Our exclusive video of 20 minutes of pure ideas and stimulation about how to promote your business locally:
Our exclusive video of 20 minutes of pure ideas and stimulation about how to promote your business locally:
This week I’ve had two clients get frustrated by media comments which did not allow a talk-back response.
Set up your company policies and publicise them.
In both cases, bloggers and journalists were doing their job and calling out the client brand on key issues.
Professional disagreements are normal.
By stating your position on key issues, your brand can become better known and also has the ability to influence the way the whole industry thinks on these points.
Most of New Zealand’s businesses are local. Knowing how to get known locally is an important skill. Today we’re showing you our latest tips for local marketing success. Better still, they’re all things you can do yourself – today.
Local marketing is absolutely essential nowadays whether its a neighbourhood, a city or a country. Few of your customers are in social media looking for your locally supplied services. Having robust local marketing tactics is essential. The key is to get value from both online and offline marketing spend and the cross-overs are increasingly beneficial when focused on local marketing.
Rebecca Caroe shows you 8 tactics for local marketing success. In just 20 minutes you’ll know what you need to do and how to do it for your business, today.
If you want to learn the secrets to compound growth for your business, get private coaching advice. Bespoke for your unique situation and with a 100% refund guarantee if you’re not satisfied. No risk!
Customer feedback. These simple words are in every businessman’s mouth (and 2-hour long Powerpoint presentations) and can give you priceless insights if done right. This data is essential to measure customers’ satisfaction and make your products/services meet their needs. But let’s be honest, the ways people use to collect it are not thought through like they should. From annoying guys with clipboards knocking on your door to spammy messages in your inbox, research is carelessly planned by most companies. Fear not, though: we have a few suggestions for you on how to seize your customers’ opinion.
Yeah, you know where I’m going: the infamous surveys. Right now, as I mention the words “fill a form”, I can almost hear your eyes rolling. It’s something loathed by most of us, and some planners consider just a necessary evil. Doesn’t matter if you are the poor soul who’s spreadsheeting the results for that damn thing or, God forbid, the one answering to an endless questionnaire.
Understanding the importance of this kind of research, many companies offer rewards to customers in a hopeless attempt of getting useful information to work with. Burger King, for example, used to encourage customer feedback offering FREE FOOD if you completed their online survey. However, even a free burger was not incentive enough to make me bother to finish those.
The process itself is outdated. If the activity is too laborious, doesn’t matter what “prize” you are offering. People tend to quit or, even worse, answer rubbish by mindlessly marking “x” on random fields just to be done with it, giving you worthless data.
Now you are probably asking yourself the million dollar question: is there a way to avoid wasting your resources while collecting useful data?
Surveys must be dynamic, well designed and lighthearted. No one can stand boring lists of questions and tiny “tick boxes” in this day and age. You can use a tool like Typeform, a Spanish startup that is mastering user experience for all kinds of forms, from a simple suggestion box to a more intricate survey. You can check an example at the end of this article. Their innovative service promises to keep “focused and engaged respondents” with a beautiful interface, responsible for a 59% completion rate on the platform. That’s a MASSIVE result.
Your customer has to understand the objective of giving you feedback and see that you are actually listening. You can start showing your appreciation by making him part of the creative development of new products, like McDonald’s did with the “Create Your Taste” campaign. There was no money involved, just a warm feeling of belonging and the thrill of signing your own McDonald’s sandwich. Crowdsourcing at its finest, bringing excellent results (and funny memes, because internet).
Here at Creative Agency Secrets, we made a testimonials campaign for ourselves by partnering with a charity called StarJam. Offering donations in exchange for a few words from our clients, we turned their feedback into social proof for our own brand on the internet. You can check more details reading our case study.
I’d like to chat about marketing for my small web design business. I’ve got to this point without needing to do much marketing, however, to grow, I need to be doing something! What’s your advice?
But the website doesn’t separate the customer journey (pathway through the site) for these two groups. It’s important to shortcut the number of clicks a visitor makes on their discovery through your site.
Recommend: Separate links to detail pages for these two services
I asked you about the split in clients between web and Shopify – and you told me it was about 50:50. Then you told me some of your clients were first timers – getting a website or ecommerce store for the first time. This group needs to be treated differently from clients who know how to buy web services. This group can lose you money as they are inexperienced.
Recommend: Set up a page for FirstTimers to guide them through how to brief an agency.
You also told me that some of your work is advice, particularly for Shopify clients. You charge an hourly rate for this work. This is a good rate, but it’s non-repeating business.
Recommend: You offer two services for advice. One is straight advice; the other is training. Double your charges for training because you are teaching clients how to be self-sufficient and to run their own Shopify stores.
If this advice is useful for your business, consider hiring us to help tutor you through effective business marketing. Can’t pay? Join our newsletter and you’ll get a free 8 article series of practical business marketing tips to implement yourself.
On 27th September I’m speaking at a breakfast event. [ticket reservations below]
It’s about de-coding digital marketing for folks who are confused about how to do digital communications successfully.
Despite digital being commonplace to me, it’s not that clear to everyone.
You may already be using some digital channels and be having some successes in bringing new revenues to your firm. This event isn’t for you.
You know if this is you or not. YOU qualify as being digitally confused if you’re unsure how to get good results from digital or online marketing.
My acquaintance, David Baker wrote to me this week and I want to quote him verbatim.
“An outside advisor like me comes into your firm and we bring several valuable things:
- Perspective. It’s hard to see your own label when you’re in the jar.
- Insight. There’s no need to reinvent the flat tyre over and over again.
- Courage. Sometimes you just need a push. You need permission from just one more person.
I’d say that most of you should never hire an advisor and you’ll be just fine, thank you very much. You’d do a lot better if sometimes you thought less about the consequences and did what you know I’m going to tell you anyway!”
For the rest, let’s see you sign up to the breakfast on 27th September in the box below.
P.S. And if you’re wondering why I wrote this – it’s to deliberately exclude people who would not benefit from the event.
Finance people see marketing activities differently. They may be blocking spend that you perceive essential. To understand the Chief Finance Officer’s perspective on marketing, we decided to interview expert CFO Trish Love about how she makes decisions to spend money on Marketing.
Trish has an 8 step process she uses to appraise marketing budgets and to prioritise spend. She explains “these steps are not sequential but there is a loose logic I follow.”
Getting along and working effectively for the good of the business is the outcome we all seek. So there you go. I hope this summary helps marketing folks to understand finance folks and vice versa.
A question from Quora was sent to me to answer. And it demonstrates so neatly why many new business people get discouraged by apparent failures. My answer shows how to play the “advantage” card from a disappointment and position yourself for future success while gaining valuable business experience from the situation.
My business partner’s dad/investors asked for a pitch, to which he said no after a while, but still plans to use some of the ideas. What can I do?
I told her this idea I had for a concept store that she just shared with her Dad who offered to invest/add it to his Group. After talking a few weeks ago, he just sent us a decline letter, but she says he & his partners may still use some of my ideas. I’m lost… and she doesn’t care.. What can I do ?
Write back to each person, individually, thanking them very much for their time in hearing your pitch. Be sure that they understand how much of the pitch was your concept/idea. Say you’re sorry that they have decided not to progress working with you at this time.
Tell them that if they use your ideas in future you will be keen to
a) work on the project, or
b) receive a commission payment to reflect your intellectual capital investment
Tell them that this is only one of many bright ideas you have to contribute to their businesses and ask for an introduction to two other people who might be keen to work with someone of your talents.
Four days later, follow up with a phone call to each one to check they got your email and to ask for the introductions.
The outcome will be that you will probably not get any money from a) or b). But the introductions you receive will give you entry into a new circle of prospective employers and clients.
The psychology of getting them to acknowledge your contribution (which they may use in future without paying) provokes the principle of reciprocity. You gave them something of value and now you are asking for something of value in return (introductions).
The follow-up shows that you are more determined than most (e.g. your business partner) and therefore are “one to watch” for the future who may benefit them again.
Lastly, in future don’t share your ideas with your business partner again without first gaining agreement about how they are to be used and valued.
Google alerts are an extremely useful resource for promoting your business online. First of all, if you aren’t using Google Alerts to track your business, you’re missing a seriously useful hack. They are particularly handy for staying up to date with relevant and timely information regarding your business, so you can react immediately to any publicity or news as soon as it happens.
Google Alerts can also be used via RSS as a news aggregator on your website or blog! This is particularly useful for showing your visitors you know what is happening around you as well as demonstrating a position of authority with regards to your particular topic. Displaying the latest, relevant news results provides a great reason for your fans to continue returning to your site. Tailored, niche content is much easier to digest when it is a subject aligned with your own browsing interests. It may even help increase the likelihood of your visitors purchasing from you!
The best part about this is it can be totally automated, so you don’t have to spend time curating material. But make sure you have tested and refined your alert keywords in order to get the best results. Or, be sure to check the results from time to time in order to filter out anything that doesn’t fit with your brand.
We will be putting together a guide explaining how to get Google Alerts displaying as an RSS feed on your website shortly…
The next application for Google Alerts is a little more intricate: With a bit of research and a thorough understanding of your target market, you can even use Google Alerts to find new business!
Our client provides storage equipment solutions to the global rowing community. Although they can retro-fit single pieces of equipment inside an existing boathouse, their biggest projects come from clubs and organisations who have or are building brand new facilities. These new facilities obviously require a complete fit out of storage equipment and therefore, are our client’s ideal market. So how do you know when a new facility is built and looking for storage equipment? Timing is everything – if you find them too late, they may have already sourced a supplier and you’ll have missed the boat. Google Alerts provides the answer!
By setting up alerts with keywords such as “new rowing boathouse”, “rowing building new boathouse” and “new rowing club” for example, you get a nice summary of boathouse developments happening around the world.
Of course you have to continue your research beyond the alert itself to determine the lead’s value. Sometimes, results are completely irrelevant, and sometimes they are duplicates of material you have already covered. However, on the whole, they are incredibly useful at identifying future projects, as they are often newsworthy topics in their local area.
The next step is to track all your leads in a spreadsheet. Information such as who to contact and where they are located is particularly important. Additional research on the lead’s website often provides the necessary information to point you in the right direction.
In our client’s case, we were interested in contacting the architects of the boathouse, so that we could get involved with the club and their design process, as early as possible.
We have experienced great success building up a database of quality leads for our client in recent months. It is then up to our client to continue the dialogue with the prospective club and come to an arrangement. We have had a great deal of success converting these previously unknown prospects into happy customers, and have done so without investing hugely in advertising, outbound mailing campaigns or other conventional outbound marketing activities!
We have been able to minimise the time taken to research new sources of business through alerts and have increased the prevalence of new business, while making it easy to filter out results of no value. And as it updates you each time a new boathouse is being developed, you don’t waste time searching for them manually. A weekly check of your alerts inbox provides you with enough
Regardless of your industry or business, there’s bound to be a positive application to use Google Alerts for. Whether it is direct lead generation, building a database of bloggers and journalists to share content between, or even researching a network of businesses whose interests align neatly with your own, the uses for it go on and on.