Tag Archives: business success

Why Is Your Content Marketing Not Working?

Content is King Bill Gates Ross Kingsland

Content Marketing is consistently poor.

There are many discussions over what good content actually is, however most of it is unfocused, psychologically unsound and poorly executed.

So where is successful content marketing implemented and demonstrated? Rarely is it in large organisations. And they are not to blame for this. It is endemic. Content Marketing in the digital age has only just begun to be exploited. And most senior marketing managers have no experience of it.

But there are those of us out there who not only understand psychology and internet behaviour patterns but use them to our advantage to make content meaningful.

If you take one thing away from my post please let it be this.

All content marketing starts with this mindset: “You can have everything you want, if you help everyone else get everything they want

…….and I dont mean discounts for your “loyal” subscribers.

For a quick start on content marketing – get someone who is an expert on psychology. And I don’t just mean that they have read a book or two. Or partner up with someone who is.

The Content Marketing train is already pulling out of the station – don’t be left behind

What Is Your 2013 Business Strategy?

2013 Business Goal Setting Ross Kingsland

2012 is nearly over. Some of us met our goals, some exceeded them and some can’t remember what they said 12 months ago. And now 2013 is fast approaching.

It is at this time that we reflect on how successful our business and lives have been over the last year.

Many will blame the economy. Some will blame circumstances in their lives. A handful will blame themselves.

One thing I do know through years of coaching and working with businesses is this. For many business owners, goals are nothing more than hope.

If it happens – “great”, if it doesn’t happen then the “maybe next year” mantra is rolled out.

And it is not because our intentions were anything less than good. We set out with a strong idea of where we want to be and where we are going – but something happens along the way. 12 months is a long time in business.

Some of us struggle, get caught out, rely on a “good” economy to keep our business going. The reality of business is very different. Unless you are adapting, flowing, continiously improving you will not achieve your goals.

Then there are a few who not only survive in a recession – they actually become more successful. I am fortunate enough to say that this is one of the business principles that my business is leveraged by. When a recession is here – we celebrate.

Here’s the truth about recessions: There are more millionaires created during a recession than at any other time of an economic cycle.

Why does this seem counter intuitative to your experiences?

The amount of money that is in the world has not been reduced, it is simply in someone else’s bank. This means that while one business may be struggling that same money is invested elsewhere.

So how do the millionaires succeed where other businesses fail? Strategy

Let me give you an example.

Imagine that you are about to set off on a car trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Would you simply get in the car, unprepared and set off driving without a map, checking the fuel or car condition? As an intelligent person I would imagine that you wouldn’t adopt this approach.

Instead what do we do? We plan the route with the use of maps, perhaps speak wtih friends who have done the whole or part of the journey, ensure you have fuel in the tank, check the tyre pressure and water levels, assess how long the trip will take and factor in your timescales.

Then you get in the car and drive. You know where your destination is and you know what roads and changes you need along the way to ensure you reach your destination.

Imagine this, even as you are driving in the dark with your headlights just showing a couple of hundred meters ahead of you – you know that you are still on the right path.

Why does this work? You had a specific outcome that you wanted to achieve and you planned how you were going to achieve it, then you made that decision to start the journey. And if, like me, the journey has not gone quite according to plan – did you stop and give up? You ask directions, get help – maybe even use the Sat Nav.

And then you finally arrive at your destination. You’ve been through some experiences to achieve it. But it was worth it in the end.

How can you use this for your 2013 Business Strategy?

Start today by writing down your answers these questions to develop your strategy

1. What specific goals do you want to achieve by the 31st December 2013?

2. What are your current resources and skills?

3. What resources and skills will you need to achieve your goals?

4. How can you get access to the resources and skills to achieve your goals?*

*remember: what got you here will not get you to your goal

5. How committed are you to achieving your goal on a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being not very, 10 being 100% committed, nothing will stop me!)

Everytime I ask the last question everyone says 100%.

If this is so then why do so many of us not achieve our goals? Lack of action and committment.

Whatever your goal make it a MUST not a WOULD BE NICE.

Many people talk about what they are going to do, few actually take action and do something. Be one of the 0.01% that seize the opportunity and make a decision to create the business that they want, on their terms.

So, when would now be a good time to make your decision?

 

In friendship

Ross

ross@inceptionbusinesssolutions.com

 

Profit Builders: Do You Have Customers Or Clients?

It’s interesting how we position our selves, products and services often without realising the impact of what is happening and the subsequent effect to our business.

To use one example:

Around your office or business, do you use the word customer or client?

Although this sounds like a very small difference the effect on your relationship with them is dictated by this.

To understand this we can use the Webster Dictionary

Definition of “Customer“: one that purchases a commodity

Definition of “Client“: one that is under the protection of another, a person who engages the professional advice or services of another

Consider what the impact of this really is.

If you have customers, the position that you are adopting is that they are purchasing commodities. Commodities are abundant, replicable and replaceable. If your business perspective is based on this, how do those customers then view you offerings?

It becomes very difficult to differentiate yourself, charge a premium, develop loyalty to you if that is also their perception of you – a commodity provider.

Conversely, by using the word client in its place your whole perspective changes. You are now a trusted advisor to them. You have their best interest at heart – above your own.

And what happens to you in the eyes of the client? You become trusted, they show you loyalty, you are irreplaceable, you are needed.  Your purpose is to give your clients the best short term and long term results and benefits.

That may not sound like much of a strategy for increasing profit but look at it from the other side.

You will never let they buy less than they should, or at least you won’t be shy about offering and recommending, if appropriate, that they buy more because you have their best interests at heart.

Imagine that you were a doctor. You have a duty of care to your clients (patients). If someone who was sick came to see you and at the end of the consultation they ask which medicine of the two you recommend. It is your duty to recommend the medicine that you believe will give the most benefits and fewest side effects. Or would you let them take the “cheaper” that may have more side effects with fewer benefits?

Customers will see you as a commodity provider.

Clients will see you as trusted advisors.

Is Your Business Marketing Tactically Or Strategically?

Many clients and business professionals I speak with often confuse the two and regard nearly everything they do as strategic – well it sounds more professional for a start. But dig a little deeper and businesses rarely utilise a strategic marketing approach.

There is a considerable risk in the tactical approach.

Running a business from a tactical perspective always means that you are chasing one marketing campaign and launching straight into the next one. When I was launching a service provider into the health sector I came into the role of Marketing Director and found that their marketing department was very busy being tactical with no overarching strategy. There was no reason for many of the tools that were being employed other than to “be seen by our customers and maybe we’ll get a few sales”.

So the company had gone from one conference or trade show to the next trying to showcase their service. Short term the tactical marketing strategy had a limited success. A handful of leads were generated and of that a small percentage converted.

The strategic approach

Now I’m not saying that what I did was brilliant or even clever, as someone who has always got to the route of a problem quickly we discovered that by the nature of the tactical approach the customer leads that were being generated were next to useless. Here’s why.

In the National Health Service staff change roles and responsibilities frequently. The single biggest problem with the marketing tactics that were being employed was that it targeted individuals that were only usually in their role for one year. This was significant because it meant that each year the sales team had to go out and start the sales process all over again with brand new prospects who had never heard of our organisation before.

First thing I did was identify the target decision makers in each area of the country and started to build a marketing campaign around the existing relationships that we had and leveraging that for strategic referrals and relationship building. Recognising that resources were limited I approached a company who was in a similar space with a complimentary service and formed a joint venture. This meant that they were also marketing our product in front of the customer even when we weren’t there. I called it a pincer movement.

By embedding our service into the heart of the appropriate NHS service at a strategic level the company saw a rise in profits from £48k in year one (at which point I was brought in) to £3.4million by year 3.

I’m pleased to say that we were able to do this at a time when the NHS was being completely reorganised with a reduction in spend of up to 50% in the areas that the company was working with.

My advice would be that by focusing on tactics you will only ever achieve the level of success that tactics will bring.

A strategic perspective in your approach will bring the rewards you really are aspiring for.