Barriers to growth, and how marketing can help: Pricing

Posted by Malcolm Johnston on Mar 21, 2018 11:09:07 AM


A friend of yours invites you a charity gala dinner organised by her business. By coincidence, you both turn up at the same time, her Jag just beating your Golf into the car park.

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Topics: Business Growth, Lead Generation, Marketing Team

Marketing Theory for Non Marketers - Lead Generation

Posted by Brian Hardie on Feb 20, 2018 3:59:13 PM

“We need more leads!” The familiar cry of business leaders up and down the country.

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Topics: Business Growth, Lead Generation

Is YouTube right for my business?

Posted by John Courtney on Nov 11, 2017 8:28:00 PM
When we asked our marketing directors for their end-of-year marketing predictions in 2015, they agreed that 2016 would be the ‘year of the video’. It’s hard to argue they got it wrong. Nearly 12 months on, and 96% of B2B organisation s use video in their marketing campaigns, with 73% reporting a positive ROI. For video, read YouTube. While there are a number of video hosting platforms available—notably Vimeo and Daily Motion—the user statistics are dwarfed by YouTube. With over a billion users , it is the third most visited website in the world, the second biggest search engine, and the largest video distribution platform by a clear mile. Although it may be tempting to read the stats, grab a camera and start filming, statistics alone are no reason for a business to jump headfirst into the world of YouTube. As with any marketing decision, the tool is simply the means, you need to be sure it is the smart choice for your business to meet its goals.

Use YouTube when…

1. You have an eCommerce platform

According to Buffer, consumers are 85% more likely to buy online after watching a product video. For this reason alone, eCommerce businesses should be producing video material. But why YouTube specifically? The answer is, simply, numbers. YouTube is the go-to video platform for people researching products, watching reviews and getting opinions, the only way to tap into this potential audience is to be there. And it’s not just about driving emotional connection and brand loyalty, YouTube can also act as a direct sales platform. If you produce helpful videos inviting people to, for instance, check out ‘winter fashion trends’ or ‘tips for Christmas presents for mum’, you can include in-video links which drive customers directly to the relevant page on your website. Lead a cusotmer straight from a video to an effective landing page or product page, and conversions are likely to grow.

2. You have a compelling story

It’s not just retail-loving millennials who engage with video; according to Hubspot, 75% of business executives watch work-related videos at least weekly. But with 100 hours of YouTube footage uploaded every minute, it’s increasingly tough for brands and businesses to make a dent. You might look at the quality of channels by the likes of IBM or Cisco and be overawed by the production values on display. But you don’t need all that. You need to simply tell your story in an engaging, open and honest way. ‘A day in the life of…’ offers exclusivity appeal and gives viewers opportunity to get to know your business on a personal level. Case studies are super effective—videos of happy customers even more so. But only if they’re happy to be filmed.

3. You have a complex offering which needs to be simplified

For businesses with multiple products, technical processes, or a highly segmented customer base, YouTube videos can help ‘slice and dice’ content into manageable, bite-size chunks that are easier for the right audience to understand. A 50-page white paper, for instance, could be broken down into an eight-part video series; an extensive, multi-product FAQ page can answer common questions one at a time; text-heavy online manuals can be summarised in a series of short, episodic demos. Where YouTube helps is in playlist functionality, which can be used to compartmentalise series’ of videos to make it easier for your audience to access and share them. In the Forrester study “How Video Will Take Over the World”, Dr. James McQuivey worked out that video is worth 1.8 million words per minute. If you have an offering which takes even 1% of that to explain, video can help.

4. You want high impact with a low budget

You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg to produce a video with impactful, and you certainly don’t need to splash out on expensive lighting, cameras and sound equipment. Okay, so maybe if you’re Red Bull or Microsoft you might, but for small businesses, you can produce something great with an iPhone7 and perfunctory knowledge of iMovie (there are plenty of guides on...YouTube). 

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Topics: Lead Generation, Marketing Tactics

What should your marketing dashboard look like?

Posted by Julie Brook on Oct 17, 2017 1:53:00 PM


This article was previously published on the Vistage website, at Marketing has a reputation for being a bit... nebulous. Qualitative. We’ve even heard it described as ‘fluffy’. Your efforts (should) have a tangible impact on the bottom line, but too often business owners find themselves wondering exactly what their marketing team are up to. Marketing can't afford to be vague; it can and should be as accountable as every other department. Marketers should be able to tell you what they're doing and why, and how their efforts are improving results for the business.

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Topics: Brand Building, Lead Generation, Marketing Team

Customer journeys – what are they, and how should I implement them?

Posted by Rob Croxall on Sep 9, 2017 8:25:00 PM

  Google ‘customer journey’ and you’ll encounter over 27 million definitions, discussions, guidelines and graphics on the subject. It’s an important concept, but it’s overused and often misunderstood.The customer journey is the process a customer goes through while they’re deciding to buy something, and the steps after they’ve bought it.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Marketing Tactics

The 7 Ps and the 4 Pillars: What IS marketing anyway?

Posted by Julie Brook on Aug 14, 2017 7:46:00 PM
Many business owners have a fuzzy vision of marketing, even if they run successful companies. A lot of businesses attempt to cover their marketing bases by simply turning their Sales Director into a Sales and Marketing Director and moving on, assuming that the marketing box has been comprehensively ticked. This is what happens when business owners confuse lead generation with marketing. Lead generation is a part of marketing, but it’s really just the visible bit of an iceberg - the obvious bit that everyone sees. The much bigger picture lies beneath the surface - the activities that happen prior to lead generation. So what does happen below the surface? What is marketing?

Marketing Planning v Marketing Communications

You might have heard of the seven Ps of marketing:
  • Product: What are you selling and to who?
  • Price: Is the price aligned with the perceived value of the product?
  • Promotion: What messaging will you use to describe your product? What is the right combination of words and tone to strike a chord with your target audience?
  • Place: What are the most appropriate routes to markets for your product or service?
  • People: Have you got the right service delivery and sales teams in place?
  • Process: Have you defined and documented your methods for delivering your end product or service?
  • Physical Evidence: Have you defined a tangible “thing” that the customer will receive, even if the service is intangible? (An insurance certificate for an insurance policy is a good example, if you’re stuck on this.)
Looking through these, there are some areas that you might not immediately associate with marketing - setting the price of products, sales processes, service delivery. But that is the point; marketing permeates every element of the business. Price, for example, is part of marketing - finding out what people are prepared to pay to have their pain points addressed. This is the crucial difference between marketing comms and marketing strategy: comms is a culmination of a whole host of deeper strategic work.

The Four Pillars

To explain the key functions of marketing, The Marketing Centre has developed a strategy which simplifies these ideas down to four key pillars:
  • Define: Know what your potential customers look like, and what your product or service can do for them.
  • Find: Identify ways to target them, based on their behaviour and habits.
  • Win: Devise strategies to close sales and create customers.
  • Keep: Monitor customer churn (loss) and create retention activities to remedy it.
Whether you’re talking about seven Ps or four pillars, the message is the same. Clearly define who you are, what you sell and how you sell it. Know who you sell to and ascertain the best methods for reaching them. Have the processes in place to nurture leads and convert sales, then keep these customers on board, or have a plan to win repeat business.

A note on leads

The key objective of marketing is to help increase sales and grow the business, but a lack of leads is rarely the problem . Very few business owners want to hear that the problem lies in the product or the planning, but this is more than often the case. And sales teams can be especially reluctant to accept that message, who often prefer to have more leads than do a decent job with the ones they’ve got. Revisiting what was assumed to be a successful formula is never a welcome task for those who created it. This investment of time and effort in the status quo means those people often struggle to be objective about any shortcomings. This is when a fresh pair of eyes – like those of a part-time Marketing Director – can make a difference.

Back to Basics

Success often comes down to fundamentals. In marketing, the fundamentals are not the channels you choose. They are not social media, PR, direct mail, advertising or content. The building blocks for success come from understanding what you are selling, who you are selling it to and why they should buy it. That is why marketing is rarely a case of ‘he who shouts loudest’. It’s a nuanced, agile and measured approach that factors in every element of the business. Generating leads is an important part of this process, but not the only one; not by a long shot.  

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Topics: Business Growth, Lead Generation

Cold leads? Time to reactivate, says The Marketing Centre’s Brian Hardie

Posted by Brian Hardie on Dec 22, 2016 2:16:00 PM

Is it really worth sifting through cold leads hoping for results, rather than simply going out and finding new prospects to target? Absolutely, says The Marketing Centre’s Brian Hardie. Too often, leads go cold because the timing is not right for a customer. But circumstances change – cold leads shouldn’t be considered dead by a business. The question is when to warm them back up.

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Topics: Lead Generation

Nurturing new contacts: Part 2 of The Marketing Centre’s email marketing for beginners’ guide

Posted by Richard Hancock on Dec 21, 2016 8:09:00 PM


Imagine looking in a shop window. Before you step inside, the owner steps out with a full bag of goods and names his price.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Marketing Tactics

Analytics: Part 1 of The Marketing Centre’s email marketing for beginners’ guide

Posted by Richard Hancock on Dec 15, 2016 8:02:00 PM


Celebrity spats, fake news, Presidential rants: social media may get all the headlines, but for B2B businesses looking to connect with their audience, email still rules the roost.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Marketing Tactics

The 7 key phases of trade show strategy

Posted by Malcolm Johnston on Dec 9, 2016 7:36:00 PM


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Topics: Lead Generation, Marketing Tactics

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