To sell anything effectively, it pays to understand the people who are likely to purchase it. If you’re trying to sell fish, for instance, the way you sell it to a Michelin-starred restaurant will be vastly different to the sales pitch to a zoo looking to feed their penguins. One is concerned with quality, the other is all about price (unless they have a particularly fussy Emperor in their enclosures). Building a business to sell is no different. To get maximum value, you need to know what a buyer wants and is willing to pay for it. The answer is multi-faceted: from positioning via industry benchmarks and perfecting your brand to attracting and retaining talent through your employer brand. In this series, we’ve previously discussed these areas and how marketing can help you build value, but one key element remains.
When the time comes to sell your business, you’re selling a lot more than tangible assets like premises and product. You’re selling potential, in the form of return on the business’ current activities. You’re selling plans for new product development and new routes to market. And you’re also selling brand - both the employer brand you’ve developed among your talent pool, and the audience-facing brand that exists in your consumers’ perceptions. Consciously building your brand is, of course, something you should be doing anyway. It’s good practice whether you’re selling your business or not - strong brand values mean a more valuable and thus more profitable brand.
Each year, the UK plays host to 1.3m business events, in an industry that’s worth £42.3bn to the UK economy. However, for the purpose of this piece, we’re discussing smaller, client events - which can deliver an impressive boost to your business. If done badly, though, they can also be expensive, waste a lot of resource, and damage your reputation with your audience.
“It's a great blessing if one can lose all sense of time, all worries, if only for a short time, in a book.” – Nella Last We asked our proven part-time Marketing Directors for their favourite business books. Here’s what they told us.
Warren Buffett, as one of the richest men in the USA, knows a thing or twenty-nine about making money. His core rules include “Never lose money”, “Keep doing the same things and you keep getting the same results”, and, most importantly for us, “Never invest in something you cannot understand”. That last point absolutely applies to marketing. Many business leaders don’t entirely understand marketing. They know it has to be done, but not how - or how much it should cost. To pick one example, related to one marketing medium: a survey by MDG reveals that 44% of Chief Marketing Officers are unable to measure the impact of social media on their business at all, while only 20% say they can quantify that impact. And yet 73% of businesses are tracking their social media efforts - so what’s going wrong between the monitoring and the understanding?