Passionate People

Posted by Steve Robinson on May 3, 2017

Don’t you just love passionate people?

Yesterday was the first meeting with a lovely lady supported by her husband on their start-up business.

From the moment we started talking, the passion she felt for the product she wants to sell was very evident and extremely infectious.

The couple described the origins and the inspiration for their new product. They shared details about their joint African background and how their roots are what made their product special.

And they talked about the reason they had decided to turn this passion into a product – to raise  money for their local charity.

And the product?

Well, it would be inappropriate at this stage to go into details, but it was absolutely delicious and is sure to be a hit.

Who knows, this budding entrepreneur could become the next Levi Roots.

She has a fantastic product, a great story and a passion to make it work – but not the slightest idea how to make it happen!

So, we’ve agreed 4 steps to build her very own Breakthrough Process;

  1. Get the message right – we’re not selling a product, we are telling the story and telling it in a way that prospects see the passion, understand the value and are excited into wanting to engage.
  2. Plan the marketing – this is a start-up so there is not much money to play with, so once the message is sorted, we will agree what strategies would be best, then build a tactical plan around those strategies to includes all the usual elements (website, social media, product branding and packaging, sampling, referrals, joint ventures and the many other tools available).
  3. Implement the plan – we’ll do this quickly and professionally. However, the biggest concern is that this lovely couple will get over-whelmed so we will implement in a simple step-by-step way.
  4. Review progress – at every step of the way I will teach them to constantly re-evaluate what they are doing. If something doesn’t work and shows no sign of working, we’ll stop and do something that will work. They are on too tight a budget to waste money and time on things that don’t produce clear and measurable results.

Time will tell how they will get on, but one thing is absolutely clear;

Passion is the first step on the road to success!

I would much rather work with a person who has limited knowledge but boundless enthusiasm, wouldn’t you?

So, if you get stuck building your business, try our FREE test drive and let us help you build your own Breakthrough Process.

An adventurous spirit and an irrepressible ingenuity

Posted by Steve Robinson on April 7, 2017

After presenting at a recent seminar, in the Q&A session, one person asked a great question; “How can I make sure that I can run a successful and reusable marketing campaign?”

These are the 5 elements that I shared that I consider essential for any campaign to stand a chance of success.

In my opinion, the 5 essential elements are:

  1. Define your Market Dominating Position (MDP)
  2. Create an effective sales offer
  3. Avoid the marketing pitfalls
  4. Use a world-class marketing perspective
  5. Get results!

Simple! We’ll go through each one of these, so you can see exactly how to use them and how they all affect the overall outcome of your marketing campaign. Once you have these basics down, you can use them over and over again.

1. Define your Market Dominating Proposition (MDP)

Most marketing I see is about what you do, what you sell, how you operate!

Take the time to ask yourself some questions from the perspective of the customers/clients. What would it take to get your attention? What needs do you have that need to be met? What are the promises you want fulfilled?

Once you know the answers to these questions you can start putting together a plan to meet these needs. Then take a look at what, if any, MDP your competitors are using to help you develop your own MDP. Your MDP is what you are “promising” your customers/clients. This is what’s going to set you apart from your competition – you will most certainly need to specialise and you may also need to innovate!

2. Put an effective sales offer to work

To develop an effective sales plan, you need to follow a number of steps:

  • Put together a headline that interrupts your prospect and gets immediate attention.
  • Share benefits of your products/services but from the customers’ perspective.
  • Identify the specific needs met by your products/services.
  • Make it easy to do business with you by offering no-risk guarantees.
  • Share your specific sales proposition.
  • Walk your customers/clients through how they should respond and act.
  • Motivate with a clear, striking and no-risk call to action.

What this all means is, you need to put together what makes your products/services special and compel customers to buy them. But, remember, if they don’t feel like they NEED your product, they won’t buy. You also need to plan for the fact that they may need to buy but not yet. You may, therefore, need to answer a question, solve a problem or even feed an obsession.

You need to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. Buyer’s remorse is one of the worst things that can happen.

3. Avoid the marketing pitfalls

There are a number of major marketing pitfalls that many businesses fall into and you should avoid:

  • Ignore market testing and push on with a poorly researched and inaccurate plan.
  • Offer an incomplete case, or reasons, throughout the marketing plan.
  • Failure to understand the true needs of prospective customers/clients.
  • Failing to diversify the marketing options.

This list is not exhaustive, but these are all areas to avoid. If you’ve been working through these blog articles, avoiding these pitfalls should be easy and natural.

4. Use a world-class marketing perspective

Having a world-class marketing perspective is important, especially if you want to attract customers/clients from all over the world. You can do this a number of different techniques and activities:

  1. Benchmark against the best-in-class marketing companies. As an example, I have always viewed Guinness as one of the best examples of powerful and compelling marketing that has kept a 258 year old brand fresh and exciting!
  2. Linked to this, watch for high quality marketing everywhere you can find and keep a file for future ideas to consider.Always keep an Ideas Journal and scribble down any innovative ideas that occur to you or that you see that you might be able to replicate.
  3. Encourage your marketing department, marketing partner or yourself, to measure everything and then to try new things and dump the things that aren’t working.
  4. Continuously test market your marketing activity. This is the only way to stay successful and know what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
  5. Try finding your own marketing as if you were a prospect and then order from your own company under a different name and analyse the process of ordering, shipping, online store, customer service and the product itself. This may show you areas for improvement in the customer experience.
  6. When out in public, watch how consumers or business customers behave in different situations and how they consider their purchases. Look for how this might apply to your own business.
  7. Take the opportunity to step down a notch or two and work on the front lines with your sales and customer service staff.
  8. Continuously acknowledge hard work from your staff and vendors – not just the successful results. Everyone works better when they feel appreciated.
  9. Seek out and always listen to feedback from employees and customers. Remember, all feedback is a gift!
  10. Offer more relevant and engaging information in your marketing than anyone else. The more information you offer, the more products/services you’ll sell.
  11. A great marketing plan can only get better. Continue to fine tune and refine your marketing plan based on testing results and feedback.
  12. Be classy in your marketing. Make sure your marketing and advertising fits your company image, products/service and quality.
  13. Focus on what you say and how you say it, don’t worry so much about where you say it. The best marketing ideas, if implemented effectively, turn into the best marketing naturally.
  14. Develop all your ads, campaigns and sales materials as if you were wanting to include everything you’ve done into a portfolio of your work. Never produce a piece of marketing that you are not proud of!

By using these techniques you can put your name out there to the world and become one of the top brands in your chosen industry.

5. Get results!

The last area to talk about is the best-satisfied customers. If your customers aren’t satisfied, you’ve wasted all your marketing resources and all chance of positive word-of-mouth advertising. You can satisfy your customers by:

  • Providing quality products/services
  • Providing high quality customer service
  • Providing a low-pressure, highly informative sales experience
  • Taking all the risk away with a great guarantee

As an additional benefit, here’s a couple of simple techniques that work every time to generate more business and create more customer engagement:

  • Build your database with a contest.
  • Do regular mailings with sales, discounts, or other incentives.
  • Find other creative ways to keep your current customers coming back for more.

Guinness will tell you that “It takes adventurous spirit and irrepressible ingenuity to do things the Guinness® way” – perhaps if you approach your marketing with an adventurous spirit and an irrepressible ingenuity, then your brand will be standing proud in 258 years time!

Cheers

Steve

The Imora Marketing Academy

It is so simple! So, why aren’t you starting today? We can help you put together a great marketing plan that will get you results. Try our FREE test drive and find the tools and resources you need built by some of the biggest names in the marketing world.

Can we learn anything useful from celebrities?

Posted by Steve Robinson on December 13, 2016

Yes, and today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, let’s have a look at Paris Hilton.

She is all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.

We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.

Image courtesy of the Daily Mail

Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first is Position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider:

Who can help me meet my goals?

Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

  1. Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt). What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you more memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:

  • Business cards
  • Company message
  • Your picture
  • Your wording

Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)

You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you greet people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.

  1. The third trait of natural promoters is Repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.

You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.

They’re copying you, so copy them back!

Posted by Steve Robinson on November 7, 2016

You will often hear big name business speakers talk about the big name brands they’ve worked with and the marketing strategies those big brands have employed to drive the connections they make to consumers, especially in the B2C arena.

What you don’t often hear about is that many of these companies actually spend a lot of time trying to replicate small businesses!! 

There is a desire in big, lumbering organisations to mimic the nimble, quick-to-market approach of a small company – this is the whole David v Goliath message!

Take, for example, one of the giants in the motor industry, Volvo, who were a very conservative, traditional risk-averse company but who changed their manufacturing process to offer individually tailored cars. This was their ‘build your own car’ programme – and this has now been copied by many of the motor manufacturers. This change was based on the belief that the one-size-fits-all production line for cars was not flexible enough for the consumer demanding a more personalised experience.

Volvo are now focusing their marketing efforts entirely on what they call the “designer’s choice car” – the next step on from the ‘build your own car’ model. Read the full article HERE.

Coca Cola, Marmite and a host of other global brands now have established programmes adding the most common peoples names on their products instead of the company logo. This is big companies wanting to demonstrate the flexibility and versatility of a small business.

So, what does this all mean to you?

Put the shoe on the other foot – here are 4 things that you can learn from big businesses:

1. Bring the experience close to home

Many big companies are doing less sponsorship in local areas now, as they try to focus their reduced budgets and have struggled to justify the ROI on big spending campaigns – so fill the gap in your local market.

Support your local football team or sponsor your local hospice or fund to decorate a significant roundabout – your community will take note of your involvement!!

2. Get your message out now

Big companies will have media agencies to plan their ad campaigns months and sometimes years ahead, but with the proliferation of social media you can make a noise in a very much smaller timescale and with little or no cost. But you must give your messages serious thought first.

The acid test is “what would make you stop and look at this message”. It’s unlikely to be a hard ‘buy this from me now’ sales pitch. Think again about the Coca Cola campaign. This 130 year old brand has outperformed the soft drinks market because they’ve changed a logo for an individual name – what can you change to make your engagement with your customers more personal? And then how can you use social media to promote the change?

3. It’s business, but make it personal

Big companies are very good at selling by using a personal story. And the big organisations that lead the way in this approach are the charities. Consider this very impactful video from Breast Cancer Care – you can’t help but empathise with the individuals.

So in your small business, don’t be afraid to tell the story of your own developments with a view to giving your customers and prospects an understanding of your and your team. In essence, you are giving your company a personality! (But remember the objective here is to grow your business, not just talk about yourself, so always have a point!)

4. Finally, use the data

Big companies spend millions on ‘big data’ and analytics. When you place an order with Amazon, for example, less than 24 hours later you get an email suggesting you review your purchase, or offering other products that you might also be interested in.

The cost of access to these data tools, such as Google Analytics, has plummeted and many are now free. Try different approaches to target your ‘sweet spot’ audience and use the data to review the success, then tweak, adjust and try again until your get exactly the right formula.

Remember, a great idea doesn’t care where it comes from!