Tag Archives: marketing

How Are You Growing Your Business During A Recession With Limited Budget?

Grow Your Business With Limited Budget

One of the questions that I have received a lot in my inbox since 1st Jan 2013 is this:

“How can I grow my business significantly with little investment?”

I spoke with one of my clients only this morning who was facing this dilemma. He runs a small coaching consultancy, is in the process of writing his first book and wants to launch a seminar to his local community of businesses.

He recognises that his spend on marketing and advertising is limited and wants a good return. I should point out that he is highly intelligent and keen to make a positive impact on the world through sharing his message.

Here are his 2 biggest problems:

  1. His budget for the seminar and it’s marketing is limited
  2. He acknowledges that most companies and individuals are reducing expenditure

Do these problems sound similar to the issues facing your business today?

Let’s tackle these problems in reverse.

Companies and individuals are reducing expenditure

Every time there is a recession two things happen. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It’s an interesting statistic that there are more millionaires created during recessions than at any other time of an economic cycle.

And this isn’t even the domain of the millionaires. High income families always maintain their lifestyle during recessions.

This may sound implausible, so understand the car market which reflects the buying power of our demographics.

Sales of luxury cars are up (and increasing) sales of middle value hatchbacks are continuing to fall (by the way, the car market is the litmus of the confidence of the economy which is why it is always featured so heavily on the news).

The second consideration for “reducing expenditure” is this. The psychology behind companies and individuals reducing expenditure belies a hidden opportunity.

Those companies and individuals are in pain as a result of their perception of the recession. If you are intelligent you can develop a solution to their pain that will help them, not only survive, but thrive during the recession.

If your business is struggling I urge you to seek out someone who is successful during a recession. Anyone can make money during a boom, intelligent growth specialists succeed no matter what.

My budget is limited

Most people fall into this common mindset and are then limited in their thinking of what a solution may be.

I have been sought out for my innovative approaches to business models that leverage relationships so that everyone benefits.

How can you do this?

Strategic Partnerships

Going back to my client he was hoping to land a celebrity keynote speaker with no payment by saying that a percentage of the profits would be donated to his chosen charity.

As you can imagine being on the television he gets many requests like this and when asked, he politely refused.

So when we started working together I approached it in a slightly different way.

I asked my client to approach the celebrity and the charity at the same time, including the individuals on the same email. We worked on the tone and language of the email so that it eloquently put forward a proposition that was beneficial to the objectives of the charity and the celebrity.

As my dad always used to say “what’s in it for the other fella?”

We formed a partnership between us, the celebrity and the charity that would meet their needs ahead of our own.

Outcome

As you can imagine all three partners gained significant local press coverage and we were able to leverage the brand of the celebrity and the charity through a joint marketing.

This didn’t fill the seminar.

What did fill it was the 12 strategic partnerships that we were able to form with other suppliers using this same model.

I hope you use this model and have at least 10% of the success that my client.

Ross

ross@inceptionbusinesssolutions.com

Not All Marketing Is Created Equal

Tell me if this conversation sounds familiar –

“We tried that but it didn’t work so we haven’t tried that again”

Imagine if you had a baby who saw everyone else walking around upright on two legs and tried to stand then walk….. but fell over. Do you think they have the same thought process?

I regularly hear of businesses large and small who try a marketing tactic and do not get the result they were hoping for and form a quick belief that because it didn’t work for them, it’s not worth investing further in it and look for an alternative.

Marketing has never been more powerful or influential in generating and increasing sales to a business. It is a Formula One car.

The only problem is – not everyone is a Formula One driver.

As I write this I am imagining that you can drive. However, would you be able to win the Monaco Grand Prix if you had a Formula One racing team?

Two factors will determine your success.

How well you can drive a Formula One car and how well you know the track and opponents.

In other words – exactly the same as marketing.

When you hear of companies making incredible business growth a lot of it is developed through the same marketing activities that every business has at their disposal. The difference – they know how to use their marketing Formula One car and they know the track and opponents better than anyone.

3 Step Formula For Selling Anything Online

So, let’s imagine that you have developed a trusted relationship with your clients. You have led them through a process of demonstrating trust in your services or products but they don’t know what to do next.

All modern marketers live by the philosophy that you can always improve the effectiveness of your marketing through split testing.

And this is because the market changes so rapidly that we have to keep testing to find what works.

The biggest problem in online selling

Business owners and marketers have struggled with how to “pitch” online with variable results.

Worse case scenario: they have no strategy how to write an offer.

This is dangerous. You usually only have one chance and you can never go back and take the client through the process again. You are losing money at the final hurdle, the last step and it could be easily avoided.

This formula works consistently and across every industry because it is based on psychology. Don’t let the simplicity fool you. It works.

  • Here’s what I got – state what your product or service will do for them
  • Here’s what it will do for you – benefits on a superficial, psychological level and at a deep meta message level
  • Here’s what you need to do next – specific instructions coupled with psychological influencing strategies.

I have mentioned psychology several times during this because the formula without psychology will work. Add psychological influencing principles and your conversion rate increases considerably.

But do not read this idly. Test it against your current page. Only through split testing your web pages can you develop the most converting page for your website.

I HAD To Share This With You – What To Avoid When Presenting To Your Board

I’ve recently read some well intentioned advice from mentors, coaches, experts and gurus who have all come from similar positions.

They are hired to go into organisations and advice buisness owners on what they need to do to take their company to the next level in whatever skill set that may be. I saw one consultant offering advice to a marketing executive who was trying to convince his MD about the value of marketing. It read:

“…….ask him where he spends his money: whose shirt is he wearing, which car does he drive, who does he bank with, which airline does he use, which is his favourite restaurant, which phone is in his pocket, which gym he goes to, what laptop does he use and so on.

Then ask him why, and if he says anything like I feel good in them, it’s cool, it’s convenient, it’s cheap or luxury, the people are friendly, the product does what it’s supposed to, I keep going back there because they know me – that’s all Marketing.

If that doesn’t work, ask him where next year’s new and returning customers are going to come from if there’s no communication outwards or brand building, no understanding of what value you’re offering at what price, no product innovation and no understanding of what it’s really like being a customer”

This was painful to read.

Imagine if you were the MD receiving these questions from a marketing executive who is basically calling you an idiot.

So, why is this approach so ineffective? It starts from the position that you are right and he is wrong about how to run his business.

And no one likes to be told they are wrong. But everyone does have self doubt on something in their lives. It’s natural. It’s what keeps us moving forward trying to find ways to improve and be more efficient.

How can we reposition this that will be eloquent?

FIrst off we need to start from the position that they are fine as they are, in whatever they are doing. They do not need to do anything to their business if they do not wish to.

Everything in the world has a cause and effect. If you do X then Y will happen. If you do nothing then Z will happen.

If the MD decides to invest in marketing (X) then sales / brand awareness / customer loyalty etc (Y) will increase. If the MD does not decide to invest in marketing then it is possible that you will lose sales, brand awareness will decrease, customer loyalty will fade (Z).

As soon as you become emotionally attached to the situation your judgement becomes clouded and the most effective action to achieve the goal may not be pursued.

With the example above, what was particularly interesting was that the conversation was about what the marketing executive wanted to do – not what the business needed or wanted to do.

If you were the MD how would you feel?

I emailed the maketing executive separately to give some caution to the “well intentioned” advice from the “expert” to consider his approach to influencing a a senior executive. Watch this space.

For more non positional influencing strategies I recommend I’m Ok, You’re Ok by Thomas Harris available at amazon.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Im-Ok-Youre-Thomas-Harris/dp/009955755X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352991286&sr=8-1

Why Isn’t Your Marketing Campaign Working?

Tell me if this sounds familar.

You have read all the books, gone on the courses, maybe even invested in some marketing “experts” to help with your marketing.

And for a while it worked. You started to see some return on your investment. Sales increased. Then things slowed down and you were back to where you were.

And it’s not your fault. The marketing “experts” used to be “experts”. But in the marketing landscape of 2012, those techniques no longer work and here’s why.

Traditional marketing follows the theory that if the market wants something then if you put something out there in that space and position it correctly people will buy it. This just doesnt work anymore for a reason.

People are predisposed to ignore you. They have to. There is so much information flying in their direction that they make decisions in nanoseconds to just keep up.

So marketing experts then said “you need to stand out more! Differentiate yourself!”

The only problem with this is that people diversified and differenitated themselves so much that it went full circle and now no one is differentiated.

What is the purpose of all marketing messages? To connect with someone for long enough that they will not click “back” or throw you in the recycling bin. And how do we do this?

By first speaking to the indiviudal on a personal basis.

Here I mean approach your prospective clients as you would a friend. As a person you respect.

Here’s the test. Imagine you are checking your emails and you see an email from your best friend.

You know they’ve got something of interest to tell you and you trust them to not send you spam. You then open the email and read what they have written and usually respond to thank them at least.

What has been your experience? Amongst all the noise and shouting of people trying to get your attention the person who speaks quietly and get’s through.

There are a lot of ways to do this. Firstly become an expert of understanding human psychology – afterall it underpins everything we ever do – or at the very least find someone who is that is.

Is the decoupling of number of facebook users and share price a concern for us all?

Emperors New Clothes?

Social media. We all talk about how important it is. We are all aware of its impact on society. The question is really – Is it actually going to grow my business?

I am always amazed at people who proclaim social media to be critical to the growth of their company and revenue. Well again here is the biggest example of that NOT being true. Facebook has over 1 billion users and yet it’s share price continues to fall as revenue projections consistently fail to materialise. Bigger is not better.

And maybe we can see this already closer to home. I have attended several networking events with social media “experts” and “gurus”. Thing is, anyone can call themselves a guru or expert last time I checked there was no certified body handing these qualifications out. Anyway, they are all stood around plying their trade to desparate companies who are trying anything to keep revenue coming in.

My concern with this is this: if you are so good at social and online media – why are you even here? All of your business should be coming through your online activity?

Talk the talk or Walk the Talk?

How can you immediately find out how “good” they really are? Go to their twitter account or facebook page and check how many “likes” or “followers” they actually have. You will be very surprised.