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




Asking permission

"The modern consumer is under siege. From the moment we wake up to the moment our heads hit the pillow, we are bombarded with unsolicited messages.

Breakfast is served with on-pack promotions, and a barrage of radio and TV ads.  The postman comes with unwanted junk mail.  The once unpartisan taxi or bus to work is branded with a sponsor's livery.  At home or in the office, email inboxes bulge with unasked for, and often unsavoury, spam.  Even our mobile phones brandish branded text messages.

The result: information overload; marketing which fails to connect." - the introduction from 'You talkin' to me?' by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Be polite ... ask permission

I'm sure that we can all relate to this sentiment.  Now put yourself in your customer's shoes and think about how your marketing messages will get any kind of 'air time' with them in this crowded and overloaded world.

One way is to be more and more creative in the delivery of your messages.  That can work well for small businesses as well as the big boys, but it can also work out very expensive to maintain.

A better, and cheaper, way is to get permission before you start to make regular communications to both customers and prospective customers.  That way the person you are communicating with has already made the conscious decision that your communication is relevant to their needs and that you are useful source of information.

Having made that decision they are far more likely to 'filter in' your future communications rather than 'filter them out'. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't continue to work to make the actual communication itself interesting, relevant, timely and, where helpful, creative.

Respect the customer's request

Adopting this approach does open you to one unfortunate situation ... your target customer may refuse you their permission. And even once given, permission can be withdrawn later.

The golden rule here is to respect the customer's wishes.  If they really don't want you to communicate with them, carrying on regardless will not endear you to them nor reverse their opinion.  In fact, ignoring their express wishes is a good way to lose them as customers for all time.

It is important therefore that you maintain a robust record of who has, and who hasn't, given you permission to contact them with marketing messages.  A CRM database is a good idea, but whatever tool you use it must be kept up-to-date.

There is some good news though.  Even when a customer has refused you permission to write, email or phone them with new product or service information and other marketing messages, you can still communicate with them ... by providing exemplary service at every sales opportunity.  Make sure that they feel truly valued as a customer and that they understand that your offer really is best in class.

That way they'll come back to you for information when they need it and will continue to buy from you in the future.

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.


You Talkin' To Me?

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)


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