Posts Tagged Marketing

Push v Pull Marketing- Is your business using both strategies?

Limiting your strategy to one or the other will reduce your market.

Pull marketing means making yourself visible, being helpful and hoping that customers will visit your website. Pull tactics include: informative non salesy content to tell your buyers how to solve problems and what a good partner you will be in helping them. Using Blogging/ Video/SEO/PR/Social Media/Speaking engagements/ Sign-ups for newsletters.

Push marketing is for prospects who don’t know they have a problem or you have a brand new offering. Using  Direct Mail/ Telesales/Advertising/Trade shows.

Today the battle ground has changed. The prospect holds the higher ground as they decide when to listen and when to respond. The old ways of pressure selling have gone.

Pull marketing has shortened the sales cycle. More than 50% of the buying process takes place in a self directed fashion, before the sales team is engaged.

Large companies are still using push marketing but the SME size businesses are focusing heavily in the pull direction, because the campaign takes less effort and is less expensive ,subject to appropriate market research to find out how you get your disinterested prospects to become interested.

The problem with Pull marketing is that it is impossible to measure, whereas with Push marketing you are in charge of the frequency and timing of the campaign which makes it easier to evaluate your return on investment.

In the SME world, big bang marketing is out and agile marketing is in.

Which way works best for your business?

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PR – does it work and is it useful for businesses?

PR is about managing relationships and normally delivers the message not addressed by conventional advertising. It’s when a company puts a stake in the ground and wants to tell the world at large what they are doing.

PR often goes wrong because the owner of the business fails to communicate their vision and message to a third party agency making the activity effectively pointless. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are you building business relationships using social media?

It’s a myth among web professionals that every organisation is capitalising on the benefits of social media. In fact, 94% of small business owners say they do not use it because their customers do not use it.

The advantages of using social media in business are well-documented but it needs to be done properly if it’s to have a positive effect as half-hearted attempts will achieve little.

To make social media work for your business you need to have a plan. If you do not have a strategy and time to manage social media, it’s a pointless exercise.

As a good starting point, it’s advisable to simply ‘lurk’ and monitor what other people are doing on the social media networks before trying to work out how it can help you.  Spend some time on either Linkedin, Twitter or facebook and get to understand how others are behaving.

This gives you specific marketing intelligence and allows you to understand how to play the different media.

You cannot set up a social media strategy and think customers will just arrive on your doorstep. You need to establish a two-way communication and ask your followers/customers for feedback, as well as respond to their questions.

Businesses need to be personable and build relationships with customers through social media. We need to be perceived as industry experts and when we do comment we need to provide relevant information.

Too many people have just jumped on the social media bandwagon because people are talking about it. It requires considerable work related to engagement and understanding about what you’re trying to achieve and how to send an appropriate message into the market.

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Business Exposure Group events are providing valuable business advice

Last month’s Business Exposure Group meetings around the region were excellent and again generated some quality suggestions.

With 9 groups now operating across Manchester and Yorkshire, the main issues across several discussion groups included: –

–          Is there a need for a business plan, particularly during a recession?

–          Is social media a scary problem or a great business opportunity

–          Whether to rely on freelancers or employ full time staff

–          Techniques to control sales staff and make them accountable

–          Methods used to get your business message out to a new market

–          The value of purchasing a competitor in distress, purely to use it’s strong  brand

–         How to let go and have the confidence to allow your business to flourish

The high value of the group advice was commented on by the majority of the members.

Are you a Business owner or Director around Manchester?

Please let us know by return if you would like us to reserve a place for you around the table at our next meeting in Manchester city centre on the afternoon of Monday 4th July 2011.

The numbers are limited to 15 and this groups is getting full.

Outside the Manchester area, there are groups in Leeds, Bradford, Wetherby and Sheffield. Please let us know if you would like to attend any of these events during July.

Please email philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk for more information.

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Do you understand the new rules of marketing?

The world of marketing is changing rapidly and a ‘one size fits all’ policy has no place in today’s business environment.

Following the current recession, businesses need to appeal more to the nervous buyer and provide reassurance of their value and credibility. Testimonials, reviews and news of the awards we have won can all help to portray reliability and establish trust which will ensure those people in the mood for buying feel comfortable with you.

It’s much more cost-effective to market your business to the people you already know and your current client base can be the key to future referrals, which is currently big business.

Direct marketing techniques are increasing as a result of the economic climate, possibly for pricing tactics. Businesses are reducing the thresholds for discounts and pricing smaller packs more aggressively.

The current M&S ‘dine in for £10’ deal is a great example of clever marketing, which reflects the economic hardships most families find themselves in.

It’s not so much that £10 is cheap for a meal for two it’s the fact that it’s good value in comparison to a meal out. It’s all about putting the right message across and how to get that message to your customers.

Customers look to brands to reassure them when times are tough.

Gimmicks have no place in a recession. It’s all about reliability, durability and safety.

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How to take the risk out of outsourcing

A growing number of businesses are looking externally to carry out aspects of their operation. Is this trend the result of the recent recession?

Businesses always encounter periods in which they need to draw upon the expertise of someone else to carry out a function that will improve their business or to cut costs where staffing is concerned. But the question we’re left with is if the economic climate wasn’t so challenging would they still be so keen?

New businesses usually tend to take on every aspect of their operation themselves but as they start to grow, the idea of outsourcing
becomes very appealing and many see it as a way of cutting costs and buying expertise without the hassle of employment issues. Like a wave effect, eventually that same business will bring everything back in-house again to re-establish control when they become even bigger.

There are a number of benefits of course to outsourcing, most notably the fact it allows you to concentrate on what you’re good at. It provides the perfect opportunity of acquiring the skills of external experts who can help give you a competitive edge and can reduce staffing costs.

However, there are as many pitfalls as there are advantages. You don’t have direct control, service delivery can be hit and miss and you can occasionally encounter problems with confidentiality.

There’s also the issue of training. If you’re outsourcing call centre work, they have to be able to deal with every eventuality facing them and how long is this training going to take and cost?

Obviously if you’re outsourcing overseas there are also big cultural differences. And when people already have staff and say they’re going to outsource does that create issues with the current workforce?

It is for these reasons why 50% of outsourcing fails.

But lessons have been learnt and there are factors which give outsourcing a better chance of working.

If you want to outsource, use it for secondary functions only such as IT, Lead generation, HR, and PR & Marketing.

There’s also a greater chance of success if time is spent building a relationship with the outsourcing agent and the expectation needs to be very realistic. Business people need to research the provider’s track record, take bank references, check out how stable they are and create a ‘ways of working’ document between the two parties.

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