It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a great website. It’s the digital representation of your brand, and the customer’s experience with it reflects on your business as a whole. Your site needs to be quick, it needs to be easy to navigate, the copy needs to be great, it needs to look fantastic, it needs to be optimised for SEO and mobile and more besides. For these reasons and more, getting it right is a bigger job than you might initially think.
“How do I know your solution is what my business needs?” “I’ve already got a reliable supplier in your sector. Why should I switch to you?” “How are you going to solve my business problem?” Questions like these can make even practised business owners break a sweat. If you start hearing yourself waffling on about the ’synergistic benefits’ of your ‘integrated solution’ it’s not because you don’t know your stuff, it’s generally because you haven’t developed your value proposition.
If someone came to The Marketing Centre and asked us what marketing they should do with £100, we’d tell them they were asking a trick question. Effective marketing is strategic, not tactical, we’d say, and we’d have to have a good idea about their business’ goals, situation and marketplace before we could even contemplate our recommended tactic. And we’d still be reluctant to answer the question, even then, because a marketing budget should follow a business’ marketing strategy, not come before it.
In 1860, Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills set off from Melbourne, heading north to explore the Australian interior. It had taken them three years to raise funds for and awareness of the expedition, during a gold rush. Neither had the faintest sense of bushcraft; their “essential supplies” included a cedar-topped table and chairs, rockets, flags and a Chinese gong. They broke down on the first day, took until midnight to reach the suburbs of Melbourne, and - to cut a long story short - their expedition was a disaster from which neither of them returned.
How much is your business worth? Ask this question to ten business leaders, and nine of them will focus on the bottom line - turnover, profit, revenue. Important factors, no doubt, but value runs deeper than the financials. Business value is generally calculated as Net profit of business times Multiple of earnings for the sector. This series is concerned with those multiples; those variable elements of a business that can add considerable value when it comes to the time to sell. In this series so far we’ve covered benchmarking, and the importance of a good employer brand. In this piece, we’re focusing on new product development.