Blogs - The Prudent Marketing Company

Video Marketing – Explainer videos explained

Video Marketing - You TubeA short video can be a great way to explain your business online.  Video Marketing can help increase your Website conversion rates and reduce your cost of acquisition. They can encourage referrals, improve your Search Engine Optimisation and if you get it right, they can go viral.

Video is easy for your prospects to understand and show cases your brand’s personality. Video Marketing can be just what someone needs to understand how your service or product could help them.

Here is a video we produced for Crunchers Accountants.

Crunchers position themselves as Alternative Accountants because they are different to traditional accountants. They work to keep costs low and look to do more for clients than accounts and tax returns.

Trust me I know because they are my accountants – not only do they take care of the accounts we’re working on business planning and budgets – all in the Cloud.   

A video like this can take a few weeks to produce because you need a strong concept, script and story board.  We can offer a fixed price or a rental agreement, if you want to avoid an upfront cost. This can enable you to test different concepts.

Feel free to call or email me if you’d like to discuss using videos – and give Bob a call at Crunchers if you’d like to explore a fresh approach to accounting.

Don’t leave Referral Marketing to chance

Marketing advice for small businessesOne of the biggest mistakes made by most business is leaving referrals to chance.  In other words, not having a referral marketing system and instead relying on the fact that you ‘do a good job’ to encourage people to refer you to others.  And some people will do just that out of the goodness of their own heart.  Others however, will think you always look busy and probably don’t need any more business.  Whilst others may just not take the time to think about who to refer you to, because they are so busy.

My point is that “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”.  Or, more accurately, you never MAXimise your referral possibilities.  So you must plan.

Let’s have a look at the numbers!  Suppose you have 100 clients and your plan is to ask each of them once per year for a referral.  Let’s say that as a result you get 100 referrals (note – some clients will not give you any referrals, whilst others will give you 5 or 6).

Then let’s say that because of the quality of referrals in terms of leads you convert 50% of these into sales.  What has just happened?  You have just grown your business by 50%, with no marketing risk whatsoever.

So how can you MAXimise this?  Well let’s get a little adventurous and say that we are going to ask for referrals twice per year, or even four times per year.  I am sure you get the picture.

Then when you have thought about your current clients the next question to think about is who else will give you referrals?

This list could include:

  1. Prospects you did not sell to
  2. Sports club members
  3. Networking contacts
  4. Your family
  5. Your friends
  6. Club members
  7. Your suppliers (especially those who benefit if you sell more)
  8. Your bank manager
  9. Your accountant
  10. Your solicitor
  11. Your PR or press contacts
  12. Your marketing advisors, designers
  13. Business organisations
  14. Trade associations
  15. Companies selling similar non competitive products into a similar market as yours
  16. Your printers
  17. The list goes on and on.

So, what are you going to do about Referral Marketing? 

How many times are you going to ask for a referral?  What are you going to say?  Who is the best person to ask?  How are you going to train them?  What is success?  In other words, what would a good target of success be for this Referral Marketing plan?  Could you set a target to win 10 referrals per month and to close 50% of those?

If you need help with referral Marketing, simply call The Prudent Marketing Company on 01256 345 556.

Marketing Training Basingstoke

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Marketing Training Basingstoke workshop.  It was packed full of relevant, up-to-date content, covering a variety of marketing techniques that all delegates on the course could use and optimise within their organisations.  The workshop was well-structured with Steve continuously asking for our opinion, sparking countless discussions. I found it very engaging and interactive.  The environment was very relaxed,  and I felt comfortable asking questions (however silly they were)! Finally, Steve provided great resources to take away from the session.  I am looking forward to the next one!”

Maisie Cole – K3 Consultancy and Training Services

Basingstoke Business Exhibition

We had a great day at ‘The Basingstoke Business Exhibition’ yesterday.  We got 86 leads and a big thank you to the organisers for a well ran and very well attended event.

Prudent Marketing Company

Internet Marketing Advice | Your website does not work…

Marketing tips clock

Would you like a 30 page report on what is wrong with your website?  The cost is only £50+ VAT and it covers:

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Key words
  • Mobile compliance
  • Content
  • Words
  • Links
  • Social media rating

I hope you are like me and you think signing up to this is a NO BRAINER!!  By the way, I am assuming that you are one of the 98% of businesses who have a website that does not create leads.

To sign up give us a call on 01256 345 556.

Internet Marketing Training Hampshire

Marketing AdviceShould you and your team attend a specific conference, workshop, or other training event?  Getting out of the office sounds like a no-brainer, but when you start thinking about taking time “off,” traveling, paying for the conference itself, and what you’ll actually do once you get there, the answer starts to feel a little less clear.

So how can you work out whether it is “worth attending”?  How can you make the right decision to send your team… or not?  Your decision will depend on what your team does, what your goals are, and how much budget you have available, below are some questions you can ask yourself to work out whether you should be attending the event.

1) Will the training help you develop better relationships?

Many people overlook the value of developing relationships with clients, partners, and customers at in-person events. These opportunities can be few and far between, so putting some of your budget towards conferences that allow you to have that face-to-face time can be worth it.

2) Will the event help you generate quality leads?

The best conferences you can attend will not only bring in leads for your company, but also educate your team, strengthen external relationships, and help your team develop skills related to their jobs.

Which leads us to our next point…

3) Can you prove ROI to management?

Return on Investment: A term marketers are all too familiar with. Proving a conference’s value to your management can be a challenge, especially if your company is on a tight budget. And how do you prove ROI before you’ve even booked your ticket to the conference?

Though you can’t really calculate ROI until after you’ve spent the time and money attending, here are two things you could use to uncover the conference’s potential impact:

  • Opportunity Cost: If you don’t send your team, what would you be missing out on? What knowledge or skill set would you not be developing to grow at your job and ultimately help the company? What connections would you miss out on? The answer to these questions can be tricky to find, but Googling the event’s past reviews could come in handy.
  • Competitors: Are they going to the event? Knowing this information can help understand the potential ROI — if your competitors had success last time, it means that there’s a market of people at the event who could be a good fit for your company, too.

4) Are there speaking opportunities available?

You don’t have to just be an attendee to get value from a conference.

For example, there might be an opportunity to speak about something you’re an expert in. Maybe the conference website has a call for interested speakers, and you could sign yourself up. Or maybe you know someone who’s running the event, and you send ’em a quick note explaining your interest in speaking. Or maybe you see a panel already booked on the website that you know you could add value to, and you let the organizers know. By being a speaker, you not only can establish yourself as a credible expert, but you also have a handy “excuse” to tune into the rest of the sessions that day.

5) Can you easily make connections with others on social media?

Sometimes, engaging on social media with other event attendees can be just as valuable as actually attending the conference. Many conferences will have a hashtag, a Twitter account dedicated to the event, a place to take pictures, live video streaming, and more, giving you lots of opportunities to meet and connect with other people at the conference. If a conference doesn’t make this easy for you, you might need to get creative to find new, interesting people to meet. (And those efforts could be time-consuming and/or expensive.)

6) Can you blog about it after? (And will that blog post perform well?)

As an inbound marketer, you’re always trying to figure out what piece of content to create next. When you’re evaluating an event, take a second to consider whether you could create any content from the conference that your readers would want to read about. Could you recap one of the panel discussions or find time to interview one of the best speakers for your next blog post?

If the answer to these questions is “yes,” this event could be of great value for you. Blogging about your experiences will give you a chance to better engage with your fellow attendees and get traffic to your site. If you do a really bang-up job on the post and the conference coordinators notice, you might even use that post as proof that you should be considered for the following year’s speaking roster.

If you’re going to a technical, job-focused event that doesn’t pertain to your audience, you might not want to write about the event itself, but you might be able to use some of the skills you learned from the conference in your next post.

7) When you’re out of the office, who (or what) is going to manage your marketing responsibilities?

Do you have the right tools put in place to manage your work while your team is out for a few days? While the answer to this question may not make or break whether you actually attend the conference, it’s a crucial question to ask yourself before you commit. Here are a few processes you will need to set up while you’re gone:

  • Set an out-of-office automatic response for your work email. They don’t have to be dry — here are some funny and creative ways to write an out-of-office message.
  • Schedule external content (emails, blog posts, social posts) to send while you’re gone. This way, you’re not sacrificing traffic- or lead-generation while you’re not physically sitting at your desk.
  • Ensure you’ve set clear instructions for those who won’t be attending in case anything goes wrong. If the intern is hanging back while you’re out, you will need to make sure you let her/him know what to do when X person calls or emails, or if the CEO asks for a status update on something.

8) Will the event help you and your team grow professionally?

The right conferences not only allow you to meet smart, inspiring people, but also teach you a ton — especially in skills that make you a more well-rounded professional. So when you’re evaluating a conference, think about whether the people from your team can attend and actually develop new skills. This will happen even more naturally if you are attending the conference with other people from your organization that are on different teams — the conference can help you make better internal connections and better understand your team’s world.

9) Is this a good team-building opportunity?

Something gets the team out of the office and into a setting where everyone can relax and relate to each other — like an industry conference — can work wonders for team bonding. Developing closer connections helps people work better together and makes them happier. When that next difficult, time-consuming project comes up, everyone might be much more willing to jump in and help their fellow coworker.

What other questions do you ask yourself before committing to attending an event?

Marketing Company Hampshire – The 7 reasons why your website does not work

Marketing Advice

Marketing Company Hampshire | The 7 reasons why your website is not performing

No.1 – Not getting found on search engines.

Having a nice looking website means nothing if it does not get traffic! Yet every day business owners say to me “Our website does not win us any business and so we are getting it re-designed”.  How stupid!

These people end up with a better looking website, that still wins no business!  You have got to Search Engine Optimise (SEO) your website, so that it gets found on Google.

Two questions

  1. Do you think that people are going onto Google and searching for what you do?
  2. Are these people finding you, or your competitors?

No.2 – Relying solely on search engines

If you pay to get your website optimised and it appears to get your business found on Google, then that is great, but what happens when Google decides to change the criteria it uses to rank websites (like it did on 14th April 2015)? Now your website is no longer on the first page on Google, along with you losing the £100,000 per month you were making from your website.  Why?  Because no one can find your business on it any more.

It is better therefore to have multiple streams of income, or in this case multiple ways of driving traffic to your website, including:

  • Search engine optimisation
  • PPC Advertising
  • Banner advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Blogging
  • Etc

How effective are you at driving traffic to your business?

No.3 – Not using Google analytics

If you do not use Google Analytics, then how do you know what is working and what is not?  The truth is that most people say to me – “I think it is installed on our website, but I am not sure”.  Others tell me – “Yes we look at it once per month to see how many people look at our website, but we don’t use it to grow our business”.

No. 4 – Your website is unclear and cluttered

So many of the websites that I see are too cluttered.  They often have ten calls to action and fifty things people can click on, and that is just on their home page.  As yourself – What is the primary purpose of this page?  What do you want people to do as a result of visiting this page?

No.5 – Poor conversion of traffic

People occasionally tell me that they get 20,000 people to their website in an hour, day, week, month, or year.  When I ask them how many leads that creates, they either have no clue, or they look very sheepish and say something like, three per month.  What ever your conversion rate is right now, it is not good enough and you should be working at improving it.

No.6 – Poor page structure and CTA

What is the CTA (call to action) on each page of your website?  Do you have enquiry forms, sign up forms, special offers, or incentives.  Are you offering something for free in order to get contact names, company name, tel number and email address?  Are you following these people up?

No.7 Poor design

I have left this until last as it is probably the least important.  It is also the area that most people focus upon if their website is not working, and this is totally the wrong thing to do.  I have seen really poorly designed websites that pull in lots of business and I have seen lovely designed ones that create no leads.  The worst example of this was a lady who attended one of my workshops.  Her company had spent £50,000+ on a new website and six months later the site had produced zero leads.  When I asked her how much she had spent on Marketing the site, her reply was nothing at all.

 

Marketing Company Berkshire | So you’re going to a conference?

Marketing Advice and tipsWhat’s in store for you? You’ll attend dozens of sessions led by professionals in your industry, meet lots of new people.

If you’re a conference-going expert, you probably have your own list of tried and tested tactics for making the most of a conference. (If so, we’d love to hear in the comments.) But if not, here are our thoughts…

Preparation

The quickest way to throw away hundreds of dollars (besides actually throwing them away) is to go to a conference without sitting down and formulating a plan first.

It’s not exactly military statecraft, but it’s essential. I guarantee there will be no time to stop and pause once you arrive at the event, so take some time to complete the following items before you board that plane/train/bus.

1) Review the agenda

This one’s a no-brainer. Set a goal for what you’d like to learn at the conference, and use the agenda to devise a plan specifically tailored to that goal. Make sure to attend conference-wide events like keynote addresses. Most conferences won’t hold breakout sessions during these presentations, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on anything else.

When it comes to smaller sessions, consider both the speaker and the subject matter. Highly tactical sessions are generally useful to attend regardless of who leads them. However, sessions less directly related to your profession can be valuable as well if they’re led by an industry figure you’re angling to meet.

2) Orient yourself

Familiarize yourself with the conference space so you don’t get lost. You don’t want to miss important information, or for a roomful of people to form a negative first impression of you by showing up late.

If you’re attending a smaller conference, it should be enough to take a half hour or so the night before or early in the morning on day one to walk around the space. For larger conferences, this might not be feasible, especially if the show will be held across multiple venues. Grab a map from the host, and keep a copy on your phone or print one out to reference between sessions.

3) Find out who’s going

The people you’ll attend sessions with are as important as the sessions themselves. There’s no better time to network with your peers, connect with new prospects, or touch base with customers than at a conference.

Most conferences will have a Facebook event page and/or a Twitter hashtag set up. The conference hosts will start promoting these pages in advance of the event, and they’re a great way to keep track of acquaintances and people you’d like to meet.

Don’t count on simply running into prospects at the conference. Instead, reach out to them ahead of time to let them know you’ll both be in attendance. This way, you can book time on their calendars and have their full, undivided attention instead of trying to cram a 15-minute conversation into a stop-and-chat.

4) Set an out-of-office reply

Let’s be honest: You’ll probably be checking your work email during the conference. But even if you are, you definitely won’t be able to respond at the same clip as you do in the office. Make sure prospects and customers know why they might not hear from you for a few days by setting up an out-of-office reply.

(For inspiration, check out these hilarious examples of out-of-office replies.)

5) Bring the right gear

Conferences are multi-day affairs where you’ll be booking long hours each day. To remove as much stress as possible from your experience, make sure you’ve taken care of these things before you board the plane:

Keep your phone and laptop chargers with you. You’re going to spend a huge part of your day on your devices — don’t get caught with dead batteries.
Pack enough business cards. Make sure you have some on hand and a stash in your luggage. You never know how many people you’re going to meet.
Bring the materials you need for demos. By no means should you spend the conference pitching to people who don’t want to be pitched. However, if one of those pre-set prospect meetings turns into a real sales opportunity, it’ll be more efficient — and impressive — if you can provide a walkthrough on the spot.
Once You’re There
You’re here … Now what? The next few days will be a whirlwind of activity, but don’t be overwhelmed. You’re armed with a goal and a plan — there are only a few additional things to keep in mind to help you make the most of your time.

6) Register early

You don’t want to be stuck at the registration desk while everyone else is off to the races. Register as early as possible so you can minimize your time standing in lines and maximize your time learning and meeting people.

7) Divide and conquer

If you’re attending with coworkers, try and see as much as possible. If each of you attends the same sessions and events, your company might as well have only sent one of you. Splitting up for sessions will maximize how much you’re able to learn and ensure that each of you has unique insights to take back to your company. Plan to get lunch or dinner each day to regroup on key takeaways.

Flying solo also means you’ll each be able to meet more people. Huge conferences can foster pack mentality, but the more attendees you can meet and speak with, the more of an asset you’ll be to your sales team. Discovering how your business fits into the larger industry and how other companies run their sales divisions are invaluable insights. A conference is an unparalleled opportunity to pick the brains of your competition and your market. Don’t waste it.

8) Connect with your customers

Sure, you might have exchanged emails with your customers in the last few months, but nothing beats a face-to-face interaction. If things aren’t going so well, this is a great opportunity to address any issues before you get a cancellation call. But don’t feel as though you have to solve every problem today; talk through any high-level concerns your customer may have and then set a follow up time for after the conference.

And if things are going well, checking in will not only reinforce your relationship — it’ll also be fun! Enjoy spending time with a happy customer, and listen for upsell opportunities.

9) Follow up with prospects

You’ve set up meetings with prospects. Now, put that time to use. Listen to their anxieties and concerns, and demonstrate how your product can help address those issues and bring their business to the next level.

Don’t go into these meetings expecting to close deals on the spot. Like you, your prospects are attending this conference to learn and gain expertise. Use these conversations to set yourself up for future targeted conversations addressing specific pain points or questions. Close each conversation with a list of takeaways, and let prospects know you’ll be following up with relevant materials.

10) Participate in the larger conversation

Most conferences will have a dedicated hashtag. During the event, make sure you’re tagging your tweets and Instagrams properly. You can also monitor the hashtag throughout the conference to see what people are talking about. Striking up a conversation online is a great way to reach out to someone you’re interested in meeting but haven’t come across in person yet.

(And if you’re not active on social media, here’s a primer on why you should be.)

11) Stay organised

Conferences are information avalanches. Between breakout sessions, workshops, one-on-one conversations, and happy hours, you’ll come away with more notes, names, and numbers than you can possibly remember. This wealth of information will serve you well going forward, but if you come home with a mess of business cards and a set of notes without labels or tags, you’ll spend double the time organizing everything and trying to recall what you discussed with “Jennifer Chicago CEO.”

Thankfully, it’s not hard to keep yourself on track, so long as you strike when the iron’s hot. Write on the back of people’s business cards to remind yourself of the salient points of your conversation, or digitally capture the cards and take notes in an app such as CamCard. Include details about what session or happy hour you met them at — anything that will jog your memory a day or a week after the fact.

If you take notes by hand, you should at the very least include headings and start a new page at the beginning of every session, lest your notes become one long run-on list of bullet points. If you’re more inclined to keep everything digital, Evernote is one of the apps all salespeople should have. You can create a dedicated notebook for your conference notes, and tag each note with multiple labels to organize any way you want — by topic, speaker, or even which day the session took place.

Postgame: Once You’re Home
Take some time to decompress after you arrive home. … But not too much, because your work’s not finished. The days and weeks after a conference are when you’ll be able to put everything you’ve learned to use and turn your short meet-and-greets into fruitful business partnerships.

12) Do some housekeeping

All that information you gathered from customers and prospects? It’s time to transfer it into your CRM. Jot down everything you can remember from your conversations so that when you follow up, you’re able to view new insights in the context of the larger relationship.

13) Follow up

Connecting with people you met during the conference is best done in the days immediately following your return. Send follow-up notes and LinkedIn requests while the conference is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Include a personalized message to accompany your request on LinkedIn. Remember, everyone’s inbox will be flooded, so make yourself memorable by reminding your new connection what you discussed. Check out this guide to writing the perfect LinkedIn invitation for more advice.

Now is also the time to make use of the insights you gained from your prospects. Whether it’s sending them content or scheduling a demo, make use of what you learned from your one-on-ones to get them closer to signing on with your company. Make sure your follow-ups are appropriately tailored to what you discussed — another reason you’ll want to organize your notes.

14) Teach

The insights you gained at the conference are likely to be useful for your team, so make sure to set aside time to pass on what you learned. Whether it’s leading an in-person session or writing an email or post to document the most valuable information, proactively sharing information will help your colleagues do better work while establishing you as a leader on your team.

There’s no better place than a conference to take stock of the state of your industry and your profession. Make the most of your time, and have fun!

What other conference tips do you have? Share with us in the comments below.

Dunn & Bradstreet Report

Marketing Advice

Dunn & Bradstreet recently conducted a survey into business success and failure of thousands of businesses.  They were looking at the reasons businesses succeed and the reasons that they fail.  They found that – Businesses succeed because of high sales.  Businesses fail because of low sales.

Basically, if your sales, revenues and cash flow are high enough, you can get through almost any business problem.  If your sales are too low it is almost impossible to survive.

I have a question for you.  What is the most important work that you do?

The answer is ‘THINKING’.  Your ability to spend time thinking will determine the entire quality of your business and your life and since thinking is the process of asking and answering questions, then it is clear as a business owner that you need to ask more and better quality questions.

Sometimes asking and answering just one question can set your business off in an entirely new direction. 

For further advice and tips on business and how to create more Sales go toMarketing and Sales Advice.

Why your website does not work?

You get an amount of people to your website.  What is your conversion rate?  Let’s say you get 1,000 people to your website per month and that equals 20 enquiries.  The question is – how can you increase your conversion rate from 20 to 30, or to put it anyother way.  how can you get a 50% increase in your number of enquiries.

In this video Steve Mills AKA The Prudent Marketer will tell you what is wrong with most websites.

 

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