Archives for Insights

9 reasons why customers are not all created equal

Not all customers are equally desirable and “everyone” is not a target market. Whilst there will be some subtleties in the way you target your ideal customer or clients there are some common qualities that everyone should be looking for: the ability and willingness to pay, knowing what they want and understanding what that entails in dealing with you (or being prepared to take your advice), and being easy to work with are key. I’ve been doing some networking this week and one of the questions I usually ask in these situations is, “Who is a good customer for you?”
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What is the Marketing Mix?

Many business owners regard “marketing” as being just about promoting their business – blasting out some promotional messages and waiting for the result in sales. A strategic approach to marketing understands that your business needs to offer a total package to customers: this is the Marketing Mix. With seven different elements, this framework enables you to take a holistic approach to meeting your customer’s needs, giving them a compelling reason to buy from you. The Marketing Mix. It’s either a bit of business school jargon – or a useful framework to check you’ve covered all the aspects of your business
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7 marketing objectives – choose the right one for your next campaign

Too often I hear about business owners spending money on a promotional activity because it will “raise awareness”. I don’t often like this as an objective: it’s not enough on its own to drive sales and, for a small business, can be difficult to measure. Marketing resources are precious so must be targeted. A more specific objective – for example, increasing your prospect base or conversion rate – is much easier to measure and monitor, allowing you to learn and adapt your activities. I’ve written elsewhere about how “raising awareness” is not a good enough reason in itself for a small
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5 ways to recognise a gap in your marketing knowledge

As a business owner you need to get to grips with a lot of knowledge you never needed before. There’s no reason why you should be a marketing expert. But, as no business will thrive without a clear focus on its customers, you need a marketing strategy that will help you succeed. Tell-tale signs of a gap in your marketing knowledge include that feeling of fire-fighting, sticking with “what you know” while the world moves on and getting unsatisfactory results from your suppliers. Becoming the owner of your own business inevitably means getting to grips with a whole world of knowledge
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Get SMARTer about marketing to beat the increased costs of doing business

Business owners are seeing extra pressures, such as the National Living Wage and auto-enrolment, leading to extra costs. The government expects you to respond with improved productivity. But another option, understandable when pressures mount up, would be to cut costs and the marketing budget is often the first. But evidence shows that maintaining marketing through tougher times strengthens your ability to succeed. The five principles of SMART marketing give you a framework. What are the new challenges for small businesses? The National Living Wage will mean that workers aged over 25 will be paid a minimum of £7.20 per hour, a change that is estimated to
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11 ways to take a SMART approach to marketing

The smart small business owner takes a SMART approach to marketing, one that is both planned and responsive, aimed at achieving business goals. They are focused on their customers, existing and new; watch their competitors and position themselves accordingly; understand the marketing mix; and appreciate the link between marketing and sales to get the best possible conversion rates. Most importantly, they know that marketing is an investment in growth, not a cost. What is SMART marketing? The SMART approach to marketing, one that is both planned and responsive, aimed sharply at achieving business goals. We know that business owners who are
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Still targeting your market on traditional demographics? Could be time to think again

Many business owners still think of their target market in terms of traditional demographics: age, sex, profession and the ABC1 categorisation. This can lead to stereotyped views of the market that are no longer relevant to that audience themselves. Whilst some products and services naturally fit with certain demographics most brands should consider a more nuanced profiling approach based on values, attitudes and beliefs that cross the boundaries of simplistic categories. Gamers are monosyllabic teenage boys, right? In the UK, most video game players are women and those aged over 44 outnumber those under 18. Social media is the realm of
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9 questions to ask before you choose your marketing tools

Putting strategy into action is at the heart of the Clarity Marketing ethos. Whilst we love a good growth plan, it has to be practical. Before you allow yourself to be sold the “next big thing” in marketing, you need to ask yourself if it will work for your plan. Think about whether it is well targeted to your audience, if it makes good use of your resources or needs additional ones, how it can be tested and measured. And, importantly, whether it will get you a good return on your investment. How do you choose your marketing weapons? Which
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Developing your Value Proposition

The Value Proposition is an important concept in marketing strategy; it is the reason you give your customers to buy from you and not from a competitor. It needs to be distinctive but does not necessarily require huge change or investment. Sometimes little things make a big difference. Your Value Proposition distills that compelling reason into a touchstone for all your marketing decisions. The first rule of developing a Value Proposition is to put yourself into your customer’s shoes. If you can determine a clear Value Proposition for your business, you’re well on the way to laying your marketing foundations. Your
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Do you need to segment your market?

If you serve more than one type of customer then you are in the business of segmenting your market. But are you sure that the basis of that segmentation is still relevant? Whether you operate B2C or B2B you should consider whether traditional ways of segmenting your market still hold true. Either way, you need to get the balance right. A market segment should be worth targeting: big enough to be worth the bother, easy to reach and responsive. A little while ago I fell into conversation with a fellow networker about the advice she’d been given to segment her market. It
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