July 2011’s Top 5 Marketing Tips

 

Below are the top 5 marketing tips for July 2011 – simple tips to help you improve the effectiveness of your marketing.

1. Your best salespeople are your customers – What holds more weight than the glowing positive words of a satisfied customer?  Exceed expectations and a customer will wax lyrical about your business to everyone they meet.

Word of mouth has been the most cost effective form of marketing since time began, so make sure you have all the mechanisms in place to ensure you are benefitting from this.

What do you need to do?

Well the basics are to have a referral mechanism in place, use case studies and testimonials and social media platforms such as LinkedIn recommendations.

When you say it, it sounds like bragging.

When your customers say it, it means something!

 

2. Focus on outstanding service delivery – This is arguably the lynchpin of a successful marketing strategy.  You can be brilliant at promoting your company and generating a never ending influx of enquiries and orders – however if you do not deliver outstanding service you will soon be forgotten.

It is 7 times more expensive to win a new client than service an existing customer so if you do not regularly offer outstanding service then your clients will migrate elsewhere and you will need to spend more money just to stand still!

In fact if you are a new business and you cannot offer outstanding service delivery – don’t waste your time and money starting up.  There will always be someone who is offering this at a competitive price!

 

3. Discover your online opportunity – Too many companies are unaware of the online potential of their business.  They often make unsubstantiated assumptions on whether online is a channel which holds any potential for their company at all.  However, this is easy to test.

Visit Google Adwords and type in a phrase which you feel potential customers would be typing into to Google to find suppliers of your products or services.

Not only will this process open your eyes in terms of alternative phrases that customer may type in, but it will also give you an idea of the volume of global and UK searches for these various terms.  This therefore gives you the hard data to make an informed decision as to the potential opportunity the internet holds.

 

4. Become aware of your awareness – Once you have identified who your target markets are, spend some time finding out what sort of level your brand awareness is at.

I have worked for companies before who have ‘assumed’ that their brand awareness was high, purely based on the reason that they had spent a lot of money on advertising.

When we actually conducted first hand research their brand awareness was very low.  In fact their advertising had been so poorly targeted there was virtually no awareness of their brand at all.

Usually brand awareness is the first stage of the marketing process long before a purchase will be made – therefore brand awareness is a good reflection on your potential sales pipeline.

5. Don’t treat all marketing as a numbers game – This is something I hear all the time – “it is a numbers game”, “knock on enough doors and you will get enough sales”.

Whatever you do, do not apply this mindset to all your marketing as it nonsense.

It is not a numbers game.

A scattergun approach to marketing is both costly, time consuming and ineffective.

A targeted approach to marketing reduces the numbers but generates far greater returns.  You could potentially buy 500,000 records from a data provider and e-shot them all and get no return.

Your expected return is not gauged by how many you send (so don’t work on a theory of say a 2% return) but on the quality and timeliness of the message.

Spend your money on getting this part right and you will be generating response rates far higher than industry averages.

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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.