Category Archives: Marketing

The 10 Powerful Musts In Marketing

THE 10 POWERFUL MUSTS IN MARKETING

By Kevin Thomas

Whenever I meet a Business Owner or an Entrepreneur the first question I ask is “how does your Marketing measure up”? Their usual response is that their Marketing Sucks! How about yours? If you are like most, Marketing is the last thing that you work on in your business. You are either doing the technical part of your business or you are putting out fires. You usually don’t have a clear plan or strategy on how to set up a successful Marketing initiative in your organization. Most of the time, we are being reactive instead of proactive. We wait until business slows down and then we put a bunch of money into different media sources in hopes that business gets better. Typically, this doesn’t work. But if it does, we don’t measure it, to see what part of our message inspired our clients to come in the door or call us on the phone. If you would like to develop a Marketing Strategy that will give you awesome results, consistent traffic and more profits, I encourage you to read on. These are the 10 Powerful Musts that your Marketing Plan should have.

You must have 10 Marketing Strategies active at all time

Most companies have three or less strategies working for them and because of that their message doesn’t reach their customers in enough time for it to stick. Researches show that a potential client must hear, see or experience your message 9 times or more before deciding to do business with you. Your website, your TV ad and your print advertising alone, isn’t enough to drive the traffic that you need to make your business successful. I teach my clients how to determine the 10 affordable mediums that they can use to get their message out, so that they can attract more clients to them.

Your Marketing Message must address your target market and their interests directly

Your message must be focused…..like a laser beam on your target market. It must speak to their needs directly and clearly. For instance, an auto repair facility may communicate that they are the local experts for European automobiles. By doing this, they have separated themselves from every other repair facility in their area. Anyone who owns a European automobile now has a local expert that they can take their vehicle to.

Your Marketing Message must be consistent across all mediums you use

Many Business Owners are their own worst enemy. This is because they are communicating one message in one ad and another, somewhere else. We mentioned earlier that it takes nine or more impressions before someone makes a decision to purchase from you. If you are sending multiple messages, it will dilute your voice and cost you opportunities.

You must track all leads and know what Marketing Medium brought your prospect to contact you

There is an old saying, “What you measure you will manage”. You must know what is working and what is not. If you are advertising somewhere that is delivering results, you want to stay there. If you are advertising somewhere that isn’t giving results, drop it and put your money somewhere else. Most business owners have a general idea of what medium is bringing clients in but are not sure. You must track this area. It is as simple as asking a couple of questions or adding a box on your website that asks the client how they heard about you.

Your Marketing Message must be dramatically different from your competitors’

In my Companies, I am constantly watching, reading and listening to my competitors’ marketing messages. Most of them look, sound and feel identical because they are put together by the advertising sales reps. They are not marketing experts. Their goal is to sell you space and get a commission……not to help you develop a marketing strategy. If you look at the newspaper ads for Car Dealerships, you will see exactly what I am talking about. Remember, “Same is Lame”.

You must constantly be looking for ways to provide additional Products and Services to your target Market.

I call this recycling your customer. You must look for ways to get your customer to continue to spend money with you. Look at Wal-Mart. They started selling just household products and now they sell groceries, electronics, jewelry, etc. You can even get your oil changed, do your banking, get an eye exam or have your taxes prepared while you are there! What products and services compliment what you are currently selling? How can you add that to your existing operation? By doing this, you will add value to your current business model as well as become a one stop shop for your clients. This makes their life easier and it will increase your bottom line.

You must maintain a current database of your current and potential customers

It blows me away when I sit down with a client and they don’t have an organized database of their clients. How can you stay in touch with them to share about the new promotions that you have going on? How can you follow up with them to see how the product that you sold them is working out for them? Without a database, you cannot. You must develop one so that you can remind them that you are still here and more importantly that you still care.

You must use strategies such as Guarantees and Testimonials to enhance your Marketing Message in all communications

People love testimonials and guarantees. This gives your potential client the warm and fuzzy feeling that they need to feel comfortable about doing business with you. If they read or see how your product or service has helped hundreds of people improve their lives, save money, time or increase their income, they are more likely to do business with you over your competitor. Your guarantees show the potential client how much confidence that you have in your product or service. Offering powerful guarantees such as warranties and full refunds, if not satisfied, proves to the consumer that there is no risk involved with doing business with you. If your competitor doesn’t say these things, it may show that they are not willing to back up what they are selling.

Your Marketing Message must tell your prospect what to do next in making contact with you

After hearing your message, your prospect must be directed on how they should contact you. Should they email, call, write or come in? You cannot assume that they know, you must tell them. They will appreciate you for this.

You must communicate with past customers on a regular basis to ensure that they come back again and again.

The easiest sale is to those who have already done business with you. How are they going to remember you if you don ‘t communicate with them? I encourage my clients to stay in touch with their clients a minimum of 4 times per year. I advise them to stay away from big holidays such as Christmas and Easter because everyone sends cards during these times. Consider sending something on their birthday, the Fourth of July, New Years Day and Labor Day. You will probably be the only person they receive a card from on any of these given days.

If you develop your Marketing plan using the 10 Powerful Musts, you will increase your business with both new clients as well as returning clients. You will also see an increase in referrals to your business. The best businesses understand that marketing is the most important part of their business because without customers you have no business.

So what are you going to do next?

Well, you can go down to your local college and sign up for a Marketing course if you have the time to do so. Most business owners don ‘t. You can read a bunch of books and extract the principles outlined, but that takes time and disciple. Or you can hire a Marketing Coach who will help you develop the strategies that we have outlined. By doing so you enjoy the privilege of having your customer pipeline filled at all times.

I am currently enrolling students in my Marketing mastermind group. If you’d like more information please email me at Kevin@southeastbusinessdoctor.com. I will send you a fre-e Marketing Evaluation.

About the Author

Kevin Thomas is a serial entrepreneur, licensed business coach, and a motivational and inspirational speaker. Kevin is currently working with Business Owners who are in the top five percent of their field or have aspirations to be there. Kevin is a master in business strategies which have helped him build several businesses that run successfully without him. If you would like to receive his success secrets newsletter, go to http://www.southeastbusinessdoctor.com .

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Mini Marketing Tip 2 – Image

Hello readers,

Here’s an interesting controversial thought: People judge you and pre-determine how you’re going to be by the way you look.

Don’t agree? Watch this video as proof (love her or hate her, you cant dispute that this was true in her case.)
So, if people judge you by the way you look, or at least make an initial judgement, then if you are representing your business.. how does this translate?

Well, if you show up to networking events with dirty hair, un-ironed clothes and slouched shoulders, then think of how people will see you. Yes, you can never judge a book by it’s cover, however, the reality is that we do form an impression of someone by the way they look. This possibly comes from the time of the caveman and is linked to a survival instinct; you had to know whether someone was friend or foe instantly!

It doesn’t matter how great your product is or how spectacular you are at providing the service that you do, if you are not dressed to reflect what you do, then people will make a pre-judgment on what you provide as a business.

Comments and/or experiences welcome!

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Mini Marketing Tip 1 – Social Media

Marketing has had a turnaround! It’s no longer about company promotion,… it’s now about consumer referral.
With tools like twitter, facebook, stumbleupon and youtube, with many others, the public can now vote on their favourite companies… online. Marketing should now be about providing advice, support and expertise to the market, building relationships with your target market. Your brand needs to be online as well as offline, using the social media most relevant to your target market.
Get started now!

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Marketing Show in London Tues and Wed

The UK’s first and only event for integrated marketing – opens Tuesday 30 June at 9.30am! We’ve noticed, (I’m sure you have too!) that the role of the marketer and marketing departments have been changing. You’re likely to be involved in more elements of the marketing mix, work across various disciplines and work closely with previously separate departments – all to create the most effective and kick ass campaigns!

What is Marketing Week Live? Produced by Marketing Week, it’s the UK’s only event to reflect your changing role, providing a single destination event for market research, online marketing, data marketing and in-store marketing activity. The Show opens this week on Tuesday 30 June from 9.30am – 5.00pm and again on Wednesday 1 July from 9.30am – 4.30pm. Plan your journey here!

We’ve brought together four individual exhibitions, each with a specific conference, into one venue at one time, creating a true melting pot of ideas and inspiration for the most forward thinking marketers! Plus …We’re adding to that, the fabulous and FREE to attend, Marketing Week Live Centre Stage, where some of the biggest names will be speaking, including: Moray MacLennan, CEO, M&C Saatchi Nick Bampton, Managing Director, Viacom Brand Solutions Chris Maples, UK APS, Sales Director, Microsoft Advertising Simon Thompson, European Managing Director, Lastminute.com David Wheldon, Global Marketing Director, Vodafone Rachel Bristow, Markting Comms & Buying Director, Unilever Martin Glen, CEO, Birdseye plus more!

These leading characters in the industry will take to the stage and give their opinions, some outspoken!, on the challenges facing today’s marketer. So this really is it … the one event that will get your creative juices flowing, your imagination whirring, leave you truly inspired and armed with original ideas to take you and your integrated marketing forward in 2009 and beyond!

http://www.marketingweeklive.co.uk/

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The Formula for Success – Part 2 by Gemma (guest blogger)

The Formula for Success

In the last blog we agreed with Woody Allen that 80% of success is showing up.
But you and I both know that isn’t the whole formula!  So what is the other 20%? And how can it be effective when it’s such a small percentage?

Well the good news is that the next part of the formula is to always give 110%! Thankfully this means that there is more than 20% left

So how can you always give 110%?

Here are 3 effective ways.

Give to yourself!

If you start by looking after yourself you will have the energy and ability to give to your business and clients. So right now book yourself some time off!
It must be said though that time does not necessarily have to be time off to be restorative, if you are creative you can enjoy a little bit of ‘me time’ in all kinds of situations. Make your journey to work an escape by making your car smell nice, reading a novel on the train, listening to music you love. My father has to spend a lot of time driving so he tends to listen to books in the car that he downloads from www.audible.com, they also have a terrific selection of personal and business development books too – or you can find my favourites of these on my website in my bookshop – www.illuminate-coaching.co.uk

Underpromise, Overdeliver

In this day and age everybody seems to be promising us the moon and all we often end up with is an apology (if that) and a sense of disappointment. Instead of trying to lure customers with cheap promises of delivery half an hour ago or a sales course that will make you a million pounds in 50 minutes it is better to promise only what you know you can deliver. If you know delivery will take at least 5 hours but no more than a day then promising next day delivery means you can exceed your customers’ expectations.
It’s also a good idea to look at what could prevent you from delivering your promises and have a back –up plan in place to keep you as close to on track as possible, for example if you run an online store what will you do if your computer crashes while you are trying to process orders?

Look at things from your client’s point of view

What does your client need? What problems do they face? You may think you know your clients well but they will always surprise you. Try to view your clients as people rather than mere demographics, talk to them, and listen to them and you have a great chance of being able to give them110%. Treat their problems seriously and go out of your way to solve them and you’ll have a customer for life. I clearly remember this happening for me; I’d just taken a management role and was supposed to have a particular suit from a well known High Street store as my uniform. Only this uniform had been set 4 months before and the styles in this shop change quite quickly. When I went to buy it there was 1 jacket in my size and 2 of the shirts, however one of the assistants took the trouble to phone every store in the area and got my whole uniform for me in less than a week. I still go to Next before anywhere else because of this!

So go on … give it all you’ve got!

Gemma Thompson
http://www.illuminate-coaching.co.uk

Gemma

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Guest blogger, Gemma, talks about The Formula for Success!

The Formula for Success

Woody Allen, the great American comedian once said that 80% of success is showing up.

And I would have to agree with him. After all, if I hadn’t entered this competition I wouldn’t be writing this blog post now for you all to read!

Of course there is more to success than that – and I will look at some of the other ingredients in the other blog posts this week.

So how can you make your business more successful by showing up?

Here are 3 effective ways.

SEO your Website

3 little letters that can strike terror into the heart of small business owners! Getting your website on the first page of Google seems to be comparable these days to finding the Holy Grail! There are a lot of ways to improve your visibility. I’m sure you’ve already heard of keywords so I’ll just say one thing about these – remember to use as your keywords the type of phrases that your customers will type into their searchbar – avoid jargon at all costs!

You can also raise your ranking by having lots of links to your site on other websites. You can do this by listing yourself on directories. Some of these are free but some do charge. I’ve put together a Links Directory of all the places I’ve found to link to my site – not all of these links will be relevant to your business but a lot of them are generic – to get it email me at gemma@illuminate-coaching.co.uk with the words Link Directory in the subject bar!

Network

One of the best ways to build peoples trust in your business is for them to meet you or have you recommended to them by someone that knows you. There are lots of different networking events so it’s possible for everyone to find a group they feel comfortable with. To find an event in your area go to http://www.findnetworkingevents.com/ or http://www.bni-europe.com/uk/

When you go along to a group look on it as an opportunity to build relationships, not as an opportunity to sell. If you walk in and try to push your product or service down people’s throats all you will do is alienate people so instead approach it with the attitude of getting to know people and seeing how you might be able to help them.

Also, you need to speak to people! Sounds obvious I know but I can’t count the amount of networking events I’ve been to where I’ve seen someone cowering in the corner. I always make it a point to go and speak to these people – if you are a little nervous yourself this is a wonderful thing to do, the person you approach is certain to feel grateful and relieved that you have ‘rescued’ them.

There is likely to be too many people at the event for you to talk to everybody there. You’ll be lucky to talk to more than 3 or 4 in depth. This is one of the reasons it is important to attend the same groups regularly.

Use PR

Get yourself in the local paper! Or a national paper! Or on radio, TV or in a magazine! The choice is endless. And the media is in constant need of new stories so if you can provide one for them you might be surprised how willing they are to run it!

To do this you need to mentally step outside your business and look at it from a different angle – what is newsworthy about your business? Have you won an award? Are you expanding? Are you having an event or supporting a charity? Is it YOU that’s interesting? How did you get to where you are now?

One good site to upload these to is http://www.free-press-release.com/

If you find it really impossible or too time consuming to do this yourself there are plenty of excellent PR companies out there.

 Ok, got to go put my shades on now as you are all set to dazzle!

Gemma Thompson
http://www.illuminate-coaching.co.uk

Gemma

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How to stand out in your marketing!

Hello readers,

I’ve been quiet the last few days, busy preparing for the next stage of development in business. I went to an event the other night called ‘How to Barack Obama your Business’ by Rod Sloane, which was excellent and he explained about how to be different in your marketing. On friday I will post a few notes that I took from the seminar.

One thing that really stood out for me was a gentleman called Theo, who is a magician. As you can see from the video, he markets himself quite well! Now, I know that maybe in your business wearing a bunny covered blue suit might not be relevant… but just give it some thought.. how can you stand out and be different in your industry?!

Thoroughly recommend this event… http://obamayourbusiness.eventbrite.com/

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