first marketing, first sales, new business success

Who starts first – marketing or sales?

I wrote this email to a client today.  I have been working with them to set up and activate the things which will move them towards sales.  And I answer the Chicken and Egg question too…. read on

I think you have made significant progress in understanding three things which are essential to a successful new business development process.

  1. Deep focus on the target prospect companies and how to find individuals and make contact with them 
  2. Validation that there is a flow through activities from awareness, interest, desire, action (AIDA)…. e.g.XYZ is moving down that funnel well.  Also you have closed off the funnel for ABC and won’t waste time with him – he got returned to a ‘holding pattern’ in the newsletter mailing list.
  3. Recognition that we need to get to know more new people and to find ways of becoming relevant to them – from personal chat / email to newsletter subscription to face to face meeting.  
My guidance is being acted upon and you are seeing results which will bear fruit.  Also it’s forcing you to challenge presumptions and to run little experiments to see what the market responds to.  These both change over time and so I have learned never to guess.  But you knew that, didn’t you?

New Business is a Process

Creating a set-up that delivers a stream of leads for your business is how successful sales and marketing combine in a B2B organisation.   The underlying principles are the same for every firm yet the implementation and the diligent persistence of action is frequently what sets apart the successful from the rest.
first marketing, first sales, new business success

Who starts first? Marketing or Sales for new business success.

Can I help you?

If you’d like an appraisal of your current situation and recommendations for improvement which you can implement yourself, get in touch.

What we will do is

  • Review your recent new business success (or otherwise)
  • Assess the process
  • Research the possible bottle-necks, gaps and successful elements
  • Guide towards an improved method

Chicken or Egg; which comes first?

So to answer the question – it depends.  No, that’s not a cop-out.

Marketing comes first when the firm already has revenues and is looking to grow average size of sale, launch new products or new markets.

Sales comes first when the firm has a product and is not yet profitable enough to invest in intensive marketing or isn’t converting enquiries to revenue.

Trendosaur SaaS, retail find products

My SaaS has 7% conversion rate, how to improve?

My eCommerce SaaS has a conversion rate of 7% (2 new subscribers a day). I only get 1200 page hits a month though. How can I get more traffic?

The service is called Trendosaur. It helps online retailers make money by showing them the most profitable products to sell. My subscribers love the service. I’ve been running it for just over a year. The landing page is converting really well, but now it’s time to scale up the traffic numbers. Finding it really hard to get more than 40-50 page hits a day. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I know you should not rely solely on inbound traffic.  That’s a fool’s errand in today’s crowded market.trendosaur logo

Other marketers will suggest SEO, Content Marketing, Lead Funnels, Keyword search terms, LinkedIn Content, SEM, Social adverts, remarketing.  All good ideas and definitely part of the marketing mix needed – but they miss one fundamental comprehension of how modern marketing works.

Inbound and Outbound is the key strategy

When you take a product to market you need both awareness and targeted prospective buyers.

The joy of inbound is that if someone is looking, with good SEO, Keywords and Content Marketing you can appear in search results.  But for B2B markets, rarely is someone looking and the search volumes are so small, so niche that these volumes won’t deliver you the customer buyers in any great size or at scale.

I recommend  2 things

  1. Outbound Selling. Research a list of retailers who could use you and approach them direct. Direct sales is very powerful – it draws attention to you and then your content marketing / SEO will serve to bring them back to your site.
  2. Sponsor a retailers podcast like Ecommerce Fuel with a landing page / special sign up deal.

I used both of these to grow Rowperfect.co.uk/shop such that we now have a paid Christmas promotion page based on that list which is a great case study for this method.

woocommerce, Full multi currency list

Case Study: Multi Language Website

New challenges are what we thrive on and so the opportunity to work with a client on migrating them to a Multi Language and Multi Currency website was exciting.

Specifying the Minimum

WordPress Multi Language plugin logo

WordPress Multi Language plugin logo

Key to getting a great outcome was the first step of the site adjustment – what was the minimum viable site which would work?

The site has three main parts – a membership area, an online shop and a blog.  We decided to start with the blog and shop.

Creative Agency Secrets used our Sub-Contracted Services to find a great developer for the job.  It was important that they had already used the plugin we selected – WordPress Multi Language (WPML).

The most visited pages were prioritised for translation and the migration plan included adding shop products in descending order of popularity.

Integrations with MailChimp were also planned and a range of marcoms tactics to publicise to the existing user base.

Currency choices

Stage two was to add multi-currency to the site.  Since German was the language we added, it was clear the Euro currency was needed.  Finding a good plugin wasn’t hard – but customising the display to suit the site made usability better.

The default install is below – the user has to notice that the flag doesn’t match their country and then click the down arrow to find alternatives.  This was clumsy and not very obvious since nothing actually mentioned that this related to payment choices.

Woocommerce. multi currency shop,

Drop down currency choice

 

Our improvements were made with two changes – firstly displaying the currencies side by side in a grey bar and secondly by adding a label “Change Currency”.

label to improve currency selection visibility

Change Currency label

Lastly we recommended the client pay for the fully functioned version and add many more currencies – we selected these based on the countries where website visitors come from.

woocommerce, Full multi currency list

Full multi currency list

Unexpected outcomes and challenges

Here’s our list of things which we found challenging and which should help you shortcut your own learning.

  • Back end is duplicated now in each language – but you have to select each page or post individually for translation
  • Creating new landing pages for each language means that the URL needs to also change, making the site structure more complex
  • The tags and categories can be translated, listed for the translation team to work on or left untranslated
  • Categories lists (created alphabetically in English) are listed differently in other languages
  • The media library is common to both – but labels, naming and searching is in each language
  • Publicity tools like OneSignal work across the whole site and were sending out updates in both languages.  Customers noticed and told us they didn’t like this.
  • Mail Chimp allows editing of database field labels e.g. “Subscribe here” but we found that a lot more work was needed to update all the messaging with subscription confirmation emails, unsubscribe messages etc.

Overall we found that we needed to create “rules” for the teams using the site – marketing, translation, web and merchandising so that it was clear where and how we expected any product, image or article to display and be included in the taxonomy.  Many of these rules could not be anticipated and so necessitated detailed checking of each others’ work to identify mis-matches.

cleaneze, carpet cleaning, Auckland carpets

Daylight savings promotion ideas

Twice a year you get a chance to run a promotion themed around the biannual clock changes in spring and autumn (fall).  We call it daylight savings or “summer time” but either way, the clocks advance or retreat an hour.

Here are 5 themes for promotions you can run in your marketing

cleaneze, carpet cleaning, Auckland carpets

Daylight Savings promotion for clean carpets

5 Daylight Savings Promotions

A reminder – some products change over time and so using this clock change as a reminder can help your customers.  Toothbrushes need changing each season; Carpets get cleaned twice a year – a campaign we did for Cleaneze carpet cleaning.

Something to do – A new activity which reflects the new season we move into.  Start a sport in Springtime.  Or new clothes for winter.

Stopping doing something – This is great for diet products or changing habits – if you swim in the ocean in summer, you could move to pool swimming in winter.

A change of routine – working with children and particularly small babies is challenging getting them to sleep.  Promotions for Sleep remedies, child care advice and behaviour coaching.

Modern clocks are often automatically set to change – but how about all your old manual clocks – could you offer a service to show how to change the clock on your car dashboard?

Meanwhile, what could you customer be doing with the time saved?  Send her a stress ball, a gel eye mask to relax with, a new book or magazine voucher or a coupon for a free coffee and a muffin.

 

B2B Event Marketing, webinars for business, event marketing

B2B Event Marketing tips

I got a call this week and asked to advise an event which is for business to business audience how I could help them double their attendees in the last 4-5 weeks before the event happens.

Make it Happen is a creative agency in Sydney

This is my advice.

Last-minute event marketing

  1. Set up a tripwire webinar to drive interest / registration details
  2. Find people with mailing lists and agree a joint venture collaboration with them to promote
  3. Run a competition to win a free ticket (combine with webinar)
  4. Telesales follow up to all webinar attendees (and non-attendees).  Best to use GoToWebinar as it tells you who attends.
  5. I do not think affiliate marketing would work in New Zealand for B2B events.  But offering a second ticket free if one person buys can add headcount.
  6. I do not think radio advertising will work because which station(s) do all your target audience listen to?  But podcasting could.  Find business podcasters in your niche.
eCommerce

4 simple (yet effective) ways to drive traffic to your eCommerce site

In eCommerce, the amount of traffic that comes to your site is going to determine your overall success. After all, if you don’t have anyone coming to your site, you can’t possibly generate any sales.

Unfortunately, launching an eCommerce shop is easier than ever these days — and people know it.

As a result, the competition is only getting tougher, and standing out enough to convince people you’re the brand they should trust is proving to be just as difficult.

In fact, 61% of marketers claim that generating traffic and leads is their top challenge, and only 22% of businesses cite satisfaction with their conversion rates.

So, there seems to be a lot of work to do.

But driving traffic to your online store doesn’t have to seem impossible.

In this post, we’ll share with you some of the best ways to generate more traffic (and high-quality leads) to your eCommerce shop.

So, let’s get started.

Evaluate Your Current Traffic

The only way you can successfully drive more traffic to your eCommerce shop is first to determine just how much traffic you’re currently getting.

One of the best ways to do this is to sign up for a free Google Analytics account and connect it to your online store so all sorts of helpful data, including site traffic, can be tracked and monitored.

Audience Overview

Audience Overview

If you go to Audience > Overview, you can get a great idea about how much traffic your site sees on a regular basis.

Also, check out metrics such as:

  • Users
  • New Users
  • Sessions
  • Sessions per User
  • Pageviews
  • Pages/Session
  • Average Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate

And this is only the beginning.

If you really want to gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ purchasing journey, learn how monitoring cross-channel reports in Google Analytics can reveal how people behave as they switch between eCommerce channels.

You can also check out tools such as SimilarWeb and Alexa to learn about not only how much traffic your eCommerce shop sees, but how popular your site is, where site visitors are coming from, and what search engines people use to find you.

Alexa Traffic Ranks

Alexa Traffic Ranks

How to Drive More Traffic to Your eCommerce Shop

Now that you have a good idea where your site stands in relation to others, and how much traffic you’re currently getting on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis, it’s time to look at ways to ramp up your efforts to get more.

1. Invest in Google Ads

One of the fastest ways to drive more traffic to your website is to pay for it. And it just so happens that Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is an easy way to do just that.

Create ad campaigns that display in Google search results whenever someone searches for a term related to your ad.

Google Ads

Google Ads

When someone sees your ad and realizes you offer what they’re looking for, they’ll click on your site and check you out.

Not only will you get paid for every click your ads receive (yay for site monetization), you’ll reap the benefit of the added traffic.

And, since the person clicking your ad saw something they liked, the chances of them making a purchase once on your site are much higher than someone who just happened to come across your website.

2. Ramp Up SEO Efforts

Understanding the role SEO plays in driving traffic to your site is crucial to your success.

If you don’t focus on SEO, you run the risk of two things happening:

  1. Showing up in the wrong results. You might rank well in Google search results, but if it’s in results that have nothing to do with your online store, no one will click to visit. And even if they do, they’ll abandon your site immediately when they realize you don’t have what they need.
  2. Not ranking well. You might show up in relevant search results, but if you haven’t done your keyword research, chances are high you’ll end on page 2, or 3, or worse. Since 95% of all web traffic goes to those on Google’s first page, you’ll have no one clicking on your site to visit.

If you notice that your eCommerce conversion rates are low, check out these SEO best practices that will help you show up in the right search results so better leads land on your site and buy:

  • Include keywords in your online shop and blog content
  • Externally link out to authoritative sites
  • Create a Google sitemap so your online store indexes properly
  • Add keyword rich product descriptions to all images
  • Include detailed meta descriptions
  • Internally link to your own website, so Google indexes everything you have

And lastly, optimize your eCommerce shop for speed and performance.

Monitoring your site’s desktop and mobile speed is easily done using Google PageSpeed Insights.

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights

See how fast your pages are loading and receive recommendations from Google for optimizing further.

After all, even a 1-second delay has the potential to derail your site’s conversion rates by as much as 7%.

3. Submit Guest Posts

It’s likely you know who your biggest competition is.

And, while it’s natural to want to beat them when it comes to traffic, conversions, and sales, sometimes it’s a good idea to network with your competition too.

One great way to expose your brand to a broader audience, and drive more traffic to your site, is to scope out industry leaders in your field and ask if you can submit a guest post on their website.

Doing this does many things:

  • Gives you the opportunity to offer their audience a solution they may not have
  • Shows people you too are an industry leader
  • Gives you a chance to include backlinks to your website within the content
  • Nets you an author profile that links back to your website
  • Allows you to interact with a new customer base in the comment section and on social media when the post goes live and people engage

Although guest posting is a time-consuming thing, the benefits you receive are tremendous – including the fact that it helps you drive a whole new group of people to your store to buy.

4. Add Video Content to Facebook

We all know that social media plays a vital role in most marketers’ lives.

But what you may not know is how powerful Facebook advertising can be in the digital marketing world when you add video content to your arsenal:

  • By 2020 video ads are expected to account for nearly 80% of all internet traffic
  • Facebook is the number one social media channel for video content, including ads
  • 4x as many customers state they’d rather watch a video about a product than read about it
Amazon

Amazon

If your target audience is found on other channels such as Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, you can expect the numbers to be similar, even if on a smaller scale.

Using social media and video content helps build brand awareness and drive traffic to your online store in ways many other marketing efforts can’t.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a startup looking to build brand recognition, or an established online retailer looking to grow your business, you’re always going to face challenges when it comes to driving traffic to your eCommerce site.

Luckily, there are many ways you can help increase traffic, conversions, and sales on your site.

All it takes is using some of the above-mentioned tips and tricks. Trust us, with enough focus you’ll see your numbers continue to rise, along with the quality of your leads.

Email list, marketing permission, contact options, GDPR

A nicely written GDPR email

Today I received a GDPR email message from a LinkedIn connection – we are 1st degree connected.  But because he’s in Europe, all his written electronic mass communications are now governed by GDPR – the European Union legislation General Data Protection Regulation.

The full email is reproduced below.  Here is my analysis of why it’s such a nicely composed text.  If you are in B2B marketing, I recommend taking a close look and deciding if this sort of annual review of your mailing list is appropriate.

Because we pay (mostly) for our email mass communications in a monthly fee calculated on the size of our mailing list, it’s worthwhile doing a “cull” to remove people who are either not reading your messages (since Gmail introduced the tabbed viewing this has increased for my list)  or those who are no longer relevant to you or vice versa.  It keeps your messaging tight and focused.

6 direct mail copywriting tips

  1. The opener explains why – in large font.  The subject line is “Why did we connect in the first place?” so I was intrigued to open it.
  2. The addressee (me) is personalised.
  3. The four points summarise Paul’s brand offering and gives me more reason to check out his current work.
  4. Then he justifies continuing to mail me post-GDPR (not sure I buy this – but points for trying)
  5. He gives permission to unsubscribe and suggests reasons why I should do this.
  6. Lastly, in the footer he reminds me to update my LinkedIn contact preferences – a very nice touch

So here’s his article in which he explains what IDK means and here’s the list management options for future communications showing my selections.

I think this is clear and totally appropriate.  Get in touch if you’d like me to review your mailing list strategies.

Email list, marketing permission, contact options, GDPR

Email list marketing permission options

The Full Email Text

Rebecca, You are receiving this email because we are 1st. grade connected on LinkedIn.

Rebecca,

“I did not have time to write a short note” sic. Mark Twain The words appeared in a letter [JRMT] 1871 June 15, Letter from Mark Twain to James Redpath, Elmira, New York

  1. Was it because my profile caught you attention, or was it something in my Company  page which appealed to you?
  2. Was it one of my groups on Business Development or Logistics Collaboration that inspired you?
  3. I know …it’s my management books drew you over the hurdle, and gave you courage to send me an invitation!
  4. Or you wanted to network and reach out to bring your services or product under my attention.
Good because Linked-In delivers leads!

We are lost without connections!
Sic. Owen Jones

All good reasons and fine with me…, as these are my reasons too.

By connecting 1st grade you signed-in = pre GDPR opt-in – when accepting the connection request.
Your connection is as valuable to me as exchanging a business card containing all contact data during a life network event. A licence to contact… by phone, fax (I still remember), mobile phone (now WhatsApp), mail … This in order to set-up a business deal, meeting (now virtual) and social event… stay in contact.

And which is more, exchange or reach out for knowledge, an introduction, bring articles, whitepapers, books – all now with e- extension – which added to our success to each other’s attention and use. Shortcutting the learning curve, avoiding pitfalls, grow faster.

It is cumbersome to maintain contact with your network (it contains the verb …work) so here is how I do it: I am a giver – the golden rule in networking: give and not expect to be given – by sharing courtesy content, summits, introductions…. Proper GDPR set-up in place to safeguard and cherish our contact.

When your interest, position, business evolves, it is okay to: * Unsubscribe * or hit the * No longer interested *,  * Unspecified * , * Other * (a reason appreciated) tab. No hard feelings!

But don’t throw * Did not sign up * back at me because you did  – pre- GDPR – check your linked-in connection list.

It gets worse  with * Inappropriate content *: how am I supposed to know things changed when you are not telling me, your once 1st linked-in chosen contact, what changed, what your interests are today… so Update your preference.

Have we lost the art of 1to1 communication?

Do not *S.s.s.s.p.p.p.p.a.a.a.m.m.m.m.m.m.* me.
I for one will never do that. Never!!!

Next time before sending: IDK * Think 2-ice .. Here is Why 

Having said this, I rest my case with respect for your decision and the consequence that our 1st connection will be discarded.

Best Personal Regards,
Paul Van den Brande
Co-Managing Partner

—We Never Forget You Have A Choice —

—–&—-

You are receiving this email because we connected on LinkedIn.

Our mailing address is:

Noble House Group

Max Hermanlei 74a

Brasschaat 2930

Belgium

Add us to your address book

–We Never Forget You Have A Choice! —

Your GDPR safety requires you to update your preferences

GDPR Contact Paul Van den Brande – pvdb@noblehousegroup.eu
Your data will never be shared without prior information.
You can change your mind at any time using the unsubscribe from this list
No hard feelings!

Digital Channels for Sponsorship

Getting digital marketing sponsorship right is a challenge.  Activations using digital channels depend on robust messaging strategies and careful persona creation.  In this presentation we have a case study from Air New Zealand and Akzo Nobel Volvo Ocean Race which you can adapt to your needs.

Rebecca was speaking on the topic of digital channels for sponsorship at the Conferenz Sponsorship Summit and NZ Marketing Summit joint event.  Here are the slides and a video of my keynote.

 

Thanks to Lana Mihelcic who kindly shot the video for me.  Connect with her if you want a dynamic sports event manager or have contacts in sailing and The Americas Cup.

Shelly Davies book, sweary

“Hey Y’all…” Shelly Davies book launch

Join us for the Auckland launch of Shelly Davies’ new book Good Shit I’ve Learned.

Shelly Davies book, sweary

The unexpurgated version

Shelly Davies book, swear words excluded

No swearing in this version

Yes, She is a REAL WOMAN who swears not just for emphasis, but because it communicates meaning.

Why?

Rebecca and Shelly have danced around each other’s online profiles and commenting on things for at least a couple of years. And this is our first party we’re hosting together.

You might have heard… Shelly wrote a book! It’s so good that Creative Agency Secrets want to help her sell a few copies AND get you facetime with the raw, sensible life-advice which is cram-packed into this volume.  We”re organising a book launch – more on that below and link to get tickets.

** When I read the book, I knew I wanted to give copies to my friends – it’s that sort of a book. **

You know how you sit around with wise girlfriends and guyfriends and talk shit and love on each other and share cool stuff you’ve learned and just generally lift each other up, because, #love? That’s what this book is – a collection of good shit I’ve learned, that brings me joy, and has helped me become, well, ME. And I hope it’ll help you become more YOU.

This event ticket INCLUDES a copy of Shelly’s book – but wait – there are 2 versions……

Oh and FYI… YOU who’s cringing at her potty mouth…. Shelly has a NON-SWEARY VERSION. So don’t be put off – she thought of you!!  The book will be RELEASED on 22 September and costs $38.87 at bookstores. Your ticket price includes a FREE copy of the book (did I mention this already?).

So choose your ticket carefully because one gives you the warts-and-all sweary version of “Good Shit I’ve Learned” by Shelly Davies and the other ticket gives you the nicely-tidy-no-swear-words version of “Good Stuff I’ve Learned” by Shelly Davies.

And just bring a friend with you – or your teen child – or your auntie or business partner. They will thank you. I promise.

Who should attend?

Women. Women in business, women wanting to advance their careers, women who know that being self-aware is the pathway to freedom, success, joy.
Men. Men who work with women. Men who are challenged by the #MeToo and want to understand and not look like an idiot, men who want to understand their co-workers, their life partners, their children.

What will you learn that you can use?

It’s full of powerful thinking that can help us feel and behave differently in our lives, work, and careers. At the very least, it’s fucking entertaining – as is Shelly when you meet her in the flesh. 

Get your tickets to Shelly Davies live and in the flesh Auckland Book Launch. 

Oh, and you can watch Shelly’s TEDx talk “Write Like a Reader” so you can see her style.  And read her website to understand why she’s a Rockstar Writer.