Wanna cut your marketing budget?

In periods of recession there are two budgets that traditionally get cut – training and marketing.

The argument that always goes back to the Finance or Managing Directors is that by cutting either of these budgets, you are damaging the company’s ability to move forward.  If you cut the training budget there is a good chance that the quality of customer service will slip. If customer service slips, customers generally go to another provider of your service or product. If you cut the marketing budget, how do you effectively talk to your current and prospective customers to maximise your profitability?

Sometimes there is simply no alternative but to cut the marketing budget and then the problem is what do you cut?

Henry Ford (cars) and John Wanamaker (retail) are just two highly successful people who said they know half their advertising was wasted, just not which half.  the problem then is what do you cut when you have to in order to save money?

For B2B companies I believe there is a simple and effective way of knowing what marketing works, and therefore should be kept, and what doesn’t work – and so can be cut:

ASK YOUR CUSTOMERS

Whenever you talk to a customer, particularly when they call you as a new prospect, ask what prompted them to call you.  Although I am sure there have been multiple touches, there will usually be one that sticks in the customer’s mind and, in my opinion, that is the one that counts.  Record that answer in your customer relationship management (CRM) system, in your Excel spreadsheet or wherever you keep your prospect list.  You can then analyse the data, understand your marketing performance and then make the decisions you need to.

If you have to cut money from the marketing budget, it would be mad to reduce the spend on the activities that are bringing in the money but it makes absolute sense to cut, or re-direct, the money that isn’t generating the return on investment you need.

If you would like some assistance in identifying what could be cut, give me a call or click here and I will call you

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Fear Of Flying With Social Media

When Orville Wright made the first controlled, powered aircraft flight over 120 feet in 12 seconds, at a speed of little more than 6 miles per hour on the 17th December 1903, there were naysayers aplenty who grunted that, as an idea, it would never get off the ground! Similar luddite sentiments have always been expressed whenever change threatens to disrupt the entrenched attitudes of the fearful, distrustful and narrow minded! Read more

Fit your offering to your customers’ needs

I was recently asked:

How do I let people know I want to work for them, on a consultancy basis, without directly telling them?  I don’t want to appear desperate

My answer was short and sweet.

Do you know what issues they currently need a solution to?  If you can demonstrate how you have solved other similar needs, they are far more likely to talk to you about your services. If your solutions have been in the same, or similar, industries then there is even more likelihood that they will talk to you.

What happens if you’re moving into a different industry or wanting to work for people you have never dealt with before?  Would the problems they experience not be similar?

Businesses have problems with, broadly speaking:

  • Money
  • People
  • Technology
  • Products

For Money, you can read revenue generation (sales) or, in the case of most public sector organisations, budget management.  For all organisations it is making sure that the money coming in matches or exceeds the money going out.  If you have experience, and stories, that relate to helping this money flow, tell people about them and the benefits realised by your customers.

For People, you need to include all the different stakeholders there can be in an organisation.  The two most obvious are customers and staff, but don’t forget suppliers, shareholders, taxpayers and maybe even the neighbours. Again what benefits have your previous customers derived from your work and how could they be applied to your target organisation(s)?

Technology can cover a wonderful set of issues. They start from the desktop (sometimes the issue is between the keyboard and the chair so does that come under People?) and extend to the various devices.  There is then the software used and the equipment needed to do their jobs. With the exception of people who simply dig holes (and other similar jobs) there isn’t much out there that doesn’t need some sort of technology, whether state of the art or quite old. How aligned is your technology with your business needs?

Finally the Product.  This starts with identifying the right products for your marketplace and extends the “simple” flow of product through the supply chain to the customer via ensuring the retail display works effectively.

Look at what you have been doing for your recent clients and think how that could help others.  I think you will be surprised at how similar a lot of industries are.

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