For all in-house marketing managers, I’m running some training hosted by CCH Learning during February. I first ran this course three years ago and it remains the most popular I’ve ever done with them. Digital Strategy and Your Website.
Update your professional website
Business websites cannot be static “set-and-forget” marketing assets. Recent changes to search and social algorithms affect your business. Learn how to work your website hard so that it pays back the investment to the business, brings in new enquiries and showcases the firm’s expertise and key staff.
This is a practical training webinar which will show you how to test your website’s effectiveness and give you a checklist of what you can do to improve key metrics.
Further, a business website MUST be the central hub for all your marketing activity. It needs close integration with other key marketing technologies which I’ll be teaching on this course.
Invest in your marketing skills
Get yourself onto this course – the investment is a modest NZ$215 + GST and I know you’ll be glad you came.
My reviews from all the courses I have given reflect the client testimonials I get from direct clients.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Digital-Strategy-and-your-Website.png10841576Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2020-01-20 16:40:202020-01-20 16:41:20Digital Strategy and your Website
My company provides mechanical designs and manufacturers and supplies products to a few companies in both the US and Europe. How do I increase my customers?
This is a typical “opening” question that I get asked when starting a new engagement with clients. B2B marketing needs to be closely integrated with the new business and new client acquisition process to be effective.
For a public question and answer, I gave some straightforward answers. The detail of how to apply these, is where my expertise will help you get it right first time.
Planning B2B sales and marketing plan
Step one for B2B sales
Ask your existing client/s for referrals. If they were happy with the work that you did, they should be happy to help. If you feel the need, offer them a X%/$X discount on the next project for every client they refer. This is ‘win-win-win’ situation because you get more clients, they get a discount, and they use your services again.
Ask your existing clients for a written recommendation & permission to use their logo on your website. Publish them both on your website. This will help increase the conversion rate on your website. If you feel the need, you can offer them a link to their website which will be good for both of your SEO rankings – so another win-win.
Publish as much (relevant and quality) content as possible on your website (about the projects you’ve done, potential projects, your fields of expertise, etc. Obviously, you need to have a professional and trustworthy looking website. I can explain how the articles need to be done.
Create a free ‘get a quote tool’ – many customers check online to get an estimate of how much the project will cost. If you have an automatic online tool, this can attract a lot of customers. I have personally used such a tool and I was very impressed.
Partner with organisations/companies that work with your target clients – for example: I work with lots of entrepreneurs and many of them ask me for referrals to various types of service providers, including programming companies. These companies give me a small percentage of the profits they make from my referrals (of course I only refer to companies which I know and trust as my reputation is worth more than the referral fee).
Step 2 tactics for more sophisticated marketers
In Europe, there are a number of partnership sites for B2B. You could use these sites to post your offer or search for other offers and hopefully make a match.
Another approach is considering hiring local distributors who specialise in your industry. The advantage here is local distributors will already have a strong network to promote your products/services. Furthermore, local distributors would have thorough understanding of the local market, language, and business culture to close deals.
Go talk to your current customers. Ask them why they do business with you. They may, and most likely will, tell you something different than you’re saying to new prospects. Listen to what your current customers are saying and use their messaging to talk to the market. Ask them if they know other companies that could use what you have,
Go and join the professional trade bodies who represent the industries for your existing clients. Ask your existing clients what these are. Once you are a member, you will be able to see a membership list of other organisations who are also members
Plan outbound marketing to approach these companies and see if they want to also work with you.
Consider visiting the annual conferences and trade shows which these professional bodies run because you will then meet in person with prospects. Many people find it easier to sell their expertise face to face. You could consider doing a trade show stand as well where you can display your past work and the logos of your clients. This builds trust and can start discussions.,
B2B sales and marketing work together
In summary – you need to learn the process of B2B new business, you need a strategy for your new business development and then you need a regular tactical execution process to deliver the new business programme.
You may choose to hire an external advisor to help write the strategy, you could get an in-house salesperson to deliver the tactical execution as well, depending on the size of your contracts and how many you need to get in order to pay for their salary plus commission to make it worthwhile for the business.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/campaign-creators-xEMsS6Vqryc-unsplash-scaled.jpg25601702Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2020-01-13 10:32:592020-01-13 10:32:59Tips for manufacturers to grow client base
Is the marketing you are doing giving you the yield you seek?
I am asking this question a LOT at the moment. I ask it to myself, for my own businesses, I ask clients, I ask prospects.
One answer came from a professional services marketer. It serves as a good example for in-house marketers to challenge their thinking, to up-skill and to get insight from beyond the internal team in the business.
This is what she wrote to answer
Hmmm… It’s hard to tell. I cannot know if a speaking engagement got someone interested enough to ask their consultant to investigate our solutions and eventually get in touch with us and 2 years later… we have a deal signed. It is a complex process to sell our service.
Is a long sales cycle a B2B marketing problem?
Yes, it certainly is. Tracking and managing a diverse set of marketing tactics and campaigns over time takes discipline and forethought.
But where I felt this marketing manager was failing her business colleagues was around integrating the content creation, the speech-giving with marketing analytics and tracking data.
I challenge the assertion that you “cannot know” if a speaking engagement has any effect.
How to track conference speeches for marketing impact
Let me make some suggestions:
Every conference – offer a free download of something valuable. Create a trackable URL. Cookie the browsers visiting that site.
ALSO offer the visitor something even more valuable (not a sales pitch) if they sign up to your database
Both of these create trackable events which (even if 2 years passes) can enable you to demonstrate results.
Any pass-on of URLs to second parties like consultants or colleagues is tracked too.
When did you last go and get training and invest in your internal marketing team? I fear many in-house teams do not get the attention they deserve. Hiring an agency or consultant is not necessarily going to improve the team skills – it delegates marketing activity to outsiders.
What could you do to invest better, to improve your team’s ability to run the strategy as well as the execution, to better understand what the agency / consultant is doing for you, so that they can brief better, to guide the marketing plan better, to adapt and adjust the marketing budget for new tech, for new market conditions (recession?) and above all, to stay in front of the competition?
So challenge yourself, is the marketing you are doing giving you the yield you seek?
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Rebecca-Caroe-conference-speaker.png9581692Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2019-12-11 08:24:562019-12-11 08:24:56Is B2B marketing yielding good returns?
I love getting really timely direct mail messages that are relevant.
This one came just in time to help me navigate a change to podcast categories.
Let’s analyse the direct message
[Small fail here as they don’t know my name. Implies a purchased list rather than an opted in CRM database.]
In case you missed it, Apple Podcasts have changed how they categorize podcasts. In short, new categories like True Crime have been introduced, old categories have been rebranded and lots of new sub-categories dedicated to sports, comedy, TV and more have been added!
[Opening paragraph – helpful link to contextualise in case I haven’t seen the news. It’s a blog post on their website…. that’s good because it drives traffic and cookies my browser. Nice bold text for likely interesting new categories to draw my eye.]
Unfortunately, some services as SoundCloud don’t support them yet. Spreaker is a platform dedicated to podcasting and we put the podcasters’ needs first.
[Natch! a snipe at a popular competitor. I use SoundCloud for my podcast and so this is relevant to me. Could be a merge field – but not likely. I think they may have targeted me from the SoundCloud platform.]
For this reason
our podcast platform already fully supports the new Apple Podcasts categories so you can improve your show’s discoverability
Spreaker allows you to set three categories – your podcast will rank in more than one category on iTunes at the same time – and fully customize the RSS feed tags
our service enables you to earn money with your podcast thanks to the Spreaker’s Monetization Program.
[Small quibble about supplying 3 reasons and not numbering them… and referring to “this reason” when it should be “these reasons”. However, their nimble coding enabling the new categories quickly is encouraging when considering an alternative hosting platform. Hopefully they keep up the speedy work.]
If you want to start using the new Apple categories and are curious about what Spreaker could do for your podcast – why not give us a try with our FREE, no strings attached, month-long trial.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/alesia-kazantceva-XLm6-fPwK5Q-unsplash.jpg36485472Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2019-09-04 14:39:232019-09-04 16:05:48Anatomy of effective cold direct mail
Connecting two compatible businesses with each other can be one of strongest networking tools for you and other businesses. By connecting the groups, not only are you solidifying your own network, but also helping the two businesses who may be able to benefit each other.
But often times this can be difficult over email.
In my networking group, we’re working hard to make it really EASY for members to introduce each other to new prospects and new clients.
I was asked by the group to help coach them in the best way to write an introduction that others could use. So let’s say you wanted to introduce my firm to another business. Here’s how you would do it.
Hi [their name],
I just wanted to connect you with Rebecca from Creative Agency Secrets. I know you were interested in increasing your business’s online presence, and I’m sure they’ll be able to help.
Creative Agency Secrets is an expert in marketing and promoting businesses using traditional and online methods. They work as the outsourced marketing team for busy businesses doing marketing that starts conversations and leads to sales.
I have seen their work for [name a client] and used them for my own business to write the copy on our website About Us page. And I’ve also recommended them several times and had great feedback especially about their careful attention to detail.
I will leave you two to connect – I’ve spoken to you both about each other and shared your emails and phone numbers below.
[both parties’ contact information]
The 5 elements of an effective email introduction
Introduce: explain why you sent the email
Start: with their one-liner…. who are they and what do they do
Build: with an example of their work for someone you both know, preferably. If you can’t say you have worked personally with them, a mutual acquaintance is a positive reinforcer.
Memorability: Add an anecdote that describes your experience – if you can make it funny, cute or WOW that’s best but not strictly necessary.
End: Include all the information they need to continue a dialogue without you….
We plan on creating a shared document for everyone so they can cut/paste the text into emails for business referrals for new business development.
The best introductions are when you’ve spoken personally to both parties. NOTE not emailed, spoken….
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Email.png17381920Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-06-27 09:35:132020-01-24 01:45:01How To Introduce A Business By Email
Getting recognition for your “expertise” in selling professional services is paramount if you’re to make good profits.
The stages in the process include –
Setting out your credentials
Outbound publicity – demonstrate you know your ‘stuff’
Getting to one on one conversations around the client’s desired future state
Discussing your services, their needs and fees
I was working with a financial services client and recommended he use the Monte-Carlo methodto establish the prospective client’s need for advice. (Go to the sub heading on Finance and Business). I think it’s very suitable way to frame a discussion when talking about personal finances
Monte Carlo simulation is commonly used to evaluate the risk and uncertainty that would affect the outcome of different decision options.
First be recognised as an expert
You can’t get these conversations going without first establishing yourself as an expert.Nobody wants their finances managed by an amateur. Nor their marketing services. Just working for a big name firm is no guarantee of expertise – it’s a step in the rightdirection.
Groups on LinkedIn
Getting in front of future clients is possible via step 1. As you establish yourself as an expert you will get noticed (particularly if you use key words relevant to your expertise and audience.Maintaining your position as an expert in the eyes of your audience can be continued through outbound articles and publicity.
These are best delivered using sites aligned to your industry niche and audience. For my area there’s a great Reddit thread, a couple of Facebook Groups and a Linked In Group which is very active. You need to find the ones suited to your needs. Don’t forget to check out in-person events on places like Meetup.com too – not all communication has to be written!
Finding the right things to say in your publicity and how to start a conversation with your reader are the things you will need to practice.Conversations in a public forum can lead, later, to a private discussion which is preliminary to taking on a new client.
Book a personalised coaching session with the Creative Agency Secrets team – pick the person who best suits your need.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/NZ-SME.png6401534Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-02-02 17:44:472020-01-24 01:44:57Become an expert in the eye of the client
I want to showcase this list of three businesses who want to grow their international connections. Shared by a reputable international facilitator organisation, these exemplify the utter incompetence of smart people when answering the question “What do you do?”.
Poor descriptions of business loses leads
How to differentiate your business
We did some work this week with a consultancy who describe themselves as “Family Business Specialists“. How straightforward. I know who they advise…. I don’t yet know what they do – but that three word description allows me to filter myself in or filter myself out of using their services. Either I am or I am not a family business. Either I need or I do not need a family business advisor.
Who wants to work with an
“Extremely passionate and dedicated consultancy who loves its customers. We live to server our customers.”
Now maybe this is a clever IT joke “I server my customers, you server your customers etc”. Or more probably it’s a spelling mistake nobody spotted. Never mind that – every consultancy can claim passion, dedication and customer services. It doesn’t say what TYPE of consulting they do or for whom.
10 questions to answer before writing your elevator pitch
Who are you and what do you offer?
What is the company history?
Who are the key personnel?
Who are your clients?
Which are your case histories?
Who are your competitors?
What’s different about you?
Who is your target market?
What are your company objectives?
Where does your company want to be in 5 years time?
This is Step 1 in our New Business Development workshop – during which you write a one year marketing plan, and from which you will understand how all the parts of the “marketing mix” join up to deliver successful communications to your prospects.
Read more blog posts about Step 1 State your Business by clicking the image below – it will take you to that category on our blog. Teach yourself, how to describe your business successfully.
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https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Clear-descriptions.png9101216Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-07-31 11:25:202020-01-24 01:45:01What do you do? Explain, clearly or lose leads