Marketing Management Archives - Page 4 of 4 - Klaxon

Seth’s Permission Based Marketing

Just a quick one today. I found this reasonable summary of Seth Godin’s permission based marketing system. It’s quite a straight forward and simple summary for those of you in a rush.

For those with even less time, here are the five steps to permission marketing:

1. Define the irresistible offer

2. Create a targeted business list

3. Create the opt-out message

4. Craft the perfect pitch

5. Reinforce the relationship

To define permission based marketing it’s all about building ongoing relationships with your customers and prospective customers, rather than focussing on transactional relationships. In other words, aiming to extract the maximum life time value of a customer, rather than a just one off purchases.

Attitudinal Marketing

I was presented with a very powerful marketing concept for small companies the other day. It’s not a new fangled phenomenon, or something that will cost you a lot of money, or even a tactic that requires anything more than common sense. I want to term this concept “attitudinal marketing” but I suspect this already refers to some form of market segmentation. Forget it, I’m calling it attitudinal marketing anyway.

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Would Your Customers Recommend You?

A recent article in the UK’s weekly ‘Marketing’ journal discusses how big businesses are changing their approach to measuring customer loyalty. T-Mobile, American Express, General Electric, Allianz and more, are increasingly measuring customer loyalty using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) from management consultancy Bain & Co. Put simply, the NPS identifies the percentage of customers that are likely to recommend a brand or company and uses this as a predictor for future growth.

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Limited Companies – Are Your Email and Websites Compliant?

The First Company Law Amendment Directive – a European law being incorporated into UK law – means that as a limited company you are now required to display more information on your website and company emails. Those who don’t comply risk being fined.

So what do you have to do I hear you ask? As of the 1st January 2007, you are required to include the following in all business emails:

  • company registration number,
  • place of registration (e.g. Registered in England and Wales)
  • the registered office address.

On the website you are required to include:

  • The name, postal address and email address of the website’s service provider.
  • The name of any trade body or professional associations the business is part of, including membership or registration details.
  • Your VAT number, even if the website is not being used for e-commerce transactions.
  • Any prices on the website must clearly state whether they are inclusive or exclusive of tax and delivery costs.

For more information check out this very useful legal resource:

http://www.out-law.com/page-7594

Make sure you don’t find out the hard way by getting fined!

7 Simple Steps to Stave off the January Blues!

January BluesWith the start of the new year and after a god festive break, many of you will be back to work with a case of the January blues. After all, following a couple of weeks of eating, drinking and partying, how could sitting in the office possibly compare?

So what can you do to help ease you and your team back into a productive frame of mind? Remember your people are a key element of your marketing mix, regardless of whether you’re a goods or a services business.

Here are 7 ideas that shouldn’t cost you a fortune.

1. Re-organise the office. A change is as good as a rest as they say, and your staff may find a new lease of life from a refreshed view, a new desk, or a different working space. Of course, this will only have a short term effect but it will help in those first few weeks back.

2. Plants. Get some new plants into your work space to help “improve the atmosphere, reduce stress, and sharpen concentration” Nick Eason, CNN. Read Nick’s article or visit Plant Lady for more info about plants at work.

3. Arrange a new year kick-off party. Get your team together to reinforce the company goals for the next year, set priorities, develop camaraderie and more importantly to have a couple of beers. This shouldn’t be hugely expensive though, after all it’s likely you have just paid for a Christmas party!

4. Introduce some staff rewards.
Why not start an employee of the month award, a little hackneyed but people will see the funny side of it and you’ll be surprised how much people actually like to be recognised like this. If you allow your team to vote for the employee of the month, it adds the extra dimension of being congratulated by your colleagues and not just the boss! Maybe the winner could borrow the pool car over the weekend as well?

5. Massage your employees. Not personally, but arrange for a professional to come to your office for a day of massage therapy. What better way to look after your staff in their time of need. Benefits might include reduced stress levels, renewed energy and motivation, and decreased absenteeism. Check out Stress Angels for more ideas.

6. Introduce music to the office. OK, so not everyone will have the same taste in music, but if you can agree some common ground rules, for example no thrash metal or Radio 1, then you might find introducing music will improve the working environment. Research has even found some types of music increase productivity.

7. Last but not least, give everyone an extra half day off.
Assuming you aren’t snowed under with work, why not give everyone a surprise half day off. Today, Monday, next Thursday, whenever really, just call it a day after lunch so you can all head off into the sales before all of the bargains are totally snapped up. This one won’t be practical for everyone though unfortunately.

Of course, there are plenty of other ideas you could try and I’m very keen to hear of any experiences you have or have had.

Image courtesy of Steve Weaver

Can Partnerships Help?

When you run a small business, it’s always time for individual achievement. Isn’t it? You have to keep yourself motivated to make sure you deliver quality products and services every single day. And of course you need to sell every single day – which makes us all salespeople by the way.

But what happens when your customer asks for something you can’t deliver well on your own? You have three options:

  1. to turn the business away,
  2. to deliver a poor product, or
  3. to work with a partner.

Now, I’m a big fan of turning business away if you can’t deliver a quality product. Poor products or services have the potential for creating irreparable damage to your business, both in the short and long term – particularly in professional services where quality product and strong lasting relationships are essential.

So could partnering be a sensible solution?

For an example, consider a web designer whose client asks for help in writing a marketing plan. Now the designer’s core skill is in building websites, but he doesn’t want to turn the work away. So, he cobbles together a marketing plan, with a range of traditional advertising and online tactics which he thinks will do the job OK. Fair enough, he can charge a little extra for the marketing plan, but will he have delivered a quality product that will delight his customer? It’s probably unlikely – after all, marketers these days are degree educated, with specialist qualifications and often lots of valuable experience.

So how do you know which option to take? Forget about profit for a minute and ask yourself ‘what’s best for my client?’. If you need to work with partners to deliver what your customer needs, then that’s best in the long term, even though it may mean you lose some margin now.

To develop a good network takes time and trust, but the harder you work at it the stronger the relationships you’ll build. Write some standard terms and pricing schemes and importantly ensure your network shares your values on service quality.

Partnering, where possible, is surely always better than turning business away.

The Joy of Testing

I’ve recently become a big advocate of testing.

The idea that you should try out a marketing strategy on a small scale before rolling it out across your business. It’s a great way of minimising risk, while at the same time learning what marketing tactics do and don’t work.

An example could be with telemarketing.

If you want to conduct a telemarketing campaign and decide your target list should be 10,000, then test your campaign on 1,000 contacts at first. This will enable you to evaluate whether this strategy will achieve your objectives, but also to refine your sales script and potentially improve your performance. With direct marketing initiatives it should also enable you to predict future performance, as success rates typically scale very well.

Testing can be used for many if not all marketing vehicles. If you want to use exhibitions to reach your target audience, plan an annual calendar of events to attend, but don’t invest in more than one or two shows until you know whether the events are worthwhile and the format works.

If you’re planning on running a paid for search campaign, trial it for a month or more with a limited budget first and than expand if it works.

Anyway, you probably get the idea by now. Whichever marketing vehicle you choose, test it on a small scale first. If it works, expand. If it fails, drop it and put your time and money into something else.