Tag Archives: Marketing

The Story of Marketing

Your pitch, your prices, your advertising, how you generate income, where you find your customers, how you communicate with customers, what you sell, how you sell, how you record and use data, how you treat your customers, where you interact with your customers, how you share your knowledge and the relationships you build around you

is marketing

This brief paragraph is actually a synopsis of a much greater story, the story of marketing.  I will be blogging about this over the next few weeks, as part of a series that will eventually become a book.  I will give you a step by step guide to understanding your market well and improving communications.  This information is based on the workshop that I have written and delivered over the last few years and how it has changed the perceptions and mind-sets of business owners, which has enabled them to approach their marketing with much more insight and confidence.

So subscribe today to make sure you receive all the latest blogs.  I would love your thoughts and feedback too, so if there are topics I have not covered that you would like to know more about, then please let me know

Happy marketing

Caroline

What Is Your Proposition?

What Is Your Proposition?

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What is your business proposition?  Puzzled by the term itself?

Your proposition is basically what you tell the world that your product or service is.  It sounds simple, but actually it’s the most common cause of confusion in business.

I have attended networking events and ‘oh so that’s what you do’ or ‘oh so that’s what he/she does’ is not an uncommon phrase, unfortunately.  This is not said about new recruits, but quite often about people we see all the time.  It is only when the opportunity arises to put the meat on the bones, either through a 1:1 or 10 minute presentation that the penny eventually drops.

So if you are not clear and concise in communicating exactly what it is that you do, your business is suffering.

At networking events for example, the temptation is to try and cram your whole offer into a 60 second pitch.  It is more effective to segment your market and concentrate on one at a time over a few weeks.  This gives your peers chance to become more intimate with your service, gaining greater insight and thus be able to obtain more quality leads and referrals for you.

Another reason that consideration to proposition is important is product life cycle.

Have you been around for a while?  Hopefully you have a healthy portfolio of income streams.  Where are they in their life cycle?  Are they a fad?  Are they new, cutting edge?  Are they still relevant to your clients or a bit outdated?  Have you saturated the market in a particular location?  Do you need to cast your net wider geographically?  Do you need to drop some lines and give thought to fresher modes of income?  Is what you offer quite expensive?  Do you have low cost items that are quicker to convert or hook new customers in with?

A lot of questions that require a lot of contemplation.

I find that quite often marketing is just thought of as pretty logos, advertising, social media and websites.  The proposition, income streams, relevance, product life cycles and geography are completely ignored.  This is dangerous.

Have you carried out any market research in the last two years?  If not then you could be losing touch with your customers.  Send out questionnaires to existing and loyal prospects but also reach out to those you have not engaged with yet.

Purchase market data.  Mintel and other agencies carry out analysis of markets all the time, so the work may have already been done for you.

I am still in the early phases of my business and am still test trading.  My proposition has already changed.  I pay attention to what businesses are asking me for, then I position myself so that I can solve their problems.  It is not about me deciding what I do and forcing it onto the local business community.  It is about staying in touch with the real issues and being on hand to deal with them to free up their time.

These problems never stay the same but can change rapidly and without warning, so if your business is still the same as it was five years ago, a rethink is very much required

Please subscribe to this blog as I will shortly be producing a number of downloadable guides

Caroline

Are You an all or Nothing Business?

Are you an all or nothing business?  Does your marketing activity wax and wane? Do you stop/start, get frustrated, give up and do nothing?  Do you go from day to day without clear direction?

Self employment is a tough road.  When times are good, we are happy the world is sunny and warm.  When things go quiet, panic sets in and suddenly our attention once again focuses on advertising, but has a budget been set aside?  Have we given consideration to what messages we want to send out?  Business administration tasks such as book-keeping and marketing are often cast aside as ‘chores’ only to be carried out when necessary.

A healthier approach is to have a planned marketing strategy set out over a period of time.  This way you can make use of the many different channels of communication and routes to market that are available to you, enabling you to measure success and reflect on the effectiveness of each approach.  Consider seasonality, green lights, trends – can your business be packaged up to fit in with current hot topics?  Are you selling your strengths, is your product portfolio still relevant?

For example when starting a business or injecting new life into an existing one, the temptation is to launch headlong into printing brochures, placing ads, setting up social media accounts without any real objective in mind apart from to win business.  However this knee jerk reaction only leads to frustration as most business generation is a slow burn and the result of building lasting relationships.

We are now more discerning consumers both personally and in business, there is a lot of choice.  We can take time to consider who we do business with.  So building loyalty and trust and looking after your clients regularly goes a lot further than a quick flier or tweet.

Stop/start marketing is not effective.  Blog regularly,  keep in touch, attend events, set time aside each week to do these tasks and you will find that work is more steadfast and regular, rather than having bursts of activity, then doing nothing when you’re busy, then another burst when times are quiet

Having a clear strategy to stick to over a 6-12 month period helps you to remain focused, gives you a framework and a ‘to do’ list and you can measure progress (or lack of).  Without this structure and discipline it will be difficult for your business to thrive.

Please subscribe to this blog to keep up to date with marketing news

Caroline