Grow your marketing knowledge and grow your sales!

  • by Alex Gates
  • 26 Jun, 2017

If you don't have the in-house expert in marketing - there is a strong possibility you have wasted money and lost opportunities. Thought about training? It could not only save you thousands in the long run, but could also get you that competitive edge!

How annoying.

The PR agency that promised the world. But then.... nothing.

The website company that promised an influx of new online business leads. But then... nothing.

The freebie social media workshop that you gave up your precious time for. But then you forgot how to do it all properly... and then... nothing.

This is so very common. Millions of pounds are lost every day on missed opportunities and budget spent in the wrong places - when this could be saved - just by knowing the right way to market your business!

There are a lot of companies who prefer to manage and deliver marketing themselves. Well, it's not going to cost as much if you do DIY marketing. Right?

Well yes. But only if you know what you are doing. Otherwise - if you don't really know the right way forward you will suffer from wasted time, wasted effort and wasted budget.

Knowledge is power, and great marketing brings great results. You just need to know how to go about it all. 

So here is a solution with a difference. 

Marketing training designed for your business. Created and delivered by Marketing Experts who have successfully implemented and delivered marketing strategy for a range of businesses.

This is no ordinary training - it's not text book theory based produced for the masses. Our training is shaped around your business - bespoke to your organisation.

We will not only train you how to market - we will provide you with a marketing action plan for your business to follow and then coach your staff on the 'How to deliver it' part.

The result?

You keep your marketing costs low, you ensure you make the right marketing decisions, your employees gain professional development - but most importantly -  you will start to see the results - increased leads and opportunities flowing into your organisation.

Surely a no brainer for the organisation that wants more from their marketing? Well we think so!

Contact us today for a chat and a quote.

In the mean time here is our 3 step process to great marketing training:

by Alex Gates 20 Jul, 2017
You've tried direct marketing, rebranding, had new leaflets printed, attempted social media, launched a website... even tried some PR.... but you're just not making the headway that you want. 

There is a strong possibility that you can't see the obvious blocks.

Yes that sounds odd, after all ... you know your business and products/services more than anyone... right?

Well that is just it. Your skills, expertise and knowledge may be the exact reason why you could be missing a huge trick.

When you become an expert in your offering, it can be very difficult to talk your customer's language. Technical speak, assumption that the customer will just get it, basing decisions on your own likes/dislikes and behaviour and general incorrect positioning of your product or service are just some of the areas where marketing becomes highly ineffective; becoming a waste of money and effort.

It is vital that your marketing is shaped around your target audience - so profiling who this is and understanding their behaviours to then develop your marketing around them will result in a much more successful return.

From what you are writing in your emails to how your website is structured could actually be turning your would be customers off as you are confusing them or not seeing it from their perspective.

To overcome this common issue, we offer a  'Sales Booster' workshop that will help you to see exactly what you need to do to boost leads and sales into the organisation.

Let us uncover the 'obvious' and help your organisation put in place the right marketing that will generate a great return.

The workshop involves a step by step process to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Identification of where it has been going wrong and how to put this right
  • A clear understanding of who your buyers are and their behaviours
  • A pathway to help would be buyers along the journey to purchase
  • Identification of the most effective marketing channels
  • Have a communication pack that is based on the language that your customers speak so that they understand your messaging quickly
  • Position your products/services so that they are much more attractive to the buyer
  • An action plan to implement and measure
Unlock your organisations potential, contact us today to find out more.
by Alex Gates 28 Jun, 2017

Every day businesses, particularly SMEs who don't have a marketing expert on their team, are wasting valuable budget on poor marketing choices, leading into a whole heap of frustrations and lack of faith in any type of marketing - often resulting in just giving up.

But don't lose faith! You have to find the right path or else your competitors will gain an advantage and your business will be missing out on so many opportunities!

If you're reading this far along - then something is resonating! So just so you know you are not alone, here are the top 5 frustrations about marketing - but more importantly guidance on how you can overcome these:

  1. Spent £Ks on PR and branding and it hasn't generated much . Well first of all you have to ask yourself, what was the key objective? For example, if your key objective is to generate new business sales leads, a bit of exposure in the local press and an update on your logo will not achieve this alone. PR and the right branding are critical in the long term strategy of building up a presence and awareness of your business and helping it to be positioned correctly. Building your hopes on the phone ringing off the hook with a few columns in the local rag or a feature in the trade press will just leave you disappointed. Short, medium and long term objectives, goals and targets should be written down - then you can choose the right marketing tactics to implement to achieve these, this will help you align what the right tactic is against each objective.
  2. Launched a new website - but where are all the leads? It's all well and good having a polished looking website - but the site has to have three key objectives a) to attract traffic b) to engage with visitors c) to convert visitors into leads/sales. Launching a site and sitting back waiting for the leads to fall in, probably won't happen. Your site has to be built with all of this in mind and to support all of your online marketing. First of all to attract traffic it has to be built so that your potential buyers can find you via search engines and social media. If they can't find you via your brand name or what you offer then you really need to address this urgently! Being found online has to be worked at constantly. You do this by having a strategy in place to generate great articles and placing yourself in the right channels and making this a habit. This is not a once a month job!
  3. Use Mailchimp? No-one ever responds? Direct marketing via e-mail isn't easy. Expectations of email marketing seem to be so high for some - but you have to consider who you're emailing. If you are contacting existing customers, then of course they will be more engaged, they know you! If your emails are to a cold list - i.e. these people don't know you - you are cluttering up their inbox along with tens of others that day. Why would they respond to you. They don't know you. To penetrate a new market you have to adopt a progressive communication plan. What this means is that you are starting off with someone who you don't know and then slowly building a relationship and trust with them via a number of channels so they turn to you when they have a need to buy. So one email once every six months won't cut it. Think of each of your prospects as needing at least eight emails over a period of time and that you are taking them on a journey. Opt in is of course always better. So direct emails should always be linked to your website and online marketing activity.
  4. Peaks and troughs of activity? Poor marketing - shoved at the end of the to-do list and picked up when sales look like they're taking a dive. This isn't uncommon. Far from it. However - if you are serious about wanting to grow your business, you have to accept that marketing can't be shoved at the bottom of the list. There is always a way around to ensure consistent marketing activity. Whether this is to carve out time and make it a priority, bring in resource or outsource the task - marketing will generate a return on investment so should not be seen as an expensive waste, it's fundamental in building and growing your business. But only if it's done the right way.
  5. Tried Social Media but it didn't achieve anything? Ok. But let us get to the bottom of why. Did you have a content plan in place to push out valuable information to attract the right audiences? Did you have fun and engaging images or video to catch the eye of anyone scrolling through their feed? Did you mix this with the right type of paid for advertising? Are you engaging two ways with people on social media? Are you doing this every day? Are you using the right hashtags, following the right people? Are you using the right channels? ...... If all you were doing was posting are promotional messages once a week - then yes social media will have failed.
So the crux of it - great marketing isn't easy. You do have to work hard at it, understand it and invest in it.

But if you do, you will get the return you desire.

Do not see marketing as an begrudging expense - view it as a necessary and lucrative investment when approached correctly.

Sound familiar? If you are wanting to grow your business and struggling, contact me us today y to discuss what options are available to you: alex.gates@marketingwand.co.uk

by Alex Gates 26 Jun, 2017
How annoying.

The PR agency that promised the world. But then.... nothing.

The website company that promised an influx of new online business leads. But then... nothing.

The freebie social media workshop that you gave up your precious time for. But then you forgot how to do it all properly... and then... nothing.

This is so very common. Millions of pounds are lost every day on missed opportunities and budget spent in the wrong places - when this could be saved - just by knowing the right way to market your business!

There are a lot of companies who prefer to manage and deliver marketing themselves. Well, it's not going to cost as much if you do DIY marketing. Right?

Well yes. But only if you know what you are doing. Otherwise - if you don't really know the right way forward you will suffer from wasted time, wasted effort and wasted budget.

Knowledge is power, and great marketing brings great results. You just need to know how to go about it all. 

So here is a solution with a difference. 

Marketing training designed for your business. Created and delivered by Marketing Experts who have successfully implemented and delivered marketing strategy for a range of businesses.

This is no ordinary training - it's not text book theory based produced for the masses. Our training is shaped around your business - bespoke to your organisation.

We will not only train you how to market - we will provide you with a marketing action plan for your business to follow and then coach your staff on the 'How to deliver it' part.

The result?

You keep your marketing costs low, you ensure you make the right marketing decisions, your employees gain professional development - but most importantly -  you will start to see the results - increased leads and opportunities flowing into your organisation.

Surely a no brainer for the organisation that wants more from their marketing? Well we think so!

Contact us today for a chat and a quote.

In the mean time here is our 3 step process to great marketing training:

by Alex Gates 21 Jun, 2017
Planning? Marketing? Strategy? Pah. Just haven't the time? Sound familiar? 

Running a business comes with all sorts of challenges - and keeping your customers happy is always going to be a priority.

But what if you are a business that wants to grow? 

Lack of marketing planning, measurement and control leads to missed opportunities and slower growth or worse - no growth at all. Which is a huge disservice to your company.

Time is of course an issue - and the smaller organisation will always struggle with this. You probably don't have a marketing manager on the team due to budget and all marketing is decided by the business owner and maybe, when they have time or when sales are down, delivered by the office junior or manager.  

But when you continue on with this approach and don't take the time to look up and around you  - your competitors will be benefiting from your missed opportunities due to your choice to not adopting a more strategic, planned and controlled way of marketing.

And this in reality -  is down to choice.

What we can't do is magic more hours for you in the day ... nor can we force your hand. But ... if you want to grow ...planning is a must.

It is a known fact that successful entrepreneurs write down what it is they need to do to get to where they want to be - and at some point in their time, they too will have felt that they 'just don't have the time'.

However the difference between them being successful and those who have limited success or worse - who have failed - is that they found the time and they committed resource and budget to the marketing of their companies.

So, you have two choices:

  1. You either make the commitment to grow and put the time, budget and resource aside to plan and deliver a marketing strategy
  2. Or, you continue to firefight and miss opportunities and stay as you are. Or worse, fail.
Sounds harsh? But that's the reality!

If you are in the former category and serious about wanting to grow your business, we have three killer high level questions that we use to form our marketing action plans:

  1. Where are you now?
  2. Where do you want to be?
  3. How are you going to get there?
Answering these questions will create the foundations of a simple and straightforward marketing plan for your business and give you the direction you need.  We aren't into 200 page marketing reports and neither should you be. They're a waste of time, money and effort for the SME. Maybe in the large corporate world they have their uses and give someone a job.  

We always keep things light and action driven. This is where you will gain the most benefit. 

Creating objectives, defining the tactics that you need to implement and then moving onto deliver these and measure them, will provide focus and lead to success. Without any strategy and simply dipping in and out of marketing when you have half an hour a month, posting the odd Tweet or sending out one customer email every six months - will not be effective - having the right approach however will pay dividends.

Investing time and effort into your marketing - will help your business to grow. It will have a return on investment

To understand where you are now, you can use internal metrics such as Google Analytics, volume of sales, leads to sales conversions, leads coming into the business and much more. You can also use external data to understand how big your market place is and how your competitors are positioning themselves and performing.

Where you want to be is often a question that surprisingly, a lot of smaller businesses haven't answered. They haven't set out specific and measurable targets for growth such as what this would been in terms of leads, website traffic, data lists and marketing effort. They continue to just float along without any targets and KPIs and then wonder why at the end of the year sales haven't increased much, at all or declined!

How you are going to get there are the choices of the marketing tactics - direct marketing, advertising, events, online marketing.... you choose the right channels for your business, how you position your offerings to the right target audience and the intensity of activity required to meet your objectives. These have to be carried out regularly and consistently in order to get the best return. 

If you haven't got this in place - do your business a favour and start asking those killer questions today - perhaps your competition have already and are mopping up all of those opportunities while you are so busy with your head down firefighting.

If you really haven't the time - why not ask us to do this for you! Contact us today  to find out more.

by Alex Gates 07 Jun, 2017

Trying to generate interest in your product or service. You send out an email to a list. And.... very little... at worst .... nothing.

You can't understand it? 

Your product/service is bloody amazing. How can they not see that buying from you is a no brainer? The cheek.

What most people don't realise is that they need to set their expectations at the right level when marketing to a new audience.

When you start up a business or launch a new product or service, there may be an influx of sales from people who know you or your business, whether it be existing customers, friends or professional contacts. But what about beyond that?

When it comes to brand new business marketing - it's a whole different ball game. You have to be smarter and much more strategic.

People are much more comfortable to part with their money with a business that they have a relationship with or trust. So you have to appreciate you need to work a little harder to convince. And one email or advert will not do it alone!

In most cases new audiences actually have to recognise their need for your offering before they will even listen to what you have to say.

You have to grow new relationships ... it's a little like dating ... you wouldn't go from a first date to marriage.... well most people wouldn't!

Consistent marketing with the right messaging will build up a relationship and trust with your business. Which does take time, effort and knowledge!

Instead of going in with one email every six months and expecting the phone to ring off the hook - leaving you disappointed - devise a plan. And stick to it!

The plan should be developed to get your audiences to recognise their need, spark an interest to know more, develop a desire to buy so their need can be met and then go in for the close.

This will take more than one email, a tweet or an article in the press.

Most people need to be touched by your business regularly and consistently before they will make a commitment to give their precious time to understand more let alone part with their cash.

Set your expectations and devise a relationship building plan. More effort? Absolutely. Worth it? Definitely.


by Alex Gates 01 Jun, 2017
Many companies fail at email marketing for a number of reasons. Time and resource is usually the two key issues. But these wouldn't be if you had faith in it? If you knew that you were going to generate sales and get a great return - you'd carve out that time to ensure it was done?

If you've tried sending out a couple of mail chimp emails and haven't had much of a return.... well it's not worth it, right?

Well actually. No, that's wrong!

When email marketing is done the right way - which means having the right tools, the right processes, integrated with all of your other marketing, the right content and consistently - the rewards email marketing brings are fantastic. It should be approached strategically not just carried out sporadically and reactively when sales are taking a dip.

With a bit of upfront investment in planning and putting in the foundations - email marketing will have a great impact on your sales.

To help you, here is an infographic that details five key tips of putting in place an email marketing strategy that will work for your business:
by Alex Gates 08 May, 2017
FACT - The right marketing will generate a great return for your business.  

However.... many organisations go through the pain of feeling that they are throwing good money away time and time again. Ultimately resulting in giving up and leaving their competitors to take market share.

This frustration is so very common, particularly amongst owner managed businesses with no marketing expert on the team.

Trust and reliance is placed onto the specialist agency that they approach for help. Then a few months later and a few thousand pound spent and there is very little or, at worst, no return at all.  So how could this be?

Well. It's very similar to someone who doesn't know much about cars - taking their car into a garage for a service. You're reliant on that mechanic advising you correctly and being honest about what is needed and what can be done.  How many horror stories do you hear about that scenario? 

Marketing is very complex. It's a discipline that is studied for years - similar to the length of time and studying required to become a chartered accountant. If you look at the top UK companies they will have a marketing director in place making  and managing all of their marketing decisions. This person will have years of experience under their belt, right across all of the various marketing disciplines, so that they can design the right strategy and pull the right tactics together to grow the business and gain market share. The owner of the business or board of directors certainly don't directly approach a PR agency or advertising agency and leave it in their hands to grow their business. This is all expertly designed and considered by a marketing professional.

In marketing there are so many factors to consider and if you are not an expert you can be taken down the wrong path for your business by an agency that is hungry for sales whether this is right or wrong for your business.

So if you don't have the luxury of an expert on board to devise the right way forward and manage all of the right tactics for you - you will need to understand what is right for your business.

So here is a short list of considerations that you need to think about BEFORE commissioning a company to carry out any form of marketing tactic on behalf of your business:

  • What are your key marketing objectives? To increase sales from new business? To encourage more sales from existing business? To generate better brand awareness? This is key to inform what type of marketing you should adopt to achieve these.

  • Your positioning of your business and products. If this is confusing, incorrect or not attractive, no amount of tactical marketing will generate a good return. The worst thing you can do is commission an agency to drive traffic to your website or generate brand awareness when this is not right, as it will be a waste of time, money and effort if the fundamentals aren't in place.

  • The actual size of your market. This will determine the type of marketing activity you should undertake. For example, spending thousands on a marketing tactic that's more suited for a high volume low cost product, when you have a niche service with a £100K price tag, would also be a waste of time and money.

  • Who your ideal buyers are and their various pathways to purchase. You should know who they are inside out and be able to support the way they want to buy and make it easy and attractive for them. 

  • Ensuring that the processes and systems that you have in place will help you to manage the prospect and customer relationships effectively to get the most from each contact.

  • What internal and external data you have available to learn from and use to inform your choices. This could be size of the market, who your competitors are and their activity, current sales data, changes in the market place (legislation, political changes, technology development etc) and also past marketing activity.

This is just a short list of some considerations to think about. Ideally a full marketing audit should be carried out.

Throwing money blindly at various marketing activities is a high risk approach - and rarely pays off.  But having access to a marketing expert to work with your business to implement the right marketing tactics will bring about a great return for you business.

If you need any help in which is the right way forward contact us today for an informal chat: 

info@marketingwand.co.uk
0191 519 7438
by Alex Gates 26 Apr, 2017
by Alex Gates 18 Apr, 2017
If it's not - then you need to do something about it as you could be missing out on many opportunities!
by Alex Gates 08 Feb, 2017

As a small business ourselves and having worked with a huge range of companies with less than 100 employees - we know exactly the frustrations felt in terms of how to grow.

You know where you want to be - but perhaps the complexity and the information overload of what is out there is just all too much to navigate around. Where do you start? Where is best to place your limited marketing budget?

You are a professional in your own discipline so sales and marketing may be something alien to you, and you haven't got a never ending pot of cash to throw at it.

Perhaps you've tried Googling templates to help you write a strategy, had a website developed already but it's not attracting traffic or spent quite a bit of budget with an appointment setter - all to no avail. 

Why? Because you need help and guidance across the whole 'Marketing-Sphere' to gain the best return.

You need to understand what is the best way forward for your business before throwing money at communications, promotions, campaigns, media and advertising and of course your precious hours trying to understand the world of social media and how it can benefit you!

At Marketing Wand we work with companies to help them gain the best out of what they have available to them. 

Help them place there precious money where we believe it will yield the best return.

Our aim, as always, is to provide businesses accessible and affordable marketing that works and the changes that are coming will help us to help those with the tightest of budgets.  .

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