Ready To Market Your Business?
Marketing evolves year on year and in fact almost monthly. New marketing trends, new marketing tools and many new marketing distractions become available almost daily.
What should you be focusing on with your marketing in South Africa as you need business to start coming in?
Here is a list of the top, easiest to implement and fastest return marketing tools you can use in your business today.
1 – Website
The first and most obvious tool, your website. Yes, it’s 2019 and you definitely need a website and not just any website but a smart website. Traditionally, websites were set up as digital or online brochures and yes, this is important but websites are becoming smarter and more and more functional.
Your website is generally the first port of call as clients research you before contacting you and your website needs to entice potential clients to raise their hand and say to you, please help me… Usually done by getting them to fill in your form and request information from you so that they sell themselves on you as the best fit for their needs.
2 – Lead Magnet
This takes us to the second tool you need, a well-structured lead magnet. This tool is called a lead magnet because it is built to be attractive to your potential clients so that they can find out more about you and your products and services. This is part of your pre-sales education and qualification process. And the major benefit to you…is Once they download the lead magnet from your site, you now have their details and you can continue marketing to them and begin the sales process.
Oh by the way, your lead magnets are simple but informative items that educate your clients. These are often presented in the form of downloadable videos, PDFs, Courses, Podcasts, articles and blog posts. All of which form part of your content strategy.
I have attached a content strategy template for you to download for free and use in your business. The link is here. It’s free… Get it and Use it…
3 – Promotional Platforms
The third tool at your disposal is a variety of promotional platforms and Yes, there are many places on and offline that you could promote your business but many are expensive, complex and don’t always deliver the results they promise. This means that choosing the platforms where you promote your business should be guided by your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a marketing strategy, you need to get one!!!
Your strategy will become your guide for the amounts of money you need to invest in your marketing and where to invest it as well as your follow-through strategy after the promotion has taken place.
Here is a quick guide for the marketing platforms that you should consider for your business: which include Online Marketing Platforms:
like Google Adwords for search engine text ads as well as image ads. If your product is visually appealing, image ads may be the way to go.
Then consider Youtube Video Adverts. This type of promotion is becoming more and more effective because Youtube has become the second biggest search engine and of course, bing and yahoo are available but here in South Africa, they have far less impact.
Facebook is another consideration even though it is becoming more expensive but the targeting is quite accurate based on individual interests and activities.
Many people don’t invest their time in network marketing. Did you know that there is a networking event every day or night in just about every major city around the country?
Get involved and be in front of people digitally or physically, it is the best way to build your brand and sell your services and products.
The goal is to be visible where your clients expect to see you or your product. Your marketing strategy should make this clear. If not… redo your strategy.
And here’s a little secret. You can market for free on Facebook, LinkedIn Google and Youtube.
4 – Sales Strategy
No business exists without sales.
Planning and implementing a specific and strategic sales strategy is key to the success of not only your marketing but your overall business too.
Even if you don’t have a sales team, even if you close your sales online or if your clients go into a shop to buy your products, knowing how they buy and what they consider when making a purchase will go a long way in shortening the sales cycle. Quicker sales results in more profit.
5 – After Sales Strategy
You have made the sale… Yipee… Money has come in…. Yay… Now what?
Now you want to keep this client happy so that they come back to you to buy again and refer you to other potential clients.
Plan each step of the after sales strategy with a focus on 3 parts:
- Delivering exceptional after sales service
- Keeping the client engaged
- Encouraging referrals from the happiest clients.
So, Are you Ready to Market Your Business? If you are, well done, go build a successful business this year… If Not, get yourself ready. It is the only way you will survive this year.
Remember, do all you can to build your business. Please share this content and stay in touch.
Do you want to grow your business but don’t have the time or skill to implement low-cost strategic marketing tactics? I am here to help. Contact me and we will take you through a free marketing and sales assessment to uncover your growth potential, I will show you how to find and generate more leads, close more business and increase your bottomline profits.. Visit www.marketmagnet.co.za and we will arrange a time to meet up.
Welcome to 2019, back to the grindstone and surprise surprise, it is not business as usual and it’s not marketing as usual either…
I will show you 5 ways to step up your Marketing in 2019
Your marketing approach needs to adapt to the current market needs and expectations. In other words, the expectations of your ideal clients have shifted somewhat over the past year and if you don’t reassess and adjust your approach you stand the risk of your clients and prospects becoming distracted by your competition, the economy and politics.
You know very well what this will mean for you and your business…
Yip, That’s right…
- fewer sales,
- less profit,
- disappointing results
- client losses and an
- angry wife…
All jokes aside it is not business as usual, so much has changed in the past year and we have all seen and felt the pain of the results of the past year… 2018 was an adventure of note and I believe that 2019 will be as adventurous.
Here are 5 ways to step up your Marketing in 2019
So here are 5 things you need to do and give a little attention to make sure that you, your business and products or services are still relevant this year.
Do your Market Research
- New products are always entering the market and this means that the clients that you believe are loyal may be attracted to the next shiny new object. Knowing what is out there and keeping on top of the latest within your industry is vital to your ongoing success. Doing your market research will probably highlight new gaps in the market that you may be able to fill but be careful that you don’t become distracted by unnecessary research and development. Look out for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities that are easy to introduce and supply. And find creative ways of increasing the lifetime value of your clients as this will secure longer term income for your business.
- Just as you should be on the lookout for new opportunities within your niche, your competitors are probably doing the same thing. The secret here is to know and preempt their actions before they actually take action and try to beat them to it. Staying ahead of the pack will help set your business apart from the competition and position your business as the market leader and without a doubt, doing this will help you build your brand as well.
- Interviewing your clients is the only way of knowing what they want, not only now but in there near future as well. And if you have a solid relationship with them, they may even tell you when your competition approaches them and tries to poach them from you.
Follow Worldwide Trends
- Always be on the lookout for what is happening or what is trending around the globe and use these insights as predictors of what may come next. You never know, your next big hit may be uncovered on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube or LinkedIn or some other Social Media platform.
- Innovate your marketing approach
- Once you have done your Market research, Competitor research, client interviews and followed the worldwide trends you should look at adjusting and innovating your marketing approach. We know that content marketing is going the excel in 2019 as this has been proven to build the trust that you need to engage clients effectively. So the question is, How are you going to optimize your content marketing plan in 2019?
- Innovate your sales approach
- And Once you have innovated your marketing approach, look at your sales approach. Communicate your new marketing approach with your sales team and get them on board with the new tactics. This will help them close more deals and earn greater commissions.
- Innovate your marketing approach
Entering 2019 with the right approach is essential to the success and sustainability of your business. It is not business as usual and it is not marketing as usual.
Do all you can to grow your business and make sure you do what it takes to succeed. If you need help planning your way forward for 2019 feel free to contact me for a free no-obligation marketing and sales assessment of your business and I will show you advanced tactics that will help you grow your business.
Listen to the Podcast Here
How Customer Service and Integrity Build Sustainable Businesses.
I met a gentleman today who has been running his late fathers business for the past 4 years.
The business has been in existence for the past 20 years, this in itself is a huge success.
Business Sustainability is the key to Success.
Sustainable growth is one of the biggest challenges that many business leaders face, but this problem is not new. No matter how big or small your business may be sustainability is rooted in a couple of simple concepts that if implemented well, deliver time and time again.
This simple Business Sustainability concept is this…
The Perfection of Purpose, Brand, Astounding Customer Service and Leadership
Customer service is derived from a number of underlying factors that when in place, produce higher levels of customer service by default.
The underlying factors of customer service are:
1 – Authentic Purpose
Your company needs to pin down the “why we do what we do.” This is the compass needle that guides every aspect and function in your business from recruitment to customer management to product development, marketing and sales.
A strong purpose drives growth and profitability.
In order to achieve sustainable success year on year, your companies must repeatedly examine your sense of purpose and make sure that your organization lives up to and serves this purpose well. An authentic and inspiring purpose helps your team strive for:
- Consistent focus
- Strong emotional engagement with both your company, your customers and partners
- Continuous, pragmatic innovation
Sales and marketing experts always talk about your “unique selling propositions,” or “USP,” which Entrepreneur defines as the
“factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.”
Your company’s authentic purpose is the building block to your USP. When you have a clear vision, it’s easier to create products and services of value. Revlon founder Charles Revson, for instance, always used to say that he sold hope, not makeup.
2 – A Powerful Brand
If you want to create a scalable business, you have to understand how crucial it is to build brand equity and emotional connections with customers. It’s those attachments that link customers to your products and will keep them returning to you. Building a brand is about developing and sustaining those relationships over time.
Here are some guidelines to connect, shape, influence, and lead with your products and brands:
- Identify your target audience. The quickest road to product failure is to try to be all things to all people.
- Connect with the public but more specifically with your ideal clients. Your presentation should make them feel an emotional attachment to your brand that’s grounded in confidence in your products.
- Inspire your customers. A simple, inspirational message is far more influential than one that tries to highlight too many product features, functions, or ideas. Remember that is is not about selling but building relationships based on trust.
No marketing plan can rescue a brand identity that isn’t fully formed. So even if you don’t have much of a marketing budget, creating compelling content for publishers and social media sites to start generating awareness among target customer bases, will go along way in building your brand.
3 – Build Joint Venture Opportunities and Partnerships
Doing everything yourself can be tempting and often necessary in the beginning when you are finding your feet and the funds are low. There’s nothing wrong with a hands-on approach, but taking on more than you can handle, especially in areas where you lack experience, can be damaging to your business. In the era of the global freelance economy, it isn’t difficult to find talented expertise.
4 – Customer Retention
Finding new clients costs an average of 60% more than retaining and servicing current customers. Interestingly, a 2% increase in customer retention can have the same effect as decreasing a company’s costs by 10%. In other words, reducing customer churn rates by just 5% could increase profitability by 25% to 130%. This is depending on the industry you serve.
Some stats to consider on customer retention:
- The average business loses around 50% of its customer base every five years.
- Companies are four times more likely to do business with an existing customer than a new customer.
- The likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, whereas it’s just 5-20% for a new customer.
It becomes clear the customer retention is key to business sustainability. If you don’t retain customers or you believe that you only sell once-off items it may be time to diversify your offer and build in some kind of retention plan. This may be based on up-selling and cross-selling plans. Consider offering maintenance contracts, subscriptions or some offer that encourages repeat business.
Retention starts with the initial contact or sale your business makes with a customer and continues throughout the lifetime of the relationship with ongoing sales to these customers. For certain industries, a 10% increase in customer retention is equivalent to a 30% increase in a company’s value.
5 – Community
Most sustainable businesses have to build a community of either raving fans or people dependant on their services and products. This becomes the ecosystem of the business that consistently feeds itself and although it needs consistent growth to survive for the long term, in the short-term, cash flow remains positive by the virtue of the ecosystem.
Find ways of building your ecosystem around your products and services based on the needs, wants and desires of your clients.
6 – Repeatable Sales
Your product and brand no matter how unique are not enough for successful business sustainability. It takes a repeatable sales processes to create a scalable and sustainable business. It’s one thing to sign up a few customers; it’s another thing to design and implement sales processes that can be successfully deployed again and again at an ever greater scale.
This is how you know that your business will scale:
- You can add new staff at the same or higher productivity level as yourself or the sales leader.
- You can increase your customer base and leads on a consistent basis.
- Your sales conversion rate and revenue can be consistently forecast and projected.
- The cost to acquire a new customer is significantly less than the amount you can earn from that customer over time.
- Customers get the right products in the right place at the right time.
A repeatable sales model builds your business platform to scale up. But it is no easy task and can take a lot of experimentation and research before you hit on a model that is truly sustainable.
7 – Adaptive Leadership
To keep your business growing, you and your staff must become the leader the business needs for each stage of growth. Your business needs should change continuously so too your leaders need to keep evolving at the right pace. Although difficult, this requires introspection, self-awareness, and a keen sense of strategy–both for the short and long term.
Business Sustainability is Difficult but highly achievable.
9 Ways to fix a struggling business.
In this article, I will show you 9 ways to fix a struggling business. Since trade and industry began many businesses thrived, others battled along and many failed. Take a look at your business and take note of how you are doing: decide if you are one of those businesses that need to improve your results or if you need to fix your struggling business.
This article will help you refocus your efforts, gain direction and give you the tools and mindset to help you take your business to the next level.
There are many statistics about businesses failing in South Africa and the latest we have found paints a grave picture that makes you wonder one of two things:
- Should I start a business, or,
- Why did I start a business?
The latest stat that I have found is this:
70% to 80 % of small South African businesses fail within five years?
Ouch… How does this make you feel about venturing into the small business world and the exciting world of Entrepreneurship? Not too positive I bet…
IT’s NOT ALL DOOM AND GLOOM.
There are countless businesses doing very well in South Africa and this is how they do it…
- The Business Owner Drives the growth of the business
- The team understands the importance of building the business
- The business has a true understanding of their ideal customer
- Sales teams are motivated and experience the benefit of consistent sales
- Client interaction is key to keeping clients
- The power of maintaining a visible brand is well understood
- Non-Stop Marketing is essential
- Marketing Automation helps lighten the load
AS A MARKETING CONSULTANCY SPECIALISING IN GROWING SMALL, MEDIUM AND LARGE BUSINESSES WE HEAR THE QUESTION DAILY: CAN YOU HELP ME FIX A STRUGGLING BUSINESS?
The answer is yes… Any business that has a market and a valuable product or service has the potential to grow but it is up to the business owner and the management team to drive the growth. Getting hold of a marketing consultant is one good step to take and the other imperative step is deciding to get behind the business to drive the growth from a top-down approach.
9 Ways to fix a struggling business.
- Identify your best or top selling products and services
- Dig deep into your current and past client databases and look for past client reactivation opportunities
- Identify up-sell and cross-sell products or services that current clients may want or need
- Examine your current lead generation approach and refine it until it starts generating fresh qualified leads
- Make the buying process as easy as possible for ready-to-buy-clients
- Find the best system for nurturing clients that need extra attention before deciding to buy buying
- Approach your business as if you were a client and take note of the experience
- Plug the holes and build a better client experience
- Complete your Growth Potential Assessment to uncover additional growth opportunities within your business.
Growing your business is within reach if you want it….
Every business needs to grow and work hard at building sustainability but not all business owners, managers or staff want the growth. Growing a business comes with extra stresses and responsibilities that if not prepared for often do more damage than good. However, the stress of a struggling business is often far greater: salaries and debts to pay, rent and other burdensome stresses. Choose the stress you want and you will find that although challenging growing and fixing a struggling business is very rewarding.
So if you decide to grow your business, which you should, be prepared for the growing pains that accompany growth. You will find that these pains often come from staff (or yourself) that have become comfortable with the status quo and do not adapt well to increased pace and a higher set of goals.
Initiate a business growth strategy to fix a struggling business.
- Translate the benefits of growing to all stakeholders, staff included as they are instrumental in the growth.
- Restructure where necessary: this may mean moving staff around and if necessary out.
- Verify your revenue streams: enhance the highly profitable ones, maintain the day-today money spinners and get rid of the time wasters.
- Attract the right latent: the right staff are key to a positive representation of your brand
- Define your key growth indicators in order to measure successes.
- Celebrate successes no matter how small.
Now it is up to you…
DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS AND THEN DO EVERYTHING IT TAKES TO REACH THE TOP…
Want to know if Your business has the potential to grow?
Click here: Growth Potential Assessment
How to Identify, find, reach and engage your ideal client.
You will discover how to identify, find, reach and engage your ideal client. Master these 5 steps and you will make a fortune selling to clients that are passionate about your products and services.
There is nothing more important to any business than clients. In fact, happy clients. You know that statistic of happy clients telling 3 people about your business but if they have had a bad experience they tell 10 other people.
It goes without saying that the more you impress your clients by satisfying their needs and wants the more they will willingly promote your business.
You and your business should be intensely focused on your prospective customers. The ability to find a customer, sell your product or service to that customer, and satisfy the customer so that they buy from you again should be the central focus of all business activity.
The greater clarity you have with regard to your ideal customer, the more focused and effective your marketing and sales efforts will be.
Believe it or not but you are in the business of customer satisfaction, adjacent to your day to day operations. The most important activity of any business is to clearly identify the very best customers for your product or service, and then focus all marketing, advertising and sales efforts on this particular type of customer.
In the beginning and throughout our working relationship we will cover a 5-step process to uncover the primary, sub-primary, secondary and sub-secondary ideal client categories and descriptions for your business.
Step 1: Define your product or service from the customer’s point of view.
To help you identify and find your ideal customer you need to start looking at your business and your products and services from their point of view.
Think about what your product and service do for your potential client.
- Are there any problems that your offer solves for them?
- Which of their most pressing needs does your offer satisfy?
- Maybe they want to look and feel great,
- Maybe they want better efficiency, greater speed, better production.
Bringing this all together, look at how your product and service will help improve your ideal customer’s life and work situation.
Remember that it doesn’t matter how many features your product has, if it is not satisfying needs and solving problems for who you think should buy it, then they are not your ideal client.
This is always a difficult pilot to swallow because you don’t want to turn potential clients away but think of I this way: many businesses spend vast amounts of time trying to appease disgruntled clients. The reason for this is that they were not the most ideal client to start with. Clients that love your service want to pay you more money, focus on these.
“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” – Jeff Bezos
Step 2: Define the ideal customer for what you sell.
Taking into consideration the solution your product and service is for your ideal client, we need to define who they are and what they look like. This often seems vague as so many business owners don’t want to put their clients into boxes but believe me, placing each client type into a box will help you reach them in a much more meaningful way and reduce the cost of marketing and promotion. You will see that the type of marketing and sales communication used will need to be relevant to these details.
So the first step is to categorize your customer by the each of the products or services you sell and then compile a description of each and yes base it on all the obvious points:
- location of residence,
- How they buy
- Who is involved in the purchase decision
- And any other relevant information…
Get extremely specific. So much so that when you are not at work and you meet someone new you should be able to place them within one of your categories as your description is clear and obvious enough.
Step 3: Determine the specific benefits your customer is seeking in buying your product or service.
We all want something in return. If you buy something you definitely want to get something out of it.
This is part of the value exchange:
Your ideal client exchanges their hard earned cash for the benefits of your product or service.
There may be a number of benefits that your products deliver but there is always one or two real reasons people buy and equally importantly, why they should choose to buy from you.
So before you list your feature supporting benefits think about the real benefit your client receives. This is also known as the benefit of the benefit. The benefit of the benefit of often an emotional or experiential benefit. Think far beyond your product or service and the reasons you want to sell it and think of the experiential and emotional benefits your clients get from using your products and services.
Step 4: Determine the location of your exact customer.
Once we have a clearer picture of who we need to market and sell to now we have to find them.
- Where do they live, work, study or go to school?
- Do they use the internet? I’m sure that they do… in fact, I almost guarantee they do…
- so then where online do they hang out?
- Facebook, Google, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest?
- And then where are they when they buy your product or service? Do they go to a retail store, do they buy online, maybe both or do they need to see someone from your sales team?
Step 5: Determine exactly when your ideal customer buys your product or service.
Marketing and selling is about timing.
Getting the right message to the right audience at the right time.
Often this timing is spurred on by an event in your ideal customers’ life. Clarity in this aspect will help us know when to promote your offer to your ideal clients.
Pull out your calendar and see which public holidays, school holidays, religious events and specific days may be relevant to your client and to your client categories and build marketing and communication campaigns around these specific time and date related events.
If you present your products and services to potential buyers when they are in the mindset of buying your chances of making a sale will increase drastically.
Step 1: Define your product or service from the customer’s point of view.
Step 2: Define the ideal customer for what you sell.
Step 3: Determine the specific benefits your customer is seeking in buying your product or service.
Step 4: Determine the location of your exact customer.
Step 5: Determine exactly when your ideal customer buys your product or service.
Want help identifying your ideal customer and increasing sales and profits?
The importance of Understanding the Sales Psychology.
Understanding the sales psychology will help you influence the purchase decision, close more deals, increase profits and build a client base that wants to do business with you.
The sales psychology is, in a nut shell, a description of how people buy, how people make purchase decisions and how your marketing tools will help influence their decision to choose you above your competition regardless of price.
Who Should Sell and Who Should Market Your Business
It is necessary to know that no matter what you do within your business or a business where you are employed you are in the business of Marketing and Sales.
From a marketing standpoint:
Your representation of the company or the brand is a form of marketing and and you have the potential of doing a good job presenting the brand or you could be damaging the brand.
From a Sales Standpoint:
If should be considered that every member of staff plays a role in sales. Even if you are not able to close deals you are in the lead generation and client nurturing process.
I don’t believe that there is any middle ground with the roles of sales and marketing especially if you have any interaction with clients.
Your see clients will judge any interaction with your company no matter who they are dealing with, make sure all interactions between your company and clients is a positive interaction.
Understanding the Sales Psychology and the sales funnel
There are 7 parts to the sales psychology process that you should attend to in order to move your prospects and clients through the sales funnel. The 7 parts of the sales psychology aim to achieve the following
- Initially identifying a clients problem or need,
- Building trust with your brand,
- Becoming the solution to their problem or need.
- Closing deals
- Gaining additional business
The 7 parts of the sales psychology are:
know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer
As you will see that from these 7 steps the first 3 parts, know, like and, trust becomes the marketing and promotional elements of your business and the next 4 parts form part of the sales process.
The Sales Psychology Step 1 – Know:
Getting people to know about your business, getting them to know about what you sell and more importantly how your products and services will become the solution to their pains and problems.
This is to establish the brand and the products so that clients start to know that you exist.
Getting prospects to know about your business is the promotional element of the Sales Psychology and this can be carried out
- above the line
- or below the line
or a combination of each depending on who your ideal client may be and where they spend their time.
The Sales Psychology Step 2 and 3 – Like and Trust:
The next 2 parts, like and trust, will help you build and solidify a relationship that is based on trust. This is achieved by giving the client enough information and education that will help them make an informed purchase decision.
Usually some kind of Marketing Automation strategy should be used to help manage the constant contact and on going communication and delivery of highly-valuable industry related content.
Your content strategy also comes into play here as scheduling the type content that related to buying cycles is vital in keeping clients engaged.
The Sales Psychology Step 4 – Try:
From here we move to the “try” part of the sales psychology. Depending on your business this may be the time a client requests a quote or books an appointment with you.
This can be seen as your clients testing you, your business and your offer. Make sure that this experience is top class because if they have a good experience the likelihood of a purchase increases.
The Sales Psychology Step 5 – Buy:
As you and your sales teams satisfies their prospects needs and delivers your solutions, your potential client make a conscience decision to buy from you. The purchase is only the beginning of the journey and all preceding steps must be seen as the prelude to the sale.
The Sales Psychology Step 6 – Repeat:
Now you need to work hard to keep your clients satisfied and identify up sell and cross sell opportunities that clients will find appealing. This is where you and your team will generate repeat business and increase the lifetime value of each client. This is where the real money is because it costs 60% less to get a past client to buy from you again than it costs finding a new client.
The Sales Psychology Step 7 – Refer:
The ultimate end to the sales psychology and client journey is to get clients to become raving fans of you and your services and refer you to other potential clients that will buy from your business.
Understanding the Sales Psychology Conclusion
Looking again at the structure of the sales psychology it becomes clear that no matter what you sell a potential client goes through these 7 steps that convinces them that they are making the right decision in choosing you as you have educated them with enough quantity and quality of information while they were deciding to make a purchase.
We want them to come to the conclusion that they would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anybody else but you regardless of price.
What becomes clear is that the first parts 3 of the sales psychology, the know, like, trust parts are about marketing and promotion and the next 4 parts, try, buy, repeat, refer, involve your sales process. Keeping in mind that all sales should be tackled with a marketing mindset as educating the client will build stronger relationships and make the sales process smoother and as it becomes rooted in integrity.
Want help getting more sales for your business?
How to find a good marketing company in South Africa.
So you need to market your business to increase sales and turnover and you need to find a good marketing company in South Africa. I am glad that you have taken the time to realize the importance of promoting your business and I am glad to see that you are looking for a good marketing company in South Africa.
We have heard it time and time again:
- Where can I find a good marketing company in Johannesburg?
- Where can I find a good marketing company in Sandton?
- Where can I find a good marketing company in Pretoria?
- Where can I find a good marketing company in Durban?
- Where can I find a good marketing company in Cape Town?
The trick to finding a good marketing company in South Africa is to look at where their interests lie….
There are many marketing companies in South Africa, but be warned many are good, many are bad and many don’t have your best interest at heart. We have found that a number of marketing companies have a rather strange way of finding out the type of service you may need.
We conducted a Study
In a study we conducted most marketing companies within each major city in South Africa disqualify you by first asking you about your marketing budget.
If your answer does not suit their bottom-line you are out the door immediately. Remember that a marketing company should priorities your profits above theirs because if they help you to become successful then you will keep using them as a service provider.
Types Of Marketing Companies In South Africa
These marketing companies only position themselves as advertising type marketing companies and knowing this upfront will help you choose the right marketing company in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town or anywhere throughout South Africa
Your Unique Business Needs
You know as well as we do that your business is unique and the marketing, advertising and promotional needs of your business are not the same as anyone else’s.
Sure, similar marketing theory applies from business to business but the finer details of your customers will be unique to you and your offer.
Look out for these 8 warning signs:
- The marketing company wants to know your marketing budget upfront
- They don’t want to meet first
- They only deal with you over email or phone
- They quote before knowing what you are about
- They quote before knowing what you sell
- They quote before knowing who your target market is
- They only want to work remotely
In contrast to these negative characteristics of a marketing company that is more concerned about their profits and not yours, look at how a South African marketing company should approach and engage you as a client.
The marketing company should want to meet you to understand:
- What you are selling?
- Are you product or service based or a combination of the two?
- Who you are selling to?
- Who you are servicing?
- Are there any additional sales opportunities through up-selling and cross-selling?
- What is the best way to communicate with your ideal client?
- Where your ideal client spends their time?
- Is your ideal client online or offline?
- Who are your competitors?
- How are you different from your competitors?
- How can we differentiate you from your competition?
- How often should we communicate with current clients?
- Can we reactivate past clients?
- How many leads do you need on an on-going basis?
- Can we help you bundle your products in order to increase sales?
- Will marketing automation work in your business?
- Is your sales closing ratio up to standard?
- How can we increase the closing ratios of leads that are generated?
- How can your sales team qualify leads better?
- If you have saturated your market, how can you diversify or innovate to reignite your business opportunity?
These questions above are mostly related to the promotional part of marketing. There is a whole subset of marketing related questions related to your procurement too.
All about you and your business
Marketing services are not about what a company can sell you but rather what your specific business needs in order help you grow.
Maybe you only need Social Media Marketing or your brand needs promotion or you need creative ways of reaching your target audience in a way that would help them see that they actually want and need what you sell.
Yes, your marketing needs to be centred around your customer but the efforts of the marketing company you choose need to be centred around your business so that all marketing and promotional efforts relate directly to your customers’ needs and wants in relation to your products and services.
Choosing a good marketing company in South Africa Should be Simple
It is pretty simple, the marketing company you decide to use needs to become an extension of your business. I describe to my new clients that it is as if you have hired a full marketing department, dealing directly with me with about 30 people behind the scenes working in another building. At a fraction of the cost of the cost and without the HR issues.
Right, what two do next….
If you want to grow your business and build a stronger brand do the following:
- Find a marketing company close to you, although not necessarily the best option.
- Contact them and see how they treat you up front.
- Book a free initial consultation to assess your growth potential.
- Get a detailed proposal of what needs to be done for your business.
- Make sure that the proposal will meet your growth goals.
- Check that the price is right.
- Accept the proposal.
- Get going.
Want to grow your business?
13 Steps to Successful Online Marketing Campaigns
Online marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing methods for 2 reasons and here are 13 steps to ensure your success:
1 – the cost is far below that of traditional advertising, above the line marketing and
2 – Online marketing is completely measurable.
Although not the be all and end all of any marketing campaign, online marketing has the potential of becoming a very fruitful aspect of your overall marketing mix.
In case you are not familiar with the concept of the marketing mix, the marketing mix is defined as the following:
“a combination of factors that can be controlled by a company to influence consumers to purchase its products. These include Product, Price, Place and Promotion”
Keeping in mind that this blog post is about increasing the exposure of your brand, product, service or company and so the focus of this is the promotional aspect of the marketing mix, presuming that the other 3 parts of the marketing mix are in place.
Marketing Strategy before Tactic
We strongly believe that marketing success is derived from a well-thought-out comprehensive strategic approach. It is a commonly known quote from Author San Zu writer of “The Art of War” that tactic without strategy is the noise before the defeat and strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.
So, in order to have the best chance of a successful online marketing campaign, planning and strategizing is key. I know that this sounds very involved and rather hectic, I can assure you it is easier than you think. At the same time, getting this right will help you increase sales and build better profits for you and your business. You will agree, that putting in the time and effort is well worth financial reward.
Outline of an Online Marketing Strategy
Here is the outline of the online marketing strategy that, if implemented correctly ensures a greater chance go your campaign being noticed by leads and your target audience of potential customers.
Online Marketing Step 1:
Identify what you are wanting to promote.
This may sound obvious but too many companies try to be everything to all and for the most part, this usually confuses your audience and dilutes the effectiveness of your online marketing campaign.
Select one product or service for one campaign. It may be the case that you want to promote your overall brand, this is fine too as long as the campaign is clear to your potential leads.
Online Marketing Step 2:
Identify the ideal client for this particular product, service or brand promotion.
Aiming your promotional efforts at a specific client type, your ideal client is essential for the success of the online marketing campaign.
Finding your ideal client is not rocket science but it is essential to a successful and profitable return on your online marketing investment.
Online Marketing Step 3:
Identify your clients’ problems
Identify the 1 or 2 most pressing problems that your clients face. You may be able to help clients within your niche with all aspects of their needs but engaging them on the fast-paced online world it is better to address their most pressing need as this will resonate with them and help encourage them to take swift action.
A good example of focusing on one or two pain points as my business Market Magnet Consulting.
- Yes, we can help people increase leads without wasting money on advertising,
- Yes, we can help streamline systems within the business,
- Yes, we can help set up your marketing automation,
- Yes, we can help with Sales strategy, Marketing strategy, online strategy and so on, but we also know that generating fresh, highly-qualified leads are on top of the list of pain points for our clients.
Online Marketing Step 4:
Identify your solution to their problem
Your product or service on offer should be a solution their most pressing problems. Knowing how you are able to help them will set you up for step 5.
Online Marketing Step 5:
Educate your client
Educating your client to your ability to eliminate their pain point is what makes the difference between your offer and the offer your competitors present to your ideal clients. Deliver as much information to your client so that they can make an informed purchase decision when choosing who to buy from. Educating them will help them choose you over your competition. Later on ninths blog, I will show you how you can educate your clients.
Online Marketing Step 6:
Ongoing engagement (Marketing Automation)
Once your clients have responded to your marketing campaign and you have had the chance to start the education process the next most essential part is ongoing client engagement and ongoing client education. The way this is achieved is to use an Online Marketing Automation System.
There are many Online Marketing Automation Systems to choose from and the price variation is pretty extreme. I caution you on the choice of system as the price usually rules out South African businesses and I think that these prices are often unjustified.
We use a variety of Marketing Automation systems based on your needs and budget. As always, I prefer cheaper systems as often the larger more expensive marketing automation systems are not fully utilized and therefore the costs for extra functionality is not worthwhile.
Online Marketing Step 7:
Choosing the platforms to run your promotions is key to successful online marketing campaigning. There are the obvious choices, Facebook, Google, Youtube and LinkedIn however, knowing where your clients spend their time will greatly enhance the response of the right clientele and your ideal target market. Go back to your ideal client profile and based on their need and demographic profile you will know which platforms will become the most profitable for your product and service.
Here is a clue to the usages of online marketing platforms:
- Facebook – Predominantly user-end, consumer type of users
- Google – User initiated search and used by both businesses and consumers looking for specific services or products.
- LinkedIn – Predominantly business interactions and business based connections.
- Youtube – User initiated search and used by both businesses and consumers usually looking to learn something.
Online Marketing Step 8:
Decide on your online marketing budget
Done correctly, Online marketing is profitable, however, making mistakes is easier than getting it right the first time.
Assigning the right budgets to the right platform and promotional parts of campaigning is essential to success. Many companies tie you into a set marketing budget, however, setting limits on budgets to platforms at specific times with a period of testing will ensure your results are favourable and used wisely.
Build your online marketing infrastructure
Online Marketing Step 9:
The Digital parts of the online marketing infrastructure.
So yes, there are a lot of digital elements to get in place and the parts of the online marketing infrastructure include:
1-The campaign-specific landing page
The campaign-specific landing page is a webpage with only one no other function. This function is to get the client or lead to sign up to receive the lead magnet by filling in a form that enables you to collect their essential details, namely:
- email and
- possibly a telephone number
2-The Marketing Automation
Setting up the marketing automation is no more complex than writing a series of captivating emails that sell the client on taking the next action. This may be to:
- Respond by email or
- Call for extra help or
- Download a PDF or
- Watch an informational video or
- A number of other options available that your ideal client will find appealing.
3-The Lead Magnet
Designing a comprehensive lead magnet is key to the education process of the client. The lead magnet is usually comprised of a PDF or Video download but comes in many forms. These could be:
- A resource list
- A quick-start guide
- A Cheatsheet
- A video Answer
- Email scripts
- A mini-course and so on…
4-The Advertising Account Adverts
Knowing who your customers are and where they spend their time online you would have chosen your
marketing platforms. Setting up advertising accounts on these platforms is pretty straight forward. Log into each platform with your primary work email address and follow the instructions. You will at some point be asked to enter your credit card details so that these platforms will be able to accept payment for the advertising.
Deciding on your marketing budgets needs to be done wisely. Don’t throw all your eggs in the same basket. Use multiple platforms with variations of the adverts promoting the same product or service. This will help the budgets reach further and ensure accurate measurement of each advert and campaign.
Online Marketing Step 10:
Set up your Marketing Automation System
Once you have chosen your preferred Marketing Automation Platform it is time to get the email copy written. Remember that each part has to have a specific objective in order to lead the client to the next action. Each next action is another step within your sales cycle bringing them closer and closer to engaging directly with you or one of your salespeople.
Online Marketing Step 11:
Start your campaign
Once you are ready and all the above components are in place, take a deep breath and start the campaign.
Online Marketing Step 12:
Measure your results
Online marketing is the most accurate in terms of measurement. Constant analysis of your data will help you make better decisions with future online marketing that will become more and more profitable.
Online Marketing Step 13:
The most important aspect of any marketing campaign is to follow up on the leads you have generated. These may be digital followups that will migrate to physical followups that will help you close more sales.
I know that this seems like a lot of info and many steps to get through and yes it is. If you are looking for help putting this together,
- Designing campaigns,
- Designing up lead magnets,
- Setting up marketing automation
Or management of your marketing process please feel free to contact us. We will arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your marketing potential and advise you from there.
How to differentiate your business and stand out above your competition.
A large key component of your marketing strategy is helping your business stand out from the competition. This blog will take you through the details of how to differentiate your business and stand out above your competitors so that your prospects and clients see you as the obvious choice. Remember that they are spending their hard earned cash with you and they want to make the best decision possible.
Knowing your competition
Finding out everything you can about your competition is imperative in your efforts to differentiate and therefore helping current and potential clients see your business as the “obvious choice” with which they should engage and trade. Knowing what they do so that you can do it better will help you stand in front of the same client they are pitching to.
This is what you need to know:
- What is their unique offer
- How are they promoting their products and services
- Where are they advertising
- How long have they been in business
- Who is their primary and secondary client categories
- Do they limit their geographic reach
- Do they operate countrywide
- What is their pricing strategy
- Are their clients happy
- How does their website compare to yours
- Is their online presence up to standard
The list goes on and on….
Researching your competition will be the best starting point for the “how to differentiate your business” self-assessment.
The value of being different from your competitors
The reason you need to stand out from the competition is so that clients and potential clients see you, your offer and your business as highly-valuable. This reduces price based negotiations and rather encourages an exchange of business based on value.
Taking into consideration the generic look and feel of your industry, and seeing that most businesses supplying similar products and services with very similar marketing and promotion tactics you will see that differentiation is of the utmost importance.
How to differentiate your business:
There are 4 key areas that we need to focus on that will help establish your business as the forerunner within your industry,
These 4 key areas are:
- Customer Experience
The success of each of these 4 items turns into the sales results and aims to deliver a loyal customer base that is happy to recommend your business to others. This happens when they receive good marketing that made them notice you and your offer as well as the experience that they have in dealing with you and of course, your innovative approach – be this on offer, products or services, as well as your well-positioned and memorable brand.
Let’s use the example of a can of deodorant… There are so many to choose from on the shelves in the shops and supermarkets, even online. This is the reason why companies selling deodorant spend millions filming and promoting adverts to get your attention. Literally, millions are spent each year so that companies can encourage you to buy their products. Think about the deodorant adverts you have seen, from the sporty to the sexy, to the sensual. Each theme appeals to different markets selling the same product.
So the first – Differentiation through Marketing
Theme and design.
It is often difficult to move away from the current design and theme of the business. Keeping this in mind it may be necessary to consider the following:
- Redesign of the current logo– Not necessarily a new logo but modernizing the current look.
- Website redesign– bringing the look of your website up to date to current standards and adding functionality that would engage your clients and prospects to take further action.
- Value Proposition– Strategising the USP and Elevator Pitch and well as the Brand Identity Statement to reflect your core values and deliverables of your business and your offer.
- Promotion– Your promotional efforts need to be captivating, consistent and with the aim of helping customers make an informed purchase decision so that they are confident with their purchase and buyers remorse is reduced.
- Marketing Automation– Where possible, automate your marketing process so that your client sees consistency in the communication that becomes to be highly-personal and valuable.
The second step is Differentiation through your Customer Experience.
Great customer experience is one of the best ways to get ahead of the crowd in your competitive market. You can do this by providing top-level customer-service.
Implementing exceptional customer service will help you retain long-term clients and this will bring you long term profits. Identifying all aspects of customer engagement and optimizing the customer experience will make you and your business stand out above the competition.
The 3rd step Differentiation through Innovation.
Product and service innovation are two obvious differentiation areas however, it may not always be possible. If you are not able to innovate your products or service then you need to innovate your approach.
Innovating your approach, your sales cycle, your delivery and after-sales service will definitely make you stand out above the competition. This is an ongoing process of observation and optimization.
The fourth aspect is Differentiation through your Brand
Specifically targeting your ideal client profile will drastically reduce the cost of promotion and make the customer feel as if you are talking directly to their needs.
Make your brand known by Branding everything and everywhere around your clients and prospects.
From simple email signatures to vehicle branding, online videos and everything in-between. Be consistent with the theme of your brand and deliver your value proposition within these branding efforts.
Although not necessarily difficult to implement, differentiation needs consistent effort from all aspects of your business, especially those where the client engages directly with your business. This spans from calls inbound to reception to clients receiving invoices and beyond. Attention needs to be placed on all branded elements as well as staff interactions.
As you evolve your brand we will tackle these elements in line with your marketing strategy to make sure your brand is clearly defined in the clients’ mind as the obvious choice.
In conclusion the info in this “how to differentiate your business” blog will help your clients come to the conclusion that they would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anybody else but you regardless of price.