand equity drivers of your brand. In a sense, it will provide you with a current measure of the value of your brand to consumers or end-users. It will provide not only a snapshot of today and where your brand sits but also an immediate look of where you can take your brand tomorrow. The end-goal of the brand equity groups is to identify opportunities, including looking at growth areas for your brand as well as unmet consumer and user needs. Once we can find the current equity value of the brand, the next step would be to run brand-positioning workshops. Phase III—Developing the Brand Positioning Platforms: Where Can We Take It Tomorrow to Grow the Brand? 14
  • 23. Now that we have a good, solid understanding of where the company, business, and brand sit within the overall marketplace, as well as a good understanding of its value to consumers, the next step is to find out how far to grow, expand, and stretch the brand. The purpose of Phase III is to use all marketing research, brand, industry, and consumer information to reposition what your brand should and can stand for. The key reasoning is that determining effective and successful brand repositioning will help retain current customers and acquire new ones. As we look to begin brand repositioning, we need to keep in mind that it needs to capture “How we want consumers to think and feel about your brand.” This process will develop and create several key “brand positioning platforms” to showcase how far your brand can move to retain customers and acquire new ones. Accordingly, you will answer “Who do we want our brand to be?”; “What benefits will it deliver to the consumer?”; and “How will we promote The Brand product purchase, collection and user patterns?” The most important guidelines to success will be to ensure that all aspects of where to take your brand are carefully reviewed to ensure that it maintains the core values and essence of your brand. With this in mind, as a general guideline, there are four key ingredients as part of the brand repositioning work. The new brand positioning will be. . . Ownable: Unique to the brand Leverageable: Important and relevant to the target Sustainable: To other categories in the future Extendable: Partnership marketing and other marketing programs There are two key components to the brand positioning workshops—strategic and creative—and should involve two sessions. The first session would be “Developing The Brand Vision,” which includes where the brand is and what it should become tomorrow, as well as mapping out where to take the brand in the short and long term. The second session would be “Stretching The Brand.” Essentially, we would take everything we have heard and learned, and review consumer insights with the goal taking your brand where it should go. This process should include exercises to stretch your brand into 15
  • 24. the future. For instance, you might develop different marketing positioning platforms that can take key dimensions as far as possible. For a toy or consumer brand it might include such parameters as fun, mystery, anticipation, taste, usage occasions. However, this process should really center on what consumers think we should explore. As a result, the brand positioning workshop should determine four to five key benefits and potential platforms that are agreed upon by the entire group. Then it is up to every member of the group to refine and validate each positioning platform. These workshops review key marketing research information and consumer attitudes, and most important. . . the current purchase patterns. The overall purpose is to determine which areas and brand positioning platforms to pursue. The final output of the brand positioning workshop is “Developing the Brand Vision,”“Developing the Brand Drivers for Future Positioning,” and “Developing Brand Alternatives.” Now that we have developed new brand-positioning platforms, we need to test and validate with consumers as well as key customers. The ultimate purpose and goal is to refine the brand positioning platforms. So, we go back to the focus group format and again talk to key consumers and customers with the purpose of checking back with them to validate the new brand positioning. This essentially allows for refinement of the new brand positioning. It will also help us determine just how far your brand can be stretched. It is also essential to develop visual concept boards to position your brand and its products in a new light in front of consumers and customers. The final output of this phase includes a concise and clear understanding of consumer views on key new brand positioning platforms as well as the final brand positioning. This will provide and deliver an overview of consumer attitudes toward the new brand positioning, with a focus on retaining existing brand customers and acquiring new users. Additionally, it will also showcase the final “New Brand Positioning Statement,” explaining in detail the reasoning behind the new brand positioning. Phase IV—Refining The Brand Positioning and Manage- 16
  • 25. ment Presentation Now we have a great start, a new thinking, and most important the beginnings of the New Brand Positioning for your company, business, and brand. The purpose now is to review and refine the new brand positioning and communicate to all function departments in order to align efforts. The main reasoning is that it is important that everyone on the Brand Team and all function areas understand, buy into, and support the New Brand Positioning. Essentially, this will become the umbrella strategy for the brand group dictating marketing programs and tactics. As part of this final and very important phase in brand repositioning, we need to refine the positioning. This includes finalizing the brand by incorporating all feedback from consumers, customers, vendors and agencies, as well as the brand group, to ensure achievable positioning vs. aspirational positioning. The ultimate final stage results in building a strong team to carry the message to senior management and leaders within your company. This includes developing and presenting to the brand group and senior management the new brand positioning. Once the entire senior management and leadership buy into and endorse the New Brand Positioning, there is still much work to be done. The main focus now shifts from research and development to solidifying, marketing, and communication. Therefore, we need to create a “Brand Identity Manual,” which provides a clear direction on the New Brand Positioning. Most important, it describes how the New Brand Positioning will deliver growth for the business. The “Brand Identity Manual” showcases industry, competitive trends, and consumer attitudes that resulted in the New Brand Positioning. Its purpose would be to communicate all marketing research and findings, the reasoning for the New Brand Positioning, as well as deliver clear and concise brand messaging for all subsequent brand function areas, support groups, agencies, etc. The result is that the “Brand Identity Manual” ensures unifying and agreed-upon brand positioning for the entire company and support groups and functions. The final output for Phase IV is the production of a “Brandscape.” 17
  • 26. This includes a visual imagery and musical score combined to bring the New Brand Positioning to life. It can be shared with entire brand group and brand support groups to communicate new brand positioning and is a core way of communicating the New Brand Positioning to anyone in the company or anyone connected to the brand group. The reasoning is that the “Brandscape” could be used by all future brand departments as “Brand Communication Guidelines,” including packaging, marketing, sales, communications, etc. The overall purpose is to ensure consistent communication of the brand equity across any medium and by any partner. Incoming search terms: • brand repositioning 2008 • brand repositioning and brand vision com au • brand repositioning format • CV/Met consumer marketing what does it stand for • next step after brand positioning • repositioning your brand questions • step involves in repositions brands • successful brand repositioning • what is brand repositioning Incoming search terms: • brand repositioning 2008 • brand repositioning and brand vision com au • brand repositioning format • CV/Met consumer marketing what does it stand for • next step after brand positioning • repositioning your brand questions • step involves in repositions brands 18
  • 27. • successful brand repositioning • what is brand repositioning Nuture Marketing. . . I was at an offsite and heard the term nuture marketing and it was one that I hadn’t heard in a while but nuturing customers is key to establishing a long term commitment both ways, between you and your customers. Karin Schaff has a good article explain the process. Nurture Marketing: Always Being Connected by Karin Schaff Glazier The concept of nurture marketing has been around for a long time. However, with narrowing customer markets, fierce competition and an abundance of consumer purchasing options, nurture marketing is changing from a want to a critical need for survival. Much of nurture marketing involves basic common sense: Treat others the way you would like to be treated to keep in touch with prospects (new and existing customers) and develop and cultivate relationships to generate new business. Here are just a few highly valuable but simple tips you can use to begin developing your nurture marketing game plan: Know your ABCs (and Ds)! Before jumping headfirst into nurture marketing activities, dissect your prospect base into A, B, C and D accounts. Typically, the A and B accounts are where most of your revenue will come from in the near term, per your sales plan and ideal client profile. The C and D accounts are those that hold potential to become revenue-generating accounts, though not necessarily in the near term. The As and Bs typically receive personalized communication when possible. The Cs and Ds tend to receive more of what the industry calls “drip” marketing, which means activities are more general rather than highly personalized by account and contact type. 19
  • 28. Become the trusted advisor. Nurture marketing helps to establish you as a trusted advisor in the minds of your prospects—and therefore puts you at the top of their list when they are searching for or trying to make a decision regarding your type of offering. Ask yourself what you need to provide so that they will see you as a trusted advisor. Remember, your product/service information is important, but it isn’t everything. Industry reports, case studies (industry case studies as well as your own), articles, Webinar invites, etc., can also be powerful tools. These tools eventually build your nurture marketing tool kit. Execution is key. Once you have developed your nurture marketing tool kit (which should grow continuously to keep information fresh and new), start to assign activities/materials to specific prospect types (the A, B, C and D accounts). Record specific dates in your calendar when materials should be sent out to each prospect. You may not know what materials you will send two months from now, for example, but you should at least note that you will be sending something on X date. And, don’t forget about the in-person visits and outings; they are great tools to add to your nurture activities. You may also have multiple contacts per target account which value different information sent in different ways–and possibly at different times. The information sent to the A and B accounts should be personalized. Sales should lead this effort (i.e. sending an article, highlighting the important concepts, adding a handwritten note, mailing in hard copy format). Be sure to explain why you are sending the information, otherwise prospects may not understand how the information pertains to their business objectives and functional needs. The C and D accounts may receive the same information but in more of a canned/ongoing campaign type approach through mediums such as monthly e-zines or direct mailers. These activities tend to offer the same information to the same people at the same time, and the marketing department tends to oversee these efforts. Track your activities. It’s important to know what you are sending, when and why. Using technology (i.e. customer relationship management and/or sales force automation) to track all your nurture activities helps give you and others 20
  • 29. visibility into what is working, when and with whom. This allows you to continually improve your approach for better results. The tips above are only a handful of the things you can do to proactively connect with your prospects. Nurture marketing is a forever commitment that needs some basic ingredients, such as common sense, strategic planning, consistent follow through and passion for getting close to your prospects, so you can reap the many rewards it offers. Incoming search terms: • sample nurture marketing campaigns Incoming search terms: • sample nurture marketing campaigns 10 top marketing mistakes small business make – how to avoid them. Carolyn Stafford from Connect Marketing has a great report and the 10 top marketing mistakes small businesses make. Report on Marketing Mistakes1 as pdf. In summary however: Mistake #1 they lose sight of the big vision – for their life and their business. Carolyn recommends: Stop spinning your wheels. If you have lost sight of the vision for your life and your business, I recommend you get up close and personal with yourself. I think you need to spend some time working on your business and not in it. Schedule this time in every week or it won’t happen. Mistake #2 they don’t follow a plan and take a ‘scattergun’ approach to marketing. Remedy 1 ← Top10MarketingMistakes0908%20%282%29.pdf 21
  • 30. Follow this simple Step Process to get yourself a simple marketing plan as a starting point: 1. Get some marketing know-how 2. Do a marketing audit. 3. Get a marketing plan. Mistake #3 they slash (or even wipe out) the marketing budget. If you are a solo operator, I suggest you seriously consider employing someone so you can focus on working ‘on the business’ instead of ‘in the business’. The day I employed my first staff member was the turning point for my business. Suddenly I had to generate the new leads and business to fund their salary and it inspired the growth of the business. Mistake #6 they communicate poorly with the people that matter most to their business. Remedy Spend a few days going through your database of contacts. Apply the 80/20 rule and identify the 20% of people (include clients, suppliers, business associates) who are likely to give you more business or are advocates for you in some way. Then don’t wait. Call them up. Invite them out for a coffee. Don’t make it a sales pitch. Ask them for feedback on how you can improve your service to them. This is by far the best way to get honest feedback. Mistake #7 they don’t seek professional support or help until it’s too late. Remedy Review your business vision and make a list of all the kinds of professionals you could use to help you in your business. List the top three you need to achieve your goals for the next 90 days. Think aboutwho you might know who does good work in these areas. Ask your friends in business who they use for their marketing (provided of course you like the way they market themselves and they are getting good results). Do some research on the internet too. Mistake #8 they stop networking and building business relationships. 22
  • 31. Mistake #9 they stop being creative and innovative and are slow to adapt to the environment. Mistake #10 they reduce investment in technology and the internet. Remedy Make sure that a web strategy is part of your overall marketing strategy and budget. Look for an emarketing strategist to work with on your website – do NOT simply get a designer or an IT person to work on it in the early stages. Incoming search terms: • top 10 marketing strategies small business Incoming search terms: • top 10 marketing strategies small business Five small business email customer lifecycle tactics This article is by Kara Trivunovic and Andrew Osterday Published on January 27, 2009 I thought it was insightful so I thought I would share it. It’s probably no surprise that the process of acquiring new customers comes with one of the higher price tags of any of your marketing initiatives. The value of growing your customer base is obvious: the potential to sell more products or services. Moreover, increasing customer loyalty will reduce your marketing costs by providing you with a growing number of prospects and customers that can be easily and efficiently communicated with. Accounting for the following five basic lifecycle tactics for the coming year will help identify areas of focus when laying out your strategy and setting goals. 1. Target and AcquireIt’s not only about a customer database with the most amounts of records. The key is to fine-tune your targeting 23
  • 32. tactics to grow your customer database with those individuals who have a true interest in your products or services. Adding 50 new and engaged customers or prospects can have a better positive net effect on your bottom line than adding 500 prospects who might not be as interested in what your organization has to offer. Look to add to your email database with those potential customers who have the most relevant connection with your organization. In short, poor leads equal lackluster performance and added costs. Targeted growth provides you with a database of motivated customers who are not only ready and willing to open your email messages but also less likely to opt out of communications and less prone to mark your communication as spam. In an email world where your Email Sender Reputation is critical, avoiding increased complaint rates with ISPs means better in-box penetration. Those spam complaints not only harm your email reputation but also limit the number of messages that individual ISPs will actually deliver to your customers who want to receive your message. 2. Onboard the Correct WayAn onboarding program that reflects your brand, sets expectations, and confirms the appropriate customer information needs to follow industry best-practices as well. Interested prospects and future customers who desire to be a part of your marketing program are willing to share information regarding their needs. This information can be used to help grow your relationship with your customers as well as increase the trust in your brand. Create clear and easy forms that allow your customer to quickly tell you the information that they are interested in. The more you know about your customers (not just their email address) the better. Crafting email program enrollment forms that ask the information you need to execute the most relevant communications back to them is not merely desirable, it is a necessity. Keep enrolment forms easy to complete and available on every page of your Web site, and follow industry best-practices using a double opt-in confirmation method and welcome message. These messages need to be timely and reinforce your brand. Waiting too long to send an enrollment confirmation or your first message can be the difference between your prospect’s staying engaged or forgetting about you and moving on to your competition. You should also take the use-it-or-lose-it approach with collecting in- 24
  • 33. formation during the enrolment process. Collect only the information that you will use to help get the right message to the right recipient at the right time. 3. Deliver on the Promise and Serve up the Right Content Your email marketing programs should have a clearly defined purpose that your future email recipients will easily recognize in communications that they have requested. “Sign up for our monthly newsletter” means that the future recipient is expecting an electronic issue every month. Inform your recipients about when they can expect your communications—and show them examples. Providing a link to your most recent communications for them to peruse may limit the number of records that you add to your database in the short term, but as noted in the Target and Acquisition section, the value in growing your database is based on acquiring customers and prospects who are unquestionably interested in you communications. Providing the right message, to the right person, at the right time does produce results. One study over a five-year period showed that when marketers provide relevant product and service offerings to engaged customer segments, they reported an annual profit growth of about 15% as opposed to 5% for those marketers that did not take into account engaged customers and relevant content. 4. Grow the RelationshipLearn more about your customers by analyzing purchase history and Web site traffic. Satisfied customers will most likely account for a larger portion of your sales. Being able to identify the attributes of your most-engaged customers will allow you to leverage those attributes on a growing customer database. Your best customers shouldn’t necessarily be getting the same message that you are sending to your entire database. These individuals are more familiar with your brand, knowledgeable about your offerings, and amicable toward receiving targeted promotions and tailored marketing messages. Say in tune with the marketing strategies of your competition as well. You are all vying for the attention of that same customer. Knowing what your completion has to offer allows you to tailor messages that that can compete. Timely offers, tested frequency, and clear product differentiation afford your customers the ability to make purchase decisions quickly. 25
  • 34. Good customers make great advocates. You customers share common likes and interests with friends, family members, and colleagues. Relying on these advocates is often one of the easiest way to organically grow customers and subsequent sales. 5. Retain Retaining a customer has a much smaller price tag than acquiring a new one. Growing customer loyalty by 1% can be the equivalent of a 10% cost reduction, according to Bain & Company. “Catch-andrelease” marketing tactics may not provide that top-of-mind ability to keep your brand as your customer’s first choice when contemplating a future purpose. Communicating with your customers using messages that go beyond marketing offers keeps them engaged with your brand. Take into account birthdays, anniversaries, or holiday greetings. You communicate with friends and family with these types of greetings, why not with your customers? Complimentary products or services that enhance previous purchases or are aligned with customers’ previous purchasing history demonstrate that you understand them as customers and can identify what is important to them. Providing tips and tricks to help your customer’s use your product or service in more efficient ways also helps to strengthen the relationship. Keep your customers up-to-date on new products, upgrades, and updates. Reach out when your customers become unengaged. Test the way you communicate with those individuals who stop opening or interacting with your communications. Are you sending too many or too few messages? There could be many reasons that your once engaged customer acts less interested in your communications. Monitor your reporting for cues that a change may be needed. Test your theory, and apply your learnings. Incoming search terms: • email customer about new price • email customer use Incoming search terms: 26
  • 35. • email customer about new price • email customer use Funnel Vision – How to build a great business (from a good one) Great article by Hugh Macfarlane Standing out from the crowd is tough when your competitors are also working towards the same end. Occasionally, though, a business that has been doing ‘fine’ suddenly starts doing better than fine. In fact, it goes from being good to great. For some, this success is temporary and they soon slink back into the pack. A select few make a significant shift and go on to achieve sustained greatness. How does a good business become a great one? Hot on the heels of his groundbreaking work with co-author Jerry Porras on the bestselling management book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, researcher and author Jim Collins set out to answer this question. As a result, he produced an even better book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap & And Others Don’t. Collins’ team of researchers drew up a list of extraordinary companies that met three criteria – they had to have performed at or below the rest of the market for 15 years; then undergone a change; and then significantly outperformed the stock market for 15 years or more. Collins wanted to understand what these businesses had done to transform themselves into market leaders. His findings suggest there are seven keys to creating a great business. Disciplined people 1. Adopting level 5 leadership: build enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. 2. Considering who first, then what: begin by getting the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off it) and then work out where to drive it. Disciplined thought Confronting the brutal facts (yet never losing faith): all good-to-great 27
  • 36. companies began their transition by analysing the facts of their reality while being determined to rise above that reality. 4. Embracing the hedgehog concept: this entails getting clear answers to three questions: · what are you deeply passionate about? · what do you know you can be the best in the world at? · what drives your economic engine? Disciplined action 5. Fostering a culture of discipline: getting sustained great results requires self-disciplined people who take disciplined action. 6. Using technology as an accelerator: good-to-great companies avoid technology fads, but become pioneers in carefully selected technologies. 7. Creating ‘flywheel momentum’: sustainable transformations follow a pattern of build-up and breakthrough. Like pushing a flywheel, it takes effort to get things moving, but persistence builds momentum and breakthrough. In our experience, the final idea needs further examination. Momentum is a great outcome, but how do you get it? In business-to-business (B2B) marketing, organisations often come up with a great idea, try it once and then go looking for another great idea. This is fatally flawed. Not only is it hard to get good at anything this way, but the market becomes confused. Consumer marketers know that perceptions take a long time to build. They create ads and sell their message consistently. As B2B marketers, we have to do the same. Create campaigns that last for years, and execute them again and again. Refine those plans when necessary, but only after robust measurement and testing. Adhere to these rules and you’ll soon hear that flywheel humming. Incoming search terms: • what are the visions of some great companies? • marketing funnel vision Incoming search terms: • what are the visions of some great companies? • marketing funnel vision 28
  • 37. Top 10 Lead Nuturing tools Found this list on Duct tape marketing. Really good list. The following ten tools are ones that I would suggest to most any small business owner to use in tandem with a cadre of education based marketing content in the form of ebooks, audio, video, newsletters, surveys and seminars. 1. BatchBlue2 - a lightweight CRM tool with a twist. BatchBlue makes it very simple to add your prospect’s social media profiles thereby having access to their blog and twitter feeds right at the point of interaction. Really great for your journalist target market too! 2. ACT!3 - still the grandaddy of the desktop CRM software. Sage had done a nice job with the most recent release and I still think ACT!’s campaigns are the most intuitive and effective for the very small business. 3. InfusionSoft4 - this is a hybrid CRM, email, shopping cart, affiliate tool all rolled into one and not for every business, but if you have large lists to manage and want a really great tool for segmenting and targeting those lists, this is a great tool. 4. SwiftPage5 - this tool allows you send batches of email to prospects and then receive ranking reports based on how the prospect interacted with the email. Integrates with ACT! and Outlook and works for one email or many. The best time to follow-up is when your prospect takes interest. 5. Enthusem6 - this is a fairly new tool to me, but I really like the presentation. You can send a high end greeting card to prospects that sends them pick up a free report or watch a video. The system then alerts you when the recipient visits your landing page. 2 3 4 5 6 29
  • 38. 6. AWeber7 - this is low cost, but very effective, autoresponder and email service. Autoresponders have been around for some time now, but I still find them a very effective way to drip information to prospects via email. 7. Vertical Response8 - this email and post card sending service is one of the simplest to use, allowing you to send large amounts of high-impact email messages, campaigns and newsletters. 8. SendPepper9 - another tool that is newer to me, but I really like what they have to offer. Think autoresponder, but with direct mail. Someone visits you site and fills out a form and then they receive an auto email message right away and a high impact post card a few days later. The postcard further had a personal URL that sends them to a landing page to receive more details created just for them. (I use this one myself and find it great at adding rules to segment customers and send personalised messages. 9. Web Conferencing - using a service like iLinc10 , GoToWebinar11 , or Calliflower12 you can offer your prospects the ability to attend demos, peer2peer panels, collaboration sessions, or even sales presentations from the comfort of their office. Great to archive and offer in other formats as well. 10. Hand-written notes - low tech and still the greatest lead nurturing tool around. Get in the habit of sending a dozen or so a week and you’ll be hooked. Incoming search terms: • batchblue autoresponder Incoming search terms: • batchblue autoresponder 7 8 9 10 11 12 30
  • 39. Do you want to create a webcast for your web or blog at no cost? I was looking around at what was out there in the marketplace that I could use to create a video for my online communications. I found a great tool calledjing13 . This tool allows you to screen grab whatever you have open on your destkop and make a movie from it. You can add commentary to your slideshare14 presentation without paying for a licenced copy of a editing package like Camtasia studio. This tool is awesome. Only down point is it creates a large file. To make this file smaller you need to upgrade from free to a paid subscription and then you can make video footage at a small file size and it can be MP3 compatibale and u-tube ready! PS you need to subsribe to screencast15 to upload your files and share them but this is free and easy. Incoming search terms: • what applications do you need to create a webcast Incoming search terms: • what applications do you need to create a webcast Pay it forward – the basis for a great social marketing strategy Pay it forward I think is the context in which you should approach social marketing. Give to get, invest and the good-will, will spread. The saying based on the film16 has inspired a foundation17 . The premise is: It begins with doing a favor for another person– without 13 14 15 16 17 31
  • 40. any expectation of being paid back. Changing the world one favor at a time. If you helped 3 people and the next day those 3 helped 3, and the next day those 27 helped 3 more people and each day after that each helped 3 that would equal 4,782,969 IN 2 WEEKS”. Take these principles and apply them to your social marketing strategy and you will be on a winner and feel good about yourself at the same time. I love a win-win. 1. Be attentive wherever you are for opportunities to help someone. See someone who looks like they could use some kind help on your web or blog and answer them. You can change people’s attitudes about the world through your unobtrusive acts of kindness. It could be a simple as saying thank-you. Rarely do a get a personal message about my blog and how it help but it is really noticed and appreciated. 2. Do something nice for someone you don’t know (or don’t know very well). It should be something significant, and not for a person from whom you expect a good deed — or anything at all, for that matter — in return. Invest in them. 3. Spread the word. If the person thanks you and wants to “repay” you (that is, pay it “back”), let them know that what you’d really like is for them to pay it “forward” — you’d like them to do something nice for three people they don’t know, and ask those three people to do something nice for three more people. The idea is to consciously increase the goodness of the world. This might be tweeting your information to their friends if they found it useful. 4. Pay it forward. When you notice that somebody has done something nice for you, make a note in your mind to practice three acts of kindness towards other people, as described in Step 2. Some rules I follow: • Inform 32
  • 41. • Educate • Invest • Add value Subscribe18 to this wordpress Incoming search terms: • how much should i pay for a social marketing strategy • pay it forward for danielle Incoming search terms: • how much should i pay for a social marketing strategy • pay it forward for danielle 8 marketing ideas that manager of small business can do today With my clients I have found it is sometimes a slow process to build and execute the right marketing strategy, especially if we are starting from scratch. However, there are some smart tactical things that business managers can do immediately that will make an impact. 1. Elevator pitch – everyone is one the same page Resource: ← how−to−craft−killer−elevator−pitch−that.html Task: Get together an formulate on statement to describe your company and communicate it to all staff. Not all your staff can articulate your story. We can build this into your value prop as we go. Examples: “Intel, the world’s largest silicon innovator, creates products and technologies that change the way people live, work and play. Whether it’s a mobile lifestyle or a new way to enjoy entertainment at home, 18 http:// 33
  • 42. Intel is helping people all over the world accomplish things they never before dreamed possible.” Metro Pizza. Each of our pizzas is a hand-crafted labor of love, backed by three generations of experience. We believe that a true Pizzeria should be a gathering place for family and friends to relax, share great food and enjoy each other’s company. . . . .what’s your story? 2. PR – leverage your relationships • PR can shape opinion, inspire action and change minds. • PR vs. Media Relations. Not just pitching stories. PR is the art of actively managing relationships and perception. Task: Collect cards of media people you meet and start forming relationships with key industry media Example: When you are at a industry event, talk to and collect cards of media people. They are good contacts to build our PR strategy with and often give coverage based on relationships 3. Success stories – capture your success If a customer tells you have done a good job, ask if we can contact them to write about it. Task: Capture the discussion. Example: Talk with staff if they hear something good about us, collect the source as it might be a possible testimonial we can write up for our web or newsletter later. 4. Competitor insight – you probably come across your competitors all the time, are you taking notice, are your staff? Task: if you see anything your competitors are doing, good or bad, jot it down. Example: see a billboard from a competitor take down the name and url, better still take a picture. 5. Good ideas – capture the good ideas – 34
  • 43. Task: If you or your staff come up with a good idea, write it down for discussion at a marketing meeting. A bad idea is a lonely idea. Keep a small note pad with you and jot down the ideas. Example: whiteboard in the office or suggestion box 6. Customer satisfaction – a pillar of your business that shouldn’t be left to chance. Task: If a customer has an issue, document it and capture it and resolve. You can use this to improve your response over time and set up a customer satisfaction process. Example: bring up any customer issues at team meetings and set in place a resolution process. 7. Partners and associations- some of the best business ideas come from a collaboration of resources and ideas. Task: If you see a partner you could collaborate with collect that information for our meeting. Example: pizza place partnering with local cinema to offer special vouchers for customers or vise-versa. 8. Customer referral. Capture and thank. Task: Set up a system to recognise referral from a thank you letter to a gift. Eventually this would be part of your integrated CRM program or strategy. Example: note from the CEO to say that you appreciate their referral. Start doing these things and you will have a good leg up when you come to implement your marketing strategy. Subcribe19 to my blog. Incoming search terms: 19 ← dCcq 35
  • 44. • marketing ideas for cinema • what are good marketing ideas to bring up at a meeting Incoming search terms: • marketing ideas for cinema • what are good marketing ideas to bring up at a meeting Small Business Branding Webinar series This content from: Duct Tape Marketing. John Jantsch has come up with some great content here. Small Business Branding Webinar Series Over the course of the last month John has been conducting live online panel discussions with some great guests on a range of small business marketing and branding subjects. Featuring Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, and David Meerman Scott on the subject of online branding. You can listen to this session and the entire series archive here20 . Incoming search terms: • online branding webinar Incoming search terms: • online branding webinar 20 36
  • 45. How to use twitter for SMB Rita Pant has done a great diagram explaining how to used twitter. Love it! Click on image to get bigger high res image. Hubspot21 also have a greatdownload22 on how to use twitter. Incoming search terms: • why use twitter smb Incoming search terms: • why use twitter smb Do you really need a new website design? This week I have been assessing whether I need to redesign my website. Even a new client said it didn’t do me justice, but hey he is a client now so maybe it was still effective! What are we trying to achieve with a website anyway? How do we measure its success? Sure we all want it to look nice but isn’t the real measure of a successful website if it achieves your goals? What are my goals for my website? 21 22 37
  • 46. • Targeted visitors • Leads • Customers Mike Volpe from Hubspot explains some of the key measures for landing pages are in the diagram below and I agree, but I think these are measures are also relevant for your website. Mike makes a good point in his pdf23 and presentation24 Web Design tips and Tricks, when he says that “websites are about performance not looks”. I think what is really interesting is he goes on to discuss the pitfalls of redesign that might not be aparent at the start of the redesign process, something I didn’t really consider. Items like lost links, content, key words and page rank that all can be compromised by this process. Will pages have new urls and what will this mean? Will you loose valuable content for the sake of design? In essence don’t break what is working well even if it might not look fantastic. Content and conversion over classy and creative. Thanks Mike, I am going to tweek my website rather than overall the whole thing! Incoming search terms: 23 -2009_webinar.pdf 24 38 ←
  • 47. • do i need a new website survey Incoming search terms: • do i need a new website survey What a small business should look for when investigating CRM. Image credit: Most of my clients don’t have a systematic way of engaging with their customers. To be entirely correct, most of them are operating from a makeshift spreadsheet as a database. While this serves the purpose of capturing data, CRM (customer relationship management) has a much larger purpose. In its simplest form, CRM can help you track and manage the way you interact with your customers and suppliers to manage that relationship more effectively and the ultimate application use is to change the way you do business by using customer insight, transparent business operations and tracking and optimising on the fly all of your activities and interactions with the customer over their life-time. Here are some key features of a CRM software. Capturing Customer insights 1. It can be a database with more contact information on each customer. If it is all you are going to use the system for them stick with your spreadsheet. However, if you are going to use it to capture 39
  • 48. really insightful information on your customers, ie how did they find you, conversations you have had with them, their preferences, their complaints, their feedback etc then it is a powerful tool. Lead Generation and nurturing tool 2. It can manage and nurture leads and opportunities. With segmentation capability via data collection fields which gives more depth and customer insight, you can now plan an integrated sales tasks and marketing activities to manage the customer through the life cycle with your company. Tracking and planning a lead generation campaign can be a simple as a series of tasks and follow up actions or as complicated as a series of automatic contact points to nuture the lead with information, tools and advice so that when they are ready to purchase, your company is top of mind. Forecasting and tracking tool 3. Forecasting and tracking become more achievable and visible when all the leads and prospects are entered into the tool and ranked according a scale. Closed deals that flow through to accounts and into customer records can give you information on conversion rates and cost of a sale (ie sales reps time and marketing activities costs). Marketing campaigns can be tracked with tracking code on websites, blogs and emails. Integration of these business operations is sometimes an under-estimated value of capturing data, but this transparency allows you to tweak your efforts, fail quickly and re-direct your attention to marketing and sales strategies that could be more effective. Customer support As important as it is to manage and track the customer through the sales cycle, it is just as important to give the same attention to the customer service experience they have with your company. The aim should be to make this experience for the customer a positive seamless systematic approach that is consistent. To do this you need to capture customer complaints and create a work flow that allows for follow up and assign ownership of that compliant. The CRM tool can assist you with this work flow. Also, because all the information is captured in the one tool, management can have visibility to this as a metric on an overall dashboard. 40
  • 49. Business Intelligence As a manager of a small business with say ; over 10 staff and more than 50 customers, I would seriously consider a CRM software solution, for no other reason other than it will give you the business intelligence to run your business more effectively. You can have a dashboard that will give you instant access to your top customers, sales funnel and customer issues. It can help you identify potential issues or opportunities more quickly because you have visibility to all interactions with your customers. Unless you can manage this yourself then CRM becomes a very valuable value proposition. So which platform? There is no one fits all and the right CRM system for you depends on many variables including functionality and cost. I think the key is that it should be easy to use because using this software will change the way everyone does their job if it is to be successful. The adoption curve can be slow if the system is to hard to use. Money is well spent on getting in a specialist consultant to set it up and do some training. This should start with the senior management team. This ensures that everyone sees the CRM as important. A CRM software is only as good as the data entered and so this cultural change needs to happen for it to be a success. The leadership team need to be the champions. Automating as much as possible will help the adoption of the tool. Seeing some early wins for sales will help the sale force see this tool as a lead nurturing aid not an invasion of their territory. There are hosted, Server and Desktop versions of the software. I would opt for a hosted solution as it solves the remote access problem for reps on the road and there is no need for IT support in-house. This is usually a fee per month based on a user licence or a group licence. You get what you pay for so if it looks too cheap then you probably are not getting all of the functionality as listed above. I would expect to pay around $100 – $300 per month for a system that would perform the key functions as listed above and would allow additional costs for the training an consulting and set up costs. 41
  • 50. CRM is a new way of doing business and an investment in doing business with customer insight, business intelligence and marketing feedback mechanisms. See my CRM mindmap25 that lays out in a diagram the key business functions. Really Simple Solutions26 have a great whitepaper27 on 10 critical factors to consider when looking at CRM and Business-Software28 have a great download on 40 top CRM vendors that is worth downloading. So are you starting to think about a CRM platform for your business. Share your thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Incoming search terms: • investigating a small business Incoming search terms: • investigating a small business Fragmentation of traditional media channels – a real opportunity for small business Fragmentation. As consumers seem to start abandoning traditional media channels opting instead to customize their viewing via ipod, Internet tv, etc is there a real opportunity for small business to capitalise? I think so. 25 26 27 28 42
  • 51. Eric Tsai29 in his blog 3 Ways to Capitalize on the Destruction of Traditional Media and Embrace Social Media30 is on the money when he explores that people are consuming media in new ways. Eric says “It is now possible for individuals to choose from a wide variety of communication arsenals outside of the mainstream commercial system to reach the mass audience.” I would add to this that people can customise their communication experience and we as marketers and small businesses can leverage the social media explosion by having a presence in our niche. Social media allows small business to build an audience very quickly and as long as the content is engaging, educational and relevant build a loyal fans and hopefully eventually customers. Tools like twitter, blogging, podcasting, utube, flickr, etc allow you to express your brands personality like never before. They are all very low cost and easy to use and most importantly the audience for this medium is growing! 29 ← capitalize-on-the-destruction-of-traditional-media-and-embrace- ← social-media/ 30 ← capitalize-on-the-destruction-of-traditional-media-and-embrace- ← social-media/ 43
  • 52. 100,000,000 u-tube videos viewed every day! How a small business can capitalise. So as a small business you might be daunted by the prospect of entering into the social media world. Don’t be. Just pick one medium and start by listening and following. Go onto twitter search tool31 and look up your industry and start by viewing some tweets. It is a great education. Visit Alltop32 and create an account to view and participate in some of the top blogs relevant to you. Social media has made word of mouth all the more powerful. Set up a blog to discuss ideas with your customers. You can use WordPress or Blogger they are free! According to Paul Marsden and his Slideshare33 , “Social media now accounts for over 50% of internet traffic. What others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself.” Another 31 32 33 opportunity-for-marketing-agencies-presentation 44 ←
  • 53. interesting statement from the slideshare is the Lake Wobegan effect34 in which ” 80% of CEO believe they offer superior service but only 8% of their customers agree”. The blog environment is a chance for you to talk to your customers and get some immediate feedback and perhpas to realign expectations with reality. The idea I really like from Paul’s slide share is that “social media allows us to market with consumers instead than at them”. This change can quickly create brand loyalty and fan following as our customers come on the journey, buy in and promote us via viral word of mouth freely. The challenge for us is to listen to their feedback, solve their problems and pre-em pt their queries and engage in their conversations. According to Neilson 3/4 of the global Internet population participate in social networks and it is now more popular than personal email! As Rupert Murdock recently said, ”Now it is the people who are now in control”. Everyone now has an opportunity to be heard and select who they hear. Business Week35 says,” For companies, resistance to social media is futile. Millions of people are creating content for the social Web. Your competitors are already there. Your customers have been there for a long time. If your business isn’t putting itself out there, it ought to be.” 3,000,000 tweets on per day 34 35 ← tc20090218_335887.htm 45
  • 54. Companies doing it well. Virgin36 with the entrepreneur pitchtv37 and ask Richard directly section on their web. This interaction with their customers is just another point of differentiation for the Virgin brand. Starbucks38 is doing it right also. They want to hear your ideas. You can vote on ideas submitted and make suggestions. In this way they are letting you guide their business and that makes a whole lot of sense. The whole community has an opportunity to influence the 36 37 july-09 38 46 ←
  • 55. products, atmosphere, locations, merchandise, social responsibility policies, just about everything to do with the Starbucks brand. Nike39 has built a great web space that converts the traditional web into a hub of ideas and education segmented on each customer group. They are trying to give the visitors tools that they can use in their fitness campaign and thereby build a community and customer engagement. Do you have any other examples of companies doing social media well? Please share. See previous blog - How to leverage social media – SMB40 . for more ideas. 39 40 ← -the-new-word-of-mouth-how-does-smb-leverage-it/ 47
  • 56. Incoming search terms: • fragmentation of media channels • effect of fragmenation of media channels • fragmentation in media channels? • fragmentation of traditional media • reason for the fragmentation of media channels Incoming search terms: • fragmentation of media channels • effect of fragmenation of media channels • fragmentation in media channels? • fragmentation of traditional media • reason for the fragmentation of media channels Jim Collins on Good To Great Stages of building great companies. [vodpod id=Groupvideo.3002497&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0% more about ” Jim Collins on Good To Great41“, posted with vodpod42 Incoming search terms: • Google Jim Collins survey Incoming search terms: • Google Jim Collins survey 41 danmac 42 48 ←
  • 57. Maybe it is time to audit your business and marketing strategy? Before you know where you are going you need to know where you have been. I find with clients I need to do a audit of their business and objectives before I can understand how to help them with their marketing. When was the last time you had a look at your business and objectives? Maybe my marketing objectives map43 will help in exploring how to revisit your marketing objectives. Once you have looked at your overall business then you can go through your marketing objectives and refine them so they are all assisting your business overall strategy. Online marketing business survey44 Even just reading this survey will help you know the right questions to ask when marketing any business on-line. The key to really great marketing strategy is information. Understand your business, your market and customers. Then you can make intelligent informed decisions that will offer you the best return on your marketing investment. Look at how you collect information today on these three areas and see if you can refine it. The better 43 44 ← business-survey/ 49
  • 58. your touch points the better the information. Surveys, calls to customers, talking with your staff for improvement suggestions and monitoring your competitors are all great ways you can increase your market intelligence. How do you collect information about your customers, market and your business today? Incoming search terms: • business audit Incoming search terms: • business audit Start with the vision I have been working with a client over the past few months and we have been going back and forth with marketing strategy and in the end we have had to come back full circle to what is their vision. It has made me ask many questions. Here are a list of strategic questions you need to answer before you can move forward in implementing any marketing strategy. Make sure you get all of these sign off and right. It is worth spending the time on these as it will ensure that your objectives are right and then you focus on the right strategies to execute. 1. Our purpose – what we do? 1. Our vision – what we want to be known for? 1. Our mission – single minded focus of a goal? 1. Our value prop – why our customers choose us? 1. What is our culture – who we are? 1. Our values – what we stand for and believe in? 50
  • 59. Incoming search terms: • danielle vission Incoming search terms: • danielle vission Your personal Brand – do you know your core value proposition? The other day a work colleague asked me for some feedback on their personal value proposition or personal brand. It struck me as a really good idea. Just like a corporate brand it is what others say and how they perceive you that amounts to your personal brand, not what you think necessarily. However, knowing yourself is very important when establishing your personal brand. Your authentic self should shine through and this allows you to be the best you can be. What is a brand from Wikipedia: Some people distinguish the psychological aspect of a brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service or personality. 51
  • 60. Why do we need to do this? •Establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field. It establishes your expertise, authority and value. •Build a solid reputation within your industry. •Increase your notoriety and improve your perceived value in the marketplace. •It sets you apart from your competitors. •It reflects your core values, personality, talent and skill set. •It increases your credibility, especially if you can harness the power of the media. • It creates a success spiral that can boost your health, wealth and career. How do we do this? We need to know who we are and what our strengths and weaknesses are. •Your values •Skills •Talents •Leadership style There are lots of tools and resources out there to help you accomplish this. Myer Briggs tool : •− ← win/JTypes2.asp 52
  • 61. Feedback – candid feedback from your friends, staff and peers You can do a 360 profile that provides feedback depending on your role or just ask for it continually. The is a group that can help develop your sense of self. Having a mentor or as Keith Ferrazzi45 states: ” isn’t about changing who you are. It’s about enlisting others to help you become the best you can be”. Keith’s philosophy is all about creating an inner circle of “lifeline relationships” – deep, close relationships with a few key trusted individuals who will offer the encouragement, feedback, and generous mutual support that every one of us needs to reach our full potential. To build a personal brand based on credibility the formula is: Competence + Character + Consistency = Credibility What is your area of competence? What is your character? How are you consistently true to these things? Once you understand what you stand for and what you personal value proposition is the you need to market it. Marketing your personal brand can be as simple as knowing you are and being transparent about it or can involve a marketing plan 45 53
  • 62. for yourself to establish your credibility with the audience you are targetting. Resources: Personal branding blog46 Marcus Buckingham47 Mashable: Personal Branding 101.48 Personal Brand vid49 Luke Harvey Palmer –personal branding blog50 Small Business Big Marketing podcast51 Incoming search terms: • Personal and corporate values • Personal Value Proposition • brand core values personal • personal values • best practices for website personal brand • survey monkey marcus buckingham • personal brand • who are you at the core for Building your Brand • what is a core value proposition • value proposition • building a personal brand rain today 46 47 48 49 tommytrc-Grow-Personally-to-Succeed-Professonally.aspx 50 51 54 ←
  • 63. • building a personal value proposition • personal value proposition for customer service • core value expert • personal branding best practices Incoming search terms: • Personal and corporate values • Personal Value Proposition • brand core values personal • personal values • best practices for website personal brand • survey monkey marcus buckingham • personal brand • who are you at the core for Building your Brand • what is a core value proposition • value proposition • building a personal brand rain today • building a personal value proposition • personal value proposition for customer service • core value expert • personal branding best practices 55
  • 64. Profiling your ideal customer Surely a starting point for any small business is to profile their ideal customer. I mean have a clear vision of who they are. More than just a vague idea. The clearer you are able to describe your ideal customer, the greatest chance of you being able to attract them, maintain them and have them as devoted customers for the long term. Here are some questions that will help you with this process. The ideal customer exercise Work through this simple exercise to get to know the needs of your ideal customer. I know what you’re thinking: “I’m not going to do this exercise! I’ll just skim past it. I already know this stuff.” I’ll bet you haven’t really thought through all the details of what your ideal customer’s life is like, and what he really needs, but if you do, you’ll be much more able to assist him, to answer his needs, to attract his attention with your marketing messages. Your ideal customer is the one who not only buys your product or service, but who buys it and uses it with passion. Your ideal customer is the one who really wantswhat you have to offer. The ideal customer doesn’t just use your product, she/he lovesyour product. She doesn’t just purchase your service; she feels that she couldn’t live without it. Our Ideal Customer Fill in the blanks below for your one individual ideal customer. Age gle Gender Married Kids Job description Income level: Car he/she drives Where he/she shops Favorite song: Likes/ dislikes: Books/magazines he/she reads: 56 Sin-
  • 65. Pressures/stresses he/she has: Business/career goals he/she has: Personal goals he/she has: Needs he/she has that relate to your organization’s product or service: What is he/ she worried about? What are their greatest challenges or points of pain? Who do they trust? Exactly what do they want from us? Preferred method of communication? Understanding your ideal customer even if this means paying a consultant to run a workshop can be the best marketing expenditure you ever do. Make your marketing effort work by focusing on more of the right customers and less on the wrong ones. 57
  • 66. Know where they shop, what they read, how they like to communicate and then tailor your marketing mix accordingly. Yes, it is that easy! Rain Today have a great podcast on identifying a universal lead to find ideal clients. Have a listen52 . Incoming search terms: • describe your ideal customer experinece • describing your ideal customer • decribe your ideal customer serivce job • describe your ideal customer experience job • Describe your ideal customer experience? • describe your ideal customer exprience • ideal customer profile for consultant • marketing customers • Using mind maps to create an ideal customer profile Incoming search terms: • describe your ideal customer experinece • describing your ideal customer • decribe your ideal customer serivce job • describe your ideal customer experience job • Describe your ideal customer experience? • describe your ideal customer exprience • ideal customer profile for consultant • marketing customers • Using mind maps to create an ideal customer profile 52 .cfm 58
  • 67. Reasons why your customers buy from you. If you are wondering why you customers DO buy from you marketing guru Laura Lake has some good ideas which I add my own thoughts to. 1. They are aware of your product. GET THEIR ATTENTIONConsumers purchase products they are aware of. Your target customers know about your product . You targeting the right market with your message. Your message is reaching those that have an interest in your product. This does not mean you are doing more marketing, but you are suing the right marketing vehicles for your target customers is key. 2. They understand the benefits of your product. THE VALUE PROPOSITION IS CLEAR Consumers don’t buy products solely based on price. Now, this does not mean that they don’t factor in price, they do. Consumers buy based on the benefits your product brings them. You have asked your customers what the benefits of your product are, and you know. This is important. Your marketing is centered on these benefits so your consumers take an interest in purchasing your product. You know the top three benefits of your product and you use those in your marketing message. 3. They feel your product has perceived value. WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME Consumers will buy products that they perceive as having a value. You use the benefits of your product to create a perceived value and it is that perceived value that helps in the sales of your product. You create that perceived value in your marketing message. 4. They see how your product meets their needs. HOW DOES THIS PRODUCT HELP ME Consumers know how your product meets their needs. They know if it make their life easier, save them time, make them feel better? You know what need our product satisfies. You 59
  • 68. don’t make them guess or come up with the answer on their own tell them, you help educate them on why they need your product. 5. Your product is accessible to them. HOW DO I FIND IT? Consumers buy what is available to them. If they hear about your product and it is accessible, they will consider it. Consumers want ease in obtaining and using your product. You make your product accessible to them. It is in different locations. It’s offered online. 6. Why should I buy from you including any other option I have, including the option of doing nothing? Today people have defaulting to doing nothing. Not a compelling message that drew them in and do something. 7. Better sales people – consistently throughout the sales process in the customer voice communicated why this product or service was important to their business and the value it had to them in resolving their business issues. (Huthwaite) 8. You understand your customers. Why do your best customers buy from you? What stories did you use in the sales process that reasonated with them? Why did they choose to buy from you? The information is in your customer’s head. Great webinar on value propositions53 from Steve Rankel Steve talks about sales friction. How to create a killer value proposition – it is a crystral clear statement about your product or service that: 1. Solves a problem 2. Delivers some benefit 3. Improves their situation 53 ← ← KVP%20Jigsaw%20webinar%20follow-up&emailID=321&jobID=120 60
  • 69. Delivered in a compelling way that gets you to the next step. . . Incoming search terms: • reasons for customers to buy from you • consumers buy products that they perceive makes their life easier • why should i buy from Incoming search terms: • reasons for customers to buy from you • consumers buy products that they perceive makes their life easier • why should i buy from How to write great customer success stories image source: A customer success story can be a great marketing tool. It immediately creates credibility with your target market. It gives the prospect a taste of what you are about and what to expect, and it can be the tipping point turning a prospect into a customer in their decisionmaking process. Firstly some best practices for customer success stories: The purpose of a customer success story is to impact the buying decision. To create a compelling testimonial that prospects 61
  • 70. will identify with and decide to contact you or if provided as part of a proposal convince them that they are making the right decision. 1. Are you focusing on the right customers? 2. Are you writing the best stories? 3. Can your sales team and its prospects find the most relevant stories on your website? Can they search by industry, business need, segment etc Marketing role 1. You must match your customer success stories to your target markets. 2. Does your sales team have the references needed to support your key services and products? 3. Industry – do you have the reference sites in the industries you are focused on? 4. Are the success stories targeting the same size business? 5. Do they reference the geography you are targeting? 6. What audience are you targeting, business or technical – who is the ideal customer reading these stories? 7. Use compelling headlines that resonate with your target market. 8. Use your staff quotes on the experience as well as the customers. Incoming search terms: • how to write a customer stories • how to write customer sucess story • how to write success stories best practices Incoming search terms: • how to write a customer stories 62
  • 71. • how to write customer sucess story • how to write success stories best practices What a marketing consultant does? It has come to my attention that in small business there is a misconception about what a marketing consultant actually does? Maybe this is in part because many people believe marketing is just advertising and creating brochures. Well, I can’t speak for other marketing consultants but I can help you understand what I believe the role of a marketing consultant is. In my practice the main role I provide is to help your business understand the problem you solve for your customer. How does your product or service make their life easier, faster, more efficient, more enjoyable. In understanding how you can meet their needs you can serve them better and provide better value. This is the best marketing you can do for your business. Happy customers are likely to refer others and thus the business grows. This role of customer insight is a critical role for an effective marketing consultant. To have a real empathy for customers isn’t something you can fake, you either have it or you don’t. 63
  • 72. The other role that I play is to help you uncover what your customers think of you. This insight helps you choose the right marketing strategies to grow your business. Give them more of what they want. This is often about creating some sort of customer insight process be it survey, customer feedback box, ringing key customers every month for a chat or providing another way for them to connect with you, perhaps online forum. Sometimes I help you identify who you should be targeting with your product or service and who you shouldn’t. This process helps you identify the best spend and get the best return. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, you can focus your attention on your ideal customers. This clarity of focus, can make a real different to your marketing activities. Consulting often means looking at your strategies to grow and building a marketing and sales model that will support your growth. Basically, I help you generate more enquiries from your ideal customer group. Once you have their attention, it is then all about showing them why they should buy from you and ensuring that the experience is a good one. A good place to start is building some insight about your customers (using a database) understanding and mapping out their buying cycle and building an integrated sales and marketing approach to each target customer group. Most small businesses don’t have a documented plan. What they are trying to achieve with their business (their vision) and how they are going to get their (the execution). I help provide a strategic sound board to get this down on paper (not in your head) so we can track and measure how we are going and ensure that we learn from our mistakes. I also focus the attention of the small business owner to work on their business rather than in it. Marketing is all about viewing the business from the customer perspective and you need the time and space to get into this mindset. Insights and brainstorming that come from this sort of head space can often lead to inspirational thoughts and processes that can have a dramatic effect on the business and how it responds to customer needs. 64
  • 73. So as you can see marketing consulting is more than choosing the right communication approach for a campaign. It is a strategic partnership with a business owner that is all about nurturing the customers they have and creating more similar customers for the future. Incoming search terms: • customer insights consulting • manta Six Step Consulting • role of a marketing consultant • role of marketing advisior in business • roles of a marketing consultant • what a marketing consultant does • what is the role of a marketing consultant • whats a marketing consultant Incoming search terms: • customer insights consulting • manta Six Step Consulting • role of a marketing consultant • role of marketing advisior in business • roles of a marketing consultant • what a marketing consultant does • what is the role of a marketing consultant • whats a marketing consultant 65
  • 74. Meeting unmet customer needs, creates market leadership Chip Conley54 in his book Peak uses Maslow55 to define how companies should be reviewing their marketing strategy. Basically he asks a couple of key questions. One taken from Peter Drucker is for companies to ask: What business are we in? And what are the unrecognised needs of our customers? Conley then gives some great examples how companies have moved up the pyramid to delight and surprise customers by doing some creative thinking and mind reading to exceed their expectations and gain a brand passion. He talks about Apple and Target as examples of how to use the Maslow framework to understand customers and their desires. 54 55 66 ←
  • 75. It might be an idea to put your company into the framework and see if you are more enlightened by this exercise. Incoming search terms: • unmet customer needs • customer jobs • customer unmet template • meeting customer unmet needs 67
  • 76. • meeting unmet ends • unmet customer needs framework Incoming search terms: • unmet customer needs • customer jobs • customer unmet template • meeting customer unmet needs • meeting unmet ends • unmet customer needs framework Sales readiness – how ready is your sales team? Research from the Training Industry56 has come up with top 5 issues that sales teams face. Top Five issues 1. Value propositions that differentiate you from the competition 56 68
  • 77. 2. Translating products and services information into solution stories 3. Elevating messages to the executive buyer 4. Assessing and responding to customer needs 5. Handling objectives Great audio57 from the American Marketing Institute and a talk from Corporate Visions or video58 on the research. The basic premise is that marketing and sales need to work together to create the right tools and messaging that will make the best impact. Here is a link to my slides59 on creating sales and marketing integration. Incoming search terms: • sales readiness template • strengthen your sales and marketing readiness Incoming search terms: • sales readiness template • strengthen your sales and marketing readiness Have you hired a marketing consultant as small business? If you have I would love for you to fill out my survey60 and I will collate the results. 57 58 ← =0&tx=corpv&sid=59652851&sky=D4160EBB1BA048819B61590F409ADF2A 59 ← workshop 60 ← consultant/ 69
  • 78. Executive Summary from a My Yardstick Professional Satisfaction Report on Management consultants found the following results: For the year 2009, 74% of participating businesses were satisfied, 7% were dissatisfied and 19% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with their business/management consultants. Reasons for dissatisfaction over the last 12 months, in descending order of significance, were: Reactive not proactive 11% Other 13% Poor service 12% Do not understand my business 16% Do not add value 26% High costs 22% I would love to find out more about how you found, use and how valuable your marketing consultant is to your small business. Please fill in my short survey61 and I will share the results. Incoming search terms: • dissatisfied with web site marketing consultant Incoming search terms: • dissatisfied with web site marketing consultant 61 consultant/ 70 ←
  • 79. Tribal Leadership – book review I have just finished listening to Tribal Leadership62 on audible. I wish I had it 12 months ago. My philosophy ( and I am still fine tuning it every day) has been born from creating great relationships with everyone I meet. I really try to listen and learn as much as I can. As a consultant I have a great need to do the same. I have been reading hungrily over the past few years and have been really motivated by Keith Ferazzi, Stephen Covey, Patrick Linceoni, Chip Conley and now I can add Dave Logan, John King, Halee Fischer-Wright. What I really loved about this book was how it centred on values being at the core of creating a great culture. I have found this to be true and it is where I choose to focus a lot of time with my clients. I really like the question: ” What are you proud of?” as way to help draw out the values and link them to actions. Like this book I have spent many sessions with one company refining the values. The stepping stone they need to make is to involve their people and embody them. This is a challenge to a company that has held information tightly at the top. What a great experience when this happens. The ideas, the teamwork and the excitement as the company rallies around what is truly important to them. 62 71
  • 80. Using these values to build a value proposition is also key to the strategy of the business. Let me just say, it takes a special person to see the intangible benefits of putting in this groundwork but having books like Tribal Leadership out there certainly help the cause tremendously. Thanks Guys! Incoming search terms: • philosopy tribal management • tribal leadership review science Incoming search terms: • philosopy tribal management • tribal leadership review science Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005 This is one of the best video speeches I have heard in a long time. It is about following your inner heart, about living for your dreams and doing what you love. Steve Jobs63 more about ” Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Spee. . . 64“, posted with vodpod65 Incoming search terms: • steve jobs stanford marketing why not what • steve jobs 2005 stanford commencement address 63 ← speech-2005 64 ← speech-2005 65 72
  • 81. • steves job commencement spee Incoming search terms: • steve jobs stanford marketing why not what • steve jobs 2005 stanford commencement address • steves job commencement spee What is your secret sauce? Are you memorable or boring? Are you safe or unpredictable? In small business it is important that you are creating something your customers feel compelled to shout about. How do you do this? What is your secret sauce? Well I believe it has something to do with the customer experience you provide. TheDijuluisgroup66 is a company that focuses their efforts on creating world class customer service organisations. Let’s face it; there is so much choice with products. Just look at the supermarket shelf and the choice of different sorts of bread, milk, yoghurt or tea. Everything has become commoditised. The real last point of differentiation is your service or more so the customer experience that you deliver to your customers in a consistent delightful way. Everyone will say that they have great customer service but interestingly as John DiJuluis points out that is an internal view point and when you ask your customers you might be surprised about how they rate your service. Most people however only notice your customer service when it is bad. If you screw something up, believe me it is memorable! Customer insight is a key. dijuliusgroup Customer experience speaks more to this secret sauce. It is about your companies culture and focus on delighting the customer at every touch point. How do we personalise their experience. How do you deliver 66 73
  • 82. your experience to the customer currently? If you are not sure how you stack up why not take some of the surveys on the dijulusgroup site. They have one for the organisations customer experience67 aptitude and one for the individual68 . If nothing else it will make you think. Two key questions to keep in mind. 1. You can make price irrelevant. John tells the story on Jay Ehret Power to the small business69 of two hairdressers. One had a sign in his window “HAIRCUT ONLY $10”. The salon across from them was a totally different salon and had an average haircut cost of $50. The suggestion was to put a sign in the opposite window saying “We fix $10 haircuts”. The challenge to make price irrelevant is to create a haircut and an experience that is so different is like taking a 60 minute holiday. 2. Create a fantastic customer experience everytime. Imagine instead of charging $100 per hour for a consultation you charged $1000. Now note down what you would do differently and do it. Make the experience exceptional. Look at how I create an exceptional experience.70 Dan’s Quick tips: Use the customer and your name a few times when on the phone. Add some value by doing your homework before you meet a potential client, the web is an awesome tool for this Ask your customers for feedback every chance you can and act on it, own it, improve it. Incoming search terms: • danielle vsauce • danielle from vsauce 67 68 69 T13_43_14-08_00 70 74 ←
  • 83. Incoming search terms: • danielle vsauce • danielle from vsauce What is a brand? Key functions What is a brand? company. The collections of perceptions about your Brand is not just a packaging, tag-line and logo. Brand is every interaction with your customers. The perceptions your customers have about your brand, influences whether they choose you over a competitor. Brand is more than a logo Do you have brand recognition or awareness or just a corporate identity with a logo. Many small businesses spend a lot of time on their logo or website without considering the messaging to the target audience to 75
  • 84. see if it will resonate and any time promoting their communications. A brand is not just visual, it is behavioural. Are you listening to your customers? I bought an Apple Mac computer this week. Until then I had a Dell and had been very happy. The support was fantastic, they were proactive with their sales calls and not pushy. Despite enjoying my Dell laptop it did get viruses and I didn’t feel as cool as I might. I even stuck on a Apple logo on my Dell saying to clients ” I want to be an Apple computer”. So you get the picture. So the time had come and I ventured into their Chadstone store. The store the atmosphere and the branding everywhere made you feel like you were somewhere special. The uniform of the staff being hip and the furniture and layout super cool. Then I met a salesperson called Clay. He was helpful but not energetic like I imagined a Apple person to be. I felt like I got the right technical advise but the service left me feeling ripped off. First I asked Clay if there was anything else I needed (perfect up-sell opportunity). I thought at the end of the conversation I had everything only to discover when I got home I didn’t. I didn’t have the extra software I asked for and I didn’t have a mouse which I think is key. What’s more the 1 to 1 registration that we did for extra support in the store had locked me out on my new computer at home. All of this I could live with but then I experienced more dissatisfaction when I went back into the store for the second time in 2 hours. This time Igor told me I had to bring in my old laptop with my new laptop so they could see how long the appointment time would be for support which I then had to book! Holy cow, totally rubbish support and not only that, apparently wrong. I spoke with another salesperson when getting my wireless mouse and he (Chris) said I could book the support/ lesson on line. Come on Apple what is going on. I tell this story because Apple have nailed their physical brand. The logo, tag, store and salespeople appearance, but it all is devalued the moment you experience less than satisfactory customer service. Someone needs to start training these geeks in customer service fast!!! Interesting also is there is no where on the Apple website to make a customer compliant. Not at all promoting the right image in assisting customers. 76
  • 85. Brand attributes: for a brand to do its job well it should have the following benefits. • Recognition/ awareness: Does the market know you exist? Have you heard of x company? • Top of mind awareness: memorised your brand • Brand preference: choose you over others, they need what you do. They like you. • Differentiation: they believe you are different to the other choices. Remember the famous McGraw Hill ad from about 30 years ago? The one with the grumpy, old man saying, “I don’t know you. I don’t know your company. I don’t know what you stand for. Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?” Brand can help give you sell you service by providing a level of trust and comfort in the eyes of the customer. What does branding do? 1. Branding – draws clients to you and gives you opportunity to meet face to face with customers. 2. Brands pulls everything together in a cohesive package which gives the your business a visual identity. 3. Brand can make price less of a consideration in the buying cycle. 4. Brands increase sales effectiveness. Brands help generate leads. It makes lead generation programs work better. 5. Brands helps you beat the competition. 6. Brands facilitate repeat purchases as customers prefer to buy from you. 7. Brands attract the best candidates. 8. Brands increase value of a company. 77
  • 86. Brands have many long term financial benefits. So as a small business think about brand as more than the physical elements and put as much effort or more into the messaging about what you stand for and delivering the brand promise to your customers. Insight taken from Professional Service Marketing71 by Mike Schultz and John Doerr Incoming search terms: • functions of a brand • functions of brand • brand function for customer • brand functions • brand functions for customer • key functions of brand • THE FUNCTIONS OF BRAND Incoming search terms: • functions of a brand • functions of brand • brand function for customer • brand functions • brand functions for customer • key functions of brand • THE FUNCTIONS OF BRAND 71 78
  • 87. Optimising your press release for SEO Why do you want to optimise your press release? 1. It can rank highly in google and other search engines 2. This can increase links to your site and website visibility Keys to remember in optimising your press release: 1. Identify the press release target audience and goal. This will help focus the key words. 2. Know your audience’s pain points will boost your changes of getting found on search queries 3. Do your key word research. You can use Google key word research tool for this. 4. Use these key words in the heading, subject summary and throughout the article 5. Don’t over do it so it sounds unnatural. 6. Add keyword rich links and a landing page to your site. 7. Add relevant multimedia as this increases click through rates 8. Use the social book marketing ie twitter, faceboook to increase the drive to your release 9. Keep your release easy to read and brief 10. Submit it to PRwire and other pr services online. Incoming search terms: • optimising a press release Incoming search terms: • optimising a press release E-marketing approach is more effective than just attending networking events! “An e- marketing approach will generate far more leads, is less time consuming and you can target a much wider potential market. 79
  • 88. Customers want value first and welcome the ability to ‘test drive’ your product first – your website is where they can see and do this. It is also the best place to develop a strong business relationship. A ‘must’ is to 1. Provide customers with free stuff - i.e relevant articles, links, offer free advice etc. The purpose of the free stuff is to entice them to give you their contact email address. Golden rule : You must get their ‘permission’ to use their email address in order to make future contact. The free stuff helps to do this ! 2. Build rapport. Send regular personalised email . . . Dear John/ Mary. . . focusing your messages on benefits of doing business with YOU. Provide ‘did you know’ type advice. In essence – Build TRUST 3. Statistically it is proven that if a customer sees benefit in your product / service then after 5 contacts they tend to buy. 4. Always focus on benefits, offer product guarantees i.e ‘if you don’t like, full refund guaranteed’. e- marketing and emails is powerful, cheap and direct. It will take a long time to build this type of rapport with a customer solely attending network events to get customers” Couldn’t agree more with this from Matthew Geraghty72 from Linkedin Small business Online community73 . Incoming search terms: • benefits of attending networking events • e-marketing approach Incoming search terms: • benefits of attending networking events 72 ← key=52733900&authToken=bMuI&authType=name&trk= ← anet_mfeed_profile&goback=%2Eand_54772_20282395_ ← 2_1%2Eamf_54772_52733900%2Eand_54772_20282395_*2_* 73 ← =&discussionID=20282395&gid=54772&commentID ← =16675600&goback=%2Eand_54772_20282395_ ← 2_1%2Eamf_54772_52733900%2Eand_54772_20282395_*2_1%2Eamf_54772_52733900&trk=NUS_DIS subject#commentID_16675600* 80
  • 89. • e-marketing approach Prospect Plan – where’s yours? According to Simon from Sandler training74 most businesses might a financial plan and maybe a marketing plan but many don’t have a prospect’s plan. This is an issue because activity creates the opportunity for sales. Activity moves the prospect to a potential customer. Simon explains there are several activities that classify as sales activity inclusing ” Networking, social media, cold calling, asking for referrals, giving talks, seminars, trade shows, writing articles, posting press releases, email blasts” Simon explains the different between compenent and possers as sales professionals. “Professionals have a plan and they execute the plan. Imposters (aka “order-takers”) wait by the phone, hoping it will ring. Some will wait by the computer, hoping the next incoming email is their ticket to riches. When asked about prospecting, they make excuses about being too busy, “putting out fires” with existing accounts. Or they say they have too much paperwork and reporting to do, or blame poor marketing materials. Order-takers are great at rationalizing poor prospecting performance.” Simon has some good questions you should ask as a small business owner. 1. If you are a business owner or partner, how well have you done making rain? 2. If you have a sales team reporting up to you, which team members are real hunters, and which are order-takers? 3. Do you know the difference? 4. Which ones are better compensated? 74 81
  • 90. 5. Are changes in order? Having a list of activities that incorporates a sales and marketing approach can improve the chances of converting prospects to customers. This plan will also help work out what approach is more successful so you can do more activities that work. Be it cold calling, emailing, success stories or bundling offers, this planned approach is an under valued approach that can ensure that your prospects can followed up and given the information and incentive to buy. As a small business owner how do you create activities that move potential prospects down your sales pipeline. Here are some suggestions: 1. Do some follow up with anyone you have formed a relationship with. Send them an email with some valuable information. Phone then and ask them if they have a need for your product/ service. 2. Focus on some prospects that are likely to have a need and then offer them a taste of your product or service to move them to an interested prospect. 3. Send the interested prospect a proposal and follow up with a call. 4. Invite your prospect out for a coffee. 5. Start networking at a local event to find more prospects Here are some other tacts from CJ Hayden from the Raintoday website75 . 1. Write articles. Putting your expertise in writing and sharing it with publications your target audience reads is a powerful—and very professional—way to let more people know about your unique talents. Submit your articles to magazines, newsletters, ezines, blogs, or websites that serve your niche and watch your visibility grow. If you aren’t a strong writer, hire professional help to edit or even ghost write your compositions. 75 .cfm 82 ←
  • 91. 2. Speak at conferences or events. Appearing as a speaker allows you to broadcast your expertise to three different audiences: the people who attend your talk, the people who are invited by the sponsoring organization but can’t attend, and the people you tell about it before and after. If standing in front of a room makes you too nervous, serve on a panel of experts instead. You’ll get to sit behind a table and speak from notes. 3. Do media interviews. Being interviewed for magazines, newspapers, blogs, radio stations, or television programs can spread the word quickly about your capabilities. Landing interviews is not that hard to do if you remember to start small. Begin by approaching easy targets like association newsletters, neighborhood newspapers, lesser-known bloggers, or local cable programs and talk radio. 4. Tell stories. One of the secrets to effective articles, talks, and interviews is to tell stories about your clients. When you describe your clients’ challenges and accomplishments, you reveal the value of your role in helping them without having to boast about it. You can use the same technique in sales presentations to prospective clients to boost your credibility without appearing arrogant. 5. Ask for and use testimonials. Whenever you do a good job for a client, ask them to write a simple thank you note describing what you did to make them happy. Then make their kudos available on your website, brochure, or other marketing materials. Let your clients tell others about your brilliance, and you won’t have to say it yourself. 6. Build a portfolio. Artists and writers aren’t the only ones who should capture their best work in a portfolio. You can collect photos, graphs, spreadsheets, reports, project schedules, program outlines, and other evidence of your accomplishments and display them on your website, in a marketing kit, or in a PowerPoint presentation. You don’t have to sell people on your abilities when they see for themselves what you can do. 83
  • 92. 7. Create products. Packaging your work into merchandise that prospective clients can take home and sample gives them a compelling way to discover your real value. Products like ebooks, audio recordings, and home study courses allow you to showcase your expertise and increase your credibility. They can often be advertised more widely than your services, giving you yet another avenue for getting your name known. Incoming search terms: • prospect plan • how to classify prospects and sandler • PLAN to prospect potential customers Incoming search terms: • prospect plan • how to classify prospects and sandler • PLAN to prospect potential customers Top 5 must haves in your marketing tool kit It seems to me common sense but unless you live and breathe marketing all day everyday maybe some basic marketing tools just aren’t on your radar. Here are my list of top 5 must haves in your marketing tool kit. 1. A description of your ideal customer. Why? Because then you don’t waste time and money focusing on customers that aren’t going to buy off you and don’t really want your service or product. Profile your ideal customer in detail. Understand their needs and wants. Write down their problems, issues and challenges. Write down what solution they are seeking to this problem. This will help with the next tool. 84
  • 93. 2. Create a One page sheet on your product or service. Give prospects a taste of what to expect. It doesn’t have to say everything you provide, but it must give them enough information to want to learn more. What do they get when they work with you? What are the results? If you meet someone and they want to know more about your product or service what do you give them? 3. Be the expert. Create some education information that will be useful. Not only does this improve your credibility but provides the prospect with a chance to taste your service. It could be a article, some tips, a template or some advice. Be a resource and educate your potential buyers. 4. Provide the proof. It is not enough to say what you do, you need to prove it. Have some testimonials, success stories and customer quotes to back up your promise to potential clients that put them at ease. 5. Create a relationship. You need to capture potential customer names so you can start to build a relationship. You need to create a sign up form on your website (maybe to your top tips of the month). You need to collect business cards at a networking event. You need to refer people to be referred. Start networking and building relationships. Networking is all about looking to see how you can help first. Ask questions and build real relationships be it online or face to face. These tools might seem very simple but I bet you can improve your marketing tool kit today. Incoming search terms: • top 5 small business marketing tools Incoming search terms: • top 5 small business marketing tools 85
  • 94. 5 top tips for top Google listing Many of my clients pay for google ad words. I find google ad words can be a waste of money (left hand side of page below). It can be effective but it needs to be so targeted to ensure that the customers clicking on your ad are really likely to buy your services. I think it is much more effective to improve your chances of getting found on the organic search (right hand side) on google. So how do you do it? Many would say you need to get the services of an SEO expert. I say no. No one can guarantee you a page 1 listing in the organic search, at least not for long. This is a constantly changing landscape. However there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of being found. Here are my top 5 tips for getting a top google ranking. If I can do it so can you. 5 TOP TIPS FOR GOOGLE LISTING 1. Think like your customer when constructing your website. Look up key words that are descriptive of the service you deliver and words that your customers would use in their search. Use key words once in the title and a few times on each page, in bold if possible. Use a tool like Google key words or compete76 . This will allow you to filter those words that are heavily competed for and those that aren’t. Then choose the words that you think give you the best chance of exposure and pepper them through your home page and site. I used marketing and marketing plans. In the visible page text, include words users might choose as search query terms to find the information on your site. Don’t forget to use your geography to narrow your customers to the right location. Don’t be all things to everyone if you want to attract the right customers. 2. Creating valuable content and updating it gives the search engines a reason to crawl your site and the more links you have to your content then the more likely Google is going to rank you higher. Having headings that describe the content is important. Answer 76 86
  • 95. customer questions. Link your blog on your website so the information is constantly updating. Be careful. Web pages that use Flash, frames, Java applets, plug-in content, audio files & video have content that search engines cannot access. Once you have that valuable content post it on other sites so you can link back to your own site. Pick sites that have a high authority if you can (valuable to our target audience). 3. Submit your site to search engines that are relevant to your customers. This also increases the chances of your site being found. As SEOMOz explains “Search engines have four functions – crawling, building an index, calculating relevancy & rankings and serving results.” SEOMoz77 is another great site to visit to learn the basics of SEO and they have a pdf download which is useful. 4. Look at your overall website SEO. The key words, subject heading, picture tags. The more information you can give Google when it crawls over your site the better you will be ranked. You can use Hubspots website grader78 to give you an indication of how to improve your site. 5. Do your own analytics. Don’t believe any SEO company that says they can guarantee you a 1 page google listing. It is impossible. Sites are updating all the time and so it is a constant moving landscape. Instead keep on top of key words and have an google analytics account so you can adjust your approach by monitoring your client visits and more importantly your conversions. It doesn’t matter how many people visit your site, the real measure is how many end up being a real prospect that you build a relationship with. Have a way of capturing these potential customers. Tools: Google Analytics Keyword Tool79 Google Insights for Search80 77 ← optimization 78 79 80 87
  • 96. Google Keywords Traffic Estimator81 Google Trends82 WordTracker Free Keyword Suggestion Tool83 Keyword Density Tool84 Compete85 – to check your website against your competitors SEOMoz86 – learn more about SEO Website grader – grade your site and make changes to improve SEO Incoming search terms: • how do I get a top 5 listing on google • how to get top 5 listing on google • can I increase my small business google ranking • google listing tips • photo of top google rank • top 5 goals for google ranking Incoming search terms: • how do I get a top 5 listing on google • how to get top 5 listing on google • can I increase my small business google ranking • google listing tips • photo of top google rank • top 5 goals for google ranking 81 82 83 ← t=Free%20%20Keyword%20Suggestion%20Tool 84 ← &t=Keyword%20Density%20Tool 85 86 88
  • 97. A design brief template I was working with a client today and she has engaged a designer. It struck me that many designers don’t provide a good design brief template for clients to use. This seems like a no brainer to me. I have scanned the internet and here are the key points of what a good brief for a design of a logo, website, brochure should contain. Project title: Project background: Objectives/ purpose(s)/desired response. Existing marketing to be aware of: Existing guidelines to follow: • Format required • Creative concepts • Design work • Artwork • Copywriting • Size • Style or look and feel; Funny and casual, What do the audiences believe or think, before you start communicating with them? What tone and imagery should we use to engage them? Specific visual goals? Budget and delivery schedule: What are you providing the designer with: Product shots, website screen shots, photographs, diagrams, etc. (Check these are highresolution.) Text General description of format: Describe any formatting issues you have arranged with the printer. Description of target audience: Occupation, gender ratio, average age, nationality/location, psychological demographic, lifestyle preferences. 89
  • 98. Message objectives: Hierarchy of copy messages, treatment of headlines, body copy, visuals, product samples, call-to-action. Messages from Features, Benefits and values List top features and/or facts about the program, service or organization, and its value to target audiences • How do these stack up against the competition? • If you could get one sentence across, what would that be? How would you prove it? • Other major points? Where to look for inspiration: Give brief examples of style / overall look you want the item to achieve. What aspects of the product or branding can be used as a starting point for the design? What feelings or metaphors reflect the spirit of your product or company? What not to do: Also give examples of what the design shouldn’t include and what styles to avoid. Incoming search terms: • design brief template • product design brief template • design brief • design brief example • design brief layout • design brief templates • Sample Design brief • template design brief • design brief template example • logo design brief template • design brief sample • design brief examples 90
  • 99. • graphic design brief example • design brief format • web design brief doc 2010 Incoming search terms: • design brief template • product design brief template • design brief • design brief example • design brief layout • design brief templates • Sample Design brief • template design brief • design brief template example • logo design brief template • design brief sample • design brief examples • graphic design brief example • design brief format • web design brief doc 2010 91
  • 100. 70 of the best small business marketing applications – most free In the last 5 years I have come across some of the best marketing tools for small business and the incredible thing is most of these are free or at a very low cost. I want to share them with you! It is such a good time to start a business because many of these applications allow you to run your entire business at a very low cost and achieve things that only a few years ago, just large corporations could do. The tide has seriously turned in favour of the small business. Link to my pdf – 70 of the best small business marketing application tools87 If you have some more to add I would love to know about them. Please post a comment below. Incoming search terms: • best small business internet app • business marketing apps • best business marketing apps • top small business marketing software • best marketing apps for small business • what are good business apps • small business applications • top marketing apps • best small business application of 2010 • top small business software • online marketing tool for smb 87 Apps.pdf 92 ←
  • 101. • marketing applications business • best ap for marketing small business • small business marketing software • link:www taskseveryday com/ Incoming search terms: • best small business internet app • business marketing apps • best business marketing apps • top small business marketing software • best marketing apps for small business • what are good business apps • small business applications • top marketing apps • best small business application of 2010 • top small business software • online marketing tool for smb • marketing applications business • best ap for marketing small business • small business marketing software • link:www taskseveryday com/ 93
  • 102. How to give your customers a taste of you to win more business One of the greatest techniques for moving potential customers along the buying path is to give them a taste or sample. Products sampling has been around for years. Supermarkets with special tastings, mailbox samples of the latest coffee or shampoo. How then has this sampling technique evolved and how do you as small businesses use this taste or sampling technique to promote your business? I have been collecting some of the best ideas for giving your customers a taste of your product, service and you. 1. Offer it for free. Having a free entry level offering and getting your customers to fall in love with your service or product is a great way to help your customers along the buying path. Wufoo88 is a example of with their free surveys entry version. Their software was so good, that I upgraded twice and now using their mid level offering because my experience was so good with the software. Highrise89 a CRM tool gives you a free trial period and then scales its’ offering. Packaging your offering so that customers can see the whole package range is a great way that customers can compare offerings. 2. Animated Overview is a clever way to get cut through and communicate your product or services key features. Create a does this effectively with their avatar dvd, all the while demonstrating their obvious technical expertise. This must give the viewer the confidence that their software is built by good IT geeks! 3. Download a video is another way to give the potential customers a taste of you. Sometimes it is your personality and other times it might be demonstrating your product or service in a more compelling way than text. Mailchimp91 a email auto-responder uses video to give views a tour of their software while Dropbox92 uses hand drawn 88 89 90 91 92 94
  • 103. characters to explain how Dropbox can help you work better. The value proposition is loud and clear with these visual demonstrations. 4 . Download valuable content. Guides, tools and other value content given for free is a great way to give prospects a taste of you. It is also a great way to collect names and generate a mechanism for follow up. Search engine optimisation software provider SEOmoz93 does this well on their site where they give away tools and tips for free, as does Marketing Software expert Hubspot94 . 5. Draw attention and go viral. Blend it did this well with the now famous u-tube displaying the blender, blending a iphone. This footage demonstrated the product capability but also showed a sense of humour and did something to draw attention to Blendtec95 by creating huge awareness of its brand. Another good example of a viral campaign is Earth hour. This project started with 4 people in a pub and spread to every corner of the globe via social media. Earth hour96 shows the power of communicating in a compelling way to get people onboard. 6. Be authentic. Social media has has created customers conversation with us with forums, tweets, and many other mediums. Social media has taken word of mouth to a whole new level. Those companies that can show themselves to be authentic and inspiring, can differentiate themselves an give customers a reason to engage with them. The Red Balloon97 team who sells experiences online, by showing a video of the internal workings of their office, give viewers a taste of what it would be like to experience one of their packaged adventures. 7. Connect. If we can get to know, like and trust you, then we can believe you and what you are selling and will buy. Chris Brogan98 social media expert has made a career out of connecting with others and being himself. There is no sugar coating. This authenticity and 93 94 95 96 97 98 95
  • 104. his connection on facebook, twitter and his blog enables us to really connect with him. So maybe take a leaf out of the examples above and see how you can package a little taste of your product, service or yourself. It might just be the smartest marketing strategy you ever try! How do you give your customers a taste of you? Love to know. Incoming search terms: • level of acceptance of product free taste sampling to customers Incoming search terms: • level of acceptance of product free taste sampling to customers Why small businesses need a marketing plan! If you are a small business, chances are you don’t have a marketing plan. Most of you walk around with a idea in your head of what you want to achieve. Some probably do some ad-hock marketing and wonder why it is not working or worse still, do nothing but pray for referral business. You need a marketing plan makes because it makes your marketing activity more effective, which means your business is more successful. 96
  • 105. I guess you know whether or not your marketing is inconsistent and ineffective? If not you should with all the metrics and tracking tools available. The key thought you need to have is “do I want a continual flow of new customers to my business, do I need a program to keep my existing customers happy. Is marketing and sales part of my business model?” If the answer is yes then you need to get it on paper ASAP. Here are some reasons why you need to get it documented It makes it easier to do it! A marketing plan makes it easier to do your marketing because it helps you market in a consistent way. Anything we do on a regular basis becomes much simpler and faster to do. You also get into action because a plan will break your marketing tasks down into smaller tasks. Don’t feel overwhelmed about tackling marketing. It save you time and money Taking the time to sit down and create a marketing plan will save you time and money in the long run. That’s because you don’t have to waste time scrambling around every time you try a new marketing activity – your marketing plan lays out the steps you need to take. A plan also helps you be more focused which means you work smarter and faster. Being focused also means that you don’t get distracted and waste time and money on tactics that seem like a good opportunity but don’t really fit your marketing goals outlined in your marketing plan. It will help you keep customers Because your plan keeps you focused and saves time, you don’t have to sacrifice client relationships due to inability to make time to follow-up with customers or create new products and services that would appeal to your clients. It will bring in more prospects and clients Having a marketing plan ensures that you constantly are attracting new leads and clients, because you’re actually marketing your business! There is no way around it – marketing is how you grow your business. 97
  • 106. It will help you run a successful and profitable business A marketing plan will give you time, money, freedom and focus – all necessary ingredients to a successful business. It will also save your sanity and reduce your stress – so you can enjoy your work and your business! So why not get started today! I have some free tools99 to get you started. Incoming search terms: • businesses that need marketing • marketing plan Incoming search terms: • businesses that need marketing • marketing plan 5 keys to designing a killer website! Most small businesses clients have a website that they did years ago and now many are looking to redo it. The main driver for this decision is the recognition that a website is a lead generation tool and that 83% of Australians’ look online prior to purchasing so a website has never been more important. Here are some consideration that will make it more effective. 1. Attract the right customers – This means think about them when you are designing your website. What do they want to find out? How ease is it to find the information? What do you offer to give them a taste of your service? Companies that do this really well attract a lot of their ideal customers. Don’t try and be everything to everyone. Be selective and be persuasive. 99 98
  • 107. 2. Get found. Make sure the site is built with optimisation in mind. Key words and tags are one thing but having great content and valuable content will help. 3. Build it so you can update it. You need to use a CMS system. WordPress is great because you can optimise it easily and change the content quickly. Other CMS systems might be more difficult to manage so make sure to play with a text site before you sign up! 4. Websites should be a lead generation platform. You need to think how you can achieve this for your site. What can you offer your customers so they will leave their details. A calculator, whitepaper, e-book. Something of value so you can collect names and nurture a relationship. 5. Websites are constantly changing and measured. Use google analytics and see what is working and what isn’t. Then make changes. Great take ways from Rain Today interview with Ben Hunt a web designer who wrote Save the Pixel: The Art of Simple Web Design100 . “I think the biggest mistake that service providers make online today is all standing toe to toe—all standing together in a flock like sheep,” Hunt says. “The question is what is your thing? What do you want to be known for? What do you want to mean to people? And you need to get that message to come across straight away as soon as people arrive at your website.” Do that by having a website design that is simple, clean, and enables you to communicate—not one that makes use of every bell and whistle yet still has visitors wondering what it is you do or, more important, how you can help them, Hunt advises. “If you think it through, nobody’s interested in your company. Nobody is interested in your products or your services. Nobody is interested in what you do or how you do it. The only thing that any of them are interested in is what’s in it for them. Your home page needs to make a proposition. It needs to call out to the visitor and say this is what’s on offer here. Give a reason to notice you; give 100 99
  • 108. a reason to read more,” Hunt says. To listen to this podcast click here101 . Incoming search terms: • designing a killer web site Incoming search terms: • designing a killer web site How much do you care about your customers? Show me the love!! The DiJulius Group102 is a site I love because they are so passionate about customers. John DiJulius a recognised authority on customer service, recently blogged about a survey that was conducted in the US and eleven other countries exploring attitude and preferences customers have toward whom they spend their money with based on the customer service they experience. Here are just a few of the findings: 1) 61% will spend an average of 9% more when they believe a company provides excellent service 2) 81% of consumers are likely to give a company repeat business after a good experience 3) 52% will never do business again with a company after receiving a poor experience 4) The three most influential factors when deciding which companies they do business with include: o Personal experience (98%) o A company’s reputation (92%) 101 .cfm 102 100
  • 109. o Recommendations from family & friends (88%) 5) Just about half of consumers use online postings/blogs to get others’ opinions about a company’s customer service reputation. This is powerful information and it is worth thinking about how much you care about your customers because it is that care factor that is needed to give fantastic service. To go the extra mile you really need to do more than just meet their needs you need to delight them, surprise them and anticipate them. Here are three questions you need to be able to answer: How do your customers feel about the service or product you provide? What is it’s value to them? What do they think of your brand? How do you continually aim to delight your customers? Start talking to your customers. Check your answers with theirs. WOM is now so fast via social media that they are talking about you, but are you listening? Set up a google alert for your company name and individuals in the company. As a small business you can ask your customers for feedback quickly, easily and afford ably. A simple call, survey online using wufoo103 or focus group could give you great information on how you can CARE about your customers more and grow your business. John talks about the levels of customer service on his site. 1. Have an incredibly strong Inspirational Service Vision- a service brand promise that instills the service passion in all your employees o ”Even when it’s not our fault – it is still our problem” I love that. Going to use it. o The Answers“Yes”, now what’s the question 2. Servants Culture- find, attract and only hire people who have the ServiceDNA 103 101
  • 110. Entire team is fanatical about customer service Employees police each other 3. The company is World Class in Team/Guest/Community/Homewalk the talk in all areas of ones life Team loves where they work Great place to work Great corporate culture Community involvement is a major core value How do you show that you care? Love to know. My local coffee shop show by remembering my order and having just about ready when I come in for my Chai latte in my own special cup! Gotta love that. I read that some Zappos sent shoes express to customers when they only ordered normal postal service and said, “we got it here fast because we wanted to surprise you”. Got to love that also. What can you do to delight your customers today? Incoming search terms: • customer service expert dejulius • do you love your customers • customer insight • what do you love about customer service • showmecustomers com • my story of delighting your customer • love your customers • how to show love and care for customers • how much is a love service • do your customers know you love them • do you love the service business or not • what I love of consumer insight 102
  • 111. Incoming search terms: • customer service expert dejulius • do you love your customers • customer insight • what do you love about customer service • showmecustomers com • my story of delighting your customer • love your customers • how to show love and care for customers • how much is a love service • do your customers know you love them • do you love the service business or not • what I love of consumer insight Use hyped long sales landing pages and prepare for the backlash! I am really sick of seeing those landing pages with pages of text on why this is the next big thing you should invest in? Why you can attract a gazillion new customers by just buying their audio book, coaching sessions or latest e-book! Don’t they get it? If you have to use hyped up language sound the warning bells: FAKE, FAKE, FAKE!! Now Brian Clarke from copyblogger104 says Yes, long copy works, but keep these two things in mind: 104 ← letter/ 103
  • 112. • Long copy works because with certain types of offers, people want as much information as they can get before committing to the purchase, and • Copy is the basis of audio and video as well as textual information. Agreed, but what about this hypey text “HOW TO “SECRETS OF ” REVEALED!” WARNING: DON’T EVEN THINK OF YOU . UNTIL WAIT, THERE’S MORE. . . . YOU ALSO GET Can you believe people are doing this! I have no problem with landing pages or mini websites and in fact that makes a lot of sense to tailor your message or offer to different segments. I have a problem with long winded promises that are unlikely to be factual. These long form of sales pages that require endless scrolling and lots of hype to sell a product really annoy me and no doubt many prospective customers that are looking for really valuable information. The sales hype I hate the most is contrived testimonials and obvious manipulation of information. The question is do these pages work? I am sure that they convert customers and many people get sucked in but I am not convinced that many of these sort of products or services do what they promise to do. What ever happened to providing information about what you provide in a authentic way and let the product or service speak for itself? Surely you can identify the problem, provide a solution, show some credibility and the benefits the solution has to offer with out a wordy contrived 5 page letter! I say boycott hyped up long sales landing pages. Love to see some examples. 104
  • 113. Incoming search terms: • long landing pages work • sick of landing pages Incoming search terms: • long landing pages work • sick of landing pages 10 of the best free marketing e-books for small business I love to download free e-books especially if they provide awesome ideas for small business. I have put this into a pdf105 with links to 20 of the best I could find that I am allowed to share. Love to know if you have found any great ones! Incoming search terms: • best free marketing • top small business marketing books • top marketing books for small business • best free marketing tools • business and marketing pdf books • free marketing books • video marketing for small businesses free pdf • small business e-books • the best emarketing books for business • top 10 marketing books for small business 105 ← books.pdf 105
  • 114. • top marketing books for consultants • marketing textbooks pdf • marketing books pdf • john r dijulius ebook pdf whats the secret • Hope is not a Strategy Rick Page pdf download Incoming search terms: • best free marketing • top small business marketing books • top marketing books for small business • best free marketing tools • business and marketing pdf books • free marketing books • video marketing for small businesses free pdf • small business e-books • the best emarketing books for business • top 10 marketing books for small business • top marketing books for consultants • marketing textbooks pdf • marketing books pdf • john r dijulius ebook pdf whats the secret • Hope is not a Strategy Rick Page pdf download 106
  • 115. Small business marketing survey 2010 I conducted some online research last month and wanted to share the results. Here is the url page106 . Summary of the findings. (26 responses) 1. 53% had a marketing plan but over 11% didn’t and 30% were planning one. Of those that did have one, 38% said that less than 50% got implemented. Not a great start. 2. 40% were not happy with the leads they were getting and nearly 12% were not sure how many they were getting! 15% were getting a enough leads but they were less than ideal. 3. Most are spending between $300 and $500 on marketing a month. 4. The most popular marketing activity is networking either face to face or on social media and looking a website content. 5. Biggest frustrations are not knowing what to do, what is working, not having enough time to do marketing. Doing tactics like ad-words with little return and keeping up with the new marketing technologies. Having a wide target market and being able to market to them with a set budget. 6. The most effective marketing included: • mixed approach to marketing to the target market • Face to face networking • Google ad words SEO • Promotional offers • Referrals • Building networks in new ways (social media) • Word of mouth 106 ← marketing-survey-2010/ 107
  • 116. • Trade shows 7. Of those who were surveyed nearly 60% didn’t have a database. 8. 34% never ran any promotional lead generation activities 30% ran something 1 or 2 twice a year! 9. Most businesses recognised they need to spend time on marketing and the average was about 5 hours a week. If you want to do the survey107 too and add your thoughts, please do. My key take aways: 1. If you want to attract the right customers you need a plan. You need to know who they are and where to find them. You need an integrated approach. THIS WILL SAVE YOU MONEY AND INCREASE YOUR MARKETING EFFECTIVENESS IMMEDIATELY. Referral and word of mouth are good but mostly passive solutions (unless you have an active referral program). Marketing is all about being strategic and attracting your ideal customer to your business, not waiting for them! 2. If you try and be everything to everyone you will not only dilute your marketing spend but you will not be effective in attracting your ideal customer! They will not look at your website, google ad, and say “yes, that is for me!” They will simply pass you by for someone offering them exactly what they want. 3. You need to understand the value you offer your customers. It needs to be clear. Once you have this, then communicate it, not who you are first. Remember it is all about them and not about YOU! 4. Google ads can work but as part of an integrated approach. It is a waste of money if your site isn’t optimised. Google ads might get you a lot of eye balls but what are you really measuring, conversions to customers! 107 small-business/ 108 ←
  • 117. 5. I can say with confidence it is worth engaging a marketing consultant to improve your communications with your target market and the strategy for attracting them! Don’t bang your head against a wall and spend $500 month, not knowing if it is even working! This is a sign of insanity! 6. What gets measured gets done. You should know what is working and what isn’t and stop what isn’t! It is important to tweak your approach constantly. 7. I would plan 50% of your marketing spend on working out the plan, what to say and to whom and 50% implementing it and doing it. Strategy is important. 8. If you don’t have any offers of value to your customers ( and no I don’t mean discounting) then you are missing an important element of your promotional mix. It could be a free download to customers that is useful, it could be a special bundle or extra customer service. 9. GET A DATABASE now! This is an important part of lead generation. You never know when customers will be ready to buy from you. This is an important asset you could be generating. 10. Do what you do best and delegate the rest. If the average business owner is spending 5+ hours a week on marketing that is 5 less hours they are spending on running the business. Outsource this because it is likely you are not a marketing expert and chances are your time could be better spent elsewhere. If you are running a small business and need some marketing advice, please visit my website108 and fill out my Complimentary Business Growth Strategy Survey109 . If you are my ideal client, I will do a session with you at no cost. Another survey on small business110 spend by Alex Terry of Zoomerang had some interesting stats. 108 109 ← growth-strategy-survey/ 110 109
  • 118. More than one-third of business owners responding to the survey already make social media part of their marketing mix. Of those who use social media tools, Facebook was the most popular, used by 80 percent. Next came LinkedIn (37 percent) and Twitter (27 percent). Overall, 13 percent of business owners plan to increase their social media spending next year. Here’s where else they will be spending more: • Website • Direct mail • E-mail marketing • Print ads • Online ads • SEO + 17 percent + 15 percent + 15 percent + 10 percent + 9 percent + 4 percent The bulk of small businesses’ spending increases is slated for their online marketing avenues. However, the one method most entrepreneurs say they rely on above all others is good old word-of-mouth. Eighty-six percent of business owners said word-of-mouth is important to their companies. Asked what specific kinds of word-of-mouth marketing matter to them, 70 percent cited in-person networking, 50 percent said customer referral rewards, and 34 mentioned cited social media. Also significant: event marketing (21 percent) and public speaking (20 percent). One fact that saddens, but doesn’t surprise me: Just 54 percent of businesses surveyed have a company website. I’m still amazed how many small business owners fail to take advantage of this crucial marketing tool. With word-of-mouth increasingly being spread online, entrepreneurs who rely on it will fall behind if they don’t have at least a basic business website. Of those respondents who do have a business website, 80 percent use it to provide “general information,” 45 percent use it for customer 110
  • 119. service, and 30 percent use it for e-commerce. Just 13 percent blog on their site. Sensis111 also have a survey on small business. Worth looking at the social media section on page 21. It is also interesting to see how SMB use the website and how they believe it has increase their effectiveness. I believe this chart will change in the next 12 months as the market matures and SMB discover how to convert customer traffic more effectively with targeted landing pages and compelling offers. It is worth downloading the free e-books on the sensis website. The new one is called Sustainable Growth112 and the Small Business Big Opportunity Guide113 is another good read. Both are free downloads. Tweet114 Incoming search terms: • email marketing survey 2010 • recent business marketing survey • smb marketing survey • marketing surveys companies • percentage of marketing spend that gets measured • personal branding stats for business owners • how to create an internet marketing survery • small business and customer surveys • small business needs survey • small business survey 2010 Incoming search terms: 111 ← Business%20Report%20September%202010%20FINAL.pdf 112 ← -book/ 113 114 111
  • 120. • email marketing survey 2010 • recent business marketing survey • smb marketing survey • marketing surveys companies • percentage of marketing spend that gets measured • personal branding stats for business owners • how to create an internet marketing survery • small business and customer surveys • small business needs survey • small business survey 2010 Make your website your marketing hub E-Myth115 has done a really great interview this week with an awesome marketer Cameron Madill from Synotac.com116 a web design company. Packed with great ideas that every small business should listen to in how to make your website as a hub of your business marketing strategy. The premise is that marketing has changed. It no longer works to put an ad in the Yellow pages. Marketing has evolved and now the web site is the hub that ties all your marketing tactics together. You know this to be true. How many of you Google something you buy it? How many of you google someone before you met them or search for them on LinkedIn or Facebook? The world has changed and now customers and our clients are in control. It is our job as marketers to ensure that we join their conversation, provide value and nurture relationships until they are ready to buy from us! Key take ways for me are: 115 marketing-hub 116 112 ←
  • 121. 1. Understand your clients needs and make your website content customer friendly. This means the web need to talk to your customers. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU. It should be benefit focused. What does your site say? It should use words like you and your (tool to use to check the content) 2. 5 components that drive traffic to your website – paid search, organic search, word of mouth (referral or organically) offline media (tv, radio, print – tied to customer url on your website) mobile devices. You need to be using these tools as a base to drive traffic to your site. 3 Attractors which are email marketing and social media: these mediums will drive traffic to your website over time. Email list will direct prospects back to your website. 4. Tracking your leads via CRM software. This is important because it captures leads and nurtures them and measures your marketing effectiveness. It also allows you to segment your customers and so communicate with them in a more compelling way. I use zoho.com117 and it is free for up to 3 users. 5. Pull marketing is where you are attracting people to your marketing with valuable content or offers. It often amazes me how many small businesses have no call to action, no sign up to collect the names of visitors to their website or blog. If you don’t have a call to action you are missing out on capturing valuable leads. Push is advertising or interrupting the customer and this marketing is becoming are much less effective. 6. You need a content strategy to manage these content channels. You a need a plan of what makes sense for your customer and lead generation needs. You can use integration tools on wordpress to syndicate your communications through many mediums. 117 113
  • 122. 7. People buy benefits so that is why customer benefit copy is so important. Why should you customers care? Always give people more ways to engage with you and your brand. As Cameron states if the only way people can engage with you is to pick up the phone or fill out your contact us form you have limited yourself to this very narrow slice of your visitors. Most people who come to your website will not be ready to buy your service or product on the spot! They are not ready to buy. At any one time only 3% are ready to buy right now. So the way to engage with potential customers is to give them something of value so you stay top of mind and you form an ongoing relationship with them. This is a really important point. I often say that the call to action on your website or blog needs to be of high value. This is the first taste that your potential customer will get of you. Give them a reason to start a relationship, a dialogue with you. 8. Google analytics118 can help you discover how well your site is working but you need to set it up properly so you can see the conversion between visitors and leads. Test so you can see how you can be more effective. Use google website optimisizer119 . Tweet120 Incoming search terms: • undefined • Should your web site be the hub of • your marketing hub website • wordpress as your communication hub • website hub for marketing • make your web page your marketing hub • website is your marketing hub 118 119 =3832472&hl=en 120 114 ←
  • 123. • website is the hub of your marketing • social media marketing hub for small business • how can you as a marketer make your company website a marketing hub • make your website your marketing hub • make your website the hub • make companys website a marketing hub • how to make a website a marketing hub • how to amke your website the hub Incoming search terms: • undefined • Should your web site be the hub of • your marketing hub website • wordpress as your communication hub • website hub for marketing • make your web page your marketing hub • website is your marketing hub • website is the hub of your marketing • social media marketing hub for small business • how can you as a marketer make your company website a marketing hub • make your website your marketing hub • make your website the hub • make companys website a marketing hub • how to make a website a marketing hub • how to amke your website the hub 115
  • 124. 5 steps for creating a marketing plan for small business As we start the festive season and wind down at the end of 2010, a small part of us should be looking towards next year. How can we keep our businesses growing? What can we be doing now that ensures a steady stream of ideal customers in 2011? Here are my 5 steps to creating an effective marketing plan for your small business in 2011. 1. Write out your goals for this coming year. I like to use a audit chart with my clients. Where are we now and where would we like to be? Then we run through a set of questions. Once you have your big goals you need to break these down into small achievable tasks and prioritise them. To do my marketing audit click here.121 2. Focus only on your ideal prospects and existing customers It is time to narrow your focus and build a plan around your ideal prospects. It is no good trying to be everything to everyone. FOCUS. Ask yourself, who is my ideal customer? and build a marketing plan just to attract those customers. I think it is important to focus on existing customers first and then potential customers. remembering the 80/20 rule. So if you have a database of existing customers start with them first. When was the last time you communicated with them, offered them something of value? Christmas is a perfect time for giving! 2. Put it on paper. So many of you walk around with lots of ideas in your head. Force yourself to put it on paper. You need the suggested marketing activity, i.e ad, mail-out, email campaign, event. Then the cost. What will the return be. i.e leads, sales? Who will implement this activity? Remember better to do a few things well 121 checklist/ 116 ←
  • 125. than many things poorly. Plan out the whole year so you can see exactly everything you are going to do. Then make a call on what to dump. Don’t do too much. Do a few things really well and if you have it on paper then you can see what you are doing and what is working and amend on the fly. You can purchase my marketing action planner here122 for $10 Bargain that will give you a great template to use for your small business in 2011. 3. Do a survey It is important to understand your customer and staff needs. This is always a good time to ask for feedback as it can shape ideas for the coming year in terms of incentives for staff and ideas from customers to improve your service or product offering. Doing a simple online survey or making a few phone calls can really make a difference to making a great marketing plan. For a survey done for you for $100 email us today and we will take care of the rest at 4. Be different In order to create awareness you need to gain attention. Trying to come up with some creative ideas and campaigns for your business throughout the year can be the difference between a promotional campaign working and falling through the cracks. 5. Measure the results You need to evaluate everything you do in a marketing plan. Look at what you did last year. What works? What didn’t. Be flexible enough to change so that you can do more of what works. If you don’t a very clear return on a marketing activity that you are doing then STOP! Google Analytics will help you see what is happening on your website. Every campaign should have a call to action that you can measure. Are you ready to get serious? MacInnis Marketing Minute123 – emails once a week with marketing quick tips 122 123 117
  • 126. Free Marketing Tool Kit for Small Business124 – 8 weeks of information and training to help you understand marketing and the best tools as a small business to use. MacInnis Marketing Coaching Packages125 – several packaged options to have me as a coach on line either email or email and phone correspondence to assist you with you marketing challenges. Online marketing business survey126 – Even just reading this survey will help you know the right questions to ask when marketing any business on line. Tweet127 Incoming search terms: • crazy woman • steps on branding not-for-profit • crazy looking woman • picture of crazy woman • steps in creating a marketing plan • Amend marketing plan • questions to ask when creating a marketing plan • questions when making marketing plan • steps online marketing plan • steps to a great marketing plan • steps to take when creating a small business • What are the five steps in creating a marketing plan? • questions to ask businesses when doing a marketing plan? 124 125 ← coach-online-packages/ 126 ← business-survey/ 127 118
  • 127. • questions to ask before devising a marketing plan • crazy pictures Incoming search terms: • crazy woman • steps on branding not-for-profit • crazy looking woman • picture of crazy woman • steps in creating a marketing plan • Amend marketing plan • questions to ask when creating a marketing plan • questions when making marketing plan • steps online marketing plan • steps to a great marketing plan • steps to take when creating a small business • What are the five steps in creating a marketing plan? • questions to ask businesses when doing a marketing plan? • questions to ask before devising a marketing plan • crazy pictures 119
  • 128. Build your small business from the inside out. Personal development is the best investment you can make! My favorite thought leaders all sprout about it. They are all over this concept of understanding yourself and then building from that point a solid foundations of a personal and then company brand. Some call this self awareness, self actualisation, understanding your mindset, inner core, your value system or inner believes. Tom Peters128 , Dr Stephen Covey129 , Michael Port130 , Jeanne Bliss131 , Chris Brogan132 , Gary Vanderchuk133 , Seth134 or John DiJulius135 . What do all of them have in common? I believe that they have grasped the fundamental starting point for a small business to be successful. The key is simple; know yourself and the values you bring on board as the owner. It is your very values that determine how your business culture, how you interact with staff and customers and influences the decisions you make. It seems like a small thing, but believe me, self awareness is underrated as a powerful differentiators when building a successful company. Building this culture, this underlying feeling, buzz, atmosphere, that is so hard to replicate, is integral to building your brand and attracting your ideal customers. Building your small business should start with you. It has too. Understanding you and your values and then building your business from that core base. It is these attributes that inevitably shape your brand. A word of caution. When I have worked with small business owners haven’t fully understood or resolved from their core values, their businesses always have problems. The cracks start to show very early with 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 120
  • 129. staff and then customer relationships. Not only is it difficult to run a great business when your values aren’t clear and communicated but it is more difficult it is to market and position a business where the personality is not crystal clear and this is determined by behavior and values. You need to be authentic. I think the larger questions for you is, how well do we really know yourself. Personal development is one of the best business investments a small business owner can make. Understanding yourself, your staff and your customers. How can we learn from some of the thought leaders who understand the concept of being authentic and true to their inner calling and values. Take a walk with me through some of the influencers in my life since running my business. Of course all the above mentioned thought leaders are a brand in their own right but they didn’t start out that way. Take for example Gary Vanderchuk. Personally I love Gary, but not everyone does. I love his authenticity. What you see is what you get. I value of authenticity resonates with me. He reminds me of my sister Nat who is so open and black and white about things. This trait of Gary’s for being frank, coupled with his enthusiasm and energy (not to mention a lot of elbow grease) has catapulted his brand and his Wine TV show136 to legendary status. He has been true to his inner voice, warts and all and attracted raving fans because it it. Now he is not for everyone, but it is clear that he stands for something. I highly recommend his book Crush it137 to get you all pumped and make you not sleep because you think you have been too slack, but a great read. What do you think your staff say about you? Your customers? Jeanne Bliss has a great website called Customer Bliss138 . Great videos on this website. It is clear to me that Jeanne has innate empathy for people. She just gets it. She understands the value of being customer centric. She talks about “your story”. What is 136 137 ← =1290648000&sr=1-1 138 121
  • 130. being said about you because of the decisions you make and the actions you take. Bringing this level of self awareness to business is a much needed area of business development. This “software” that Tom Peter talks of, is often overlooked. Yet as a small business owner “your story” is even more important because the relationships we form with our customers are often more intimate than in larger businesses. Did I mention that the About Us page is the top searched page on most websites. People buy off people they like, know and trust. What does your website say about you, your story? Dr Stephen Covey139 has always approached his area of expertise from a pragmatic approach and uses human psychology and compelling story telling to package his teachings. The reason he is so successful is he has followed his inner voice to do what he does best and that is to teach. Even today he is using more an more mediums to communicate his learning to others. His 7 Now 8, habits are principles to live by and are ingrained in his value set. Intrinsically, we know that they make sense and appeal to our better nature as they are simple concepts. However, it is Dr Covey story telling that brings these concepts to live. The “green and clean” story will stay with me for life a story about how he taught his son to look after the lawn and take responsibility for something at a young age. Dr Stephen Covey I have only recently discovered Michael Port140 and recently read his book on audible How to book yourself solid. Michael is clearly a very nice person. He cares. Full stop. He has invested so much of himself to build his consulting business and the reason he is so successful and will continue to be is that he is invested. His latest venture called Think Big Revolution141 – it is all about thinking bigger about who you are and what you offer the world. It is a really great premise because it is a mindset of abundance which I love and a Pay it Forward mentality which is equally appealing to me. Michael is 139 140 141 122
  • 131. a successful businessman and entrepreneur no doubt but I bet he measures part of his success in the way he is able to serve others which is why this is part of his story. Michael Port It is why he does a 1 hour collaborative coaching session for small businesses very week142 . You have got to love that and what he stands for. What do you do for your customers that shows them that you care? Chris Brogan is known as a great blogger. I really love the way he shows so much of himself in this blogs and even better his u-tubes. Love his book reviews. Chris has positioning himself as a social media expert but has a totally human practical approach to his view point. Kind of like John Jantsch from Duck Tape Marketing143 . Great practical advice. He has started a business called Human Systems Works144 . Wow Chris. Go get them. What I love about this is community focused. There is no real material gain, it is just a nice, and dare I say the right thing to do. So what does MacInnis Marketing stand for? Well if you look on Our story145 page you will see the values that resonate for me • Authentic – being honest, being ourselves and doing our best to deliver you with the best marketing solution for your business. • Passion for customers – being thoughtful by putting your needs first. By being personally invested by ensuring we deliver great value for your marketing dollar investment. • Innovation and IT - keeping abreast of current marketing IT solutions and identifying the most affordable and suitable marketing technology for your small business. 142 143 144 145 123
  • 132. • Sharing Knowledge – educating and communicating marketing information with you to improve your marketing knowledge and skill base. • Creativity and fun – brainstorming, thinking outside the square, enjoying the process and constantly collecting great ideas for marketing in small business. • Try to use the pay it forward146 principals -It begins with doing a favor for another person– without any expectation of being paid back. I guess anyone can put values up on their website or have a mission statement but it is how they embody those values day to day that really matters. These values guide the work we do and the work we choose not to do. I make decisions in my business every day guided my these. A perfect example is my latest project Brain Jam147 where I am helping young marketers get some real practical marketing experience by coaching mentoring and giving them some hands on experience. For me this ticks all the boxes. TAKE AWAY - The key take away for you is to look at the values that you live your life by and ask yourself are you using these in your business? Are you being true to your inner core beliefs? If so, how can you action these even more fully so they make a real different to your staff and customers everyday? Love to hear your story! Incoming search terms: • building your business from the inside out • covey inside out summary • inside out business approach ted talks • inside out development business • stephen covey green and clean video Incoming search terms: 146 147 124
  • 133. • building your business from the inside out • covey inside out summary • inside out business approach ted talks • inside out development business • stephen covey green and clean video Awesomely Simple is just an awesome small business website I can’t recommend this website148 highly enough. Listen149 to the interview that John from Ducttape150 does with John Spencer. What a great resource, so generous. He is going on my key collaborator list for 2011. Well done John and John for alerting us to some valuable content that is perfect for small businesses working on their businesses. I work with small businesses an the best starting point is the vision for their business. John gives great templates and insights to use when doing this process that compliments The Simple Marketing System151 which you can join for free! Incoming search terms: • Awesome Small Business Marketing Tools for 2011 • awesome business websites • Awesome simple by John spencer 148 149 ← f/0/0f0a52ccb3fff13d/DTM_JohnSpence.mp3?sid=952 ← d791bf41e3a214493b344278495e5&l_sid=18353&l_eid=&l_mid ← =2293936&doppl=6792ea572b6d18502b3d1850faf81f8a&dopsig= ← d78e8d1e037aea6ce93bdb1a8d54a7a5 150 151 125
  • 134. • awesome simple website • awesome small business • awesome small business branding • awesome small business websites • simple awesome website Incoming search terms: • Awesome Small Business Marketing Tools for 2011 • awesome business websites • Awesome simple by John spencer • awesome simple website • awesome small business • awesome small business branding • awesome small business websites • simple awesome website A marketers’ delight: video software animoto! Marketing delimma152 . The link to my video! Took all of 15 mins. Imagine what I can do next time. Get to it guys and post me your results! Do yourself a favour and go and visit animoto153 and make a 30 second video for free. You will be amazed at the quality and the fantasic software these guys have developed. Just love it. Going to use it with my clients. Incoming search terms: 152 153 126
  • 135. • Animoto marketers • 60 second marketing minute Incoming search terms: • Animoto marketers • 60 second marketing minute Marketing and sales goals for 2011 Have a plan Do you know what you want to achieve in 2011 for your small business? It is worth putting it down on paper. Most of you carry it around in your head, but committing it to paper will help you tract and implement it. Work smarter Review what worked and what didn’t last year. It sounds logical, but so many businesses I work with keep doing the same things year after year. If it isn’t working then you need to review it. Dump the $10K on the yellow pages ad and spend it on engaging with your key customers. Do some research to see what they like about your service so you can improve your offering. Do some focused networking with a call to action. Work as a team What is your promise to your staff? And what is their promise to you? Especially in a service based business, your staff are your service so work with them and include them on your goals and plan for 2011. If you do they are likely to be more committed to the outcome. Having a common understanding of what you want to achieve is number 1. Make it achievable Make the rewards worthwhile 127
  • 136. All agreeing to it Accountability After knowing what you are going to do and why, next it to make everyone accountable for their contribution. Making it visible – do it as a goals sheet for the next 90 days and put it up in the staff room. Review it every week. Work with me Clients I work with don’t have a 40 page marketing plan that they stick in the top draw. They have a actionable achievable marketing plan that saves them money. It makes them money if over time when they follow and implement it. Why not consider a marketing consultant to assist you with one of the most influential factors affecting your business success in 2011? How about a free consultation?154 I also have a range of affordable templates155 to help you with this process. Incoming search terms: • danielle macinnis • sales goals for 2011 • sales goals for 2011 forms • examples of sales goals for 2011 • sales goals • small business goals for 2011 • work goals for 2011 • marketing and sales goals to increase sales • sales goals for 2011 example • sales goals 2011 • sales goals for 2011 examples 154 -session/ 155 128 ←
  • 137. • sales goals for marketing • sales goals in 2011 • seth godin business goals examples • setting sales goals examples Incoming search terms: • danielle macinnis • sales goals for 2011 • sales goals for 2011 forms • examples of sales goals for 2011 • sales goals • small business goals for 2011 • work goals for 2011 • marketing and sales goals to increase sales • sales goals for 2011 example • sales goals 2011 • sales goals for 2011 examples • sales goals for marketing • sales goals in 2011 • seth godin business goals examples • setting sales goals examples 129
  • 138. Inspiration – we all need it! Start by asking your customers. As we start thinking about next year the best advice I can give is to ask your customers some questions. This feedback is so invaluable. The more you know about them, the better you are able to meet their needs and the more successful you will be. It is so simple to ask for feedback and small businesses are best placed to do this. A quick survey using wufoo.com156 or surveymonkey157 and you could have insights that will have you making sure your business approach in 2011 is the right one. Top Questions to ask: 1. Ask them to rate your service and give them an open question as well to tell you why. 2. What did they like best about your service/ product? 3. Are there other services that they would like to see? (I just did this with a Spa and Osteo and we got some great ideas) 4. Would they recommend you and have they? (loyalty of the brand) 5. How they found out about you? Test some promotional ideas for 2011 6. Also talk to your staff and see what they are observing. Maybe do some mystery shopping. It is not costly and the information can change your business approach for the better. Most small businesses loose customers (up to 30% per year) so by finding this information out you could be stopping that leakage. 7. Talk with your suppliers as they know your industry and your competitors! 156 http://www/ 157 130
  • 139. 8. Collect some secondary data from places like Small business Victoria158 andFlying Solo159 . 9. I have collected some valuable e-books that are awesome for insights on running a small business. Click here160 to download. I also have a survey161 of small business marketing. Fill it out162 and you will see how you stack up immediately in a report. Worth doing. 10. Watch and follow the companies doing it well. Aussie Farmers163 are doing an awesome job. They have sent me a couple of quick survey’s (well more than a few). They always remember I have done the survey and add to my shopping a free product but what is more impressive is they act on the advice. Adding organic to their range and smaller portions. Good on you Aussie Farmers! Incoming search terms: • Could we start by asking Incoming search terms: • Could we start by asking Top 10 marketing trends for 2011 for small businesses Lots of information is out there about the best marketing trends for 2011 but my favorites are below. 1. Mobile Marketing. It is on the increase. Be it SMS from your local hairdresser or beauty salon to reduce appointment cancellation or 158 159 160 ← books.pdf 161 162 163 131
  • 140. the local phone carrier sending you their best deals, mobile marketing is an emerging trend in 2011. As guru Laura Lake describes, “Mobile applications will continue to be developed and smart-phones and tablet PCs will remain a part of our daily lives. It’s no longer just about mobile access to email, messaging, calendars and websites. We will see more location based services, mobile gaming, applications, and event-based mobile marketing.” 2. Social marketing as part of the mix. There has been a lot of buzz around social media like twitter, facebook and alike. This year, as consumers and small business get their head around this trend. they will put it to better use. From customer service and insights to event and promotion uses, this year small business could really leverage this low cost tool to reach more customers. The key with this medium is to think about what you want the result to be. Why use it? Be authentic and useful. Remember it is online word of mouth marketing. Eric Tasi164 explains ask yourself these questions: • Where are my source of traffic? How much does it cost me? (time, money and resources) • What are the demographics (age, location, habits etc. . . ) of my traffic? Are they on social networks? • What does my customers want? Do I have the same customers online and offline? • How much time does it take for my customers to go from the original source of traffic to my web properties? And what can I do to get them to take the action I want that aligns with what they want? • What social media metrics can bring clarity to the habits of my prospective customers? 164 marketing-trends-for-2011-04120 132 ←
  • 141. 3. Content is king. There is a need to produce good quality content as a service business targeting customers. The problem is that most of the content out there is not very good. High value content will be a point of differentiation this year for businesses and could lead to some interesting collaborations and syndication. Content includes: website, blog, e-newsletters, white papers, videos, webinars and podcasts to name but a few. 4. Measure, Analyse it. With most small businesses on the web there is no excuse not to use google analytics. Understanding and measuring your online marketing investments is smart marketing. Taking this a step further, I believe businesses should build an integrated picture of their web, email, promotion and other online campaigns to get a true picture of what a complete marketing approach is achieving. 5. Video it. There will be explosive growth for video on web and online for small businesses as they get their heads around this technology and understand that the content is more important than the finished polished video (although that helps). Are you doing any videos? Do you know that a YouTube channel is the equivalent of a Facebook profile? Do you know that online video, yes video can help with your SEO? 6. Call to Action as a must. I am coaching small businesses to continually look at the call to action in all the communications that they create. What do they want you to do? Do you want your customer to ring you, then put the phone number in bold. Perhaps fill in a questionnaire? Put that as the call to action, but make sure it has a call to action. 7. Profile and stick to your niche. Targeting your ideal customer not just by demographics but by behavioural characteristics can make you much more successful with your marketing campaigns. Behavioural targeting is being assisted by technology as you can now collect more and more information about your customers. You can track their web browsing behaviour and you do a survey tailor your service to their needs affordably. Now you segment your market so you can focus on the right messages to the right customers who are interested in your service and get a better conversion rate as a result. 133
  • 142. 8. New promotional mediums. Online coupons are seeing great growth and I think this will continue in 2011. Be it groupons, spreets or Daily deal to mention a few, these sites offer a list of interested consumers to promote a great deal too. I have seen some good results for the health services like osteopathy and beauty care, but a word of caution, do it as a special and not too often as it repositions your service in the eyes of potential customers. Might be better to go to your existing customer list with an offer. 9. Shift from tactical to strategic. Of the clients that I talk with most are sick of doing ad-hock marketing and getting a luke warm response at best. Most of this is due to not starting with a strategic marketing approach. Without this plan (and it can be 1 page) then it is easy to get distracted by ideas or activities that look good, but in-fact don’t meet your strategic marketing and sales goals. 10. Collaboration. There seems to be a shift away from having to own everything and a move to a pay per use. This model has existed for a while online but it is now moving at an rapid rate towards services (on and offline) and in particular collaborating. Sites like, elance, guru have provided a platform for contractors to freelance. These and others are gaining momentum as people are opting for lifestyle over corporations rewards. Other businesses are springing up using this collaboration model. is an example of collaboration. Simply join165 as a member and book your GoGet car online or by phone for as little as an hour (or longer). Then, take a short walk166 to the car, use a special swipe card, jump in, drive and bring it back to the same spot. Join is an an application that allows the user to share desktop for free. There are lots of free applications that are built on this model and then have an upgrade path. Here is a list167 . 165 166,com_wrapper/Itemid,124/ 167 Apps.pdf 134 ←
  • 143. is an example of sharing ideas from some of the thought leaders of our time. This is a fantastic resource. Maybe it is time to think how you could collaborate in 2011? Love to know. Incoming search terms: • top 10 marketing trends • 2011 Small business Trends • What mobile marketing trends are salons using • top small business marketing trends for 2011 • Top potential growth small business 2011 • top marketing trends for 2011 site;edu • top marketing trends for 2011 • email marketing trends 2011 • hot marketing trends 2011 • top 10 marketing trends 2011 • best small business 2011 • trends 2011 business • 10 marketing trends in 2011 • top 10 marketing trends in 2011 • which tools should small business use for social marketing 2011 Incoming search terms: • top 10 marketing trends • 2011 Small business Trends • What mobile marketing trends are salons using • top small business marketing trends for 2011 • Top potential growth small business 2011 • top marketing trends for 2011 site;edu 135
  • 144. • top marketing trends for 2011 • email marketing trends 2011 • hot marketing trends 2011 • top 10 marketing trends 2011 • best small business 2011 • trends 2011 business • 10 marketing trends in 2011 • top 10 marketing trends in 2011 • which tools should small business use for social marketing 2011 Lead generation made simple for small business I have developed a model that attracts customers to service based businesses. First it is really important to understand role of marketing and sales in the lead generation process. The role of marketing is to attract, educate, interact and nurture a lead (prospect or potential customer). The role of the sales person is to qualify, present proposals/ benefits, pricing, negotiate, answer questions, close the sale and nurture the customer in the after sales experience. Most small businesses don’t understand how critical both of these elements are in running a successful growing business. Usually the owner is the salesperson, but marketing seems to fall through the cracks or gets handed to the PA. These skills can be learned but to master them takes practice and expertise – Let me walk you through my lead generation model so as to provide you with some useful information to generate more leads for your small business. 136
  • 145. After identifying your target market (which is an exercise in itself – find more information on this in my online training- Free168 ) then you can start to think about the sort of lead generation techniques that you might engage to attract customers and make them aware of your business. Lead generation tools are many and varied so it is best to pick the a few to concentrate on first based on your comfort level and how likely your ideal customer is likely to use them. 1. Publishing content is one of the first tools that you can use. Publishing on a blog like this or your website is a great way to keep your content fresh and visitors coming back and also gives you a chance to build that first connection with them. Why Blog as a small business169 , and another articles to read more170 . If you have a lead capturing form and a good offer (sign up to get 10 top tips on how to xyz) then you have a lead to work with. It also improves your Google ranking but more on that later! 2. Referral is often how small businesses grow, however you can grow faster if you leverage that referral and collect details of who referred them and send them a thank-you or a gift. Saying thank you is important and encourages the customer to repeat the behaviour. Just as important to treat the person who has been referred as a new customer and ensure you can service their needs . Once your customer has signed up and had a good experience testimonials and success stories can become other lead generation tools. John Jantsch has a great article171 and book called The Referral Engine. 3. Direct mail can take many forms but as a lead generation tool it gives you a chance to have an ongoing conversation with a prospect. Once you have captured their details, then you can build a autoresponder campaign. This is a simple series of automated emails that warms the prospect with relevant and useful information until they are ready to do business with you. Aweber, constant contact, campaign monitor and mail chimp are software examples that can 168 169 170 ← -sales-funnel-may-run-dry-without-business-blog?utm_source= ← tcc_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter 171 137
  • 146. assist you with this email automation. You can also listen toTim and Luke172 interview on Autoresponders for more information. The key with any direct mail or email campaign is to have a compelling offer. You have to make it enticing enough so that the prospect will want to leave their email details. What information can you share or give that will address one of your customers unmet need. Some of the ideas I have done with clients have been a free diet calculator, online consultation, questionnaire with access to results, free service offer (massage), download of some relevant tips (my marketing resources173 ). Another tip is only ask for the information in the form that you absolutely need. There is a lot lower response rate if you ask for more than an email address and name. As a direct mail piece you can direct them to an online page or a phone as the call to action. 4. Advertising – I am not a big fan of advertising unless you have a niche where you can afford to do a campaign of ads over time. If this is the case then ensure that you have a strong call to action on the ad so that you can capture and follow up leads. A special offer with a limited time-frame often works. I am using some of the coupon sites like well with some service based businesses at the moment. Article on why traditional advertising doesn’t work for small businesses.174 Also online advertising and why may be worth it. Read more175 . 5. Media and PR – As the subject matter expert, it makes sense to write articles about your area of expertise and submit them to where your audience is reading. The online environment makes this simple with article submission sites and PR engines. PR wire allows you to submit your article as a release for free. This also allows Google to find your content. Again while you may not have a call to action on a PR release having your contact details, bio and website is a must. 172 173 174 ← -Anymore---But-Did-it-Ever-Really-Work-for-Small-Business&id ← =5473250 175 ← advertising_on_the_internet_is_it_worth_it 138
  • 147. More on doing PR effectively.176 6. Networking – having real authentic conversations with interested people off line or online is critical to a small businesses growth and lead generation funnel. Picking the right places to network seems to be a stumbling block for many small businesses. If you really understand your customers then you will know where they social and network and you will choose those forums. I like to network online in small business forums like Linked-in and flying solo, as well as business women networks. Know where your audience is and start having a conversation. The key is to be useful, friendly and build real relationships. More on networking as a small business.177 7. Speaking – Having a chance to speak in-front of key prospects is one of the best ways they can get a taste of you. It is also a perfect lead generation forum as you can sprinkle your call to actions through the presentation content as well as at the close. Finding the right forum and pitching for the work takes some preparation but the benefits of this sort of lead generation is well worth it. Why speak up as a small business owner.178 8. Online SEO, Google etc. Having an optimised website is a must. If you don’t understand SEO then do some homework. Search Engines Optimisation is all about Google and other search engines finding your site. It all comes back to understanding what key words your customers use and then using those words, so they can find you. You web designer should be able to help you with this or we can179 . Google Key words180 reference guide is a good source of reference. The other key having your site build on a content management system. All this means is that it is easily updatable. I use wordpress and but there are lot of great content management systems that are easy to use and very affordable. Social media like twitter and facebook 176 ← release-extending-your-online-pr-efforts 177 178 ← speakupwhyyo.html 179 180 ← starter-guide.pdf 139
  • 148. are mediums you can use to connect with customers but they take time to maintain. Is social media it worth it for small business? Read more181 . Resources on how to do this are listed in these e-books182 . 9. Getting found in local directories – frankly is a no brainer but it is surprising how many people haven’t done this. Here is a list that I think is a good starting point and free. Local service directory183 1. Google places184 – Small Business Big Marketing have a good walk through guide here185 . 2. True Local186 3. Yellow pages online187 4. Local council business directory 5. Associations – Australian Marketing Institute, Flying Solo188 , AustralianBusinesswomen’s Network189 , Womensnetwork190 , Australian Women Mentoring Network191 (associations relevant to your target market) 10. The last lead generation tool is to use the success of your existing client base to encourage new prospects that they have the right service provider. Testimonials and success stories give potential customers a taste of the sort of success you have had and what you are like to work with. Having as printed hand-outs and on your website is a must. 181 ← worth-itrightDoubleQuote-small-biz 182 ← books.pdf 183 184 ← =1209600&continue= 185 186 187 ← listing 188 ← listing 189 190 191 140
  • 149. So there you go. Some simple lead generation techniques that you can start to adopt today. I would love to know how you go. Remember you can always fill out our small business marketing survey192 and by contributing you will immediately see a report on how over 30 businesses have improved their marketing. Note: 25 prospecting tools from my venture pad193 Here are 25 ways to prospect for new business relationships and referrals. • Chambers • Networking Groups • Professional Organizations • Websites • Blogs • Social Marketing • Twitter • Facebook • LinkedIn • Youtube • Technorati • Article Marketing • Internet Radio • Volunteering • Pro-Bono • Referrals 192 ← small-business/ 193 ← -new-business 141
  • 150. • Sponsorships • Events • Email Marketing • Keynote Speaking • Webinars • Teleseminars • Workshops • Traditional Media • Neighborhood Community • Faith Community More on sales and marketing integration for small businesses – read here194 . My other lead generation articles Where is your prospect plan195 ? What marketing works for small business?196 How to give your customers a taste of you to win more business197 Incoming search terms: • lead generation forum comments • spreets campaign monitor • email lead generation • facebook connect lead generation • free easy method to leads generation 194 ← can-lead-marketing-course?utm_source=tcc_newsletter&utm_medium= ← email&utm_campaign=newsletter 195 196 197 142
  • 151. • Online Lead Generation forums Incoming search terms: • lead generation forum comments • spreets campaign monitor • email lead generation • facebook connect lead generation • free easy method to leads generation • Online Lead Generation forums Is your small business customer centric? Customer touch point map Every interaction between us and our customers is a chance to be customer centric. Ask yourself these questions below to see how customer centric your small business is. And if you don’t know the answers to these questions, maybe it is time to find out! Customer insight is so VALUABLE and very easy to do with online tools. These questions are adapted from Denis Gershowitz (VP of Client Services for the Anthony and Alexander Group). Denis has a great webinar on Driving Service Revenues and Profits198 . 1. What percentage of customers do you lose annually? 2. What are the three top reasons why customers leave? 3. Do you have a customer retention plan and do your employees know about it? 4. How do your customers perceive the value you offer next to your competitors? 198 143
  • 152. 5. Are your service quality and service training standards defined and in place? 6. When was the last time you examined your process to support the customer? 7. For key accounts what percentage of their business do you get? 8. What percentage of customers have increased their spend with you over the last 12 months? 9. Do you have a customer ranking process? 10. How often does a senior management visit or speak with key accounts? 11. Do you have a customer advocate in your board meetings in order to capture real suggestions. To summarise there are really two questions that you MUST answer to become more customer centric and WOW them. 1. What do our customers really want and need from us? 2. What can we do better than anyone else in the marketplace and how to we communicate this value to our customers repeatedly through their experience with us. Speak to us today about becoming more customer centric with a consultation199 . Other related posts on customer insight: Build your business from the inside ou200 t. How much do you love your customer201 s? Whats your story? Its your decisions and actions.202 Incoming search terms: 199 -session/ 200 201 202 144 ←
  • 153. • small business customer centric • small business customer processes Incoming search terms: • small business customer centric • small business customer processes Hero Brands That Small Businesses Can Copy I am not a big believer in starting from scratch, rather making innovations through the collaboration of existing ideas. By examining existing brands and what they do well, it is possible to gain insights for your brand and become more aware of the unique value you provide for your customers! Great brands stop saying what they are and understand that they are what their customers want. Authenticity, be real. Kathmandu203 – it says adventure and it appeals to my sense of adventure in an earthy roughed way. It is a brand that is great at story telling with it’s emotive images. I want to climb that rock wall the size of a building. In founder Jan’s words, “At Kathmandu our dream is to share the dream with you, make sure you have what you need to make it great, and dangle the carrot of inspiration to take you further still.” This encouragement to Live the Dream is inspirational and the secret behind the brand is that it is real. It comes from its founder Jan Cameron who started in a flat with a sewing machine making sleeping bags for mountaineers over 30 years ago. His emphasis was on outdoor gear that really worked for the most extreme users. He is a respected authority and his brand is now worth $75 million. 203 145
  • 154. The real secret is how Jan has taken a passion for outdoor adventure and made it assessable to everyone while not selling out on his values that hold the brand essence of real gear that works. The brand creates a sense of belonging in how it communicates and the instore experience is consistent with staff talking from real experience that carry the love that the brand exudes. Character that appeals Nudie Juice information I have loved Nudie204 the juice brand for as long as it has been on the market. There is something about how they have bottled so much personality into that brand that so appeals to my sense of humour. Nudie began by founder Tim Perthick when he was frustrated that he couldn’t buy fresh bottled juice. Seeing this gap in the market he decided to do it himself. What has made this brand stand out is the character he has given this brand that is hard to replicate. While the freshness and quality of the juice is important it is the language, the down to earth approach that makes it so likeable as a brand. Even the packaging is so funny and so irreverent. The Nudie brand is very much visible on the vans, website, on the packaging. Nudie has something that the other juice brands can’t match and that is a group of loyal fans that appreciate the total experience it provides for us. Keep it up Nudie! Focus on the right NICHE The Man with a Van205 is a brand that has delivered a simple service to a niche in the way they want. Tim Bishop created the first branded removal company in the world. He started the business whilst at uni and purchased his first van for $1500. The success of the brand is largely because Tim recognised that there was a gap in the marketplace in that there were no removal services targeting the Y Generation. His fun, youthful approach and his Aussie sense of humour makes his brand iconic and loved by the niche he serves. The language and the look of his website is always consistent with this Aussie larkin and adds to the consistent brand image. Language like, What’s the damage?, Work for the man, Mates rates, shows that he understands his audience and is talking to 204 205 146
  • 155. them in language that resonates. Since launching Man with A Van there has been a lot of copy cats but none can replicate the total brand experience. One Single good idea Skype206 is a global technology leader that enables you to call phones over the internet for free. Started in 2003 this savvy software platform offers easy to use tools for consumers and now business members to collaborate through voice, video and text conversations. Now with over 560 million users skype is moving into the enterprise space with new devices and services. This simple idea is now moving into very cheap paid services to call mobile and landlines (called Skypeout) and is a serious competitor to traditional telecommunication vendors. Skype has a completely different cost structure to a traditional carrier. Free calls are routed through the Internet. Skype doesn’t have to manage its own network like a traditional telco and requires very little infrastructure besides the software backend. While Skype still has some work to do on the quality of the calls they are onto this and as technology improves in home and work places this will become less of an issue. People who use skype (me included) just couldn’t live without it. Nothing replaces being able to do a video call with love ones far away or doing a conference call with remote works. So far there is no cost associated with this service, but if there was I would pay it. Skype is making money from their add on services, like calling mobiles at low rates and other business services, web users who want to call landlines, and hardware like headsets. A great business focused around one need, to make calls using the internet. Skype (owned by e-bay is reported to have a turn over in excess of $550m (US) Above you can look at four iconic brands and hopefully draw on them as inspiration when creating your authentic, charismatic, service that focuses on an ideal customer with one single good idea! Other branding articles: What is a brand? Key functions207 206 207 147
  • 156. Who do we intend to be?208 Your personal brand V your company209 How small business can use the about us as a marketing tool.210 Incoming search terms: • Manta small business survey • hero brands • man with a van founder tim • small businesses with great brands Incoming search terms: • Manta small business survey • hero brands • man with a van founder tim • small businesses with great brands Good websites should .. . . My top things a website should do: 1. Engage with an audience from their perspective 2. Establish trust and authenticity – the right messages 3. Provide something of value so it’s “sticky” – come back to this site over and over 4. Organize navigation according to the audience’s mindframe and interests – you can find all you need 5. Provide interactive components – participate 208 209 210 148
  • 157. 6. Show, don’t tell: use story and compelling messengers to get your point across These are the basics but many sites just don’t do this. It seems so easy and natural to think like your customers when building communication tools but many get it so wrong. They focus on the look and feel and forget the content and reason for the customer going to the site in the first place. Brand or the Marketing Strategy, which comes first? Chicken and egg or real marketing dilemma I had a conversation with a colleague the other day, in fact we often have the same conversation over and over. Which comes first, the brand development, logo, what the shining soul of the product or service stands for or the marketing strategy. . . . Well the truth is they are inseparable. The brand and the value that it creates is directly linked to its value proposition (the value that is has, the uniqueness that it offers the target market/s it serves). Great brands for me are Nudie Virgin they have a uniqueness that is hard to replicate and maybe the ideas came to them and then they built the strategy to ensure that their customers/market knew what they had to offer with a marketing plan. Or maybe they saw a gap in the market, developed a strategy and then built the product to fit the demand. True marketers would like to think that the best way to create an effective product or service is to understand your customers and then build a product or service to their needs. In fact exceed their expectations and you would really be on a winner! Anyway it is an interesting discussion and there are probably several approaches that work. 149
  • 158. Incoming search terms: • market strategy for egg • marketing strategy for chicken eggs • what comes first branding or marketing? • which comes first marketing strategy strategy and objectives Incoming search terms: • market strategy for egg • marketing strategy for chicken eggs • what comes first branding or marketing? • which comes first marketing strategy strategy and objectives Why do you need a marketing plan? I was talking with a client today and there was an underlying idea that a marketing plan may be a waste of time. Why did their organisation need one? I think the real issue was that this client didn’t see the value in a marketing plan because she didn’t understand it’s purpose. 1. Marketing plan has to have an objective – what is the aim of the business and make it measurable, over the next 12 months. Is it to grow the database, increase the sales coming from existing customers, build awareness, launch a new product, relaunch a brand, etc, etc 2. You need to do your research. The whole point of a marketing plan is to understand your market/s and then plan out your activities. Makes sense, doesn’t it! 3. You need to understand your competition so you can position yourself against their offering/s. Show your points of difference, making it easy for the customer to decide the options. 4. You need to profile your markets so you understand their needs. Once you have done this you should be able to identify your ideal 150
  • 159. customer and with this information comes great power. This understanding allows you to tailor your offerings and ensure that you are able to focus your energy in the right areas. 5. Brand promise is the key to any good plan. What is your point of difference or value proposition? 6. Tactics for the marketing plan, the action plan. 7. Track to see progress and refine. 8. Communication plan to target markets. 9. Work your plan, it is an evolving ever changing, active document. 10 Congratulate yourself on being organised and have a long lunch!! What Is A Value Proposition? Sometimes we marketers forget that there is a whole language that we use just and this jargon is confusing for the novist. Value proposition is one such term. What does it mean? Well to me a value proposition is the unique offering that a product or service has that is hard to replicate by competitors and what sets it apart from other offerings in the marketplace. A value proposition is the positioning of this unique characteristic and communicating it is such a way so that the target market (key audience for the product or service) can understand the value that it offers them. The 3 key elements to creating a great value proposition are as follows: 1. Understand your customer: in detail describe them and if you can define them in detail you are on your way to be able to communicate to them effectively. 151
  • 160. 2. The second element is to understand why your customer would buy your product/service. What is in it for them? What makes it so special? 3. The third element is being able to position your offer against the competition and be able to defend your claims. What are the key proof points that helps the customer understand your offer well. Lets look at my favorite brand. Nudie. . They have a target market of young healthy hip people probably between 18 and 40 years that have a good sense of humour, like the healthy option and are conscious of the environment. Why do I buy off Nudie, well I know what is in their juice. They make it perfectly clear that some of the fruit is of a multicultural nature (appealing to my sense of humour, plus they let me know in my language ( 2 apples, 1 carrot, etc). It is fresh, but not as expensive as a juice from a juice bar and it has no preservatives or additives and it fits my budget as well. They have differentiated themselves . They are fun. Their packaging is honest and simple, their language and marketing is all focused on the audience they are appealing too. So when you are thinking about developing a value proposition, maybe you need to think of a company who has done it well and follow their example. Protecting Brand Equity Is it necessary to compromise your business objectives short term to protect your brand equity? Well, I say yes. I was listening to a webinar on brand yesterday and the outcomes of the webinar were interesting. At some point when you are doing the creative for your next ad, direct mail campaign or blog you may need to change your focus from just asking for something from your audience to giving them more and developing a deeper understanding of your brand. 152
  • 161. Dove does this well in their latest campaign for Real Beauty. They could keep the same focus of providing an alternative cosmetic in the marketplace but instead they have shifted focus to develop a new strategy based on the idea that all women are beautiful and that ageing is part of the process. By doing this they have created more depth to their brand. They have developed campaigns to each target market and then build valuable resources to show that they care and are invested. From a self esteem fund for young girls to taking on those model stereotypes head on, they are offering a real point of difference to the other cosmetic brands out there. This investment of developing a brand position that has depth is a large commitment and protecting this stand will mean that in the short term, Dove will have had to set aside their business objectives of immediate revenue while they build this positioning. However, the pay offs are huge. By being brave and taking an alternative position (that is long over due) Dove are likely to have more loyal and a broader audience and start to vote with their dollars when buying their next bar of soap! Marketing Mistakes That Impact Your Effectiveness. Wendy Maynard talks about the 5 Biggest Marketing Mistakes That Hurt Your Profits and I have added my dialogue to her five key points. 1. Thinking You Can Be All Things to All People Don’t try and be all things to all people or you will dilute your marketing impact, confuse your customers and make your marketing spend less effective. A target market allows you to talk to your audience, making them feel you really identify with their needs. Once you have your niche you can tailor solutions and become an expert in your customer eyes. You can make your advertising spend more effective because you will understand what they read, what websites 153
  • 162. they visit and what issues they are facing that your product or service can overcome. 2. Doing Business without Quantifiable Marketing Goals If you don’t measure how can you know if it is working. There is always a way to measure. Nowadays there are such good tracking tools for the web, email, blog and direct mail campaigns. It is important to measure the effectiveness of campaigns so you can adapt and make them more and more successful. You need to set in place a goal of a marketing campaign from the outset so you know what you are aiming at. Otherwise, what is the point? Just to have a website because your competitors has one is not a compelling reason and frankly a waste of money. But to use it as a way to build your customer base, a referral tool and a knowledge centre is a good set of objectives that can be measured. 3. Not Realizing the Lifetime Value of Your Customers It is far more important to keep a satisfied existing customer than to go chasing new ones. A satisfied new customer who is loyal will choose your brand over others even when there is special offers, will refer others to your product, will buy off you more frequently and can be a great source of testimonials. To do this requires effort on your behalf. You need to treat them well, with respect. Communicate regularly, understand their needs and delight and excite them by exceeding their expectations every time. I would put every marketing dollar I could behind this marketing strategy before I would spend 1 dollar on attracting new customers with advertising spend. 4. Trying to Market without a Unique Core Message What a confusing irrelevant and mixed message you could be sending out to the marketplace without identifying and educating customers on your unique proposition. Without a clearly defined marketing message you are making the barriers to customers understanding and then buying your product or service too great. Can you tell someone you meet what you do in one sentence? Can your employees? If not start working on it. Everyone in your value chain benefits from a well defined value proposition. This is what we do. . . What problem do you solve? Talk about it in customer terms that meet a need. What results do you produce? Provide evidence and it reduces the risk the 154
  • 163. customer sees in terms of buying your product/service. Offer proof. Use testimonials, differentiation from your competitors, what are the differences? What is in it for them? “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” ∼Peter F. Drucker 5. Having Inconsistent, Unprofessional Marketing Materials You marketing collateral is your face to your customers. It says something about your professionalism, reliablity and consistency. If you have produced your business cards, website and brochures inhouse chances are they are not professional enough. Make the first impression a good one and invest in a brand presence that resignates with your customer base, adds value to your value proposition and can be replicated consistently through your marketing tools. Strategic marketing materials will reward you again and again by driving more customers to your company and help you to make a great first impression. Professional, high-quality marketing tools will move your prospects closer to making a purchase. Remember, if a prospective customer views your materials as unprofessional or confusing, you will lose them to a competitor. If you want more business, make sure your materials are remarkable! “Marketing is everything you do to make sure your customers find out about, and buy, your products and services.” ∼Bob Serling “Create remarkable products that the right people seek out.” Seth Godin Incoming search terms: • how do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing collateral Incoming search terms: • how do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing collateral 155
  • 164. Get the scoop on the CRM close loop tools I have been investigating a number of CRM tools that will do what I call close loop marketing for my clients. These tools enable you to put in a database and then create campaigns to nurture a lead. The two I am favoring at the moment are OfficeAutoPilot(OAP) and FirstWave (FW) http:// ← Both have their benefits but I think Officeautopilot has a slight advantage in functionality at the moment. Firstwave is more practical and easier to navigate so I guess it depends on your need and who will be driving the marketing effort. Firstwave is around $500 upfront and $395 per month US with up to 1000 emails a month free and Officeautopilot is no set up fee and $597 for basic tool and $195 for the marketing tracker with 1000 at .01cent. Summary of the tools: 1. Marketing tracker tools – track traffic via url coding to web pages, google ads and online campaigns. – Both 2. Lead scoring; both – and routing with OAP 3. Outlook integration – OAP 4. PURLS – personalised urls coming soon for both 5. Tags for segmentation – OAP 6. Phone tracking and integration for call centres – both 7. Templates for direct mail campaigns – FW 8. Reporting on campaigns, customised reporting – both 9. Customisable database – both In the age of 1:1 marketing companies will be developing their own CRM tools or buying into a software vendors vision. I guess the benefit of outsourcing is you aren’t putting all your resources into the R&D and you can focus your energies and time on the business you 156
  • 165. do best. One thing is for sure, the intimacy that you have with your customers is related to the loyalty and value that they provide you, so it is worth investigating in a system that will give you that sort of relationship. Branding for small business Think branding is only for large multi-national corporations? Think again. Here are 9 easy tips you can use to grow your brand with your customers. By Nick Rice. The design of your logo really doesn’t matter. Would you choose MSN as your search engine over Google because of their logo? No, having a nice professional logo is great, but it very rarely increases sales. I’m all for a professional logo, but don’t think you need to spend a fortune on it. It’s more important to include your logo on every piece of communication. Put it on business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, yellow page ads, building signage, newsletters, etc. . . Have a professional website. It’s not just good enough to just have a website, you must reflect your brand image. If you’re known as a top notch photographer, the last thing you want is a website designed 10 years ago. It doesn’t reflect well on you. Everyone, yes everyone, uses the web today to check references. If someone recommends your service, you can almost guarantee that they will go online to look for you. Your website design should be updated at least every two years to stay current. Blogs are good. Blogs help your business on multiple levels. First off, valuable content on a consistent basis will make you look like an expert. People are looking for experts, not apprentices. The software that powers blogs have multiple advantages. It’s very easy to publish. It’s a database driven environment where style is separate from content so you will not need to go back to your web design agency for every little change. And use of tags and sitemaps make basic search engine optimization easy. But the real reason blogs are great is that they enable conversation. Two-way dialog is much more 157
  • 166. valuable than a company that just dumps messaging and collateral on their customers. Blogs are good, but they’re just one tool. A blog should not be your sole marketing strategy. You should have a comprehensive multi-touch marketing plan to get your value proposition in front of your target audience. This can take many forms. You can launch a direct mail campaign, email campaign, host a webinar, sponsor a local event, attend a trade show, attend networking events, cold call prospects, win awards, etc. . . There are a thousand different ways for you to be noticed. You have to find the best combination of methods for your strategic goals. Data shows that people need to be exposed to a brand at least seven times before they buy. If you simply do one touch and stop, you’re wasting valuable budget dollars and probably wondering why your efforts are not successful. Prepare a one page corporate overview. This one pager will be vital as a leave behind when you meet a prospect. Use short sentences in short paragraphs – people like to read quickly. Also make it very conversational; it’s not a white paper. Your one page overview should include your value proposition, target audience benefits, previous audience experience and a mini-case study – and don’t forget your contact information. Participate in local business events. And by participate, I mean be on a committee. Just showing up at events is great, but you’re just a face in the crowd. Ask to be on one of the committees. Believe it or not, it’s as simple as just asking most of time. Groups are looking for volunteer help and it’s a great way to elevate your status and visibility among the entire organization. Do what you say you’re going to do. I know it may sound like common sense, but one of the primary drivers of brand loyalty is a consistent experience. If you say you’re going to have the photographs ready on a set day, be sure they are ready. Nothing leaves a bad taste in someone’s mouth like missed expectations. Positive experiences lead to good feelings which lead to telling their friends. But don’t forget that bad experiences spread much faster and are harder to overcome – if you get a chance at all. Stand for something. People latch on to something they can understand and appreciate. If you’re trying to be everything to everybody, chances are you’ll attract no one. If you think it’s too 158
  • 167. controversial to choose a niche, remember the power of being seen as an expert. Experts are not good at everything, they’re awesome at one thing. This allows you to better position yourself and charge more for your services. People seek out experts, not generalists. Realize that you’re not in control of your brand. That’s right, you only set the direction for your brand. Your actual brand image is determined by your audience. You can use these tips to ensure alignment between your desired brand image and your actual brand image in the minds of your customers. Branding isn’t a one shot deal, it’s an on-going juggling act of marketing, research and conversation. If you’re not tapping into those conversations with your audience, how do you know what their real impression of you is? How will you know how to address it? Brand growth comes from alignment. You have to ensure that your actions, stationary, website and marketing efforts put out the right image. But you cannot stop there; Those are pre-sales activities that get you noticed and hopefully bought. You also have to ensure that all actions and engagements during the sale and post-sale are positive and in line with your desired brand image. If your audience has a different view of you than you’d like, then you need help. And it’s probably best to bring in an outside perspective. BONUS TIP #10: Branding is as much about your people as anything else. Never forget that the best interactions come from one-on-one conversations between executives, employees, suppliers, and customers. Employees that want to help and do the best job possible go a long way. Proper branding is critical to your long term success. A lot of people think of branding as logo development. But in reality, branding is managing the thoughts and feelings of your customers to ensure that you are what they desire. If your desired brand image isn’t what’s in the minds of your target audience, you’ve got to figure out where the gaps are and how to address them. And fixing those issues is hard work because the old adage still rings true – the customer is always right. 159
  • 168. Seth Godin – online presentation For anyone in marketing this video is a must. Seth Godin Spread good ideas utube vid211 . Ten top ideas for marketing in a recession Here are some good ideas from C. Edward Brice Marketing Gimbal. Top Ten actions for recession marketing. 1. You will live or die within your customer base: In times of economic uncertainty, when budgets are getting cut back, people buy from who they know. This means you’ve got to engage with the customer base more frequently and deeply than ever before. Might be a good time to start a customer community or referral program. 2. Customer marketing content becomes king: Content relating to customer ROI, success stories, problems solved etc becomes vital to your messaging success and sales support. 3. TCO & ROI are Mandatory: Understand how you reduce your total cost of ownership and what the ROI is for your solutions, and quantify these. See point # 3. 4. Measure Everything: Know what works, and what doesn’t, and stop what doesn’t. 5. Invest in Communications: Communications becomes a high ROI tactic in tough times. Use it! Make sure your PR firm is using all the social media tools at your disposal to get your message out. To this end if you don’t have a PR firm then start a twitter page, start a blog, brand a You Tube channel, and develop some viral content. It’s low cost and it works. 6. Data is king. For push marketing make sure you have a good enriched customer data so you can segment by multiple criteria. 211 160
  • 169. The more targeted you get, the more effective your message and conversation. In answer to your next question, yes we still need some old school push marketing. I would not bet my career on hoping my blog generates business in a recession. 7. Use the phone. If you have a good inside prospecting and customer database and have access to tele-sales/marketing (insource or out) use it to keep engaged with customers. Work with sales to programatize blitz days, identify reasons to call, prospect within your database, and use your calling resources to do the initial selling before handing off to outside sales people (could lower your cost of sale). Be careful where you use tele in the demand funnel. Note I said “inside prospecting database”. Pure outbound cold calling is very expensive, and not very effective unless your value proposition is incredible. 8. Stay close with sales. You’re in this boat together and you will either join forces or sink. Work with sales; understand what it is and what is not working. Develop strong joint measures. 9. Have a Strategy. Strategy is about sacrifice and if everything is a priority then nothing is a priority. If you have no priority then you will sprinkle your marketing dollars all over the place and have no impact. No impact says good bye to your job in the next round of cost cuts. Ask the hard questions. Is segment x more important that segment y? Is Country B more important that Country C? 10. If you have “Social Media Strategist” as a Title change it: Call yourself marketing, customer marketing, installed base marketing etc. Most management is old school and unlessyou can show revenue generation coming from Twitter then reposition yourself closer to revenue generation. Measuring Marketing – trends Quality Metrics Enable Marketing’s Ability to Influence Strategic Directionby Laura Patterson Published on September 18, 2007 161
  • 170. Various studies212 for the past several years from the Association of National Advertisers, Frost & Sullivan, IDC, and the CMO Council, among others, have found that CEOs are demanding more accountability from marketing. While most marketers are measuring something, survey results indicate there is room for improvement regarding metrics and the quality of these metrics. In fact, results213 from VisionEdge Marketing’s 6th annual Marketing Performance Survey found that only 17% of the 136 executives and marketing professional indicated that their CEO would give marketing an A. In addition, this study and others214 continue to suggest that a gap remains between a company’s business goals and the metrics marketing uses to measure their impact on these goals. Companies continue to struggle with the contradiction between priorities and action. The need and opportunity remains for marketing to improve the linkage between marketing expenditures and delivered results. “Marketing must improve its value to justify its existence as a centralized function,” according to Elana Anderson, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. If we don’t make our case and develop and communicate quality metrics, we may find the days of marketing as a standalone department numbered and instead find ourselves absorbed into sales, finance, or some other function. It’s not like this is a new phenomenon. The concept of measuring marketing has been around for a long time. The question is what should we measure and what metrics are best? In 2001, James Gregory’s article in the Journal of Brand Management shared a proprietary model that linked various financial factors and corporate images to stock prices, sales, and market share. Research at VisionEdge Marketing has found that most companies fail to measure such things as cost to acquire, order value, share of wallet, churn rate, 212 ← accountability-study-marketing-finance-not-on-same-metrics- ← page-1551/ 213 ← task=view&id=209&Itemid=0 214 ← no-confidence-in-marketing-roi-measurement-271/ 162
  • 171. brand equity, and other key business variables that marketing impacts. Rather, marketers have a tendency to measure such things as response rate, demo participation, event traffic, number of new contacts or leads, number of press hits, cost per lead, and lead aging. While these metrics offer some insight into the results of specific programs, they do not link marketing to the business objectives. In fact, our studies indicate that only about one in four marketers measure marketing’s impact on the business and nearly two-thirds of marketing plans do not even include metrics. A Five-Point Continuum Forrester Research, Marketing Management Analytics, and the Association of National Advertisers conducted an online survey to find out how marketing professionals leverage marketing analytics. Some 50% of the respondents indicated that measurement remains the hardest part of marketing and 51% are dissatisfied with how they measure marketing ROI. Yet nearly all of the respondents realize that measuring marketing is important and influences senior management’s confidence in Marketing personnel and programs. To make progress on the marketing-measurement front, marketing professionals must shift from tactically based metrics to metrics that are more linked to business outcomes. The measures must include both financial and non-financial goals. This figure illustrates the continuum of marketing metrics and how marketing metrics are evolving: Starting at the bottom left and working up and to the right, we can use this illustration as a framework to explore how marketing metrics are evolving from tactical to strategic. Activity-based metrics refer to those things we can count. This was marketing’s first foray into the world of measuring—looking for things we could count, such as press hits, click-through rates, CPMs (cost per thousand), and so on. Most marketing plans today consist of activity lists, such as the number of ads to run, the number of tradeshows to attend, the number of new product brochures to produce, the number of research studies to conduct, and so on. Marketing then reports on the status of these activities—ads ran and responses per ad, Web site visits and downloads, contacts per tradeshow, etc. These are then turned into charts 163
  • 172. in an attempt to present the marketing dashboard. Yet with activity-based metrics all we have is a colorful status report and no information on the impact of these activities on the business. The company cannot make any key business decisions or determine whether strategies are working. Operational metrics, the next level, is a step forward. These metrics focus on improving the efficiency of the organization. Typical metrics in this stage include cost per lead, lead aging, leads per sales rep, and campaign payback. The goal is to squeeze out any inefficiency. While this is a noble pursuit and an important one, marketing efficiency alone will not make a company successful. What really “moves the needle” in terms of business performance is how well its marketing identifies product opportunities, positions these products, builds market traction against the competition, and fosters customer loyalty. Performance outweighs efficiency. Both activity-based and operational metrics are a good place to start, but neither serves as an accurate indicator of strategic effectiveness. Neither enables the organization to determine which efforts are having the greatest impact; neither provides a quality control process, focuses on marketing’s contribution to the company’s overall valuation, or serves as a good way to demonstrate marketing’s accountability. To address those issues, marketing executives and professionals need to evolve to outcome-based metrics to develop quality measures. Outcome-based metrics focus on three specific and common business outcomes: market share, customer lifetime value, and brand equity. Once we accomplish a systematic approach to outcome-based metrics, we will have the basis for advancing to leading indicator metrics—those that help us determine the likelihood of a particular outcome and eventually creative models to use metrics to predict outcomes. And once we’ve mastered leading indicator metrics, we’re only a few financial models away from predictive models—those that allow us to predict a business outcome. Creating Your Marketing Executive Dashboard Marketing performance management and metrics tracking would be incomplete without a way to capture and report the metrics—that is, a dashboard. Ideally, metrics indicate the business health of your organization. A dashboard is the visual representation of a firm’s 164
  • 173. health and provides a snapshot between actual performance and the goals. A good dashboard facilitates action. It not only reports on the metrics being monitored but also serves as a vehicle to help decide on what actions are required and their priorities. Yet, according to a 2005 study conducted by CMO Magazine, three-fourths of marketers have no formal scorecard. Creating a dashboard is more than just producing a few charts and graphs. A good marketing dashboard serves as a visual and diagnostic vehicle that communicates marketing’s effectiveness and impact on business goals. Every metric provides a specific perspective on the firm’s business. Some metrics indicate whether there is a problem today, and others help alert marketing to a potential problem down the road. The status of the marketing organization on the metrics continuum will impact what kind of dashboard it can create. As the business goals change, it will be important to revisit the dashboard to make sure the dashboard metrics are still in alignment with the business needs and goals. As companies progress along the metrics continuum from activitybased to outcome-based, the dashboard will also evolve. Outcomebased metrics involve a dashboard that hones in on the primary business outcomes: market share, customer value and shareholder value. Because these metrics tend to be more market centric, the dashboard begins to provide more strategic insight and direction. The greatest challenge for the marketing organization is how to capture the metrics. Manual aggregation of data across multiple spreadsheets comes with potential issues, ranging from error-prone reporting to poor utilization of internal resources. Moving from a spreadsheetbased system to an automated system provides greater benefits to the organization as a whole. A mapping process helps with defining the metrics and ultimately the dashboard. As a result, most companies select metrics and a dashboard that reflects the following six categories: Market growth Customer value and net advocacy Profitable deal flow Opportunity pipeline Competitive health and market value index Product innovation pipeline 165
  • 174. Regardless of the metrics you ultimately choose or the categories represented on your dashboard, a good dashboard provides insight into performance, fosters decision-making, and aligns strategy with implementation. Measure What Matters We began this discussion about the need for marketing to be more accountable and to develop quality metrics. Hopefully, you have some new ideas on how to focus marketing metrics around business outcomes and how to develop quality metrics that will help you provide insight into how marketing is making a contribution to the company and how to demonstrate that contribution to senior management. As you continue on your marketing performance journey we hope these ideas lead you to. . . Focus marketing metrics around business outcomes. Develop quality metrics that will help you provide insight into how marketing is making a contribution to the company. Demonstrate that contribution to senior management. And we hope your journey will include the following three actions: Start making active progress on improving marketing performance and accountability. Even if you don’t have all the data, start with what you have, define your data gaps, and develop a plan to close these gaps. Stop reporting on activities and tactical data around campaigns and Web traffic, and focus on climbing up the metrics continuum. It may still be important to track campaign results for an internal functional dashboard. The more you can link marketing to business outcomes, the more you can influence your company’s strategic direction. If in doubt about what to measure, select those measures that help your company make decisions and take action. When used this way, marketing metrics enable a firm to seize a competitive advantage, and they position Marketing as a strategic member of the team. The Amazing Power of Growing a Big List by Wendy Maynard, Marketing Maven 166
  • 175. You may think your biggest business asset is your equipment or your inventory. But, you have two assets even more important than these. Your first big asset is your expertise: your unique knowledge and the specific way that your company helps your clients. Your second asset is your list of satisfied, loyal customers, as well as your pool of warm prospects with whom you are building a relationship of credibility and trust. Building this list and keeping in touch is your ticket to an ongoing, steady stream of income – no matter what the economy is doing. And this is true regardless of the type of business you run. These individuals will develop a fierce brand loyalty and they will spread the word about how much they love you. Here are some tips to build your list of leads and prospects: If you have a website, make sure you have some kind of name capture mechanism. In exchange for people’s contact information, offer a subscription to an ezine, a free report, an e-course, coupon, sample, or some other perk. Make sure you have an effective online system to collect the names of your customers and prospects. The best program I’ve found for managing my lead generation and follow-up activities is MavenMerchant.com215 . This program allows you to set up a name capture form for your website or blog, as well as autoresponders to automate the process of communicating with your list on a regular basis. Set it up and let it work for you as your online salesperson – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have a physical location, place a sign-up form in an obvious place for your visitors so you can stay in touch with them on an ongoing basis. You can offer an incentive to sign up such as special coupons, discounts, or a print newsletter with tips. For instance, one of my clients owns a retail boutique and she offers special VIP Customer Discount Events. When you give speeches, presentations, and attend trade shows, collect the names of people you interact with! In exchange for their contact information, offer people a prize like a free product or a discount. You can do the same thing if you offer telephone seminars or online 215 ← 167
  • 176. courses to your clients. Grow your list by conducting a joint venture with a like-minded business. This is one of the most powerful ways to grow a list of qualified leads. For example, a mortgage broker and Realtor can offer a free seminar on home buying. Both businesses can collect the names of the attendees. Submit articles to various websites, ezines, and industry publications. Make sure each article has a resource box with information about your business and a link to a name capture page. Submit Your Article216 is a powerful service that will send your articles to numerous websites. For a fre.e online service, try EzineArticles.com217 Good ‘ol phone calls can also do the trick. They often say something like: “Oh my goodness, I am so glad you called! Getting in touch with you has been on my list for weeks now. Let’s set up a time to meet because I have this great new idea for a project. . . ” And off we go! Direct mail is a relatively inexpensive way to keep in touch. There are so many different types of direct mail you can send to your list. But you can keep it simple. All you really need is a regular postcard to remind people of your presence. If you want to get more complicated, you can send a printed newsletter, thank-you card, or special letters with gifts inside. Anyone and everyone who has ever purchased from you should go on your list. It is much easier and cost effective to cross-sell and up-sell to past, satisfied customers than it is to convert a prospect into a customer. Regularly keep in touch to ensure your company stays in the forefront of their awareness. Be sure to track your marketing activities with your customers and prospects. This includes direct mail, phone calls, estimates sent, and meetings. You can use something as simple as Microsoft Outlook, which has client relationship management (CRM) functions. You can also use software with more robust CRM capabilities such as ACT! or Goldmine. If you don’t need to have the latest version of these, look on Ebay for great deals on an earlier release of the software. 216 ← 217 ← 168
  • 177. Action Item: Take a look at your current system for collecting names and following up with prospects and customers. How do you store your contact data? What actions will you take in the next three months to improve the list-building aspect of your marketing, and how will you reach out to them on a regular basis? 6 Ways to weather an economic downturn Robyn Haydon from Flying Solo has some great ideas about how to survive as a small business or sole practitioner in this economic climate. A wise business mentor once told me, ‘the best job security is the security you create for yourself’. I think this is true in any economic environment. So what is the answer for solo businesses? I think it’s planning. If we establish defensive measures now, we will be ready if and when this wobble turns into a full-on slump. Here are a few ways to weather-proof your business against the looming clouds of an economic downturn. 1. Review your target markets Geoff Kelly, a leader influence consultant I spoke to, believes that not enough of us “spend enough time targeting the right niche”. Kelly has shifted his focus from smallto-medium clients to those “more medium” sized. The risk-averse could consider government clients, if the offer suits, as government will always pay its bills. 2. Adjust to short-term thinking Expect prospects to be tight with time and cash and don’t take it personally. Try improving something they already have or do, rather than selling something completely new. Accept smaller projects. 3. Adapt your offering to what customers want now Talk to your customers and find out how the economic downturn is affecting their business. Come up with ideas, products or services that will solve the new set of problems. Always be relevant. 4. Be smart about keeping your customers Turn that longterm handshake agreement into a monthly retainer for regular work. 169
  • 178. Incentivise repeat business by offering extras without devaluing your core offer. 5. Widen your new business net. Sharpen up your market presence – revamp your website, or get one; revisit your customers for testimonials; talk up the value customers get from you as opposed to competitors. Shelve brand-building in favour of marketing campaigns that get an immediate return. Ask existing customers to refer new ones. Think about how you could do business with customers based interstate or overseas. 6. Know and respect your value. Shawn Price, an independent career management consultant, points out that we ‘independents’ can be attractive in an economic downturn because we can offer more expertise, more flexibility and a lower risk and level of commitment than full-time employees. Internet Marketing – A viable marketing strategy in a down economy Laura Lake explains some good ideas when it comes to internet marketing ideas and strategy. We are watching our pennies and slashing our marketing budgets so where can we market that provides us the most cost effective vehicle as well as gives us the efficiency we need in this economy? It’s the Internet. Why is internet marketing the most cost effective and efficient? It’s the only marketing vehicle that allows you to make tweaks and changes to your campaigns on the fly. When was the last time you ran a marketing campaign and realized it wasn’t pulling the results that you had hoped for? Do you remember the hopeless feeling you got when you saw the campaign was going to be a flop? Of course you do. If you had used internet marketing you could have made the changes at the first sign of failure. The changes could include tweaking the text, modifying the graphic or strengthening the message. 170
  • 179. I’m not saying internet marketing is easy, but given some effort and even guidance you can make internet marketing a viable option to sell your services and products. I’ve provided you a few resources that will help you understand the importance of internet marketing strategy as well as guidance that will help you get started. Internet Marketing Strategy: What Can it Do for You?218 Having an Internet marketing strategy gives you a measurable and definitive way to target your market and position your business so that those looking for what you have to offer are finding you easily. Learn what it can do for your marketing efforts. Read more219 Internet Marketing Strategy : Why is it Important?220 An Internet Marketing Strategy is just as important as a business plan. Find out why it is important and the risks and problems you can face if you proceed without one. Read more221 ABC’s of Creating an Internet Marketing Strategy222 This can often leave marketers confused and wondering where to start. Learn a formula that will help you experience internet marketing success in 2007. Read more223 Five Levels of Internet Marketing and the Sales Process224 Creating a successful online sales process can be accomplished by making sure that you represent and court your visitor through the five levels of the sales process on your site. You can do this by meeting the psychological needs that your visitor has. Find out how in this three part series. Read more225 218 219 220 htm 221 htm 222 .htm 223 .htm 224 htm 225 htm ← ← ← ← ← ← 171
  • 180. Top 10 Internet Marketing Strategies226 Internet Marketing can attract more people to your website, increase customers for your business, and enhance branding of your company and products. If you are just beginning your online marketing strategy the top 10 list below will get you started on a plan that has worked for many. Read more227 Five Myths of Internet Marketing for Independent Professionals228 The vast majority of what appears on the Internet about marketing is designed to help you market products and services sold and delivered exclusively on the Internet. What does that mean for the independent professional whose web presence is primarily aimed at selling his or her own personal services? Learn how to identify and avoid the five myths of Internet Marketing for independent professionals in this guest article by C. J. Hayden. Top Five Lead Gen practices Jon Miller in a recent post at Marketo. Top Five Lead Management Best Practices: 1. Be everywhere. “Cast your marketing net wide so customers will find you no matter where they are searching,” he advises. (as long as they are within your target market profile). 2. Build prospect profiles. Create a lead database to manage and store all your leads, and then make sure you have a strategy in place to keep that database clean (e.g., lead de-duplication). 2. Automate lead handoffs. He offers an example: “Define different lead status values to indicate whether someone is a qualified prospect but still nurturing, or a true sales-ready lead.” Then update their lead status in the CRM system. 226 ← internettips.htm 227 ← internettips.htm 228 ← fivemyths.htm 172
  • 181. 3. Provide sales-lead insight. Give the sales rep the prospect’s history, and offer insight about the “interesting moments” that caused that person to become a lead. 4. Recycle leads as necessary. If your sales rep can’t follow up right away, or the prospect isn’t available, don’t let a lead just sit and turn stale. “[H]ave a process in place to reassign the lead or escalate the issue,” Miller advises. Five steps to building brand equity for the small business by Mike O’Toole Instinctively, every small business owner understands the importance of brand equity, even if they may not be able to define the idea. Marketing-speak aside, brand equity is how your customer recognizes why you are different and better than the alternative. Brand equity is built on that customer’s direct experience with your product or service. This experience, repeated over time, creates equity or value in your brand. And it serves as a shorthand in the buyer’s mind that separates you from everyone else. Brand equity is what creates loyalty that carries beyond price or the occasional product or service bump in the road. It is the quality that motivates your customers to recommend their friends or colleagues to you. Everyone wants brand equity. But building it, when you are more likely to qualify for the Inc. 500 rather than the Fortune 500, can be a puzzle. Particularly when the role models for brand equity are global icons like Coca Cola, Volvo, or Sony—hardly your peer set. The good news is that the path to building brand equity is clear. Here are five simple steps you can take to get started: 1. Clarify your position The first step to building brand equity is to define your positioning: 173
  • 182. the single thing your company stands for to your customers. Single is the operative word here. Good positioning forces hard choices. To define your brand position, get the key leaders in your company together. Decide what makes you different and better than your competition. This might sound blindingly obvious, but most small businesses are too busy responding to customers or making payroll to do a lot of introspection. You don’t need an agency or consultant to get started. There are a couple of good exercises out there that you can do on your own. A simple one that I like is the Positioning XYZs229 : “We are the only X that solves Y problem in Z unique way.” Where. . . X is the category of the company, product, or service or other offering you’ve chosen to own. Y is the unmet need of your target audience. Z is the differentiation, advantage, or key positive distinction you have over your competition. 2. Tell your story Clear positioning is critical, but positioning statements are internal touchstones, not external expressions. Your next job is to make it interesting, to imbue the rational positioning with emotion. All brands are stories, and a good way to get started is to document and share your best corporate stories: the founding insight of the company, the times you went to extraordinary lengths to take care of a customer, or the background behind the big product breakthrough. The good news is that with ubiquitous broadband access and Webbased applications, it is within every company’s grasp to share these stories more broadly through rich-media video and audio. B. Good (, a small restaurant chain in Boston, has done this well. It’s a burger joint that promises “real food,” positioning itself against the typical fast-food burger and experience. The real food story begins with the stories of the “real people,” the founders whose corporate values are based on their experiences growing up at their uncle’s restaurant. You’re reminded of these stories when you’re in the restaurant or checking store hours online. 229 174
  • 183. 3. Bring it to lifeOnce you have the story, you need to bring it to life. Make sure that the way your company looks and feels to the outside world matches that truth. This leads to questions about your corporate identity: Do the basics (starting with your name and logo) make the impression you want? And your broader system for communicating to the market: Web site, brochures, your retail environment. A client of mine talked about his Web site as a “corporate veil” that obscured what made the company special. Does your corporate identity reveal the best truth about your business, or does it hide it? 4. Start building brand before they buyThink beyond the transaction. Brands begin at the transaction level, but the brand experience goes much deeper. The opportunity to create a brand impression starts long before the buying decision. The principle is a simple one: Give away an artifact of your brand for free. In the professional services world, this means a taste of your service or your intellectual property. Here are two creative examples: Igor ( is a naming consultancy based in San Francisco. It has built a methodology—and a client list that rivals those of much-larger branding agencies. That methodology is laid bare in a 100-page guide to naming that it gives away—without any registration requirements—on its Web site. This move is both generous, in the spirit of Web content “wanting to be free,” and also incredibly shrewd. The naming guide is rich, detailed, and outlines a very clear process for naming. Igor understands that giving away IP (intellectual property) doesn’t cost it business—but it is its lead business generator. It doesn’t have to be just IP. Peet’s (, the coffee retailer, allows customers to send their friends an “eCup,” an email redeemable for a free cup of coffee. This is an ingenious way to enable the fiercely loyal customers of Peet’s to promote the brand themselves. 5. Measure your effortsHere are a few direct ways to measure the progress of your brand: Ask your customers. Survey a subset of customers, prospective customers, and (ideally) people who chose a competitor over you. You’ll 175
  • 184. be surprised at how candid people will be about your strengths—and your weaknesses. Make sure you ask the most important question in any customer research: Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague? Research (check out has shown that the willingness to recommend is the most important indicator of brand health. This research can be done quite cheaply online, using free or near-free tools like KeySurvey ( or SurveyMonkey ( Check your search rankings. I don’t know all of what Igor measures, but I do know it fares very well in what is perhaps the most important measure of them all: organic search results. Type “product naming” on Google, and chances are you’ll see Igor come up in the top three listings (the earned ones in the middle, not the paid ones on the top or side). Monitor the social media conversation. In most categories, consumers are holding a very active and candid conversation about the brands they love and hate. Check out what they’re saying about you in blogs, bulletin boards, and vendor-rating Web sites (http:// ← or are good places to start). Incoming search terms: • brand equity on 23rd feb • build a clear brand identity of restaurant • building brand equity services marketing • first step building brand equity • is it possible to get brand resonance customers for every company • steps for building a service brand • steps to build online brand equity Incoming search terms: • brand equity on 23rd feb • build a clear brand identity of restaurant • building brand equity services marketing 176
  • 185. • first step building brand equity • is it possible to get brand resonance customers for every company • steps for building a service brand • steps to build online brand equity 74% of small business have no marketing plan! Carolyn from Connect Marketing did a recent survey of small businesses with some interesting results. The survey highlighted that 89% of small business owners considered marketing as either their first or second priority, yet an astonishing 74% said they did not have a marketing plan! Failing to plan is planning to fail and a well thought out plan that has at least six strategies working in tandem is the only way to generate a consistent flow of quality leads, month in and month out. Here are the findings: The survey was completed by 149 small business owners with a breakdown as follows; 53% were solo operators 13% employed 1 other person 30% employed between 2 and 20 people 4% employed 20+ people TOP 10 FINDINGS ON THE ‘STATE OF MARKETING’ FOR SMALL BUSINESS 62% of people associated the word ‘marketing’ with either selling, advertising or branding. 44% said marketing was their FIRST priority and 45% said it was their SECOND priority. In total, a whopping 89% place marketing in their top two priorities in their business! 177
  • 186. Yet. . . 74% said they don’t have an up-to-date written marketing plan that is regularly followed! Of those that don’t have a plan, 65% said they feel they need one with many stating they don’t know how to go about it. 44% said they don’t have enough KNOWLEDGE of marketing. 40% said they take a scatter-gun APPROACH to marketing. Only 14% said they get the RESULTS they would like from marketing. 64% said they don’t have enough MONEY to do marketing properly. 56% said they don’t have enough TIME to do it properly. 50% said they don’t have good PEOPLE or resources to help them with marketing. MORE DETAILED FINDINGS What are the three most common words that come to mind when people think of marketing? Sales 25% Advertising 20% Branding 17% Other 38% (all one off words where no pattern could be identified) Other less common words associated with marketing were; promoting, money, cost and creativity. For me these findings confirm that there is generally a misperception about what marketing is. Marketing is traditionally about the 4 P’s – having the right Product at the right Price at the right time, in the right Place being well Promoted. Advertising and selling are but one component of the last P of marketing. More recently I have defined marketing as the ability of a business to generate a consistent flow of quality leads which ultimately comes from getting the 4 P’s right and through having a clear customer value proposition and points of difference. What priority would you currently give marketing in your business? First priority 44% Second priority 45% Third priority 9% Minor priority 1% Not a priority 1% It’s not a surprise that marketing has come up as such a high priority for business owners in today’s slowing economy. I suspect businesses 178
  • 187. that have traditionally just relied on word-of-mouth referrals without having to focus on marketing as a ‘true function’ in their business, are now finding that it has become of much greater importance due to a slow-down in new business enquiries and sales. Given all the other functions that a business has to perform (ie HR, IT, Finance, Sales, Service etc) the fact that a whopping 89% placed marketing as one of their top two priorities says that we need to focus on giving small business owners practical, low-cost, consistent solutions that can be easily implemented – and NOW! Do you have an up-to-date written marketing plan that you regularly follow? No 74% Yes 26% If you don’t have a plan, do you feel you need one? Yes 65% Maybe 27% No 8% Many people stated they didn’t have the time, money or resources to get a plan and that they didn’t really know where to start to get one. Respondents were asked to rank the current state of marketing in their business. Do you have enough knowledge of the best ways to market your business? No – 44% Yes – 21% Maybe – 35% Knowing what marketing NOT to do, is as important as knowing what to do. Successful business owners are knowledge seekers in all areas of their business, especially marketing. Do you tend to take a scatter-gun APPROACH to your marketing? No – 40% Yes – 40% Maybe – 20% 179
  • 188. A marketing plan helps avoid the scatter-gun approach. It just needs to be simple and focused with a minimum of 6 prongs working together to generate required leads. Do you get the results you want from your marketing? Yes – 14% No – 46% Maybe – 40% Marketing is a numbers game. We need to be completely aware of the cost per lead and conversion rate so we can measure the ROI of every marketing activity. Do you have enough money to do marketing properly? No – 64% Yes – 13% Maybe – 23% I recommend investing between 7% – 10% of your target revenue in marketing. Do you have enough time to devote to marketing? No – 56% Yes – 30% Maybe – 14% If you can outsource the non-revenue producing areas of the business to focus on the revenue producing areas such as marketing, selling, servicing clients and product innovation, that would be a good start. I recommend spending at least 6 to 8 hours a week on marketing. Do you have good people to help with marketing? No – 50% Yes – 26% Maybe – 24% There are many innovative ways to source good marketing and business development support. Consider establishing formal distribution alliances or employing commission sales people and agents or getting some University students on work experience. In summary, it appears there is a fair degree of pain around marketing, with people consistently feeling they don’t have enough money, time or resources to do it properly ultimately resulting in a huge degree of disappointment in return on investment. Working to a simple plan and annual marketing 180
  • 189. calendar and then dedicating some resources and time to it, is a good start. Then the key word is PERSISTENCE to generate a steady flow of new business leads, month and month out, rather than having the peaks and troughs so many businesses experience. When it comes to using online resources or websites to help with marketing which ones do you regularly use? No-one 28% Connect Marketing 18%* Google 18% Flying Solo 8% Twitter 6% Facebook 6% Other 16% (family, friends, business associates and other e-resources etc) The findings indicate that there does not appear to be one single trusted source where small businesses can get all the education and tools they need when it comes to helping them market their small business. Incoming search terms: • Manta survey • business owners dont have marketing plan • no marketing planning business • small business owners dont have marketing degrees • The survey was completed by 149 small business owners with a breakdown as follows; 53% were solo operators 13% employed 1 other person 30% employed between 2 and 20 people 4% employed 20 people Incoming search terms: • Manta survey • business owners dont have marketing plan • no marketing planning business • small business owners dont have marketing degrees 181
  • 190. • The survey was completed by 149 small business owners with a breakdown as follows; 53% were solo operators 13% employed 1 other person 30% employed between 2 and 20 people 4% employed 20 people How to attract visitors to your site? Great practical article of how to attract visitors to your website. ← article80220.html Treat Customers Like Family Really liked this article on the Service Excellence website http:// ← After a careful marketing strategy, your customers are finally pursuing you. They want your goods, they want your services – but how do you know you have a stable relationship and not just a bad blind date? You want your customers to return in droves, if for no other reason than because, according to the Better Business Bureau, gaining the trust of a new customer is five times more expensive than continuing a relationship with a current one. The best way to maintain a successful relationship is to stop treating your customers like customers and start treating them like. . . well, family. Let’s say your customer walks into the store for the first time. Do you remind them of a shark pursuing its prey? Or are you friendly and helpful? Customers will respond better if you take the time to learn a few things about them – their name is a great start – and create a human connection before moving on to business. Compliment their clothes. Ask about the sports team whose logo they boast. Even a comment about the weather will help move you out of the rank of the greedy salesperson and make you more of a person. Remember details they mention – their kids, their spouse, their goals. Are they 182
  • 191. purchasing the product because they are tired of fighting with their teenagers? Can you sympathize with a brief sentence about your own? Make the customer an individual, treat them like someone important. Actually listen to them, the way you listened to your uncle at your last family gathering. Then, when your customer leaves, take a few quick notes for future reference. Once the transaction is complete, do what any polite family member would do after a party – write ‘thank you’ notes. I’m not talking about a bland, one-size-fits-all printout, though this will still outperform most of your competition.. Take a few minutes to scribble a handwritten note, only three to five lines long, thanking them for choosing your business. Remember those personal notes you took? Mention one. For instance, “I hope your children really enjoy your new Tivo, and you finally get to watch your own shows!” Or, “I hope the fishing rod you purchased helps you bag the biggest one on the dock when you go to the lake this weekend.” Individualize it. Ideally, once you have made the sale, you can take a minute or two to scribble the note, while things are still fresh in your mind. Your customer will remember that you went the extra mile, and will most likely feel the thanks are sincere – making them not only more inclined to return, but also more likely to spread that good karma. If you really want to take them by surprise, give them a call. I don’t know about your family, but my mother loves to hear from me – and she especially loves to tell me what I did wrong. After a few days, ask them a few brief questions regarding your service. The key phrase: “What could I have done to make you more satisfied?” Make sure you remember what they said and learn from it, too. If there was a serious complaint, make sure you follow up on it to solve the problem quickly and efficiently, with the ultimate goal of customer satisfaction. Outsource it to your company care department if you must, but imagine how your customer would feel if you called and really did follow up by asking how many fish he caught. He would think, wow, that salesperson really does remember me and really did listen! Next on your list, maintain a file of your customer. Make a note of when they return to your store, what they buy, and any other comments they made. Then, cater to their interests. If your fisherman said that he would be looking for a part for his boat in the future, keep 183
  • 192. an eye out for when an appropriate one would come in. If your Tivo buyer mentioned he would have to get a DVD burner to permanently record their favorite shows, give them a call or send them a letter when the item goes on sale. Better yet, give them a discount before you give one to the rest of the general public – and let them know it. After all, wouldn’t you give your brother first crack at saving money? Periodically, send them a letter – again, handwritten is best. Remember all those letters to your grandparents? Enclose a flier with a brief note: “I thought you might be interested in this new kind of bait being developed, since you don’t like the sliminess of the other brands.” Touch base with them once a quarter. In this high tech world, databases abound that will alert you when you haven’t contacted someone in three months. Keep your name and your concern at the front of their mind, and when they shop, you will be at the front of theirs. People would rather buy from someone they know, someone they believe genuinely cares about them and their needs. I’m not talking about forcing a relationship to increase your profits, although that will certainly happen. Instead, try to genuinely meet the needs of those you come in contact with. Help them solve their problems. Don’t forget about them once you have their money. Foster a good relationship, rather than a sales pitch. You will find that your customer will share his positive thoughts with others, creating an extended family of customers for life. Incoming search terms: • calling out your ex • emotional connection treating customers like family • treat customers like family • treating customers like family Incoming search terms: • calling out your ex • emotional connection treating customers like family 184
  • 193. • treat customers like family • treating customers like family A map for working out your marketing strategy Marketing Strategy Map230 Here is a good starting point when you are building your marketing strategy. Small Business Get Marketing Wrong Small businesses just keep getting it wrong when it comes to marketing. Let’s look at the top 5 things SMB consistently do wrong! 1. You don’t market yourself Marketing is a continual process. Some small businesses come and see me and say they are not getting enough customers. Step 1 is to do some marketing activity to your target market. Otherwise you are invisible. 2. You don’t know how to explain the benefits Hear this, YOUR CUSTOMERS DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU. You need to explain the problem you solve for them with your product and service. Look at your website. Does it talk about you? WRONG. Start talking about what your products and services do for your customers. 3. Be consistent There is no point doing a one off ad campaign. Similarly, starting on facebook and not being active. Pick the marketing tools you can manage and use them consistently to get a return. 230 ← Map.pdf 185
  • 194. 4. Have a compelling and appropriate offer You must have a call to action (what you want the customer to do) on every communication. This means every web page, brochure, email, flyer, phone message. This call to action should be appropriate. So on your website you might offer them a free download, on a flyer an extra product or service or trial etc. If you have no call to action, expect no action. 5. Don’t be everything to everyone If you haven’t narrowed down the target market so you can describe that person in detail then you are not going to be able to market to them very effectively. If you have your target too wide or have too many markets you will find it hard to stretch you budget to accommodate the sort of marketing touch points that are required to build a relationship. There are many more pointers but these are the keys to getting marketing working for your small business. Social media as a trend or savvy marketing tool eMarketing@commerce site explains: With social media’s awareness among marketers reaching feverish pitch, it can be tempting to simply parrot “social media” as a go-to cutting edge marketing tactic for 2009. Unfortunately, this manner of thinking is at once both overly-inclusive and short-sighted. TopRank® Online Marketing recently asked its readers, via a poll on Online Marketing Blog,231 “What 3 digital marketing channels & tactics will you emphasize in 231 digital-marketing-tactics-for-2009/ 186 ←
  • 195. 2009?” The results, published ineMarketing & Commerce, may be seen here232 . Not surprisingly, social media233 related channels encompassed three of the top four tactics being emphasized by marketers in 2009: • #1 – Blogging – 34% • #2 – Microblogging & Twitter – 29% • #4 – Social networking – 26% Most telling, is that savvy marketers are not identifying “social media” as a tactic in and of itself. Rather, these marketers are identifying the individual components of a social media initiative as ingredients to be added to their overall marketing mix. So wake up, social marketing is all about giving. It is about networking by caring enough to spread the good stuff to help your customers in the way they want to hear it. It is not about you! It is about solving customers’ problems by providing the information, services and products they need. Sometimes the best thing you can do is say, “Well, I don’t do that but here is someone that can”. Build your credibility, like-ability and your value by being authentic, and caring enough to listen to what customers want. And if you aren’t the expert, send them to someone who is. Incoming search terms: • social marketing a trend Incoming search terms: • social marketing a trend 232 ← media-tactics-minds-marketers 233 187
  • 196. Should you dump your web and just have a blog? Is the website days numbered? I am really thinking that perhaps the blog is the way to go for me. Currently my website is okay but my blog is more interactive, I can display more information and is easier to change on the fly. I will seek some advice on this strategy but maybe it is the way to go, especially for small business. For one, you can cut your costs and time in half! The Zenguide guys explain the difference in functionality between a blog and a website. A website • A typical brochure-style website gives you several pages with your brochure information on it. This can serve you very well as it gives your clients/ readers/ customers all the factual information they need to know about you and your business/ books/ services. • A website like that is pretty much static. Once people have been once and read whatever is there to read, they don’t really need to come again unless they need to be reminded about something, e.g. your office address when they are coming to visit you. • It can do well with search engines provided your designer has included search engine optimisation within the design. • You can update the website yourself fairly easily once your web designer has shown you a bit of HTML. This can be useful for a “Latest News” page. But you usually have to delete the old text to make room for the new text unless you’ve got the capability to add additional news items and additional pages. • A website is not interactive – you are stating your message to your audience and they can’t interact in any way, although people can usually email you via the Contact page. A blog 188
  • 197. • A blog alongside your website enables you to update content easily – as easily as writing an email using a web-based email account. • You never lose the old content from a previous “post”. This is particulary useful if your latest “latest news” item is a follow up item to your previous “latest news” items. E.g. Last month your news was, “I’ll be appearing at the Hay Literary Festival. . . ”; this month you can write, “When I appeared at the Hay Literary Festival, we had a lively discussion about the publishing industry. . . ” • You can archive your posts according to date or subject, e.g. “Book Events”, “Current Novel”, “Publishing Industry” and eventually build up a body of work. • Search engines LOVE regularly updated pages. They are likely to throw you up near the top more often and you’ll start appearing all over the internet as you write more and more. Your posts that are never deleted from months ago will be found by someone searching on a particular topic and that will introduce them to the rest of your blog. For example, my post on Malt Loaf on my arts blog Fusion View keeps getting picked up by a range of people from France across to South America even though I wrote it around a year ago – and hopefully, that means more and more people are discovering my blog through atypical searches, (i.e. not by a typical searching like “Malaysian/ UK writer”, for example). • And that is exactly the reason I started blogging as a writer. Almost two years ago, my presence was disappearing off the internet – my books website itself was just not enough to keep me active and live on the web. Traffic to my site was pitiful. Since I started blogging, I’m all over the web and my arts blog Fusion View has over 8,000 unique visitors a month. • A blog is interactive and you can easily engage with your readers/ customers, building up loyalty and trust. 189
  • 198. • You can add multimedia such as pictures, audio podcasts and videos very easily. • A blog has what is called an RSS feed234 that sends out notifications (like radio signals) to the rest of the web whenever it is updated so you don’t have to sit and wait for people to come and find you, it automatically tells people about your latest update. • For solo professionals and small businesses, it may take time to blog but after the initial set up costs and some training, it’s a very cost-effective way to promote your presence online – which is very important if you have a limited budget. Both If you don’t already have a website, discuss with your web designer using the blog platform – you can create numerous static pages for the brochure part using the same blogging software: you don’t need to pay for a website plus a blog. Traditionally, some web designers charged you by the number of pages because the old technology meant that they had to hand code and link each new page. If you incorporate your website as part of your blog, once the blog is designed you don’t have to pay extra for the number of additional pages – that’s all part of the package. The guys from Designerplayground agree with me. . . Why Use Blogs Instead Of Website Why would you use Blogs instead of a web site for your online business? You can definitely continue using a website in your online business. Combining a website and a Blog however offer a number of superior advantages in terms of traffic generation, marketing and efficiency which a stand-alone website cannot do. (a) Automatic push-button publishing. (b) Fosters relationship building, trust and stickiness. 234 190
  • 199. (c) Increase search engine ranking. (d) Free listing in Google, Yahoo and MSN. (e) Syndication Power. The most powerful feature of a Blog is its syndication function. Blogs can be turned into RSS feeds, and most Blogging service providers have this built-in function. It is just a matter of turning it on from within your account. Once it is turned into an RSS feed, you can syndicate your Blog contents by: Submitting to the major RSS directories and search engines like Yahoo and MSN, gaining free exposure and free traffic. Allow other website owners to publish your feed on their sites. Again, getting free traffic you otherwise will not have. Gain new readers, subscribers and potential clients by letting them subscribe to your RSS feed via a newsreader. Thanks for the advice Bigrobby says I’ve become a firm believer that the website in the traditional sense is all but obsolete. That’s right. The “Website” is dead, the Blog has risen to power, and it’s becoming harder for the big boys to compete with smaller businesses online. As a web designer for 11 years, I have seen technologies come and go, rise and fall, but the social shift in the web is leveling the playing field, and allowing small businesses to thrive. 191
  • 200. 1. The Price - It’s a helluva lot cheaper. Even free, if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty. Even a complete professional installation can be done for as little as $100. You also don’t have to pay anyone to develop custom features, because just about everything you want to do is available as a free plug-in. 2. The Design – There’s a million themes available for free, the process to change the entire look of your website can be done with just a few clicks. There are also some absolutely amazing commercial theme providers, like WooThemes.com235 , that create the most effective and beautiful themes that need little or no customization other than a logo. 3. The Effort - When you want to add a page, edit content, update a new article, add or edit an image – you can do it with a few clicks. WordPress makes every action, every design element, every possible change extremely easy for anyone. 4. The Traffic - When you self-host a WordPress installation, you get full credit for all the traffic to your blog. This is in contrast with hosted solutions like and TypePad, where all your traffic is credited to the company, not you. Some companies are solving that problem, but as of now, a self hosted version is the absolute best. 5. The Security – When you use a WordPress back-end for your website, you get the advantages of spam prevention, user-level access with several tiers to allow complete control or just read privileges. 235 192
  • 201. 6. The Search Engines236 - There isn’t another system that beats WordPress (with 4 simple plug-in237 additions and a couple settings changes) in the SEO238 department. Not only does WordPress easily allow you to optimize each page as you build it, it also actively informs hundreds of sites that your blog has been updated. With the proper free plug-ins, meta tags239 , descriptions, keywords, page titles, page structure, redirecting out-dated pages, 301 redirects or anything else that gets overwhelming and/or expensive is all done for you on the back end, without you even knowing! Another amazing feature, with a little luck and effort, your website can be listed on Google240 within a couple hours of you writing your first page. This takes a few tricks I will be sharing in upcoming posts. 7. Communication With Customers - Does your website have the ability for your customers to easily leave feedback and communicate with other people on your site about your products or services? Remember, word of mouth is still the largest method obtaining sales. If you give your customers a place to communicate, even if it’s heavily moderated, you can use their satisfaction with your product or service as a testimonial and selling tool. Thanks Robby. I am starting to think that an all in one blog with some extra pages for my web content is the go. What are your thoughts? Does the small business need SEO? SEO tools 236 237 238 239 240 193
  • 202. I recently met with an SEO expert! Yes, they seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately! I have spent a lot of time researching this area over the last 6 months. Here is what I have found out for small business owners. 1. If you go to an expert or a company, it is going to cost the average small business $300 to $600 per month if they go for an SEO package that is maintained. What does that give you? Well the IT geeks in the background will optimise your site with key words, build links, and set your site up well so google can crawl your site and select you in the top five for a particular statement. I found out that it is very expensive to rank for one or even two works and the most you can hope for is a phrase like small business marketing consultant. 2. I found out that pay per click which is google ad words is very expensive and perhaps Facebook is a better option depending on your target market but is getting better conversion for click through. 3. That most of this you can do yourself but you need to do it consistently so there is a cost associated to this. Tools include google analytics, google key words and google resources241 . 4. That there are some free tools out there to get you started. Hubspot has a web grader242 that is a good place to start. See below for tools and tips. 5. That there is some value in doing some paid SEO if you are in a small niche and need a large number of visitors to your site. The example was given to me of a car dealer that spends thousands per month but gets many more thousands to his site and converts enough to make this advertising spend worth it. I am suggesting for small businesses a starting point is to ensure the following is done before you go down the road of SEO via a company. 241 starter-guide.pdf 242 194 ←
  • 203. 1. Optimise your site for key words your target market uses to find you. Try it. Type in words into google and see if your competitors and you are listed. 2. List the key words in your headers and in the alt tag for pictures and through the copy. Do every page of you website 3. Have a call to action on every page. Contact phone number and form to collect email details. 4. Do a little bit often. SEO is a changing landscape. A little bit often is the best strategy. Link to your blog. Post articles on other sites that link back to your website. Keep an eye on your google analytics and tweak things to optimise your site being found by your target customers. I have increased my web and blog exposure from hundreds to thousands per month (thank you) and all by tweaking things using the tactics above. Love to hear if you are looking at your SEO? Tools and Tip: video 10 things you can do for your small business online243 . Google places244 – video on how to do this How to get found online245 – podcast by Tim and Luke How to build a website246 – thanks Luke some good optimising tips like start with wordpress which is search engine friendly! Related posts: Top 5 tips for Google listings247 So how are you going getting found on the web248 5 Keys to designing a great website249 243 ← -online 244 245 246 247 248 249 195
  • 204. Optimising a press release for SEO250 Incoming search terms: • google internal audit jobs • why does a business need SEO Incoming search terms: • google internal audit jobs • why does a business need SEO Twitter plug ins Twitter251 is buzzing and here is a collection of top 10twitter tools, plugins, widgets and scripts to integrate with your wordpress blog. • TweetSuite252 - a Twitter-WordPress integration plugin that includes server-side TweetBacks, ReTweet-This buttons, digglike Tweet-This Button, automatic tweeting of new posts and some widgets. • Tweet This253 - A plugin that adds a Twitter icon to every post and page, so your readers can share your blog entries on their Twitter accounts with ease. • WP Twitip ID254 - Plugin adds an extra field to the comment form for user to enter their twitter username • Twitter Badge255 - Official javascript codes that display badges showing what you are posting on Twitter. 250 251 252 ← html 253 254 ← to-your-comment-form-easily/ 255 196
  • 205. • The Twitter Updater256 - a wordpress plugin that automatically sends a Twitter status update to your Twitter account when you create, publish, or edit your WordPress post. You can specify the text for the updates, and also have the option to turn the auto update on/off for the different post actions in the admin panel. • TwitThis257 is an easy way for people to send Twitter messages about your blog post or website. When visitors to your website click on the TwitThis button or link, it takes the URL of the webpage and creates a shorter URL using TinyURL. Then visitors can send this shortened URL and a description of the web page to all of their friends on Twitter. • Twitter Tools258 - This wordpress plugin creates an integration between your WordPress blog and your Twitter account. Pull your tweets into your blog and create new tweets on blog posts and from within WordPress. • Twitter WordPress Sidebar Widget259 - Customise the number of updates shown in your sidebar, individual links to each status update on Twitter, style your Twitterings using CSS, choose whether to display your Twitter name before each post and customise text between the post text and the relative time. • Twitter Feed260 - Posts your blog updates to your twitter account. Login to twitterfeed using your OpenID, provide the URL for your blog RSS feed, and how often to post to Twitter. • Twitt-Twoo261 - is a simple little plugin that will allow you to update your Twitter status right from your blog’s sidebar. It is AJAX powered and allows for quick and easy status updates. 256 257 258 ← tools 259 260 261 197
  • 206. • Twitter Sharts262 - ‘Shart’ your twitter status anywhere within your wordpress blog posts or pages. Make your marketing effort successful Most small business owners know they need a marketing budget, but most would agree with the old clich´, “I know that half my advertising e is wasted, but I don’t know which half”. Big businesses track their marketing, but most SMEs think it’s too hard, too expensive or both. Well, the truth is that any marketing you do can be evaluated, and should be. That’s not to say you can work it out to the last dollar, but you can at least help your business spend those dollars more effectively. Let’s look at typical small business marketing activities and see what can be done. Marketing really means just about everything you do in your business, from the nature of your product, to how you promote and sell it, through pricing, to how it gets to your customers. But most effort and most money in SME marketing goes to promotion, advertising and sales generation, so we’ll concentrate on that. Know who your ideal customer is Don’t try and be everything to everyone. Defining who your ideal client base is helps you focus your marketing dollar. That way you can evaluate advertising opportunities on how effectively they are going to reach your ideal customer. For example: Does your business specialise in holistic beauty therapy or do you offer cosmedic services? Both have very different types of client bases who are motivated by different things. One may be motivated by health, whereas another more by appearance. 262 wordpress/ 198 ←
  • 207. Make sure your tag line talks to your ideal client Mine is better business decisions because I know that when my clients will walk away having made better business decisions having engaged me and that will result in better marketing and a more successful business. Have a strong presence Ensure that you have really good signage on your premises, and use every other opportunity to promote your brand. Include signage on your car and on your staff in your reception. If you have a web site make sure that your signage includes your web site address. It’s usually the easiest thing for potential clients to remember. Build a database In competitive industries a lot comes down to customer relationships. Strong relationships are built through developing an understanding of individuals and communicating to them regularly. You should be building a database from day one, and getting as much information as possible from your clients. Get contact details, including an email address, as it’s the easiest and cheapest way to communicate with your clients. Also include their age and what they most often spend on. Do they want reminders about your product or service offering? And would they like them via email, phone or sms? Do they want to put their partner’s name on the database for birthday, anniversary or other gift hints? Would they like to be invited to special events such as new product or procedure information evenings? Then use this information to your advantage. Technology now means you can communicate more regularly, more cheaply and easier then you have ever been able to before. There are many CRM tools out now that can automate this process like built for small businesses. Use your web site Think of your web site/ blog as your virtual shop front in a market place where people are only shopping for what you offer. A good web site will clearly communicate your offering to potential clients and the experience you deliver when clients enter your business. It should 199
  • 208. be easy for visitors to visit your site to see what you offer, what your pricing is, and perhaps make an enquiry. You should also try and make sure your web site allows people to leave their details with you to receive regular information. Perhaps have an enquiry form where people can give their contact details, birth date and the opportunity to subscribe to a regular online newsletter. Use the internet The internet is the Yellow Pages of today and the future. Huge amounts are spent each year on Yellow Pages advertising yet many people haven’t had a copy of the Yellow Pages for years. Search Engine Marketing involves buying advertising space on Google and other search engines like U-tube and Facebook. This is great for a business to test as you can easily trial it without committing to a huge spend and you can turn it on or off instantly to see how it’s performing. Make sure you get expert advice on targeting when setting up your campaign to ensure its cost-effective. Also monitor the reports and performance regularly so you can adjust the campaign to increase its performance. Build a local profile So much about building a successful business is about building a strong local profile. Send press releases or information about yourself, how you got into the industry, why you started your business and how you support the local community, to the business writer of your local paper. Think about hosting a local event with other local complimentary businesses and invite the media along. Enter local business awards, and attend local business networking events. The more people who know about you and know what you do, the more people are likely to tell others. Give people a reason to try you. Regular offers give people a reason to try you who haven’t before and current customers a reason to come back. 200
  • 209. 10 tips on how do we get qualified traffic to our website or blog or other social media Tips from Ty Downing. 1. Good content – original content. Authoritative content. Your ideas, your words, your audience. No matter where you are writing this, website, blogs, e-zines, ads, social media (twitter, facebook, Linkedin). All of these are getting indexed and crawled by search engines. 2. Don’t copy. Check this on If you do Google will abandon your site and you will rank lower. 3. For every 100 words you should use your key word or phrase. Google looks for these things and will list you on the search engine. This helps promote your ranking within the engine. 4. Images – tag them. Put a key word phase in this Alt tag under the image. So the key word would be on topic. This also helps search engine rank your content higher in their list. 5. A Blog is a potential source of referral for your other communication methods. Search engines loves fresh content. So a blog is a great idea. Within your post link back to your main website. So you can cross market and you can anchor this link into both of your sites and that stream helps you get greater visability on the search engines. You can benefit from your hyperlinks, not just others. 6. Track what is working with Googleanalytics263 and run it on each page. Then you can tweak things in real time. See if your conversion pages are working. Are people bouncing off your page immediately. Bounce rate: land on a page and then how long it takes them to leave. If your bounce rate is high then you are ranked lower in google search engine. So measure and review. Average bounce rate is 40%. 7. Track key words. SEObook264 is a free tool that allows you to do this. Word tracker265 – paid service. $59 key words in your content. 263 264 265 201
  • 210. Another one is googlesktool266 8. Title tags and meta tags. Title tag is the title words at the top of you site. These should keep to your key message (70 characters). This is the most important text on your page as this is what the search engine uses first. Meta tag -(160 characters – your positioning or description). This should be done on each page for the best indexing and thus finding by search engines. 9. Backlink – this is a website linking to you. You can return the favour by doing some outbound links. Backlinks – the more you get the higher up you go in the search engine crawler and ranks you higher. 10. Need a consistent home page address. Keep it consistently represented, one version of your key page. You can fix this by visiting Ty blogsite267 . This effects your search engine ranking. Incoming search terms: • Manta survey marketing priority • get qualified traffic • how might you find QUALIFIED traffic? • qualified traffic Incoming search terms: • Manta survey marketing priority • get qualified traffic • how might you find QUALIFIED traffic? • qualified traffic 266 267 202
  • 211. 5 ways to capture customer insights When I first visit with a new client the first thing I ask is, “Do you talk with your customers?” I am often surprised to hear that many don’t. This is one of the first check points or pulses in marketing, as this insight is pivotal to how you can strategically manage your business. This feedback shapes everything and so here are 5 ways to capture customer insights. 1. Ring your customers for a chat. Everyone likes to be made feel valued and so ringing your customers and asking them how everything is going and if there is anything they need or you can do to improve your service is a no brainer. Most small businesses don’t do it. Make a time in your diary for every month to call at least 5 customers and ask them these questions. You will find the answers shape your business and open up opportunities. 2. Have a database. This is a crucial investment. One central place to collect information about your customers. The more you know about them, the more you can tailor your services to their individual needs. There are lots of great CRM products out there to hold your customer information (see sidebar CRM links) but a simple excel sheet with their details, name, phone number, email address and what they have bought from you is a good start. You can then begin to segment your customers based on different criteria, how much they buy from you, $ value, products or services they buy. This information can then be useful when you start talking with your customers using other social medias including, blogs, newsletters, or lead generation campaigns. 3. Ask your staff for customer insight. I was talking about this the other day with a client and we decided to put a big whiteboard in the middle of the open office space with Happy Customers, Upset Customers and then people could come and write down what they were hearing and seeing. This gave the CEO much greater visibility to customers and gave the staff some ownership over the customer satisfaction of their clients. So set up some forum where staff can discuss customer issues, good and bad. 203
  • 212. 4. Do some research. Research these days can be very quick to do and economical. There are a lot of free survey tools (look under my links on the side bar) that allow you to create surveys quickly. When you need to test an idea, get some feedback then perhaps try a survey with your existing clientele. Very quickly you can get a feeling whether you are on the right track and as long as the survey is not too long, they can feel good that they were consulted. 5. Invite customers to your planning and brainstorming sessions. It is sometimes worthwhile to have a customer or a customer advocate like a marketing consultant involved in your planning sessions for the business to ensure that the customer remains central to the focus of your business. This holds the business accountable and by having an actual voice at these forums, ensures that the customer is really represented. The other option is to hold a focus group just with your customers around an important decision that you are going to make with the business, to test the concept or pilot it before you commit to it. So there you go, 5 simple but effective ways to talk with your customers. Get started today, and let me know what you uncover. . . Incoming search terms: • business model genaration customer insight • capture client feedback • customer comments capture on website • how to capture marketing insights • ways to capture comments in a focus group? Incoming search terms: • business model genaration customer insight • capture client feedback • customer comments capture on website • how to capture marketing insights • ways to capture comments in a focus group? 204
  • 213. Great source of blogs for small businesses 100 blogs that are better than an MBA 268 Check it out! Marketing technology helping small businesses win big! (if you can’t see this link you might need to register at Brighttalk for access). This presentation is a must to understanding the importance of technology in marketing and how small businesses can start to leverage it to compete better than ever before. The key points I took away from this presentation are: • Most web experiences happen via Google (62%). How does your business look through the Google spotlight? Are you paying attention to your Google profile? • Media Fragmentation – challenges are created via reach – there so many mediums, how do you pick the best media mix for your target audience? • Speed – Radio took 38 years what it took Facebook 2 years to do – reach an audience of 50 million people. • Noisy – clutter to cut through. Blogs 133,000,000. or 900,000 new posts per 24 hrs. • Transparency – it is easy for people to find out about you quickly via multiple sources. • Listen and learn – The age of the conversation – so many mediums. Are we forgetting to listen and learn and just requesting information all the time? 268 205
  • 214. • Mobile space – how mobile technology is changing marketing – downloads 1 billion this year via applications. • Consumer is now in control – they look at what they want when they want. Benefits of marketing technology for SMALL BUSINESS • Do more with less – much less. • RIO -return on investment is greater and easier to measure. We need to measure it in business terms. • Value – great tools that don’t cost a lot to use. (see my links). Get started today with your virtual marketing assistant269 to do the work affordably and fast track your marketing. Incoming search terms: • brighttalk lead gen Incoming search terms: • brighttalk lead gen Who’s talking about you and how to listen online. By now you are probably up to date with the social media tools if you are reading this blog, i.e. twitter, facebook, Linked In, etc but have you considered monitoring the conversation others are having about you and your brand? Well it is big business and this sort of marketing intelligence is something that is worth knowing about. For we small business there are a couple of free or affordable tools that we can investigate to monitor this conversation. 269 206
  • 215. 1. Google Alerts270 – this free tool quickly allows you to follow and monitor key words on google. You can put in your own name, competitors, topics and track the conversation. This is useful information that can open up some interesting opportunities. 2. Trackur.com271 – this is available free for 14 days and is similar to Google Alerts but gives some more depth to the information. i.e. email, RRS and SMS. 3. Tweetdeck.com272 – this allows you to follow tweets based on your own search criteria. 4. Howsociable273 – measures your brand via 16 social media sites and gives you a ranking that indicates who is talking about you. This is also a free tool. 5. Trucast274 - more sophiscated software to monitor, optimise and manage their online presence. 6. Whostalking275 – search and retrieves information about the search term. 7. 123people276 – will let you search on a person and show you details about them and how to find them. 7. Brandseye.com277 – this is a more sophicated program and so costs more but the benefits are that it allows you to monitor your brand more and protect your reputation across more social mediums. 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 207
  • 216. 10 Great marketing internet tips from Jay Jay Berkowitz from 10goldenrules278 has some great Ideas for marketing on the Internet and these include: • Maximize web site traffic by using Free Search Engine Optimization techniques • Create a FREE Offer on your site to get leads • Measure the cost to acquire a lead and a sale • Learn from the competition by using Competitive Intelligence Tools • Take advantage of FREE Internet products like Google Optimizer to improve conversion on your web site • Generate greater awareness for your business or product by using Free or low cost Internet Press Releases • Develop an eNewsletter • Create a virtual internet sales force using Affiliate Marketing • Build your company’s position on high traffic Social Media • Cut out the middle man by selling direct Check out Jay’s podcast on itunes as it is a really greatpodcast279 10goldenrules, and full of great tips. Coaching the PA in marketing – your best asset One of the biggest issues small businesses face is a marketing resource. As the manager you don’t have the time although you might have the ideas. You might be in the position where you have a PA or a 278 279 208
  • 217. receptionist but they don’t have the marketing skills. Well, here are a few ideas that might help coach your PA and help them start to acquire the marketing skills to grow your business. Note: this is a great idea if your PA shows some interest and enthusiasm for marketing only. 1. Get them a coach – providing the PA with a marketing coach will give them the hands on experience to start developing the basic marketing skills to implement some key marketing strategies. This small investment in them is also a vote of confidence that they can develop beyond their current role and grow with the company. There are many companies that can provide this service including mine280 . I have started a e-zine for PA’s to develop these skills for free and they can join by clickinghere281 . 2. Develop a database – capturing your customers in some simple format is critical for communicating with them. Creating a excel spreadsheet with headings like First name, Last Name, Company, Address, Email, Phone Number, customer type can then lead to being able to do some marketing campaigns down the track. Eventually your PA will be ready to use auto response software and CRM to develop some more targeted communications. 3. Developing some templates – creating some basic templates will help the PA with this role. A marketing action plan – list and cost of all marketing activities, newsletter format template, customer testimonial template, media release, invitation to event, employment ad, tender response template, etc. These can be downloaded from various sites for free often, just do a google search. 4. Consistent look and feel – having a file with your logo, images, letterhead etc and monitoring the look of documents and communications is really important. Having one person controlling this is really helpful. 5. Website – you can get many cheap and easy to use content management software platforms for setting up your own web or blog 280 281 209
  • 218. and this is something that the PA can then use. You can still have a graphic designer for your web but having the PA be able to update the content via a web based content management system is more cost effective and makes sense. 6. Network – give the PA an opportunity to talk with a network with other PAs looking to move into marketing. Even giving the opportunity to do some short course is valuable, i.e. direct mail, online advertising, event co-ordination etc. Australian Marketing Institute282 is a good starting place but there will be one in every location that your PA could join. Incoming search terms: • small business coaching blogspot Incoming search terms: • small business coaching blogspot The quick guide to using social media As a relative newcomer to social media (last 13 months) I have been chasing the curve to try and understand how to use tools like twitter283 , linkedin284 , and facebook285 . I have used these tools for sometime for personal use but now are uncovering the fantastic potential as a business tool to enter the conversation with your customers, listen and learn and gather a lot of IP really quickly. Here are my top learnings so far. . . 1. Twitter – I largely now use this as a news service. Connect with key people that shape your industry and then follow their tweets to keep abreast with what is going on. Use tools like tweetdeck to capture the information in a useful interface. Tweeting is about sharing rather 282 283 284 en_US&trk=tab_pro 285 210 ←
  • 219. than promoting yourself. Check out http://InboundMarketing. ← com – new community for marketers and free training program #imu June 15-19http://bit . ly/IMU. Shows you the power of the network! 2. Facebook – I use this to keep connected to friends and family. It does have some uses in that you can profile your business. Marie Smith286 the guru on facebook gives some good information on how to set up a fan-page which is useful. Her tips about using your face as the image seems like a no brainer but to use the same image, bio and links in each social medium is a good tip. Remember that your business contacts could look at this page and it exists forever! 3. Linkedin is a great business networking tool. I use this to stay connected to past contacts, ask questions, gather resources from like minded individuals. Joining some of the discussion groups in your industry is a good idea but the email trail can be a bit much. Just choose the groups that really mean something to your business. Otherwise tweet for instant updates. 4. Find short cuts. You can on tweetdeck set up an autorespond tool that tweets out your messages to facebook automatically. Save your profile somewhere so when you fill in a new social forum you can cut and paste. Link all of your social profiles on your web, blog and email. Anyone got any more learnings to add? Good article in the uk guardian287 re: social media. Subscribe288 to my blog. 286 287 ← media 288 211
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  • 221. Customers buy for their reasons not yours. 5 ways to join their conversation. Awareness Inc pic How many times do I have to say it? It is all about them, not you. They don’t care about you. Still, I am constantly confronted by businesses that continue to focus on themselves and not their customers. Today the tide has well and truly turned. Everywhere you can see how the customer is controlling the conversation. Harley Davidson president got it when he said, ” the more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing”. And you know what, if you don’t engage they will by-pass you. It is so easy for them to ignore. They can turn off the tv, delete the email and fast forward the podccast. It is all about them. They choose. They determine your brand value, they listen to their friends on twitter talking about a bad experience and they research new products by visiting user forums. So where does this leave the small business. It is simple and here are my 5 top tips of ways to join your customers’ conversations. 1. LISTEN – start connecting by listening. This means act like a customer. Ring your own phone number. Stand in your own queue. Understand them. Invite them to participate in improving your 213
  • 222. product or service. Educate them and inspire them, but mostly join their conversation. Observe conversations in your sphere. Listen to the experts in your business on blogs, tweets and other social media forums. 2. LOOK – at your communications, your website for example. Does it talk about the customer and their problems and how you solve them or does it talk about YOU? Remember no one cares about you, nor do they care about everybody, they care about themselves. So don’t be all things to everyone. Just communicate to the select target market and explain how you can help them. 3. ACT – If you get some feedback, good or bad act on it. Show you care. A blog is a good way to join the conversation with your customers but it is no good if you don’t act on the information. You have to show that you are invested and you care. 4. CREATE – opportunities for your customers and employees to communicate and build an extended online community. They are going to have the conversation with or without you so you may as well be listening and providing input. Marketing is now a dialogue and two way conversation that requires listening and if you are good at it, you will empower your customers to create their own ideal products and services, review yours and provide feedback and nurture your business. They will tell you how they want their information, and what they want. You just have to listen and be willing to share the process. 5. EVALUATE – evaluate your online community and strategy and make sure it suits your customer needs. As you can see from the conversation prism below, there are many ways to join or start a conversation and you can’t give your attention to all. Pick the best way and medium that suits your customers and make a start today. 214
  • 223. PR 2.0 pic 215
  • 224. Subscribe289 to my blog. Incoming search terms: • customer buy for their reason not yours • Customers buy for their reasons not yours Incoming search terms: • customer buy for their reason not yours • Customers buy for their reasons not yours 5 things to consider before podcasting as a small business. No doubt you are like me, you are using your transit time, be it travelling or wait appointment and possibility even your insomnia to listen with your ipod to podcasts in your area of interest. I have a number of marketing favorites now including: Ten Golden Rules290 Ducttapemarketing291 Six Degrees of Separation292 289 290 291 292 216
  • 225. Marketing Over Coffee293 Marketing Geeks294 These are all great and it begs the question should we all be doing podcasts for our businesses. Well, here are 5 things to consider before you take on this new social media. See if you can tick each area off. Alternatively listen to this article as a podcast295 . Susan Bratton from Dishy Mix296 makes a good call when she explains whether you should go into podcasting. A veteran at podcasting, she explains that her preferred medium for communicating is to speak with people, even over blogging or twittering. Susan does have a great personality and she has honed her interviewing skills and so makes for an interesting host. 1. So deciding if this medium suits your style is number 1. If you feel you would rather blog, or remain in the background then this forum is not for you. 2. What do you want to achieve with the podcast? Is it another tool to connect with your customers? Is it serving a particular niche? To compliment yourself as an expert in a area is another valid reason. If 293 ← to-work/ 294 295 296 217
  • 226. it is just to serve your ego, then perhaps not the best reason but some people honestly want to share their burning passion. I think Jay297 uses this medium the best and that is to provide really great content in a different way. People are busy and to be able to download Jay298 and listen to him and is great expert guests and content is a must on my list. I am sure this also provides him with many speaking engagements as an expert. 3. You have to keep to a regular format which means setting the time aside to do the podcast every week, month or fortnight. Once you have the listeners you need to commit to the schedule. This is a hard one for some of us with limited resources but as Jay299 so cleverly does there are many ways to do a podcast. You can do it remotely from sites or take your ipod with a recording app and capture content at conferences, with clients and other guests. However, it is valid to remember that the editing of the podcast can take up to 3 times as long as the recording. 4. Technical skill300 – there are so many resources out there for podcasting that it is now easier than ever to do a podcast. 297 298 299 300 218
  • 227. 5. However to make it useful there are some categories that you need to look at. Using podcasting music from Podsafe network301 is really just the beginning. • Format and length • Content is king – is what you have to say worth listening to? • I think it is more entertaining to have a conversation so how do you create this, i.e. guests, call-ins • Editing – cover songs, sound quality and humour all add to the entertainment value • Publicise your pod – promote it and syndicate it via RRS • Monitize – sell archives of your show via membership or CD transcripts, make product recommendations (affilate and sponsorhip program, sell web banners for your podcast site). Look at my podcast links on my blog for more resources. Maybe like Moms Talk Biz302 – Kelly McCausey discusses in her podcast guide, we will all be podcasting sooner or later because our audience wants it, our competitors are doing it, and it is a very affordable communication tool. We already create websites, blogs, write articles and tweet so maybe podcasts will be or audio or videos like Andrew Lock303 is the next step? Well I am hoping that rather than start my own podcast I can freelance on other existing podcasts as a guest. So any of you marketing or small business podcasts out there I am ready to chat about working as a marketing consultant in the small business trenches. 301 302 303 219
  • 228. Let me know what you are thinking about podcasting for your business or your top fave podcasts. Subscribe304 to my blog. CRM and how it intersects with social media – the next step Alternatively listen to this article as a podcast305 . No one seems to be talking about it, but surely it is the next step. The intersection between social media and CRM tools. How do we leverage the conversation we are now having with the customer and the use of our customer relationship management engine? CRM + [SOMETHING THAT INTERACTS WITH/MANAGES SOCIAL INTERACTION] = CRM 2.0. Paul Green’s Blog306 does have a great article on CRM and how it has evolved from CRM 1.0 basically a tactical software platform to manage customer data or transactions to the era of CRM2.0 – a customer engagement strategy. 304 305 306 crm-do-we-have-it-yet.html 220 ←
  • 229. Vendors like SAP CRM 7307 and Oracle Social CRM308 have been proclaiming CRM 2.0 for a while now, but according to Paul they still have a while to mature. Jeremiah Owyang an analyst from Forrester Research is a web strategist and in his latest blog talks about in his article When Social Media Marries CRM Systems309 “brands will be able to track, manage, and monitor who enters the community, determine if they are a prospect, customer, partner, or even inactive. Secondly, brands will be able to develop intelligence on how effective communities are for bringing customers closer such as integrating existing social networks like LinkedIn310 to the corporate intranet. In a theoretical sense, brands could determine which customers have the best reputation311 , and how to keep and reward them. But perhaps, most importantly, customer experience will improve as 307 ← +7.0&aq=f 308 309 ← marries-crm-systems/ 310 ← .php 311 ← reputation-standard/ 221
  • 230. companies now have a better understanding of them throughout their life cycle –and beyond.” I think there are some definite leverage points that today small business and others can take advantage of. 1. As Jeremiah suggests using the interaction that our customers have now with us through social media and building a better understanding of them and their life cycle as a customer will allow us to further customising our offerings to our customers needs. How you integrate all the channels of communication to do this, I don’t know, but I am sure there is some agitator tool out there. The future CRM without new Internet technologies such as Web 2.0 does not work anymore. There are lots of new opportunities to collect information on customers in this new social interactive environment. Recruitment firms are already leveraging this by using Linkedin. 2. As customers start to collaborate, the use of CRM tools can be more influential further up the lifecycle as we test the ideas for new products and services and build them together. Using CRM platforms as a feedback mechanism would be an ideal scenario particularly if we have the customer details like email, twitter id, or facebook name. As Jeremiah explains SalesForce is a CRM example where collaboration is starting to happen as Salesforce offers community insight tools. It offers IdeaExchange312 , which powers Dell Ideastorm and My StarbucksIdeas. As Paul Green explains “it extends the company’s value chain to the customer and incorporates the customer into the pores of that value chain in addition to allowing them to tap the unstructured information that is out there for the picking on the web.” There is a great opportunity to actually engage with the customer in the interactions and not many companies are using their CRM to do this yet. 3. Information on competitors, feedback on companies, customer reviews are all fair game now with the customer controlling the conversation. This information can provide a great deal of insight and an opportunity if collected and trends identified to intersect the conversation with key pieces of valuable information either 312 222
  • 231. to protect a brand that might be the victim of some unfair blogging or to capitalise on the groundswell of a viral campaign. As the CRM tools become more sophiscated at digesting this information companies will be able to leverage this to proactively meet the needs of their customers and protect their brand reputation. 4. Customer escalation. Hilary from Lithium makes a great comment on a blog about how CRM and community forums can assist call centre agents. Customers can search once and get combined results from forum posts and the company’s knowledge base. And customers are more likely to get their questions answered if questions posted on forums are escalated to customer support when not answered in a set time frame. For customer support agents, they get a (closer to) 360-degree view of the customer if forum activity is integrated into their CRM desktop. Hilary explains Lithium313 is doing this today. Helpstream314 is another example. 5. Adam Needle makes some interesting comments on his blog315 that current CRM vendors that largely cater for “ demand generation (Eloqua, Market2Lead, Marketo, Silverpop, etc.), marketing automation/EMM (Aprimo, Neolane, Unica, etc.) and advanced CRM (today prob Oracle, Salesforce, etc.) — collectively, what I refer to as integrated marketing management — are building on (and integrating with) existing CRM and are positioning both to be able to broker and to measure/nurture and find ROI in customer dialogue.” Adam states that these vendors aren’t in the best position to understand the customer dialogue because they operate in a data rich database environment but they are coming around. He believes that they are coming around and will begin to integrate social media and other such ‘unstructured’ data/communication capabilities into their platforms. So as marketers and small business the landscape will 313 ← .cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php?p_sid=J9UK5o5j&p_lva=&p_li=& ← p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_page=1&p_cv=&p_pv=&p_prods=0& ← p_cats=&p_hidden_prods=&prod_lvl1=0&p_search_text=installation& ← p_new_search=1 314 315 ← -20-integrated-marketing-management-platforms-1-of-3- ← marketersrightSingleQuote-needs-technology-landscape/ 223
  • 232. change with regards to the tools we have and how they intersect to have conversations with our customers and manage that data as part of a marketing intelligence. SMALL BUSINESS TAKE AWAY: So as a small business you might be just starting to collect names in a database and that is a great start but perhaps start to monitor the conversations your customers are having with you on your blog or about you on social forums or product reviews to see if you can join the conversation or identify trends where you can improve your service and your competitive advantage. A good way of starting to do this is follow google alerts316 and maybe some competitors just for fun or have a look at Marketingvox317 for some good tips. Relevant Books: The art of strategic Listening318 by Robert Berkman The Age of Engage: Reinventing Marketing for Today’s Connected, Collaborative, and Hyperinteractive Culture319 by Denise Shiffman Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies320 by Charlene Li321 (Author), Josh Bernoff322 (Author) Subscribe323 to my blog. 316 317 from-social-media-039322/ 318 ← Intelligence/dp/0978660277 319 ← Hyperinteractive/dp/0979802806/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b 320 ← Technologies/dp/1422125009/ref=pd_sim_b_2 321 ← ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 322 ← ntt_athr_dp_sr_2?%5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books& ← field-author=Josh%20Bernoff 323 224 ←
  • 233. 7 best small business marketing internet tips Want to do two things at once? Listen to this article as a podcast324 . Here are my tips for a small business. 1. GET A WEBSITE Your Business is Open to Your Marketplace 24/7, and can be changed at anytime and it presents a professional image. Don’t you search on the web first when you are interested in a product or service? You can do this by going to a web designer or use one of the content management tools that I use like citymax325 . Just google web content management systems and you fill find lots of options. The alternative to this is to use a blogsite like wordpress, blogger or typepad and direct it over to your website address. Register your domain. Find if you can get your company name. You can check out who is326 or godaddy327 to check if it is available. 2. MAKE SURE YOU CAN BE FOUND It should be optimised for keyword searches. You want people to find your site, so make sure it shows up in Google searches. Easy way to do this is to create pages. Home page needs to be attention grabbing and should solve the prospect’s problem. It’s not about you. It’s about them. However 324 325 326 327 225
  • 234. to optimise the home page make sure you have 400-500 words with key phases and words in the title, intro and end section of your website page. Do this on every page. You can use a wordtracker328 or keyworddiscovery329 tools in my list of resources on this blog. Ask for links with associations you work or are involved with. You get points from google and increase your visibility. Then add your website url on everything from your email, signage, advertisements, invitations, everything in your offline presence. 3. Create a relationship with your customers. Most people don’t buy when they visit your website. They need to be convinced that what you provide will solve their problems. Create a unique reason to come back to your website. It might be to download a resource like a checklist on my site or a newsletter or a calculator. We then ask for a small piece of information, their email address and name. You can use several powerful strategies to build a list of customers and keep communicating with them automatically. How many times have you made an enquiry, or done some research online Gone to a blog or tweeted? You need to provide value. Information. Useful stuff they can use right away. Remember to connect with your customers, create great content and engage and be of value. To do this regular communication with your customers once you have their names is a email follow on or auto-responder campaign and example is aweber330 software. The average customer will not respond until they have seen the message for at least 7 times. If you are going to do an email, follow-on, make sure it is still adding value, and that they have opted in. 4. Promote Your Area of Expertise Create an article about your area of expertise on your website and then send it out on a PRwire331 service to get it picked up by press on line. This will give you more links back to your site (but only if you put the article on your site first). Your website is the perfect place to feature stories and testimonials but be creative, maybe record a testimonial and stream it live or get some footage. Create a project sheet for download. All of this add to 328 329 330 331 226
  • 235. promoting you in your area as an expert. Add a question forum or discussion board to your web (much easier if it is set up as a blog) or link your blog to your home page of your web and start a discussion about things your customers want to know. You should create a blog separate to your website and link them together( if they are not one and the same). This is where you can link to other interesting relevant sources. You then can build some credibility as a expert. Why not start a podcast, which is another way to do the same thing. This should also live on your web and blog. 5. Understand your customers. Online surveys are a fantastic way to find out what your customers want. Use one of the survey free tools listed on my blog . By finding out what your clients want first, you can tailor your service or event to suit them. When you do launch, you’ll have a far better chance of success. You can also do an adwords campaign with google to create a lead generation program. This is easy to do and you can use the keyword tools above to help you as well as googles tools. You want to ensure that you use google analytics tools as this will help when you come to measure your website . 6. Purpose of your website Is your website just a digital brochure? Well, it could be so much more. Your site should be a lead generator at the very least and ideally it should be a way to close sales either online or after an enquiry. The value of your business is in your list. You need to measure conversion on your website. If you had a newsletter for download, measure that. Put the code form google into your website page and measure the downloads with google analytics. Try this app for google at youcal332 How many people are downloading, bouncing, how long are they staying and what are they looking at. 332 227
  • 236. 7. Listen, watch and inspire If you are going to invest in a website or blog then you have to invest the time to track it and improve it. It might be a good idea to get a number of people to contribute content and have one owner. Expect to spend 2 hours per week updating your web or blog if you want it to have some traction. Look at the google analytics of your competitors, invent, create and inspire. There has never been a better time to get an online presence. People are searching on line more and more before they buy a product or service. They are having conversations with their friends online. They are making a short-list and then looking for some interaction before they make a decision. Give them a reason to have a conversation with you or you might be overlooked in this growing marketplace. Incoming search terms: • business tips Incoming search terms: • business tips 228
  • 237. Best social media podcast I have heard – marketers get on board Run to itunes now and download Mitch’s podcast333 . Welcome to episode #159 of Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast334 . This is a very special episode. I was asked to be the Guest Editor for the June 15th, 2009 issue of Marketing Magazine335 (titled Brave New World336 ). The magazine’s cover story is a roundtable discussion I conducted on the future of Digital Marketing featuring: Seth Godin337 , Charlene Li338 , Shelly Palmer339 and David Weinberger340 titled, Talkin’ About A Revolution341 . The entire audio conversation is available for you right here in this episode. It’s fascinating, heated and full of energy. Enjoy the conversation. Here is my comment after listening: Wow. Do I feel good! I was already filled with excitement and couldn’t sleep this week and now I get it. I am a marketing consultant that has been set free from the confines of corporate marketing and now, just at the right time, am able to use my imagination and innovation to collide! This is fantastic opportunity in marketing as Shelly explained. We have these new tools and environment to have a conversation with our customers, earn their respect, and attention and very quickly establish small businesses in a way that has never been possible. I totally get this because I have always approached marketing from “it’s 333 ← of-separation-the-twist-image-podcast-1-206-6666056-digital- ← marketing-allstar-roundtable/ 334 ← _Digital_Marketing_Allstars.mp3 335 336 ← content=20090602_103621_5484 337 338 339 340 341 ← content=20090601_163427_7652 229
  • 238. all about the customer” and now we have the tools to do it better, cheaper and faster than ever before. We have to be ourselves and earn the right to form a relationship, as we would treat any friend. Our interaction and value is only limited by our creativity. Thanks Mitch, you and your guests have confirmed this excitement for me and I look forward to even more insomnia as I plan my next social marketing experiment. Incoming search terms: • best social media podcast 2011 Incoming search terms: • best social media podcast 2011 Hubspot inbound marketing training now available on slideshare! What a fantastic source of information and education all about inbound marketing techniques and now it is all available for free. Visit slideshare342 , you will need a log in but from there you can view it online or click the get it at the top of the screen and save it as a powerpoint slide or pdf. I recommend listening to it first as the speakers are so good. 342 230
  • 239. Incoming search terms: • hubspot inbound powerpoint presentation Incoming search terms: • hubspot inbound powerpoint presentation 5 key steps to building your marketing toolkit I have been consulting for some time now and it seems to me that small business are in the driver seat in being able to cherry pick from some of the best systems and tools about there (many free) to drive their marketing. Here are a list of my top tools and resources that would be useful to invest in today. 1. Build your blog – this is a way to connect with your target audience in an interactive way. It is also a great way to optimise your web by linking your blog in it. The best tool I have found is wordpress343 because it has the best widgets (applications to enhance your communications). Blogger and typepad are also good but I have a preference for wordpress. It has more functionality. 2. Build your webpage – I think the key thing for small business is to have a web page with a content management system built into it. I use citymax344 but there are many software programs now that are web based that can give you a basic template and tools to build your website. A word of caution, make sure that the content management system is easy to use, provides all the services you might need, hosting, web optimisation – key words, meta tags and layout formats and will support you as your business grows i.e. shopping carts, pay per click options, search submission, adding extra domains and pages. You can purchase great templates for wordpress and use it as a website which is a low cost way of getting started but unless you host it on 343 344 231
  • 240. your own domain and use your own CSS tools it is hard to get all the functionality of surveys, forms and product sales online. 3. CRM – a basic database that collects your customers information. I use officeautopilot345 (sendpepper for SMB) for the base for my customer segmentation and I can use it to send campaigns from, and create landing pages. There are many tools out there that will give you this capability for little investment. 4. Autoresponder – I use aweber346 . Really great tool for setting up a series of emails to subscribed customers. Not a spamming tool. People need to opt in. It gives great tracking capabilities and allows me to launch many campaigns to different segments with ease. 4. Form creation – I am using Wufoo347 and finding it excellent. I was using surveymonkey348 but I think Wufoo has surpassed this tool because of its great intergration with paypal and merchant services. Not only can you create a form or survey (great templates) but you can sell using a template. 5. Sell on-line – I have found Paypal349 to be great and easy to set up but there are many more including shoppingcart. I think you just have to see what works for you best in your country. 6. Tracking tools – Google analytics350 is the best for me as it tracks information in more detail than some of the other tools but compete351 is a great one for looking at your competitors. Website grader352 is also another good one to see how to optimise your website. Next steps: So if you are not sure how you stack up or the right questions to ask, take my online survey353 to help you audit your online marketing strategy. 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 internet-business-audit/ 232 ←
  • 241. Was Borders listening to its customers? Listen to this as a podcast354 . With the news that Borders Bookstore’s future is looking shaky with news of receivership, I will share thoughts about the opportunity that has been before them for sometime. 1. Customer behaviour If you are a Borders frequenter like me, chances are that you went into their cafe and ordered your latte. Then you headed for the section of books that you were interested in at the moment. For me it was likely to be marketing, gardening or the Internet. Sitting on a chair or sometimes in the aisle, reading the forwards or a few chapters to determine if the book was worth it, you might have spent an hour or more. Basically using Borders like a library. After a while you might decide to buy the book or you might decide to go home and download it on as a ipod download for about $4. I don’t think I am alone in this behaviour. I just think that Borders didn’t capitalise on it. E-books are already outselling paperback books according to Amazon and are expected to sell out hardcopy books on shelves according Fairfax Media355 . The change in consumer behaviour has been coming for sometime and the Internet has changed the way publishing is created and consumed for ever. 2. The opportunity The opportunity for Borders was to see the customer behaviour and then cater for it. I can think of lots of ways they could have done this. Provided a membership charge on entry say $5 per session. Provided Kiosks to download the books onto a mobile device and put a surcharge. Create a space to work for a fee. Turned the kids section into a space where mothers groups could let their kids play while 354 ← /48673144-ee2b-4a1b-9077-8864c4d25ac6 355 ← -20110217-1axt9.html 233
  • 242. they listened to a story and explored reading and they could have a coffee and take a break. They could have looked at their clientele and then catered to their needs as the need still exists! 3. Is it too late? I really hope that Borders is not lost to this opportunity and a really smart entrepreneur takes on the giant because there are a lot of people who will really miss the environment that they provide. Incoming search terms: • borders collective business model • borders customers • have a coffee Incoming search terms: • borders collective business model • borders customers • have a coffee 5 reasons why your content strategy is the most important marketing tool as a SMB. I think it was Seth who said it best when he said that customers, you and me are in ignore mode. We ignore so much of what is going around us because there is just too much to take in. We are doing more, we are multi-tasking, we are time poor. So it is not always easy to get attention as a small business. It is harder to cut through the clutter. Why then is your content strategy so important and what is it? According toK356 ristina Halverson357 , “content strategy is the practice of planning for the creation, delivery and governance of 356 ← of-marketing 357 ← of-marketing 234
  • 243. useful and useable content.” As John Gerzmen from the Brand Bubble explains “Brands are now used more than they are perferred. Function benefits and relevance now outweigh the intangible emotional allure of a brand.”1 Now brands have to earn attention, rather than bid for it. Now online we don’t just observe we participate. We interact, use and have conversations. Brands are now used more than they are preferred. Functional benefits and relevance now outweigh the intangible and emotional allure of a brand. 1. Content is a key reason for your customers to invest time viewing your web, listening to your ipod, looking twice at your advertisement on google. Content is a reason for your customers to remember you, as long as that content is valuable for them. According to Jessie James Garrett from The elements of an experienced user, “The single most important thing that websites can offer their users is content that they find valuable” 2 I would extend this to be all marketing communications. 2. Content keeps you top of mind. It takes on average 8 interactions with a customer for them to be considering purchasing with you. To get this traction you need to be top of mind. If you create an autorepsond campaign that has valuable content, your customers might not read the message all the time, but if they come across a person who needs your service or product they are more likely to mention you. 3. Content gives you an opportunity to interact with your customers. Blogging about their problems, answering their questions where everyone in your community can benefit. Social forums on products are now an area that customers can get product and services reviews before they buy. Some companies use interactions to improve their customer offering and experience by asking questions and fostering collaboration. 235
  • 244. 4. It shows that you care and are willing to invest in what matters to them. Understanding your customers is a key marketing strategy. Showing that you are listening and responsive is something that earns you credibility. Frankly it is so rarely done that it is a point of differentiation for your brand. 5. What do you/ your customers get by investing in a content strategy?3 • Better user experience • Greater brand consistency • Better risk management as you are talking with your customers • Improved visability via SEO and analytics • Better operational efficiencies • More effective personalisation and targetting Visitmy slideshare358 to see a mud map on creating a marketing content strategy. You might have to login and join to view but it is free and there is a lot of great content on this slideshare website! Enjoy. Notes: 1,2,3 are the quotes and strategy from the work of Kristina Halverson. Please refer to Kristina Halverson’s presentation359 for more information. Great blog by Valeria on 10 reasons why a content strategy fails360 . Incoming search terms: • how important is online marketing to your brand tool • singapore content strategy • why is content strategy important 358 359 ← of-marketing 360 ← -content-marketing-strategy-fails.html 236
  • 245. Incoming search terms: • how important is online marketing to your brand tool • singapore content strategy • why is content strategy important Social marketing metrics – Are you measuring? Here are some great resources I have found for social marketing metrics. 1. Social Media Metrics361 slide-show by Laura from Dooley from the World Resource Institute is fantastic – lots of free ways to track your conversations. 2. Podtech362 have a great pod cast on social marketing metrics363 that you should listen to, to work out what you should be measuring and using what tools? 3. Buzz numbers364 is another good tool. 4. Omiture365 have a great video that teaches you how to test and optimise your web in terms of layout, functionality and testing these constantly to optimise your performance with your key metrics. 5. Are you being talked about? Go to Social mention366 . Great feedback on how you are entering conversations and what the audience feels about your content. 361 ← tools-to-help-you-measure-your-success 362 ← insights-from-a-corporate-vp 363 ← insights-from-a-corporate-vp 364 365 366 237
  • 246. 6. If you want to look at a metric that measures your worth as a social media influencer go to twitalyzer367 . 7. Woopra368 is an alternative to google analytics. 8. Best article on social metrics369 I have found, heaps of information. Social media is the new word of mouth – how does SMB leverage it? Now we are having our conversations online. As individuals, as groups and as companies. We are all now the critic, publisher, expert, DJ, broadcaster, network. We now hold control over the conversation. Most of us now review a product or service online prior to buying. • Online reviews are second only to personal advice from a friend as the driver of purchase decisions; user reviews are more influential than third-party reviews. (“Web users and web community,” Rubicon Consulting, Inc. October 2008) • 81% of on line holiday shoppers read online customer reviews (Nielson Online, December 2008) 367 368 369 ← metrics-superlist-measurement-roi-key-statistics-resources/ 238
  • 247. • 86% of consumers read on ine business reviews before making purchasing decisions; 90% of whom say they trust these reviews. ( survey of 600 users, December 2008) Social media is not just a tool for communications or PR, it is a way to get immediate customer engagement. It can be a great source of lead generation, customer support and a resource of collaborating like piloting new ideas of products and getting immediate feedback from your customers. I think it is one of the most persuasive communication tools that small businesses can leverage as part of their marketing tool kit today. Given these statistics how do we as small businesses start to leverage this online word of mouth resource? 1. Provide ways for your customers to interact with you. Blogs, discussion forms are a good starting point. Podcasting is another effective way if you ask for topics and questions to discuss. 2. Monitor trend through customer conversations. Using twitter, you can see topics that are relevant to your customers and even issues about your company and brand and be represented. 3. Start a user focused group on Facebook or twitter to research and harness customer ideas. Great way to form a group relevant to a particular topic or issue relevant to your company. 4. Sponsor some user content on another site. This is a way of getting visibility for your brand without having the responsibility of updating the content. 5. Promote your brand through organic messaging. Optimise your site, blog, social identity with SEO, key words, content strategy. If you have any ideas to add that would be great. Incoming search terms: • how to leverage social media in SMB • word of mouth social media Incoming search terms: • how to leverage social media in SMB 239
  • 248. • word of mouth social media Twitter – best tips and tools for small business I have seen some great tips on how to use twitter for business in the last few days. Most of my friends still use it for social networking with one another. This is a truly awesome tool for educating yourself in areas that you are interested in and connecting yourself with experts in that area. Good articles and ideas: 1 . Twitter for beginners Twitter 101.370 2. 17 ways you can use twitter371 as a beginner 3. How marketers use twitter372 4. Using twitter for business373 – Ducttape marketing 5. 19 twitter applications compared374 – and 60 best twitter tools375 Mashable 6. 50 ideas on how to use twitter – Chris Brogan 7. How it works for business376 – Copywrite 8. 10 best twitter tips377 to use on wordpress 370 ← twitter-basics.htm 371 ← use-twitter/ 372 ← use-twitter/ 373 374 375 376 ← works-for.html 377 ← tools-for-wordpress-blogs/ 240
  • 249. Got any other ideas, please tweet me at danmac30378 . Incoming search terms: • best tools for twitter • how does microsoft use twitter for marketing • latest tips to use twitter in sales and marketing • twitter best tools Incoming search terms: • best tools for twitter • how does microsoft use twitter for marketing • latest tips to use twitter in sales and marketing • twitter best tools Outsourcing your social media marketing Laura Lake has a great article on outsourcing your social media marketing. “There are five things that you want to look for when considering finding an outsource solution for your social media marketing. 1. What does their own social media reputation look like? For example there are tools you can use to see where they rank on Twitter and on Facebook. These tools rank them according to overall users as well as within city demographics. It’s called Twitter Grader. Don’t use this as your only reference, but do at least look at it to get a good grasp at your possible candidate. It’s very easy to use. 378 241
  • 250. • Twitter Grader: Go to Twitter Grader379 Enter username and click grade, it will give them a grade on a score from 0 to 100, 100 being the highest. If you want to get their rank within their specific city or state demographic just click on the location tab that you are interested in on their grader profile and it will give you their grade and rank within that region. • Facebook Grader: Go to Facebook Grader380 Enter username and click grade, it will give them a grade on a score from 0 to 100, 100 being the highest. If you want to get their rank within their specific city demographic just click on their location tab on their grader profile. 2. What do their current client say? You want to make sure they have success stories from other clients that they’ve had social media marketing success with. This is important. There are times that it is difficult to measure social media marketing, so you need to have testimonials and kudos from other clients that they’ve worked with, so that you can rest assured you are hiring someone who knows that they are doing. 379 380 242
  • 251. 3. Can they give you a strategic plan? A social media expert will be able to present you with a social media marketing plan that you will be able to follow along with, and be involved with. Social media is about your brand. It’s about interaction and it’s about your consumers. Although you can outsource, it’s not a hands-off project that you are not involved in. If you want a social media marketing plan to fail, give it to someone and stay uninvolved. 4. The social media expert you choose should be willing to sit down with you and discuss goals, help you set them as well as help you in setting expectations and, providing you with information on how they will be monitoring the results of their social media marketing efforts. 5. Last, but not least when searching for a social media expert or firm ask lots of questions and chose the company that makes you feel the most comfortable in answering those questions. It’s important to chose the right social media outsource solution, you need to walk away from the negotiating table feeling as if you have put your brand in the right hands, because that’s exactly what you are doing. Outsourcing your social media marketing can often be the best solution for companies that have limited resources when it comes to time and social media expertise. There are social media experts out there that have accumulated the knowledge, resources, accounts, and contacts that can help in taking your social media campaigns to the top and generate buzz quickly. You just want to make sure you do your due diligence when it comes to selecting the right one and by following the guidelines above you’ll be on the right track.” Full article381 here. Resources I would use are under my marketing staff tab on the right hand side of this blog. Incoming search terms: • chris brogan on outsourcing 381 ← socialmediaourtsource.htm 243
  • 252. Incoming search terms: • chris brogan on outsourcing Why blog as a small business? Do you get it yet? It is all about having conversations with your customers. To do this the blog is a fantastic tool for small businesses to embrace. CK’s blog has some awesome information on social media but what I loved the best was the pdf download on why blog382 . Also another great article on why you need a social media presence as a small business383 . To say it simply why I blog: 1. To share and exchange ideas 2. Capture information in one library 3. Learn from others 4. Build a community 5. Connect with customers 7. Inspire and be inspired 382 383 why-should-companies-have-a-social-media-presence.html 244 ←
  • 253. 8. Find and develop and test innovations for my business 9. Get instant feedback, test and pilot ideas 10. Position myself as an expert marketer 11. Give better customer service 12. Improve my business 13. Pay it forward New York times writer in the Small Business section Marci Alboher writes the benefits of blogging for small business are, “sharing news about your company, reinforcing your brand, communicating with clients or customers, identifying yourself with a certain community orshowing your expertise.” John from Ducttapemarketing384 has some good thoughts on why blog. • Blogging makes me a better thinker • Blogging makes me a better listener • Blogging makes me a better writer • Blogging makes me a better salesperson • Blogging makes me a better speaker • Blogging keeps me focused on learning • Blogging allows me to test out ideas • Blogging makes me a better networker • Blogging allows me to create bigger ideas 384 ← benefits-of-blogging/ 245
  • 254. Hubspot385 says ” 1) Gain Visibility as a Thought Leader 2) Engage Customers in a Dialogue 3) Every Blog Article is an SEO Opportunity 4) Blogs Are Link Bait 5) Humanize Your Brand 6) In Google, Fresher Content = Better Website ” I think the key take away is that it is worthwhile but you need to have a strategy and map it into your existing marketing plan. Why do you blog? New way of selling Customer collective article:386 Old way of selling: your phone rings and there is a pulse on the other end. You rush to your car to meet that prospect, you take him or her to lunch, and find out he has no budget and barely a brain. Waste of time, shattering of dreams. New way of selling: you create a great piece of content that betrays your intense knowledge of a particular industry and what is going on in it, based on your up-to-the-minute industry knowledge gleaned from your colleagues and prospects, and served up elegantly in a CRM platform. You throw that content on LinkedIn or a other social networking platform, it gets hundreds of “hits” and retweets, and now your best prospects know who you are and actually want to hear more about what you have to say. Creating — and driving — demand in today’s market is all about 385 386 246
  • 255. having the best, real-time knowledge and using it effectively in a newlynetworked world. Sure, there are still dinosaurs on your prospect lists who want the martini dinner and golf game, but their days are numbered and besides, who has enough in his baksheesh budget these days? Today’s clients want to know that you are not going to waste the one commodity that is diminishing even faster than fossil fuels: time. Finding the most effective ways of creating and driving demand will be the focus of an upcoming webinar387 July 15 at 4 pm Eastern with some terrific guests — David Bonnette VP North American Sales of Oracle, Brent Leary leading Social CRM Blogger, and Dave Brock, leading sales and management consultant. We’ll be looking for your questions on this important topic, but I already have a few of my own: • How can I, as a salesperson, create compelling content or an unassailable offer that will get me leads? • How can I be more creative in the way that I approach a relationship with a buyer? • How can I spend less time on paperwork and more on building relationships? • How does this new sales environment offer some strong advantages for inside sales? Are inside sales organizations using these new sales tools effectively and if so, how? • How about establishing trust with these new tools and strategies? Is trust more important than ever? • Is transparency the same as trust? And will salespeople, who are usually competitive with each other, embrace transparency and why? 387 ← drivingdemandwebinar071509/?reference=smt_tccRpost 247
  • 256. Creating a new toolbar to communicate all your interactions in one interface Well I have been chasing an interface that will help me put all my communications in one tool for my clients and customers and I think that Conduit388 has the very thing I was looking for and it is free. This tool allows you to custom build a toolbar with all of the feeds, tools and communication devices and then you can email the link to your tool bar to customers and they can have this on their browser (firebox, Internet explorer or safari with google chrome coming..) and refer to all your valuable communications in one place. My toolbar389 I created in 2 hours. It is really that simple. But how creative. This is a great way for small businesses to connect with their customers, promote offers, link all their tools in one nice easy to use interface. I love it. Try it today. Even if it is only for you to use to get all your social media interactions on one page it is a great tool. Conduit also has tracking and reporting so you can see how many people have downloaded your toolbar and how they are using it. 388 389 248
  • 257. Incoming search terms: • conduit toolbar • conduit toolbar consulting Incoming search terms: • conduit toolbar • conduit toolbar consulting Designing your brand – 4 Steps for a small business to follow. Alina Wheeler390 is an expert in branding. Her book Designing your brand identity391 . Key messages from this book gives small business a great starting point when approaching marketing. Four questions we should ask. 390 391 ← =1143085694/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-5865041-5169658?_encoding=UTF8 249
  • 258. 1. Who are you? 2. Who needs to know? 3. How will they find out? 4. Why should they care? 1. Who are you? What is important to you? Why are you unique? Why should customers choose you over others? What are your values, mission and vision? Why do you do what you do? What is your story, your passion, why do you love it? What problems do you solve? How are you different? This uniqueness and passion is part of your value system and this the core of your brand identity. This is a great starting point. Often my clients want to start with the tangible part of the brand, the logo and really until we have covered who they are and what customer problems they solve then there is no point. What will people say when they talk about you? Jay Ehert392 from the marketing spot says it well “Branding is really about discovery. It’s about uncovering that thing deep inside you that creates unique value for your customers. Your brand is your soul. Every business owner has a unique brand hidden beneath a layer of marketing fluff. And that’s the tough part.” Your brand personality and what you stand for is what you are aiming at here. 392 250
  • 259. 2. Who needs to know? Who are the people that affect your success. Who are your stake-holders? Your customers first, community, your vendors, the media. Now everyone can be your brand champion. All the people in your universe that affects your success. Make a list and then identify the top 3 audiences that need to know first. Seizing every opportunity to tell your story. It is the opportunity to retain and attract customers. 251
  • 260. 3. How will they find out? How do we tell our story? What are the different touchpoints to communicate to our stakeholders? There are hundreds of ways to do this from your website, from your email tag to your receptionist and voicemail. Each business has different touchpoints, which ones are the most important for you. Is it your website or blog? Is it face to face? Take an inventory and then analyse where your best business comes from our your best customers comes from. 4. Why should they care? Is your business fulfilling a real customer need? Do you know who your customer is? Do you know their aspirations? Do you give them a great customer experience? Have you lived inside their shoes? What is the unmet need that you serve? If you have customers that care about the service or product then you will be a provider of choice. This goes for your values. How you treat your customers, and the experience you provide. If your customers care they will come back and refer you. The brand identity process can be summarized in thispdf393 . How are you distiguishing your brand personality? 393 IIR_M1907_Wheeler_Alina.pdf 252 ←
  • 261. My personality is all about delighting my customers with the marketing information and expertise I provide. I hope this resource is useful. Incoming search terms: • A 4 Steps that business should follow when building media relations Incoming search terms: • A 4 Steps that business should follow when building media relations Join my online marketing training – for small business, it’s free! I have designed an eight weekmarketing online course394 for newbies and would love if you would like to participate. Why join now? Well I am piloting this material and when I get your feedback it will be a paid for resource. Each week you will receive my most valuable advice and resources on topics like: 1. Mission, vision and value proposition development 2. Marketing planning and templates 394 ← business-marketing-training/ 253
  • 262. 3. Marketing mix strategy 4. Marketing mix metrics 5. Inbound (social media) marketing 6. Customer insight techniques 7. How to get your career in marketing moving 8. Resources and tools I will provide the content and tools in a variety of formats including downloads, podcasts, twitter forums and links. Hope you can join395 and we can learn and share ideas together. e.g of email below. 395 business-marketing-training/ 254 ←
  • 263. Seize the opportunity with the convergence of communication and conversational tools. Listen to this blog as a podcast396 . The tools are accessible Now you can download podcasts on your ipod. You can read e-books on your Kindle. What is next! All of these technologies are converging and there is never been a better time to explore communication and conversation devices. Some of the geeks might be frustrated about some of the technical complications with these technologies but I for one think that most people are scrambling to keep up. Only the early adopters are perhaps impatient. We can now look at customer views by watching a Youtube. We can now be part of the community. We can call into podcasts, webcast/ webinars and the world just got a whole lot smaller. 396 255
  • 264. It is all getting very intimate – build your own community We can now subscribe to select media that provide exactly the sort of content we are interested in. There are now more podcasts than there are radio stations, this is because there are more and more people creating content. We are wanting to connect with communities that are interested in the things we are interested in. Marketing, music, food, cars these all can be segmented down to a multiple of different areas and mediums and we can choose what and when we engage. It is niche, tailored and specialised content. What do we pay attention to? The conversation now is more two way. Podcast we can dial in, twitter we can message direct, Upstream we can call or add comments, Second life we can share a life or a second identity. Feedfeed, or conduit allows you to build a virtual community. 256
  • 265. Everyone is in control – slice and dice the content and format Everyone can create, publish, critique, etc, but realistically not everyone does. Most are listening and some are participating. Only 10% of people 25 million people on Twitter are active. Some people are using the tools and information as a hobby and some use it as a business. The technology is available to everyone. You can basically set yourself up to do most of the social media as the tools are available and very often free. I subscribe to the Nike attitude of JUST DO IT and don’t worry about getting it right first time, the important thing is to participate, learn and enjoy. It is by doing you will get better and become wiser. I create a podcast and a blog all rolled into one so that you can choose how to digest your content. It is all about choice. If you want to listen this in your car, why not. If you want to print out the blog so you have the informational tips, go for it. If you want to read it on your computer so you have access to the links, fair plan. You choose. Great ideas spread You can now as a small business have conversations with your customer like never before. There are so many mediums to do this. If you have a good strategy to deliver really valuable content your ideas will spread. I have only been on twitter397 for 1 month and have over 100 397 257
  • 266. people following me with a reach of over 1.1million 2nd followers ! I have done half a dozen podcasts398 and have had over 4500 feed views, 500 subscribers and over 90 downloads. I have more views to my blog than my web. I am really a novice to social media but I am learning and learning quickly because the barriers to entry are so low. Maybe it is time to start to consider how you could engage with your customers in this new world, because if you don’t your competitors will. Your Story, The Most Compelling Marketing Tool For Small Business Some people call it an elevator pitch, others call it an audio logo. Why have one? To give a person a shortcut. A snappy sentence that communicates the essence of what you do in a memorable way. My view is that this pitch, comes second to documenting your real authentic warts and all story. People buy off those they like, know and trust. Part of that is the story behind the person. Their real story, the reason for their business. People want the story. But I don’t mean catchy phases or hyped up jargon. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to have a way to communicate what you do in 30 seconds but I would place more emphasis on your story! Why? Well, the second most visited page on most websites is the About Us page. This is a chance to position at lot of things. 1.Your values through storytelling – which can attract similar sorts of customers because the identify with this . 2. Your reason behind what you do – gives the prospect a level of trust by building understanding 398 258
  • 267. 3. Your staff and personality – what you’re going to be like to work with 4. A profile of you ideal customer – to see if they will fit I have been searching lots of personal stories online and here are some I would love to share with you. Wufoo399 is a company I love. Their personality shines on every page, not just the About Us page400 . From their quirky comments as you create a survey to the great layout of their clean simple software, what is not to love? However, it makes me feel really great to be supporting a team of young groovy real people (from the hunklebuster designer Chris to the Number Crusher Elanine) in their goal to achieve a truly awesome company! Go get them guys! (Plus I am an IT Geek) Freshbooks401 I am equally in love with. Their manifesto provides a great rationale around the pain I was experiencing as a small business. The text has personality while informative. “We wanted something so we built it .” says it all really. It is really nice that you can meet their team402 . I can eye ball them (at least on my computer) and see if they are a match for me! Note for Mike McDerment the MD, I talk faster than I write too (sorry about the typos). I too have a million and one balls in the air, so sounds like we would get on! Love freshbooks! What I also love it is I get a sense that your team is really fun. Basically you tick all my boxes and your product is totally awesome. Modcloth403 is another such company, that headed by Susan Gregg Koger is showing part of their brand personality with her great story about how she built Modcloth. From collecting from op shops as a uni student and spotting that the market for girls who wanted to express their individual style with a piece of unique apparel, Susan has built her company to employ over 100 staff. Even showing her 399 400 401 402 403 259
  • 268. personal style404 gives me a chance to see if this label is something that I can identify with. Tom405 ‘s is a fantastic story. It is about Blake Mycoskie, who decided that he would make shoes a social issue by building a community that supports another. When you buy one of Tom’s shoes you are providing another pair to a person in need. “In 2006, American traveller Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers”. Kind of nice huh. Really makes you want to buy shoes from this online site. Go on! Me too! Others great company doing a really great job of telling their stories include: Red balloon406 Nudie Juice407 Next Steps: So what is your story? Start to tell it. I challenge all my clients to write it from the heart. The more authentic the better.(Keep the fluff for the grandkids). Our story408 Relevant other posts: Look on the sidebar under Personal branding tab409 404 405 406 407 408 409 branding/ 260 ←
  • 269. Build your business from the inside out410 Why blog as a small business?411 Tech tip: Look at fiverr.com412 to get some quick tasks done for $5. Awesome resource for small businesses. Incoming search terms: • Reviews of Best websites 2011 – most compelling • success story • compelling brand stories like toms shoes • how to get full membership in idownloadzone • idownloadzone user reviews • Toms shoes • which opportunities for small business are most compelling • your compelling story and marketing Incoming search terms: • Reviews of Best websites 2011 – most compelling • success story • compelling brand stories like toms shoes • how to get full membership in idownloadzone • idownloadzone user reviews • Toms shoes • which opportunities for small business are most compelling • your compelling story and marketing 410 ← business-from-the-inside-out-personal-development-is-the-best ← -investment-you-can-mak 411 ← small-business-2/ 412 261
  • 270. How to harness emotional intelligence to fast track your small business. Emotional Intelligence and why should we care? First of all what is it? Jake Stahl from his articleEmotional Intelligence: The Art of Awareness413 gives a nice definition: “IQ is your ability to learn, and add up what you have learned. This measure does not typically vary too much between childhood and adulthood. According to people who track this, the reading of books and attainment of new facts or information will probably not sway your IQ by too much either way. 2. EI is a different animal. It is something that can be learned and can show great variance as one grows older. The fact is that you can be born with a high EI naturally or start with a low one and learn enough to increase it. EI does not rely on “smarts.” Overall, EI is a simple concept made up of several areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. Awareness of yourself The ability to self manage Awareness of others and your surroundings The ability to manage relationships” 413 viewresearch 262 ←
  • 271. image source IQ.html Emotional intelligence is said to have more influence in the workplace than your IQ. How then can we foster this EI? DACHER KELTNER414 – has a great book called “Born to be good.” In Born to Be Good, Dacher Keltner demonstrates that humans are not hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty, brutish, and short”—we are in fact born to be good, that live with the emotions like gratitude, amusement, awe, and compassion. Born to Be Good is a profound study of how emotion is the key to living the good life and how the path to happiness goes through human emotions that connect people to one another. Dasher uses a great quote from Confucius ”a person of humanity wishing to establish his own character, also establishes the characters of others.” We can use this 414 263
  • 272. foundational approach in all of our marketing. It is particularly important in the social media world. To show concern, give to get is all part of having valuable conversations. It is important to be sensitive and appropriate and it is what sets us and our companies apart from others. To understand how to read and use marketing appropriately gives us the opportunity to build our social capital. Emotional Intelligence – My top tips! 1. Joke around – create an atmosphere of fun 2. Laugh – connect and bond 3. Touch appropriately – build trust and respect 4. Show generous actions – show concern and care, show them that they are valued (customers and employees) 5. Show gratitude – send a thank you to your staff, customers 6. Show compassion – people feel connected, put yourself in their shoes 7. Follow through – take the effort to make every connection a valuable one. Keep your name in front of the customer in interesting and valuable ways. Send them an article that will help them, connect them with resources, give! Dacher talks of Confucious Ren. Ren has been translated as “benevolence,”“humaneness,” or simply “goodness.” According to Confucius, ren415 is the summation of human virtues. In one traditional Confucian view, ren has two aspects: loyalty and reciprocity. Loyalty is considered a commitment to the Way, while reciprocity means “not inflicting on others that which you do not want yourself.” An alternative view is that ren is the perfect combination of a much longer list of virtues, including loyalty, reciprocity, wisdom, courage, righteousness, filial piety, and faithfulness. As Dacher explains measuring your Ren can give you an idea of how you are building your loyalty with your staff and customers. Ultimately your motivation for living this way is to have a good and 415 264
  • 273. happy life but the spin-off for those of us who do this instinctively is we can faster nurture business relationships. Danny Goldeman416 – the father of EQ. If you want to raise the EQ in your organization, start asking people how they feel. Insist on getting feelings as the response, not thoughts disguised as feelings (Examples of thoughts in disguise: I feel like. . . , I feel that. . . , I feel as if. . . ) • image source: Top Management Top management’s emotional style and emotional self-management is critical to company’s EQM. When the executive values feelings, so will the managers and the employees. Also, research confirms what common sense would suggest: Emotions are contagious. Thus, if the executives feel optimistic, confident, creative, flexible, tolerant, respectful, and compassionate, the employees will tend to take on these same feelings. Research also indicates that the direction of emotional flow is from top down, as we might expect, since anyone in power has, by default, more influence. Listen to the Dishymix podcast417 for a great interview with Dacher. Incoming search terms: • Explain why emotional Intelligence is beneficial in the workplace 416 417 ← /26578-dacher-keltner-born-good-jen-ratio-cro 265
  • 274. • Explain why emotional Intelligence is beneficial in the workplace Please offer examples to illustrate your response • emotional intelligence definition • Explain why emotional Intelligence is beneficial in the workplace Please offer examples • harness emotional intelligence Incoming search terms: • Explain why emotional Intelligence is beneficial in the workplace • Explain why emotional Intelligence is beneficial in the workplace Please offer examples to illustrate your response • emotional intelligence definition • Explain why emotional Intelligence is beneficial in the workplace Please offer examples • harness emotional intelligence Social media metrics – how do you measure your activities? Hubspot have a great grading tool that can help measure just about everything. Here are some of my results. The real value of these tools I believe is the relationships you foster, the status you gain as an expert and the leads or customers that they can ultimately create. However it is nice to be able to view some analytics on how you are tracking. 266
  • 275. I also follow my podcast to get a feel for the metrics. These metrics are important because it gives me visibility as to what is working well and what I need to focus on. Look at my tab on analytic web tools on my side bar for more tools you can use to test and measure your social media effectiveness. Incoming search terms: • social media metrics activity 267
  • 276. Incoming search terms: • social media metrics activity Increase profitability with employee engagement 12: The elements of great managers by Rodd Wagner and JK Harter talks about how to harness employee engagement and how this engagement can increase profitability. They quote the Gallup research on employee opinion. After years of study, the following areas became evident. Employees said if you do these things for us, we will do what the company needs. The 12 elements of great managing include: 1. I know what is expected of me at work 2. I have the right materials and equipment to do my work right. 268
  • 277. 3. I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day. 4. In the last seven days I have received recognition or praise for doing good work. 5. My superior or someone at work cares about me. 6. There is someone at work that encourages my development. 7. At work opinions seem to count. 8. The mission or purpose of the company makes me feel that my work is important. 9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work. 10. I have a best friend at work. 11. In the last 6 months someone has talked to me about my progress at work. 12. This last year I have had opportunities to grow and learn. It might be a great idea to see if you are providing the above for your employees and then maybe send out a survey of yes/no on these elements to see where you actually are. The results of this survey draw a road map to better managing but also reveal insights into your company’s culture. This culture is part of your brand and by understanding this you can enhance and realign where you need to go. High performing companies consider the productivity of each person’s engagement by optimising each person’s contribution. Employee Engagement survey418 based on the 12 elements. Only do this survey if you intend to act on the results. A whitepaper byDDI. Employee Engagement: The Key to revealing the competitive advantage419 . 418 419 269
  • 278. pdf420 on 12: The elements of great managers. Incoming search terms: • how can a company increase employee engagement • employee engagement • employee engagement and profit article • employee engagement profitability • how can a company increase employee engagement? • How can company increase employee engagement and why is engagement important • profitability and engagement • profitability employee engagement • why is employee engagement AND PROFIT Incoming search terms: • how can a company increase employee engagement • employee engagement • employee engagement and profit article • employee engagement profitability • how can a company increase employee engagement? • How can company increase employee engagement and why is engagement important • profitability and engagement • profitability employee engagement • why is employee engagement AND PROFIT 420 ← _the_elements_of_great_managing_summarized_by_kent.pdf 270
  • 279. Free Marketing training for small businesses So many business people are frustrated marketers. They really want to understand how to market their business. What most of them end up doing is a piece meal effect, rather than putting together a planned strategy to build on year after year. Most of my clients now recognise that marketing is a part of the business mix. It is not something that you turn on and off if you want it to have a lasting effect. To help those who are keen to understand marketing I have put together a course online that walks you through the basics. Whether for yourself or your admin, I think you will find it useful. Sign up today!421 It’s free. Incoming search terms: • small business marketing training • Marketing Incoming search terms: • small business marketing training • Marketing 421 271
  • 280. My top podcasts for small business. A really fast way for a small business to get up to speed with marketing and new marketing technologies is to listen to podcasts. They have an advantage over many other mediums. • They are current – you have access to some of the thought leaders in marketing today • Quick to listen to – most are under an hour and provide great insight and entertainment • You can download them from i-tunes for free – it cost you nothing more than your time and you can listen and do something else at the same time like drive. • You are directed to other ideas and information so have a pen handy 1. Duct tape marketing422 -Small business general 2. Professional services marketing – Rain today423 – Professional services marketing and selling 3. Hubspot TV424 – Internet and social media 422 423 424 aspx 272 ←
  • 281. 4. SmallBusiness Big Marketing425 – General small business marketing tips 5. Marketing Geek426 – General small business 6. Six Degrees of Seperation427 – Internet and social media 7. Dishymix428 – Thought leadership and business strategy marketing 8.10 Golden rules of Internet Marketing429 – Internet ideas and marketing tips 9. MacInnis Marketing430 – Marketing basics 10. Help my business sucks431 – Business basics Incoming search terms: • small business podcasts Incoming search terms: • small business podcasts 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 273
  • 282. Building your own personal mission statement How much of our time as small business owners is spent going through the motions rather than setting ourselves a purposeful path and following it? I have been doing some research in this area and I believe the process starts with knowing ourselves and then purposely creating the desired outcomes for our business, family and ourselves by having a personal mission statement. Here is a link you can use to create your mission statement: ← /msb/missions/login. This along with Stephen R Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” are a good starting point. Covey covers in his book: • Being proactive – be the programmer – how to lead • Begin with the end in mind – mission • Putting first things first – priorities • Paradigm of interdependence – do it with others • Think win-win – best outcomes and mindset • Seek to understand first – seek insight • Synergize – 1+1= more than 3 274
  • 283. Resources Five steps to building your personal mission statement432 . Mission statement builder433 How to write your mission statement video434 Incoming search terms: • personal mission statement mechanics • personal mission statement • personal mission statement builder • questions for building a personal mission statement Incoming search terms: • personal mission statement mechanics • personal mission statement • personal mission statement builder • questions for building a personal mission statement 432 ← html 433 434 ← building_your_mission_statement.html?cat=59 275
  • 284. Do you understand the mechanics of your small business? I was with a client the other day and it made me ask the question, do small businesses understand the mechanics or the business operating system of their business and how to control and leverage it? I would have thought so, but it does require some strategic thought. Here are some of the questions I would be asking: 1. How do we make money? What is our unique selling proposition? 2. Who are our key customers? What do we know about them? 3. What do our customers love about us, what do they want us to change? 4. How much is the cost of sale for our service or product? 5. How much does it cost us to create a lead? 6. Who do we market to? 7. How do we communicate and market our offering? 8. What is our operating profit? 9. What are our goals for growth? 10. What are our goals for our company? 276
  • 285. The mechanics of your small business system once you understand can be tweaked for optimum effectiveness. The right marketing strategy can be the difference between attracting the right customers and throwing money down the drain. Having a well considered business strategy and reviewing it year on year means you have a plan and a measure to benchmark success and failure against. So do you understand your business mechanics? Incoming search terms: • latest comments crm Incoming search terms: • latest comments crm Marketing Book Reviews Predictable Results in Unpredictable times. – Stephen Covey and others. Talks about high trust teams. 3 trust building activities in a crisis: 277
  • 286. 1. Create transparency and candour – especially if trust is low. Too many hidden agendas. 2. Keep your commitments – failing to complete commitments depletes trust. Be careful about the commitments you make and keep the ones you do make! 3. Extend trust to your team – build trust by extending it. Distrust breeds distrust. Case study on a formula one racing pitt -team Ferrari teaching a cardiac heart surgeon team how to work better –really interesting. Individuals don’t get anything accomplished. done. Teams get things I downloaded this from audible.com435 Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking436 by Andy Sernovitz. Sernovitz shares his “Word of Mouth Manifesto,” which every business owner should read : 1. Happy customers are your best advertising. Make people happy. 2. Marketing is easy: Earn the respect and recommendation of your customers. They will do your marketing for you, for free. 3. Ethics and good service come first. 4. UR the UE: You are the user experience (not what your ads say you are). 5. Negative word of mouth is an opportunity. Listen and learn. 6. People are already talking. Your only option is to join the conversation. 7. Be interesting or be invisible. 8. If it’s not worth talking about, it’s not worth doing. 435 436 product/product_detail.php&product_id=789&category_id=424 278 ←
  • 287. 9. Make the story of your company a good one. 10. It is more fun to work at a company that people want to talk about. 11. Use the power of word of mouth to make business treat people better. 12. Honest marketing makes more money. Generation By Iggy Pintado Pintado, a former IBM and Telstra heavyweight, looks at how the new communication technologies are changing Australians’ connection with each other and assesses the impact on our personal and professional lives. Perhaps Pintado is right in suggesting that online success eventually comes down to: • Being clear about your online purpose. Is it is socialise, build a brand or share information with like-minded people? For Pintado himself, life lived on the net is about maximising the amount of information, ideas and opportunities available to him. 279
  • 288. • Selecting the most appropriate platforms that fit your need and niche and then actively participating to build profile, increase connections and become trusted. • Being persistent because like all else in marketing, if you want online success you must continually work at it. Incoming search terms: • Andy Sernovitz • summary of exceptional service exceptional profit Incoming search terms: • Andy Sernovitz • summary of exceptional service exceptional profit Why is it important to have a business model? First question, what is a business model? A business model is a framework, the engine room that you use to run and have visibility to your business. It answers the questions for all business decisions that you make. How do you intend to make money and what model will you use to sustain your business. 280
  • 289. According to wisegeek.com437 “The business model is simply a working description that includes the general details about the operations of a business. The components that are contained within a business model will address all functions of a business, including such factors as the expenses, revenues, operating strategies, corporate structure438 , and sales and marketing procedures. Generally speaking, anything that has to do with the day to day functionality of the corporation439 can be said to be part of the business model.” A business model is focused on value creation. It acts as a framework to take what you create or make and turn that innovation into an economic equation. It takes into account the entire value chain of the organisation. 437 438 439 281
  • 290. What is the business model of your organisation? Is it complicated? It is easy to understand? Is it used to make decisions? According to Changewave440 a business model means: What does a company do? How does a company uniquely do it? In what way (ways) does the company get paid for doing it? How much gross margin does the company earn per average unit sale?” Business knowhow blog441 give some good examples of some simple business models for a consultant: Monthly Retainer – When you ask clients to pay by the month in advance, you can charge for your availability, not just service delivered. Your retainer can guarantee you a fixed number of hours. If the client uses less, you still get paid. Product-Based Models Flat Fee – A wide variety of items can be sold for a flat fee to increase revenue to your business. “Products” can also include services delivered in a defined package. Your buyers may be either existing clients, or others who can’t afford to hire you individually. 440 plans/3507-1.html 441 282 ←
  • 291. Subscription – Providing products or services by subscription can provide a steady source of income and reduce marketing time. A sale made only once can continue to provide revenue. Bait and Hook – Also called the “razor and blades” model. Examples: A time management consultant offering a training program including day planners that must be re-ordered; a web designer providing proprietary modules under a license that must be renewed annually. Any one of these models can be used to build an entire business, or you can combine different models together. For example, a consultant could charge a flat fee for assessments, then a day rate to deliver services. A coach could charge a subscription fee for group clients and a monthly retainer for clients worked with individually. You can see how the business model does shape your business and it is important to flesh out exactly what model is going to work best for you and more importantly your customers. MOST BUSINESSES DON’T HAVE ONE! This is the scary truth but most small businesses I see don’t. Maybe it is about time you looked at how you operate. How do you make decisions? What information do you have about the process? Do you forecast and choose your customers? If not, maybe you need to create a business model. Here is a good model to look at in terms of a starting point to ask the right questions: 283
  • 292. Incoming search terms: • why having a proper business model is important • why is a business model important • why is it important to have a business • why is it important to have a proper business model Incoming search terms: • why having a proper business model is important • why is a business model important • why is it important to have a business • why is it important to have a proper business model 284
  • 293. Where sales and marketing intersect that’s the new competitive advantage. Does this comment ring true for you? Do you just use word of mouth and hope for the best? “After several years of word-of-mouth (lazy) selling, we recently decided to invest a fixed percentage of revenues to kick-start our sales and marketing program. Believe me – it is easier to build you business around a great sales and marketing program, and keep this in the center of your business plans & business focus.” Many people forget in small business that they need to invest in attracting and growing their customer base and that they need do this with both sales and marketing strategies working together. How do be a great sales person442 is a great reference but just as important is to build a marketing plan. Together these elements support one another and can help move the prospect customer down the sales funnel. Marketing should work through a process with sales of identifying the current sales process and moving towards an integrated sales and marketing process. Brian Carroll summarizes a good process from Jeremy Porter’s Book, “Sales and Marketing Integration” and how to make it happen. 1. Collaborate: Work together with a marketing consultant to make your sales team even more effective! 442 ← salesperson/ 285
  • 294. 2. Build the value proposition together – why do our customers really love us and buy from us? 3. Develop a universal definition of a lead and the lead generation process. Marketing should bring in and warm the lead, sales should close and service it. 4. Review the sales pipe line regularly together. Be on the same page with the same focus. Be strategic in 2011 and make your small business a 10! Here are three top goals to help you make your business be more strategic in 2011. 1. List your top three goals. – put a timeframe around them and make them measurable. Test and share them so that you are accountable. 2. Make it your mission to find out what is going on around you. In your marketplace, with your customers, employees and competitors. Learn. Be informed. Improve your market intelligence. 3. What is the differentiated value you provide to customers? Do you know? Find out and leverage that. Listen to this Dishymix443 podcast for more tips on strategy. 443 /63059-rich-horwath-new-growth-new-thinking 286 ←
  • 295. Marketing Lessons from the best in the business Tim Pethick CEO of Nudie Juice444 has some good lessons in marketing for us all: For decades marketers have known “consumers have become more discerning” yet they treat them the same way 1. Marketers talk AT consumers rather than WITH them 2. Consumers are “trading up” – they want mini-indulgences 3. Get people talking – “word of mouth” Getting the BRAND message across Australians are “increasingly unhappy with, and ignoring, advertising” 81% say they are taking less notice of advertising 66% said advertising was boring and repetitive 75% say stereotypes proliferate Source: Eye on Australia 2003 The lessons Tim has learned: 1. To challenge conventional wisdom 2. Just do it! 3. There are always more reasons not to Think big! 4. If you don’t think you can, you can’t 5. Enjoy the ride (and others will too) 6. Focus on the customer 7. Be the best – don’t compromise 8. Size doesn’t necessarily matter 9. Don’t focus on the competition or you will lose 444 287
  • 296. Branding the nudie way: Make your product remarkable Make it fun Make it positive Don’t rely on traditional advertising Give it (positive) attitude Engage the consumer – maximum dialogue;maximum involvement The principal elements of Tim’s nudie success: Integrity of the product Product difference Brand Passion I didn’t know what couldn’t be done – industry outsiders think differently Richard Branson lessons learned Sir RichardBransonlessons learned (My rating J) Crap Pretty bloody well I am a legend at this 1. Never give up J 2. Play the underdog J 3. Keep it casual – it is his trademark J 4. Make work fun – Staff should come first J 5. Haggle – everything is negotiable J 288
  • 297. 6. Smile for the cameras – attention grabbing for your cause. J 7. Do not lead sheep herd cats – get out of your own way J 8. Move fast – execute and learn from your mistakes. Ask for forgiveness later. J 9. Never lose the common touch – humility J 10. Stand by your brand – and its values. J Engaging the customer – that’s all it’s about! I read a great quote from Ardath Albee445 : “Early stage content is not about your product. Your company is the only entity that truly cares about your product. What people care about is what your product enables them to achieve. But, at the early stage, prospects don’t even care about that. Whatever their situation, they’re dealing with it. It may not be ideal, but it hasn’t stopped them in their tracks, so it’s sufficient. This means that we need to reach farther back from what our product enables people to achieve in order to create content relevant enough to gain the attention of early stage leads. Before you can talk to them about change, you’ve got to show them you understand their current circumstances.” It all comes back to having authentic discussions with your customers. Talking about their issues. Resolving their challenges. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU OR YOUR PRODUCT. 445 289
  • 298. Build a high performing team Working with several GMs, I have discovered some of the key issues I face is that of building a high performing management team. This process is not always straight forward and depends largely on the transparency of the individuals and the environment that the CEO or GM has created in allowing for candour in all communications. This openness has to work both ways. Patrick Lencioni, published a book a while back, titled, ”The Five Dysfunctions of a Team446 .” Patrick identifies some key steps in identifying if you have a problem in your management team From his book: 1. Absence of trust. In the context of building a team, trust is the confidence among team members that their peers’ intentions are good, and that there is no reason to be protective or careful around the group. In essence, teammates are not comfortable being vulnerable with one another. 2. Fear of conflict. All great relationships, the ones that last over time, require productive conflict in order to grow. This 446 dp/0787960756 290 ←
  • 299. is true in marriage, parenthood, friendship, and certainly business. Unfortunately, conflict is considered taboo, stressful, and inefficient in many situations, especially at work, so it doesn’t happen when it should. 3. Lack of commitment. Team commitment is a function of two things: clarity and buy-in. The two greatest causes of lack of commitment are the desire for consensus and the need for certainty. Neither is usually possible. With an executive team, lack of commitment causes irresolvable discord to ripple down through the organization. 4. Avoidance of accountability. Team accountability refers specifically to the willingness of team members to call their peers on performance or behaviours that might hurt the team. They may not want to risk a friendship, but this ironically causes relationships to deteriorate as team members resent one another for not living up to expectations. 5. Inattention to results. The ultimate dysfunction of a team is the tendency of members to care about individual status or sub-team status more than the collective goals of the group. An unrelenting focus on specific objectives and clearly defined outcomes is a requirement for any team that judges itself on performance. These might seem like no brainer but this culture of inclusiveness and candour is hard to fabricate. It needs to be based on authenticity to have any real merit. It comes back to how comfortable each individual is in receiving and giving feedback for the benefit of the whole. Keith Ferrazzi447 gives some great tools to help you build these sorts of relationships and his book, “Who’s got your back?” is an excellent starting point. Jack Welch also mentions the importance of candour in building great teams. If you can’t do this internally initially then perhaps bring in a consultant to facilitate this progress. A great deal of growth both personally and business wise is sure to occur. 447 291
  • 300. Diagram Catayst consulting448 Here are my slides449 on creating a great team. Incoming search terms: • ways to overcome fear of conflict in business Incoming search terms: • ways to overcome fear of conflict in business 10 top must have tools for small business marketing (most are free!) Small businesses often don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing activities, so here are my top 10 suggestions for stretching that budget to get the best ROI. Most are free! 1. Use a word press450 platform for your website. Why? Because it is free, and it is already search engine friendly. Over 4000 visitors have been to my blog and it has cost me nothing but the time to learn how to use the tool and the time to update it. 448 449 450 292
  • 301. 2. Install Skype451 to connect with people all over the world. This helps grow your business (especially if it is serviced based beyond your immediate geography.) 3. Use a tool like Snagit452 to grab screen images to brighten up your web, blog or visual presentations. 4. Jing453 is a free software that allows you to record your voice and screen and is great for presentations or podcasts with a visual element. 5. Invest in a database capture system. I am using Microsoft small business CRM that comes with 1 user licence but for others you can even use a excel sheet to start with columns for customer content. Just put it somewhere! 451 452 ← CMXz3bi74p8CFRD7agodIw6-Hg 453 ← CMXz3bi74p8CFRD7agodIw6-Hg 293
  • 302. 5. Autoresponders. These are tools that allow you to send automated emails to customers. Great tools to build a training program with or touch base with a regular newsletter to customers. I use Aweber454 but there are heaps out there. 6. You need a survey tool so you can do forms and run surveys. I have tried them all but I think Wufoo455 is the best. Best reports, easy to use, more flexible and great design. 7. Vistaprint456 is a great site to design your business cards, brochures and invitations. It is quick, pretty cheap and easy to use. It also 454 455 456 294
  • 303. keeps a record of all your creations so you can quickly update or make changes and then get more printed! 8. PRwire457 is a great tool for doing your own PR. It is free and you can set up your company’s profile quickly and then email blast your release to the relevant media in a short space of time. Also, it works! 9. Use the web. It is great for research. Google yourself and you might be surprised what you find. Or use Bing, another great search engine. There are so many free resources out there! 10. Networking is a big part of marketing and more than ever before you can network effectively from your study or home office. Twitter458 , Facebook, Linkedin459 , blogs. There are so many forums to gather information, test an idea or build a network of possible collaborators and again it is free! 457 458 459 ← tab_pro 295
  • 304. So there you go, my top 10 tools, get going! Another article I did on customer insight460 has some other good ideas that cost you little and can also help your marketing. Incoming search terms: • small business • pr wire australia social marketing Incoming search terms: • small business • pr wire australia social marketing Does your small business depend on you? It’s your baby. You have slaved your guts out and built a business. But is it just a good job or is it something you want to grow or eventually even sell? Running a business often means the owner is at the centre of it all. So if the owner leaves, then what is the business worth? Can you delegate? Have you built something of value outside your expertise? Marketing podcast with John Warrillow461 from Marketing Ducttape is good at explaining some tips about businesses’ set up to sell rather than just employing the owner.(Click to listen, right click and Save As to download) – subscribe now via iTunes462 John has a new book called Built To Sell463 . John has some good points: 460 ← Danielle%20MacInnis&title=5%20Ways%20to%20Capture%20Customer%20 ← Insights&Article=357 461 462 ← =78797836&s=143441 463 296
  • 305. 1. Outsource your sales and marketing function – can it function without you showing up every day? Can you take a vacation? 2. Positive cashflow 3. Employee retention program 4. Don’t share equity Keys to creating a business you can sell: 1. Isolating product and service – meaningful to your customer 2. You can teach your employees to deliver 3. It is repeatable – the experience 4. When you come to sell, get a business broker 5. Evaluation. Figure out what you think your company is worth and how much upfront. Go to John’s site Builttosell.com464 and take his survey to see how sellable your company is. Incoming search terms: • what business does dani Incoming search terms: • what business does dani Your personal brand Vs your company I was speaking with a client the other day and he suggested I need to separate me Dan the person, from MacInnis Marketing the brand. This statement got me thinking. Is this advisable or even possible when you are a small business delivering a service? The personality of the brand MacInnis Marketing is all tied up with who I am and my values. My value is intricately tied to that. The 464 297
  • 306. very reason clients choose to use me as a consultant is I would argue because of who I am? Obviously this is different if you run a large company with a number of employees, but in a small business doesn’t the person count more? Isn’t it more relationship based? Do you choose your dentist, accountant, lawyer and doctor because something about their personal brand resonates with you? Tom Peters465 from FastCompany says how important it is to nurture your personal brand “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” Tom explains in today’s world of self publishing, of social media, of 1 to many everyone has the chance to stand out as a brand. Anyone can have a website, twitter account, Facebook page and as Tom explains, any body does, so how do you know which one is worth visiting or following? The answer Tom suggests is branding. The branding is the promise of value you receive so you go back again and again. Professional service firms are all about delivering an intangible service and so to stand out it is the individual that must distinguish him or herself. As Tom explains “if you’re really smart, you figure out what it takes to create a distinctive role for yourself — you create a message and a strategy to promote the brand called You. What if you don’t want to grow beyond yourself as a entrepeneur. What if you are not looking to hire, then what? Laura Bergell’s466 wrote a great article on discovering your brand and Laura would suggest the essence is knowing who you really are and how your customers see you. Here is how my customers say they see me: (worlde467 ) 465 466 brand/ 467 298 ←
  • 307. So I believe your personal brand is all wrapped up in your company when you are a small business and particularly a sole practitioner so here are some ways you can work on your personal brand: 1) Identify the qualities that makes you distinctive from others. 2) Think about the things that can add remarkable, measurable, distinguish and distinctive value in you. 3) Increase your visibility 4) Analyze the feature and benefits you are giving to your customers. 5) Continuously evaluate your self, how you as a brand is doing. 6) Never limit your scope. (Thanks Kuldeep-Kashyap – student) So I guess thinking about my client’s comment I am really glad that my personality, values and strengths are part of my brand and I hope to evolve and grow by the gift of feedback from my clients. I don’t think can separate myself from my brand and in fact I want to do the opposite and use forums like this to further build my profile and identity with others. Good food for thought! Incoming search terms: • 60 second marketing minute vitamins Incoming search terms: • 60 second marketing minute vitamins 299
  • 308. Small Business is relationships. Maybe we should have the discussion about how important your relationship with your staff and clients are. Truly differentiated is the real connection you can have by caring about these relationships. I say differentiated because unfortunately so many small business forget about this ”CARING” factor and are too busy getting on with being busy. This caring and personal attention can be the real character of your brand. It can be something that sets you apart from your competition. Think about it. If you go into a post office and the person serving you is polite, focused and even shows some extra concern for you by asking your four year old son a question while you try desperately to fill out an address label, chances are you are likely to return to that post office. This personal service and concern when consistent in your small business, can attract a lot of support. Hospitals are not just measured on the quality of their care but also the personal attention that they pay by listening to patient concerns. This communication can be more important than many hospitals 300
  • 309. think! If you feel that someone is listening to you, you feel that you will be looked after. Lessons for us as small businesses is to take the time to nurture relationships. Every interaction is a chance to be show genuine concern and people feel that. Thoughtfulness is free. Who do we intend to be? Why are we here? What’s the point? The first questions businesses often face when creating their vision or strategic direction is, ” What are we going to sell and with which business model? ” Perhaps more important questions according to Tom Peter’s468 latest book, ‘The Little BIG Things’ are ”Who do we intend to be? Why are we here? What’s the point?” Customers and employees have so much choice, there are so many “me too’s” and customers choosing to work for and buy from companies 468 301
  • 310. that are remarkable and they really like. Thus, the questions around the company’s values, vision and value proposition have never been more in the spotlight than right now. When you look at these questions they are really at the core of your business identity and your brand. They go beyond dollar and cents or product and services and speak more to customer needs and employee satisfaction. Who do we intend to be? This forces you to think about your behaviour. Evaluate how you play, what role you fulfil? How are you thought of ? Why are we here? It is more about what are the reasons beyond financial. What sort of environment do you want to create in the workplace? What is the customer experience like? What is the point? It is about the legacy you are likely to leave. Are you memorable? When I am creating a vision with CEOs I am often surprised at how meaningless they’ve become because they have lost sight of the key reason that the company exists. What customer problems are they are trying to solve? What gives their work meaning? Companies that have asked these key questions often have a brand and a culture that is remarkable, defendable and authentic. Customers and employees want companies to care. People identify with companies that stand for something valuable to them. As a CEO, a clear, deep, and profound understanding of who you are and what you stand for, and what you want to be known for is critical. So much of the personality of a company is dictated by the CEO values and behaviours. Look at Virgin and Richard Branson, Apple and Steve Jobs, or Microsoft and Bill Gates. So like it or not, you are a brand as a CEO. It is just whether that brand is well-known or not and whether it resonates with the product and service and culture you are trying to deliver. It is not enough to be known for what you do — you must be known for what you do differently! What are your values? What do you love? What do you hate? What are you insanely great at doing? What are you most proud of? What do you want to be? What is important and valuable to you? What do you want to be known for? 302
  • 311. I contend that as a CEO, these are questions that you need to answer first and these are the hardest to answer. Once you have the answers, it is all about keeping that promise and living out that story of who you intend to be consistently in your brand promise, in your vision statement, in your value proposition and in the way you do business. Being consistent, authentic and clear provides employees and customers a level of confidence and trust that they can depend on. The disconnect between saying what you think you are and not behaving that way, is the fastest way to damage your reputation. So key roles for the CEO are as follows: 1. A critical step is to define values that make the brand remarkable is to define everything you do and don’t do under the name of your brand. Tom Peters suggests thoughtfulness as a key value today because it is so underplayed. Who do you intend to be in the marketplace? 2. Have a clearly defined brand mission, vision, and values. Authenticity plays a pivotal role, as does getting your staff involved in the process. After all, it is how you and they embody these ideals that will enable your brand to be authentic, consistent and remarkable. It is critical that staff understand the question: Why are we here? The answer should be something they can believe in and be proud of. 3. Brand building happens at every touch-point with the consumer and employee. That doesn’t only mean the product packaging or how our stores look. It goes far beyond that. It includes the support that we provide to our channel partners, how we met their needs, the personal service for our athletes, and the interaction of our service staff in every single moment with the customer. 4. Create the culture, mindset and motivati