blog - Business

KPIs Everyone In The Marketing Industry Should Be Using

February 23, 2016

Filed under: Business


Simply put, a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a quantifiable measure an organization uses to determine how well it meets its planned operational and strategic goals. Getting a handle on understanding what is working and what is not working for your organisation is key to your business growth strategies. As you strive to improve the quality of your products, services and processes, it is important to focus on your customers’ needs and expectations.

 
To do this, you must understand the balance between Performance Measurement and Performance Management and weigh up how these processes can contribute to the strategic impact of your business in four areas of:

1. Cost

2. Revenue

3. Investment

4. Capabilities

 

Performance Measurement focuses on the evaluation of the identification, tracking and communication of performance results. The evaluation of the Performance Measurement process is based on the following five generic performance objectives of:

1. Quality

2. Speed

3. Dependability

4. Flexibility

5. Cost

 


Download PDF of Performance Measurement KPIs

 

Performance Management is a broader strategic process aimed at planning, organising, coordinating, communicating and controlling performance at a strategic, operational and individual level. The data that is gathered should be directly linked to the essential factors that drive the performance of the organization. Here is an overview of the KPIs and supporting metrics to measure performance throughout the marketing funnel. Keep in mind that every organization has its own unique KPIs to measure, monitor, and track.

 




Download PDF of Performance Management KPIs
 

With constant pressure to achieve performance targets, reach higher performance levels, and ensure that people's work supports and furthers organizational vision and strategy, organisations need to develop a scorecard that compares current against previous marketing performance. How are you using KPIs to drive your marketing and business goals while enhancing customer satisfaction and organisational performance? Share your insights below.




About Judith Silva

Judith Silva is a Marketing Strategist and the driving force behind SPINN Media – a boutique creative agency specializing in website design, mobile app development, graphic design and outsourced marketing services. She’s been actively involved in the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations industry for over 20 years. Judith is a mother of two lovely girls and is crazily in love with her husband of many, many, many years. If you need help getting started with your marketing strategy, get in touch with her at: judith.silva@spinnmedia.com.au 
 

Tags: KPI, KPIs, performance, performance management, performance measurement, process, processes, strategic goals, marketing, organisational performance, marketing performance, performance targets

10 Ways To Maximise Your Website

September 17, 2013

Filed under: Business


The number one internet myth is the belief that all you need to do is: “Build it and they will come.” Business owners are stumped when they are NOT inundated with new business or have their phones ringing off the hook once they launch a new website. It’s a little like buying a fancy seaside mansion, moving into it and forgetting to tell everyone your new address.
 


 

It is vital that your website is:

  • Well organized
  • Meets the needs of your users
  • Delivers the company objectives and goals and
  • Offers accurate and interesting information.


There are many ways to tweak a website for more visitors and higher sales. Let’s look at some of the key factors to optimize your website.


1. Simple Design
Users want content that is easy to look at. Don’t overload your site with pop-ups, flash or sliders. Have a consistent and clean navigation bar. Effective use of typography and colour makes for a striking website. Use visuals strategically as users pay attention to images that aid and support textual content.


2. Optimise Images
If it takes more than 5 seconds to load, your users will leave. Reduce the size of your image files to 72 dpi and crop any unnecessary parts of the picture. Use appropriate file formats to dramatically decrease the file size of an image, such as: GIF, JPEG or PNG.


3. Ensure Readability
Get to the point as quickly as possible and stay away from industry jargon. Use easy-to-understand, common words and phrases. Keep your sentences short. Paragraphs should be 3-4 lines. Use headings and sub-headings to get your key points across. Introduce bullet points and graphics to break text and add visual interest.


4. Clean Navigation
The top navigation bar is your prime real estate. Include your best information here by mapping out how you want your visitors to get from A to Z on your website. Your visitor should be able to locate what they want as quickly as possible. Keep the wording used on your navigation specific, direct and to the point.


5. Colour Contrast
One of the most important aspects of any design is colour. People have an emotional response to colours. It not only creates impact, it helps create movement and directs a user around the page. Select complimentary colours that help showcase the values and services you’re trying to promote.


6. Content Creation
Great content is what keeps your customers and your community coming back for more. You need to know your audience and identify the type of content they’re interested in. Create content your readers will want to talk about and share such as a blog posts, a how-to video, an infographic, a personal experience, research, topical issues or just entertainment. Make it easy for people to share your content by including social share/bookmarking tools.


7. Responsive/Mobile Friendly Design
Many business websites are created to look good on a desktop computer monitor. However, with more people accessing the web over mobile devices, it's important to ensure your website is tailored to work across multiple mobile devices such as smartphones, iPhones, iPads and tablets. Responsive means your site will automatically reconfigure itself, or respond to suit the size and type of devise a visitor is using. It’s all about enhancing the user experience to enable people to easily do or find what they want over their mobile.


8. Cross Browser Compatibility
Not everyone coming to your website will be using the same web browser. It’s important to ensure that your website is usable across the popular browsers and mobile devices. A broken website looks unprofessional and could drive potential customers away.


9. Website Promotion
You need qualified traffic, make more sales and increase your customer base. Promote your website via:

  • Business Cards
  • Vehicle Wrap
  • Signage
  • Email Signature
  • Social Networking (online and offline)
  • Slide Share
  • Sponsorships
  • Blogging
  • Infographics
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Article Submission
  • Participation in forums and Q&A’s
  • Business Listings and so much more.



10. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is a marketing technique to make a website more visible to search engines, improve its rankings and result in more traffic. Find good keyword phrases. Update pages with strong fresh content. Write valid HTML. Make your links part of the copy. Always check for common errors while writing. And don’t neglect image alt attributes.


You need to constantly review and improve your internet presence and strike up a coordinated long-term effort between your business and marketing plan to ensure that you receive a consistent flow of visitors to your website.

Tags: website, website traffic, search engine optimisation, seo, content marketing, website promotion, responsive, mmobile, mobile friendly, optimise images, mobile devices, clean navigation, html

12 Essential Google Adwords Rules

March 25, 2013

Filed under: Business

A DIY Google Adwords campaign is not easy to manage. It’s not only about keyword selection or budgets….It’s about having a clear strategy, establishing benchmarks, and analytics to measure campaign performance. 

If you're managing your own PPC campaign in-house, help is at hand. Hollis Thomases, President & CEO of Web Ad.vantage, recently shared on Inc. these essential rules you must understand to ensure your campaign is well executed:
 
1. DO Understand How Your Ads Get Shown
There are multiple factors influencing how your ads appear on Google: your daily budget, your maximum cost per click (or "CPC") per keyword, your competitors' max CPC on the same keyword, how popular your search phrase is, and Google's Quality Score. If you don't understand how Quality Score works, get familiar with it!
 
2. DON'T Send All Users to Your Home Page

You need to think about your PPC campaign as a direct-response experience. If your ad succeeds in getting users to click, why dump them onto a home page without telling them where to go next?

Instead, steer them more clearly into the response you want by creating a unique "landing page." Google has deemed these pages so important that it has implemented "Landing Page Experience" into its Quality Score rating.
 
3. DON'T Rely on Broad or Generic Keywords

Search engine users have gotten savvy over the years; many search queries now tend to be a few words long, rather than just single words or pairs. Bidding on very broad or generic keyword phrases is likely to be expensive–because of either the bid price itself or by dint of sheer search volume–and the traffic yielded may be lower in quality.

Unless you monitor these terms closely for performance, they can wind up generating negative ROI.
 
4. DO Organize Keywords Into Tightly Themed Ad Groups

There are many benefits to having relevant keywords organized within their own ad group:
Keywords can easily be used in your ad copy since they are relevant to the ad group. When the ads are more relevant to the audience, your click-through rate (CTR) will increase (and that is the goal, after all). Higher CTRs help your Quality Score, which in turn will lead to lower click costs for the same position.
 
5. DO Utilize All Match Type Options

Match Type settings for each keyword help control how Google triggers your ad. If you don't specify a particular Match Type, Google defaults to Broad Match–which generally works in their favor, not yours.
 
6. DON'T Overlook Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are those have no bearing on the context of your keywords or words you want to be sure are not associated with your campaign. For example, in a campaign advertising windows for the home, you'd want to avoid anyone also searching for the word "Microsoft."

Ensuring that these words do not appear in your campaign can also help improve your Quality Score–since you're not generating unnecessary ad impressions that garner poor CTRs.
 
7. DO Separate Your Campaigns

Google's default settings at the campaign level include both Search and Display together, and do not separate out Mobile.

You should manually "opt out" of having your search keywords run on Google's Display Network–especially if you want to preserve your budget exclusively for Search. I'd also suggest that you set up a separate search campaign for mobile users, to help optimize your visibility and click costs there, too.
 
8. DO Use Free Conversion Tracking
Unless you are running a branding initiative and don't care how much money you spend, you'll be flying blind if you run a campaign without conversion tracking to tell you how well your clicks convert into action. Use Google's free conversion tracking code to give you more insight and help you prune and optimize your campaign.
 
9. DO Test Different Ad Versions

Even after you put all this effort into your campaign setup, you shouldn't assume you know what ad will actually attract the right audience. Instead, test different versions of ad copy or offers: Run three tests for each Ad Group for a week or so, determine the winner, and delete or tweak losers based on the results.
 
10. DON'T Stick With Under-Performing Keywords

Keywords that produce clicks but don't convert eat up your budget and drag down your Quality Score. Routinely review your campaign and get rid of them!
 
11. DO Take Advantage of Ad Extensions
Google now gives you more than just 90 characters of ad text, if you know about and use Ad Extension options. With Ad Extensions you can show products, give locations and phone numbers, or list additional links, all associated with a single ad.
 
12. DON'T Forget to Connect AdWords to Your Google Analytics Account 

When you connect your AdWords account to your Google Analytics account, you can analyze your AdWords campaign data directly within your Google Analytics dashboard and see how an AdWords visitor affects your overall website activity.

In today’s economy, you want to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck so follow these optimization tips for better results.
 

Tags: Adwords, Google Analytics, Google, Analytics, PPC, Ad Groups, Keywords

10 Ways To Thrive In A Slowing Economy

January 9, 2012

Filed under: Business

With 2012 at a new beginning, your goals and strategies probably look a lot different than they did just last year. As your business evolves with the new economic realities, let us not forget that many of your prospects exist in the same state of insecurity.

It is time to rethink marketing materials that no longer speak to a customer's needs.
Cost-cutting is not the answer; re-engineering value is.

Here's a short list of 10 ways your company can thrive in a slowing economy.

1. Start from the beginning
Refreshing your brand will give you a good excuse to talk not only to all your existing clients but also will allow you to reflect on your communications and core message.

2. Reduce costs and improve your results
You have the choice to send 10,000 postcards or letters where you won’t know if the recipients have read them for $1.50 each (total: $15,000 of admin, creative, print, postage) or send 10,000 emails for $100 and get instant analytics and results. It is time for you to start re-assessing. Don’t stop marketing! Just spend your money wisely by using digital communications.

3. Make your website a real tool
Create interactivity with your target market. Use a silo marketing approach and create additional landing pages specific to each of your products or offers so that readers landing on your pages are not confused by the array of other products or services on your site. Keeping your visitors focused on your page will dramatically increase your conversion rate.

Ensure your website is current and has exciting, relevant content to engage your audience; use your content management system to optimise your Meta tags and key word density within your web pages so the organic searches can find your specific product or services.

4. More communication and more presence
Online strategies are the perfect vehicles for communicating with customers and generating additional purchases. Combine communications using emails, social networking, search engine optimisation, blogs, emails and websites to keep on growing your business and moving forward.

5. Target! Target! Target!
Online database management provides you superior targeting ability. With average conversion rate of around 1.5%, this is an ideal way to reach the other 98.5% that have taken the time to visit your site but haven’t yet converted. So keep communicating.

6. Measure, Track and Survive
Online marketing offers greater measurability while allowing you to track behaviours in comparison to traditional media advertising.

Do you know who has read your advert in the newspaper or magazine? No chance. With email marketing, for example, you can! This is of course due to the awesome technology, where every mouse click is tracked, usually anonymously. Use this data to understand how much each lead and sale costs you.

7. Build your distribution network
Talk to other businesses, yes that’s right you remember the old tool called the telephone…it’s still works to build relationships. Call businesses and start cross promoting your services, develop a referral program and even a joint event with an associated business targeting the same customers and share the costs and the rewards!

8. Convert and manage sales efficiently
During tough times you cannot afford to lose leads and clients, make sure you are using an appropriate customer relationship management (CRM) tool, so you always stay on top of it.

Focus on increasing your conversion and not just the number of new leads or enquiries. Work on your client base as it is 75% easier to convert an existing client to a new sale than pitching to a new customer. Do some research on unconverted leads to find out why they aren't buying from you? Create an online e-learning centre for your staff and your clients. Providing education is a great way to build brand advocacy.

9. Listen to your customers and the market
Send a simple survey to all your clients with a great incentive (never forget the incentive). Read all media, books and relevant business articles to keep you thinking about your business and how you must adapt. If you keep learning through customer feedback and constantly think about how you can improve your offering, you will only continue to grow your business.

10. Forget about the world economy and all media hype
Journalist rarely deliver good news; they exploit the human nature which is constantly craving for sensationalism. Remember the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies” where Elliot Carver said “there is no news like bad news”, well yes it was a movie but…

Think about it, it’s easier for the media to sell newspaper or advertising if the Headline says “The World Economy has Crashed” than saying the “The World Economy is Great”. The media always exploits negativity to build their own fortune. Stay focused on your business  and keep doing what you do best or better yet, improve everything you are doing!

Now is a great time to reflect and re-invent yourself, to become more efficient and drive your business as hard as possible. What’s stopping you from growing?

Contact SPINN Media today for free health check on your marketing activities.
Remember, standing still is not an option.

Tags: marketing, business, goals, communication, network

Four Tips For Non-Obnoxious Networking

April 22, 2011

Filed under: Business

We’ve been doing the networking rounds lately. It’s amazing the type of businesses and people you meet. As a business owner, the main reason for attending these events is to build relationships and form a professional  link to help refer business on to one another. Why do you attend networking events or forums?

We recently read this excerpt on a email newsletter we received from Marketing Profs:
If you want to step up your networking activities, but you're not quite sure how, Rohit Bhargava has some advice. "The challenge isn't how you can find more opportunities to network," he writes at Influential Marketing, "but how to talk about business in an unobtrusive way."

To accomplish that goal, he offers tips like these:


Hone your conversational skills
Your networking strategy will fail before it begins if no one enjoys talking with you. According to Bhargava, great conversationalists ask leading questions, listen intently to answers and add their own personal stories to the mix.

Create a distinctive nametag
Bhargava decorates his nametags with a sticker of his book's chicken icon. "People want to know why I have that sticker there," he says, "and it gives me a chance not just to share the story of my book, but also to talk about my philosophy of business—which is that personality matters."

SPINN: My business cards says – Chief Inspiration Officer – just under my name and it instantly becomes a talking point and ice-breaker.

Make friends with introducers
"These are the people," he says, "who always come to a moment in their conversations where they say something like 'oh, you do _______? You should talk to _____.'" Introducers are more likely to provide introductions, he notes, when you've made a favourable impression with your conversational ability.

Respect the nature of the event
Unless you're at a networking event—when you can dive right in—always evaluate the situation before you start talking business.

Don’t go into these events thinking you’re there to ‘sell’ your business. Walk in with the intention of making new connections and look at who you can help, professionally. That’s what we do and it’s worked well for us. You may have another way of looking at it. And you know what else? The wealth is in the follow-up. Yes, don’t just collect those business cards and let it go into storage. Write down some memory joggers at the back of the card, like which event you met. Drop everyone an email after the event, telling them how much you enjoyed meeting them the day before. Make plans to catch up for coffee and learn a little bit more about them. Here's where you may start to find synergies or avenues to work together and help one another.

Tags: networking, business, marketing, connections

Email Usability: 6 Tips to get Your Email Read

February 2, 2011

Filed under: Business

You're probably speed-reading this blog post, so we'll get to the good stuff. Here are a couple of tips for getting the important bits of your email read:

 

Keep it short
Interest in the content of an email diminishes as the email extends, so cut the copy and keep the most important points of the message near the top.


Optimize your headlines
As the first two words of a headline are the most important, keep them informational. For example, a headline such as "3 tips for improving email usability and response rates" could be rephrased as, "Email usability: 3 tips for improving your response rates".


Get to the point
Most readers will skip any long-winded greetings or introductory text, so decide if it's worth including. If an introduction is necessary, avoid adding any important information to this section.


Focus the message
Where possible, avoid covering too many topics and keep the message simple. You're only going to have the reader’s attention for a few seconds, so make it count by using a standout call-to-action.


Make it scan-friendly
Limit body copy to easily-readable paragraphs, preferably under 60 characters in width. Selectively use images to reinforce your message, as images often take less time to understand than words.


Align to the left
That's because readers of left-to-right languages (such as English) are accustomed to scanning from the top-left first.


Finally, your email design may only get an average of 51 seconds of fame per reader (if it gets 'read' at all).

How will you make the most of it?


Contact us today for more information on email marketing.

Tags: email, marketing, communications

Eight Questions to Ask When Buying a Marketing List

November 22, 2010

Filed under: Business

We bring you the ‘skinny’ on what you need to look out for when you are considering buying a marketing list. Lately, we've received numerous requests from organisations wanting to purchase mailing lists from us. Unfortunately, we don't sell mailing lists but we can shed some light on what you need to look out for if you are shopping around for a provider.


According to Chris Golec, founder and CEO of Demandbase, a technology company that enables B2B companies to turn Web traffic into sales, “Putting together a list of viable prospects, and ensuring that information about them is accurate and relevant, can be a daunting task. There are a myriad of list and contact vendors in the marketplace today, each with its own set of data."
 

Chris goes on to add, "Buying a marketing list that you have confidence in does not have to be a stressful process if you ask the right questions before you make a decision.” In this excerpt from Chris’ blogpost on Marketing Profs, he highlights eight questions to ask vendors before buying a list:


1. What makes your data unique?
There are many data providers out there, and many pull from common sources, such as Dun & Bradstreet/Hoovers, Jigsaw, or Infogroup. It is important to ask what makes the data in the list you are considering unique, and then determine whether it will complement your current database and serve the campaign you are considering.

If the provider partners with leading data companies, find out whether they also pull from smaller publications and data companies that might help to "fill in the blanks" on their business contact records.


2. How often do you refresh your data?
It's important to know how often your data provider adds names to its database, but it is perhaps even more important to know how often names are removed from the database and what steps are taken to prevent "dead" names from being added back in.

Don't be impressed by claims of "tens of millions" of contacts unless you can verify that the list vendor is actually removing out-of-date information from its system in a timely manner. You shouldn't care about millions if your target audience is just a few thousand people.

In a best-case scenario, the provider runs quarterly checks of its contacts in the database, both to verify the validity of each business contact and to give these contacts the opportunity to opt out of inclusion in the database.


3. How is your data priced? Is there a minimum purchase?
Prices for business-contact records vary widely. If you are required to spend at least $5,000, it might not be such a good deal. The dirty little secret of many data providers is the minimum purchase size.

After you run the parameters for your list, you will likely find that your actual list size falls beneath the requirements for minimum purchase, which could lead to a "back-fill" of contacts that you may not have wanted (or needed). Your response rates will drop because you are campaigning to prospects simply because you paid for their information, not because you selected them. And your reputation may suffer as well if you are marketing to people who are not in your sweet spot.

In addition to inquiring about minimum purchase requirements or what the price breaks might be for larger purchases, ask about the vendor's filtering system to ensure you will not wind up purchasing irrelevant contacts:
• Does it dig into departmental specialties?
• Can you review the titles before you buy to remove irrelevant contacts?
• How specific are the filters regarding company size, number of employees, or industry?


4. How do you handle inaccurate data?
No matter where you get your data, some churn is inevitable, even in the most accurate and highly marketed lists, especially in a down economy. A key factor in handling inaccuracies is to work with your provider to establish some sort of "return policy" in advance of the purchase, if there is not one currently in place.

If you are purchasing an email list, for example, the "hard bounces" after a mailing can be a terrific basis for establishing your list of inaccurate contacts. If you send an email and it is not delivered, the recipient's system typically sends back some sort of notification as to why. A "hard" bounce is when you receive a notification that the non-delivery is due to a permanent condition, such as the intended recipient is no longer at the company. A "soft" bounce is when the notification indicates the non-delivery was due to a temporary condition, such as a full mailbox or an "out of office" situation.

Ideally, the vendor you use for your email campaigns will be able to differentiate between "hard" and "soft" bounces, and the proof of a "hard bounce" is a great basis for handling returns of inaccurate data. Vendors will usually offer a full credit for all business contact data proven to be incorrect, as it helps them maintain database accuracy.


5. Do you remove or credit duplicates for contacts I already own?
A common frustration when purchasing lists is acquiring contacts you already have in your database. Make sure your data provider has some sort of system in place to remove or to credit back contacts you already own, and, if you are a repeat customer, remove contacts you may have already purchased from the provider previously.

Contact providers often track your purchase history so that you will never buy the same contact more than once. In addition, some provider systems can integrate with CRM software to automate the de-duplication process—saving marketers valuable time and money.


6. How are your lists targeted? Do I need to pay for any filters to refine my list?
Some data providers charge you to run filters against their database that help you to target your list to your specific needs. For example, if you were looking for a list of marketing contacts at software companies, you might be charged $300 to remove all nonsoftware companies and another $300 to target the marketers.

An advanced filtering system will allow marketers to zero in on contacts based on geography, industry, industry specialty, seniority (level of contact), department, functional role, and more. The top-tier providers will individually "score" each contact in the database against your specific needs so you can build highly targeted lists.

Data companies charge for filtering to discourage any activity that may reduce the size of the list they are trying to sell. Be aware of both the costs associated with building a more targeted list and the hidden costs to your reputation and response rates if you don't filter your lists and market to contacts who are not in your "sweet spot."


7. Do we own the data, or are we renting the list?
Data providers often rent out their subscriber lists for "one-time" mailings. You send them creative, and they run the email campaign for you and report back on opens and click-through rates. However, the real measure of success is conversions—how many people filled out the form on the Web page that was included in the body of the email. A conversion is the only way to capture the contact information of anyone in the list that you rented.
With a list rental, the cost per lead is much lower than it is for an outright purchase, but you do not own the information and cannot market to contacts again without renting the list again. Make sure to clarify whether the cost per lead is for a rental or for a list purchase.


8. Can I send email to the contacts I purchase from you? Are they "opt-in"?
Email marketing is a tricky business. Many marketers have received spam complaints from paying customers that they have spoken to on the phone, and also have closed business based on unsolicited (but legally CAN-SPAM-compliant) emails.

If you are buying a list from a vendor that is marketed as "opt in," be very careful; and keep in mind that the people on the list have not opted in to receiving emails specifically from your company. Opt-in is the gold standard in email marketing, without a doubt, but CAN-SPAM is the law and it does not cite "opt-in" as a requirement. Agree on a policy internally that will not only preserve your reputation but also allow growth of your brand and sales pipeline through the use of email.

Be aware of the email campaign requirements from your vendors, as some may require you to be able to prove "opt-in" on every email you send, while others simply require you to comply with the law. Also consider paying extra for a dedicated IP address to handle your mailings, because if you are sharing email servers with other companies that do not observe the law as closely as your company, deliverability numbers might suffer as a result of their bad practices.

 

List vendors using best-practices ensure that their contacts have agreements in place allowing for the distribution of their contact information. In addition, the provider should run regular email campaigns to all contacts in the database inviting them to opt out of being included in their list database.

Tags: email, marketing, contacts

Improve Your Network And Your Business

March 17, 2010

Filed under: Business

Networking? Does it give you the jitters? What’s the right thing to say or do? Networking is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re one of the many that are unsure on the protocol when it comes to networking, you’re not alone. Lynette Palmen is the founder and Managing Director of Women’s Network Australia (WNA) and she’s come up with 5 cool tips to help you “soar through the roof” when it comes to networking.



Rule #1
No-one has the legal right to add email addresses collected whilst out networking to their subscriber lists unless permission has been sought to do so.

Tip
Email those you meet and invite them to join your subscriber list. But you will need to give them a good reason and value for opting in. So make that email your best work.

 


Rule #2
Start listening to others and what their needs consist of, as opposed to pushing your own agenda. You'll be amazed as to what you learn by asking people about themselves. 

Tip
Be open and genuine in your questioning - it is not an interrogation of sorts.

 


Rule #3
Never call someone to try and promote your agenda or sell anything unless you have exchanged business cards and made eye contact with them. Don't ever confuse authentic networking with cold calling, they are completely different methods.

Tip
Learn the valuable lesson that two authentic contacts made at any networking event will always outweigh 20 business cards collected randomly.

 


Rule #4
If you say you are going to follow up - make sure you do so. Ensure that you systemise a process for the activity so it happens within a reasonable time frame after the original contact took place.

Tip
If you have no intention of following the person up with a call, tell them that you look forward to connecting with them at the next event.

 


Rule #5
Don't expect to turn up to a couple of networking events and then have your phone ringing off the hook. It takes about 18 months to build relationships that develop into the ignition of trade within your networking circle. It all takes time, repetition and consistency.

Tip
Networking success is not based on how many sales you make or the number of leads or clients you obtain. You may never make a sale but you could connect with an idea that turns your entire business or career around for the better.

 


Are you ready to get out there and start networking? Drop us a line if you have some useful tips to share.

Tags: networking, business, connect

Help Your Business Market Itself

March 1, 2010

Filed under: Business

For so many small business owners, generating leads, converting customers and creating a predictable flow of business is a constant battle. While there are many reasons for this, the primary one is that most small businesses focus all of their marketing attention on selling, when they should really focus every fibre of their being on creating a better customer experience.


According to John Jantsch, a marketing and digital technology coach, award winning social media publisher and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine.


John advises the best way to generate more leads is to create a customer experience that makes people talk. The best way to convert more sales is to create a customer experience that puts sales and marketing on the same team. The best way to create a predictable flow of business is to create a customer experience that builds trust over and over again. Here is John’s advice on how your business can market itself:

 

The logical path
Marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like, and trust you. Once you’ve established know, like and trust, you can more easily move to creating try, buy, repeat and refer.


These seven steps make up what John calls, the Marketing Hourglass that produces a logical progression of steps from the point where a prospect first becomes aware of your business to where they voluntarily work to help you grow it.


Creating a marketing system that addresses and offers products and processes at every step along this logical path is how you teach your business to market itself.

 

Plug the gaps
Almost every business attempts to move from know to buy, without addressing the phases in between or after. This causes gaps in the customer experience and often leads to generating a customer that’s not a good fit or one that doesn’t value your unique way of doing business.


By carefully plotting how a prospect comes to know your business, how you help them understand and like the unique benefits of doing business with your firm and how you build trust by showing them customer proof and expertise, you properly prepare them to try and buy your products and services.


Of course once a prospect decides to become a customer you must work equally as hard at plugging any gaps in customer service, delivery, packaging, communication, and even finance. In every fashion that your business comes into contact with a customer you are in that instance performing a marketing function.


Ask yourself this question: Does every department in your organization produce positive customer experiences?

Here’s how to find out.

Become a customer of your business. Follow an order or service request around your entire business from advertising to asking for a referral and see how many gaps you can find.

Gaps come in many forms, but the two most common are gaps that are produced intentionally – a process that doesn’t make sense to anyone but Bart in customer service, and unintentionally, no follow-up process to make sure your customer is thrilled.

 

Process and product
As you teach your business to market itself, you need to arm it with products, services and processes that can make this notion a reality.


If you sell a product, surround it with services that allow you to create a better product experiences and repeat sales. If you sell a service, ask yourself what products might enhance your services or be used to create a trail priced version of your service. Ponder these lists of questions as you consider your gaps.


Product/service questions
• What is your free or trial offering?
• What is your starter offering?
• What is your “make it easy to switch” offering?
• What is your core offering?
• What are your add-ons to increase value?
• What is your “members only” offering?
• What are your strategic partner pairings?

Process questions
• How do you identify an ideal customer?
• How do you use content to build trust?
• How do you nurture new relationships?
• How do you present your offerings?
• How do you orientate a new customer?
• How do you assess value delivered?
• How do you teach and educate?
• How do you handle problems?
• How do you create success stories?


If you can address and fill the gaps from know to refer with products, services and processes that create a winning customer experience, creating a well-oiled referral engine will be your reward. Good luck!

Tags: business, marketing, customer

7 Steps to Sleep Your Way to The Top In Business

January 21, 2010

Filed under: Business

Intrigued? These steps are just foreplay to what really goes on inside the pages of 'Sleeping Your Way to The Top in Business – The Ultimate Guide to Attracting & Seducing More Customers'. Author and Public Speaker, Ben Angel admits his new book is certainly not for the fainthearted. His methods for attracting new clients to business are unorthodox and some would even say controversial.

Angel says, “The marketplace is flooded with lookalike businesses, the only way to stand out and attract more customers is to do something very different. Business can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines and remain quiet. With the advent of social media we have seen a significant rise in the number of channels in which consumers are bombarded with by marketing communications. To achieve cut through it is going to take more than a well designed brochure or website to stand out. It requires much, much more.”

Here are Ben's 7 simple strategies you can use to help you bring in New Customers:

1. Social Proof
Social proof or ‘pack mentality’ provides evidence others have tried and tested the scenario, goods or services beforehand and given it the ‘thumbs up’ of approval. Social proof is often the catalyst needed to assist you to convert prospects to new clients. Apply social proof throughout your marketing material by presenting evidence demonstrating others approval of your offerings. This can be done via: testimonials (video & written), media endorsements, commentary on blogs and published articles in your area of expertise in industry journals and magazines.

2. Packaging (Yourself)
Personal branding is self expression amplified to influence and command attention. Identify your most admirable traits and put them to market. The only thing your competitors can’t copy is the essence of who your are as an individual. Just as we have a business brand, we also have a personal brand. To develop it, answer the following question: “What do you want to be known for and why?” This will form the foundation of your personal brand.

3. Be Seductive
The essence of being seductive is learning how to be interesting. Our whole world is built around stories of interest that grab our attention and draw us in. How do you draw your clients in? Do you tell long winded stories about your business? Or, do you share inspirational ideas in which your clients can get what they want? Become an information advocate and produce content that teaches your clients how they can get the results they want whilst engaging them in the process. This may mean up-skilling yearly and even pulling concepts from other industries to add colour to your conversations.

4. Who to Sleep With
There are movers and shakers in every industry. As a business professional who wants to get to the top, you are going to need to identify who these individuals are and make contact with them. Be-friend them and be sincere about it. It is not what you know but who you know. Identify individuals who have access to your target market on mass but are non-competing. Build relationships and work out ways in which you can assist one another. A friend in business will do more for you than a business colleague who happens to be a friend.

5. Groomed Professional
55% of all communication is visual and it only takes four minutes for someone to lock in a first impression and countless meetings to undo it. Studies prove that the better you look (and look after yourself), the more you will get paid and the better you will be treated. Example: Suits that are structured give you a professional appearance to which others draw conclusions about you, such as – that you are professional, structured and care about the finer details. Make the extra effort and you will convert more clients.

6. Flirt or Fail
To flirt is to behave as though attracted to someone, but for amusement rather than with serious intentions. A 2004 study found that there were two types of flirting – romantic and platonic. Platonic flirting in the work environment makes you memorable and creates a lasting impression compared to your dreary counterparts. What you think on the inside appears on the outside. What’s your inner world saying about you? Express your personality appropriately and you will gain the influence and credibility other’s won’t.

7. Move Me
When in the presence of a prospective client, colleague or the media, you will need to move them emotionally if you want any kind of impression that has lasting impact. Shift them energetically throughout your conversations by getting them to experience various positive emotions whilst in your presence. This could be getting them to laugh several times through to sharing stories about their and your personal or business challenges during the conversation. Whatever you do, do not have a monotone conversation that doesn’t make them smile or laugh. Observe yourself in the next meeting you have and see how interesting you really are.


There you have it - The 7 steps you must do to sleep your way to the top in business. Ben’s book 'Sleeping Your Way to The Top in Business' is available exclusively through his website www.benangel.com.au

Tags: business, marketing, communications, customers, social

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