Marketing For Dummies (UK Edition)
It’s important to ensure that your marketing works in your interests not just in terms of its effectiveness, but also financially and legally. Here are guides to keeping your targets in sight and getting the maximum from your marketing campaigns while keeping your budgets down.
Seven Principles of Brilliant Sales and Marketing
Whatever you sell and whatever the size of your business, these simple and universal practices can help you to market and sell your product and services more effectively.
Never miss an opportunity to present yourself well. Everything from your clothing and business card to the envelope in which you send an invoice must work toward your marketing goals.
Spend at least ten minutes a day marketing your company. So many people don’t do marketing routinely – and then complain that they don’t have enough customers or revenue.
Know what you want to get out of your marketing before you write the first cheque. You can lose your focus all too easily and invest in useless activities. In a field as complex and multifaceted as marketing, make sure to have a simple, clear objective in sight at all times.
Know what makes you special to customers and prospects, so that you can remind them of your strengths in every marketing communication. They buy from you for this reason alone.
Experiment. Great businesses are built on great marketing formulas, and you have to arrive at those formulas through trial and error.
Sort out the people who don’t want what you sell and eliminate them from your marketing straight away. Wasting time and effort on the wrong prospects is the single biggest cause of inefficiency in sales and marketing.
If your plan looks complicated, you haven’t finished it yet. The best marketing is blindingly simple. You want to aim for a one-page marketing plan, because you may actually be able to implement it!
Ten Ways to Spend Less on Marketing
Because marketing is a creative activity you can always find new and better ways to make an effective impact and attract sales, even on a small budget. Here are some ideas that help you to maximise your impact while minimising your budget.
Make your communications more visually striking by including images of people and using creative, dynamic layouts. This visual style gets more reader attention than any letter, brochure, or ad you put out there, making it more effective and efficient for you.
Improve the appearance of your logo. Most logos are boring, but great companies always have great logos. Wonder which came first?
Buy visibility on the Google and Yahoo! search engines. This is inexpensive enough to work for local as well as global markets.
Release a survey or host an interesting event to generate publicity.
Send out a press release to your local media once every quarter or whenever you have valuable news to release, updating them on events in your business. Getting local news coverage isn’t that hard, and it often attracts new business.
Find something simple and inexpensive to offer along with your most popular product or service in order to pick up add-on sales.
Give out coupons to encourage prospects to try your product or service, so that its qualities become obvious to them. Don’t, however, give away price-cutting coupons or discounts for no good reason – think of other ways to increase your sales appeal.
Offer (or improve) a guarantee, one with no small print. If you have a good product or service, stand behind it!
Vow never to lose a customer. Whenever you have a customer who’s upset or at risk, find out why and win them back.
Discover where you lose the most prospects or potential customers and then concentrate your marketing at this point to convert more of them into customers.
Seven Rules for Avoiding Business Trouble
A dangerous area of marketing arises when people try to bypass regulations that ensure fair pricing, safety, and honest advertising. In the UK, as in mainland Europe and North America, there are regulations as well as self-regulatory industry guidelines. Follow these rules to ensure you steer clear of business trouble through your marketing:
Always make sure your pricing is fair to customers and competitors (because unfair competitive practices are usually illegal).
Always clarify the limits of warranties for services or goods.
Always provide full warnings and details about your product’s content and source on labels.
Always follow an open and honest policy with the media.
Never say anything deceptive or misleading in ads or other communications – remember the watchwords ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’.
Never distribute products that can do significant harm to anyone.
Never discuss prices with competitors (that’s called price fixing).
The Seven Ps of Marketing
Knowing and evaluating how your customer interacts with your business is crucial to creating a successful marketing plan, so keep the seven Ps of marketing – the key contact points between your customer and your business – in mind.
Product: What aspects of the product (both rational and emotional) have an influence on customer perception and their purchase intentions?
Price: What does it cost the customer to use your product, including but not limited to the list price?
Place: When and where, in terms of time and space, is your product available to customers?
Promotion: How do you communicate with your customers?
People: What are the important points of human contact between your customer and your business?
Process: What are the processes involved in delivering your products and services to the customer?
Physical presence: What are all the physical areas viewed by your customers, from your reception area through to your delivery vehicles and drivers?