August 2011’s Top 5 Marketing Tips


Below are this month’s top 5 marketing tips – simple tips to help you improve the effectiveness of your marketing.

1. Identify your sales bottleneck – Sales are the lifeblood of every organization so it is critical to analyze performance regularly to identify any bottleneck in the process.

Imagine your business has a giant filter that all leads and enquiries enter – first of all, are you getting enough enquiries?  If not what can you do to create more?

If you have enough leads but the conversion rate is poor – why is it?  Is it because you are attracting the wrong type of enquiries, or are your salespeople struggling to close or is there a glitch in the process. Is price the obstacle?  Are customers repeat purchasing, if not why not?

Find out where the problem lies and rectify it.  The usual impulsive reaction to poor sales performance is to generate more leads or change your sales team but this may not be the core issue.

2. Establish what clients love – Quite often you will hear that the definition of marketing is all about satisfying the needs and wants of customers – this isn’t technically true.


Because clients do not always realize what they need and want – until that need or want is created.  I am an absolute massive fan of the Apple iPod – however 10 years ago I wasn’t crying out for a gadget so that I could take my large music collection everywhere I went.

It wasn’t a need I had as there wasn’t a practical solution to this concept and it hadn’t even crossed my mind.  Apple didn’t identify a need or want – but they had a feeling (and a very accurate feeling) that the public would love the iPod.  So rather than always looking to fill a need – take a different perspective and see whether your instincts can create a need!  Try and establish what clients will love!

3. State your purpose – This is relevant whether you are running a 500 staffed business or working as a sole trader.  This often gets described as a Mission Statement but I much prefer purpose (or your reason for being).  Building a brand starts with defining what business you’re in and what is your core purpose.

This definition or purpose is the basis of your brand, the inherent promise you are making to your customers.  For example Disney’s purpose is to “make people happy” and Innocent Drinks purpose is to “Make natural, delicious food and drink that helps people live well and die old”.

Why is this so important?  Because the purpose of your business should be engrained within all of your staff and guide the subsequent actions that they take.

Even if you are the only person in your business it is important that everyone that comes into contact with your business – clients, suppliers, strategic partners etc fully understand what your business is all about.

4. Engage your people – This follows on nicely from Tip 3 – State Your Purpose.  The purpose, goals and values of your business are important tools in engaging with your staff and ensuring you are all sharing a common ideal.  Don’t view your staff as numbers, or a production unit or a means to an end.

Every single member of staff is a critical extension of your brand.  They all represent your business and every time they come into contact with anyone – whether a phone call, face to face or via social media they are affecting perceptions of your company – either positively or negatively.

Make sure you communicate with your staff regularly and that they understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.  External customer care can be directly measured against the level of internal customer care – so ensure you treat your employees with respect and keep them engaged.

5. Establish brand guidelines – All companies spend a proportion of their marketing budget (at least in year one) on creating a corporate identity.

Hours upon hours can be spent on deliberating over different names and logo’s for a business.  However many companies fall into the trap of deciding on an identity – and then put nothing in place to ensure that the logo is consistently reproduced.

I have seen some real horror stories of branding within a business where a corporate identity can be displayed in different colours, sizes, fonts and even inconsistent straplines!  This is even more of an issue where different offices are all in charge of their own local marketing.

Spend a little extra at the beginning getting some brand guidelines drawn up that detail of the acceptable variations of a logo and highlight the no-no’s.  Then police this religiously.  Brand consistency is essential in projecting a professional corporate image.


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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.