June 2011’s Top 5 Marketing Tips

 

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

1. Forget market share – Too many businesses measure their performance by the share they have of their defined market.  On the face it, this appears to be a sensible metric of performance.

However, the flaw in this approach is that it is always historical information – quite often up to 12 months before data gets published to provide an accurate figure.

It is much better to look to the future and not the past.  Concentrate on your own performance – new customers, customer churn rate, average transaction values, sales and profits.  It doesn’t matter where you have been – it is where you are going that matters!

 

2. Less is more – The Jelly Effect, a book by Andy Bounds, clearly demonstrates how much unnecessary information, or ‘Jelly’, we throw at people every single day.

The more irrelevant information we use, the more diluted our core message becomes.  This is true in many areas of business and particularly marketing.

Next time you write a marketing communication – leave it for 24 hours and then read it again.  How much of what you have written communicates the core message?

Remove all the unnecessary ‘noise’ around this core message and refine it until you have a short succinct message.  Resist the temptation to ‘fill space’ just for the sake of it!

 

3. View it as an investment – Too many people view marketing as a necessary evil.  They see it as a cost because they ‘need a brochure’ or they ‘have to have a website’.

Every single marketing communication should be viewed as an investment to generate more value for the business – whether this is through enquiries, orders, an increase in customer spend or awareness of your existence (which eventually leads to enquiries and orders).

Every pound invested in marketing should generate a much greater return.  If you understand that marketing is an investment and not a cost, then you will spend your money much more wisely!  Make sure you understand the reason why you are investing in any specific activity – don’t just do it for the sake of it.

 

4. Idiot proof processes – Investing into effective marketing campaigns which generate sales opportunities is pointless unless you have the processes in place to ensure that these are dealt with efficiently and effectively.

What’s more, if you have staff responsible for taking that enquiry and converting it into a sale and then into a satisfied customer that repurchases, you have to make sure that the process is documented so that absolutely anyone can follow it.

It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to generate the same value from an existing customer and 90% of your revenue over the next 12 months will most likely come from your existing client base.

Therefore ensuring that you have the relevant simple processes in place will make you much more profitable!  Don’t assume anything, don’t think anything is too obvious to include – just document it!

5. Test drive the concept – This is a biggie!  Many new businesses are launched with a large fanfare and financial investment to get their concept off the ground.

The business owner spends all of their time refining and perfecting their proposition and sometimes doesn’t notice what is right under their nose.

You cannot view your own idea or business objectively so please do some research and ‘test drive’ the concept before ploughing ahead and investing thousands of pounds into what could be a flawed concept.

Get opinions from your target markets, industry experts or independent advisors.  Don’t just ask friends and family – they will tell you what you want to hear!  Make sure that the concept is solid in its rationale before it is too late and listen to feedback and advice.

If you are going to blindly ignore the feedback and carry on regardless you are building yourself up for an expensive downfall.

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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.