Memorable marketing solutions exclusively for small businesses in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire    Aug 2008

 

 

 

Making marketing pay ...

"We know that about half of our marketing spend is wasted ... it's just that we don't know which half!" 

This comment, variously attributed to J Walter Thompson, isn't as apocryphal as it seems.  I meet far too many business owners who accept that some marketing spend will always be wasted and that they really can't tell me which bit it is in their case.

Be brave and just say NO

The phone rings ... a pleasant voice offers you a special price for an advert in a magazine ... "we've been let down by a regular advertiser and it's the last space that we've got in this issue.  I've been given special permission to offer you this at just 500 including artwork set-up, but you need to decide today ..."

It could as easily be an advert on a wall chart with your local Chamber of Commerce, a discounted space in a second Yellow Pages directory, or a thousand logo'd pens.

I'm sure that you've all received calls like these.

Every now and then one of my clients calls me to ask what they should do having just been called like this. My response is always the same.  "Is advertising in that magazine (or wall chart or whatever) part of the marketing strategy that we have agreed?"  If not then don't do it ... no matter how attractive it might seem on the surface.

Sticking to a structured and agreed strategy for marketing will help make sure that your marketing spend isn't being wasted at all.  Each marketing activity has a defined role in the strategy - all pulling together to generate new business for you.

Don't be tempted to deviate from your strategy. And if you haven't got a strategy for marketing ... be ashamed and then work to create one!

Measure, measure, measure

Where did that last piece of business come from? Was it that advert or was it the new website?  Maybe an existing customer recommended us?

Knowing which parts of your marketing activities are the most effective at moving your strategy forward will help you invest further in the most fruitful and reduce, or even stop, areas that aren't as productive.  But without measuring you'll never know.

Measuring marketing effectiveness doesn't have to be an onerous task.  It could be as simple as asking new customers how they became aware of you as a supplier.  A standard (simple to complete) form by each telephone is a low-tech way to help you and your staff remember to ask and to record the results in a comparable way.

Higher-tech would be the taking of a regular sample of your existing customers (by telephone, email or a powerful online tool such as www.procustomer.co.uk).  Handled correctly this needn't be intrusive for the customers and will generally return some really useful information.

However you choose to gather the information, make sure that you gather 'religiously' and that you take the time to use the results to monitor the return on investment on all of your marketing activities.

That way ... at least you'll know which half of your marketing spend is wasted!

Memorable marketing

Thinking and working pragmatically like this will help you to make your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way. This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors and clearly see the value in buying from you.

If you would like some advice on memorable marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone at another business who might need help, then please contact us. The sooner you start, the sooner you will benefit.

 

Hard-Edged Marketing

Download this handy guide which explains some of the latest thinking on how to get the best from your marketing in order to improve business effectiveness.

Written by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of their Shape The Agenda series, this document makes easy reading for business people of all experience levels.

 

Marketing Effectiveness Assessment

A free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing activities that the business can implement immediately and at low cost.

Download the factsheet now.

 

Useful Links ...

Adduce Marketing

Chartered Institute of Marketing

Marketing UK (information portal)

 

Back Issues ...

Marketing Memorabilia