6 reasons you should invest in marketing now

picture of tree and sapling to illustrate article about reasons why you should invest in marketing nowNobody is buying, why should I invest in marketing?

With the latest restrictions imposed by the government, this is a question that many will be asking. With these restrictions potentially in place for six months, why should I not just wait until they are lifted before starting my marketing again? Why should you invest in marketing now? Here are six reasons why you should invest in marketing now…

People forget

How many emails do you get a day, even discounting those you delete immediately? How many WhatsApps and texts? Add on phone calls and all the marketing messages you see on the odd occasion you leave the house these days. There is only so much room in our minds before older, perceived less important, messages get pushed to the back of our minds and then (if you have watched Disney’s Inside Out) to long term storage.

You have to keep your brand and how you help your target audience in the front of their minds. To do that you have to have a consistent marketing programme.

Brand reinforcement

You aren’t the only company out there that does what you do. SME Needs is not the only company helping small businesses improve their marketing. We all have to keep reminding people about the value we deliver, so they remember the brand and they remember how we can help them. You have to remind your target audience and I have to remind you!

Climbing the priority ladder

You have any number of priorities to deal with. In these difficult times, you will be juggling these priorities. You will be trying to work out what really are the priorities and then making sure you don’t drop them. Your Ideal Clients will be doing exactly the same thing. They will, as you do, get any number of messages telling them why other things should be high on their priority list. If budgets are tight, as they are for many at this time, it is only those right at the top that are acted upon. The rest will have to wait.

Getting your share of their wallet

Unless what you sell is deemed a real luxury, what you sell should eventually reach the top of the priority ladder. As the third of our reasons why you should invest in marketing how, we think this is a pretty important one! When things ease again (as they will eventually), you want your target audience to be opening the company wallet and giving you some of what is available. Of course your competition want that share; what happens if they have been marketing and you haven’t?

Staying ahead of the competition

At this point, you’re hoping your competitors are thinking the same as you – why should we invest in marketing now. What happens if they are following the Kellogg’s example of the 1920’s and 30’s? You can read more detail here, but put succinctly, Kellogg’s continued marketing in the Great Depression, whilst their main competitor, Post (??!) cut back. Kellogg’s captured the market and you’re probably never heard of Post!

If your competition are still actively marketing, can you risk not maintaining your marketing activity?

Can you pivot?

Just because you have always delivered a certain solution to a certain target audience, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to change? If you can identify an opportunity to solve a real problem that people are facing during this pandemic, you need to tell them. Of course, this does mean that you change your marketing, but you are still getting your brand out there. You will still be remembered, even if it is in a different sector. If this is the case, you have permission to divert SOME of your marketing activity and budget. If you divert all of it, you risk losing your other markets when the economy returns.

People Forget

It’s been a couple of minutes since you read the 2nd paragraph of this blog. Your phone had bleeped a few times and your inbox is a little fuller. Lots of distractions and other messages have arrived in that time. If you can get distracted in two minutes, imagine what will happen in, up to, six months!

So here are 7, well 6, reasons you should invest in marketing during the pandemic . Any questions?

If we have, let’s talk. Click here or call us on 020 8634 5911

How to improve your email marketing performance by at least 50%

Email is still one of the best performing marketing channels. With 281 billion emails sent every day, including over one billion per day by Mailchimp, it may seem that your Inbox is flooded and individual emails will be missed. But with a few simple changes to how you run your campaigns, you can easily increase your email marketing’s performance. Let’s talk you through how to improve your email marketing performance by at least 50% in just two minutes.

1. Send your email campaign as normal

Whatever your email campaign is about, send your campaign in your normal way.

2. Replicate your emailreplicate your email campaign

Whatever email marketing platform you use, you will be able to do this. Some may not be as easy as Mailchimp makes it, but the steps shown here are all achievable in every platform.

  • Go to your Campaigns list
  • Find the email campaign you have just sent.
  • Click Replicate. The idea is that you will be sending exactly the same email.

If your email marketing tool doesn’t give you a one-click option to do this, you should be able to either copy the HTML code or copy the contents and simply paste into a new campaign.  The replicated campaign will be titled the same as the previous one, plus (Copy 1). Keep this title, as it allows you to identify them in the future and measure your own performance.

3. Edit your audience

edit your audience for your email campaign

The last thing you want to do is upset the people on your mailing list, so you don’t want to send your email campaign to either:

  • The people who have already opened it
  • The people that isn’t relevant to

To do this…

1.       Campaign Activity – who were sent – [name of campaign]

2.       Campaign Activity – who did not open – [name of campaign]

It is very important you select ALL at this stage.  If you don’t, you will send the 2nd email to lots of people you didn’t mean to.

 

If you choose ANY rather than ALL, the following will happen…

1.       It will go to everyone who you sent the original campaign to

2.       It will go to everyone in your list who didn’t open the campaign, whether they were sent it, or not.

 

4. Edit the Subject Lineedit the subject line to improve email marketing performance

If your previous subject line didn’t get people to open it, they are unlikely to open it next time, if you use the same subject line.  Change the subject line. Perhaps ask a question, challenge them, or refer to another way this replicated email campaign can help the reader.

 

5. Schedule within 48 hours

Dependent on how time sensitive your email is, you may want to do this just 12 hours later, but it should be soon after the first campaign.

 

Once you have sent the replicated campaign, you will be able to see whether you an additional 50% opened it, or even more.

 

Historical Results

To support this article, we analysed data from email campaigns run by some of our clients over the last few years.  The data looked at 628 email campaigns over the last 5 years.

Average Open Rate on first email: 23.8%

Average Open rate on Replicated email: 16.0%

This equates to a 51.25% increase in the number of people who read the email

The replicated campaigns added a further 35% to the number of people who clicked through.

Of course, we cannot guarantee this will be the case for everyone, as it will vary from company to company. Rates across the client data analysed ranged from 24 – 69% increase in open rates, and clickthrough rates ranged from 34% – 64%.

 

If you want to improve your email marketing performance, get in touch or give us a call on 020 8634 5911

 

5 expert ways you can benefit from your brand advocates

brand advocacy strength

Brand advocacy is the ultimate goal for small businesses that helps strengthen your competitive advantages.

Marketing has generated the lead. Sales has closed the deal and Operations has delivered a great service/product. You have a very happy client; a brand advocate. What can you do from this point to maximise the benefit your small business gets from this?  Here are 5 ways you can use the brand advocacy to your advantage… 

This is the final blog post in ‘activate fierce brand loyalty’ series.  

 “What about you and me?” 

This is what a client would ask when they consider active advocacy towards your brand. 

The answers to the questions below that relates to why a client would think of choosing you can be found in the previous blog posts: 

Through a combination of brand awareness, understanding of performance levels, strength of imagery, forming positive judgements and experiencing positive feelings, a potential B2B client feels inclined to work with you.  

They are in-sync with you and your brand.  

Your client feels a deep psychological bond with your brand and everything it represents. 

To maximise this intensely positive relationship, there are five key areas that can increase your advantages.

Ask for a testimonial 

A happy client will say great things about you and your business, but sometimes you need to nudge them just a little. 

When you talk to them, for example as a project is finished, ask for a testimonial. They can either say something during the conversation, or email something to you. Use that testimonial across your online and print marketing collateral.  

If you add the testimonial to LinkedIn or Twitter, make sure you mention them in the text (@insert name) so they get notified and either Like or comment – a further endorsement. 

If they could do their testimonial as a video, that would be even better! 

Their words, and feelings, can be tremendously powerful. 

Ask for a referral 

Who do they know who could also use your services/products? When doing this, try not to use the word anyone – it makes things surprisingly difficult. 

  • Perhaps they are connected to someone you’ve been trying to get hold off. Could they do an introduction? 
  • Be specific if you cannot identify a person. Who do they know in this role in this industry sector? Of course, this will have followed on from you researching their clients and their network. 
  • Ask for three. That way you may get one. 

Prospects who have been referred by a brand advocate become clients at a far greater rate than any other lead source. 

Invite them to Events 

Nobody likes someone that talks too much about themselves! That is just what you have to do as a

 small business when marketing yourself.  Sincerity is something highly valued when building business relationships. 

However, it is much more powerful to have a client who has built a strong relationship to represent your brand. Conversations ensue in the hustle and bustle of a lively event your hosting. 

In and amongst you speaking for and representing yourself, you would want advocates in the crowd to support your claims. Their intensely positive experience with you carries a weight you cannot replicate yourself. The marketing happens organically and likely to be received better. 

Develop a case study 

A well-built case-study goes a long way for a small business. It helps communicate a story that relates directly to an advocate’s experience with your brand.  

This is a fantastic tool to utilise an existing advocate to generate further leads. Prospects will search for answers as they require services for their business. It is second nature to Google and research. Especially when a large sum of money is in the equation relative to the size of the business. 

A case study narrative helps a prospect discern: 

  • The advocate’s original challenge 
  • How your business presented a solution 
  • How the solution was implemented practically  
  • The results, a prospect always wants to know what the end results are 

Go to networking events they go to 

Make the most out of that intensely positive relationship by frequenting network events they attend.  

The relationship will sell itself. Remember, however, this is a networking event so don’t monopolise their time. 

Both parties mutually benefit. Through prompting and suggesting one another if a conversation occurs where anything that connects to your brand or service is mentioned. 

There is an underlying trust and loyalty fostered over time between you and your advocate and your presence reminds them of the pleasant experience they have had with you. 

Looking to strengthen your brand advocacy? 

Do you need advice on how to strengthen your brand advocacy through your marketing efforts? SME Needs is ready with expert advice, planning and implementation of your specialised marketing plan.