Even in an age of digital marketing, the use of direct mail as a way of attracting and converting new customers as well as touching base with previous clients remains a tried and tested technique. However, if you make any of these common direct mail mistakes, you will almost certainly be wasting time, paper, ink and postage. (more…)
Sales & Marketing
Whether you are pitching for new business, updating a client on their project or doing some face-to-face business networking, you need to act fast.
As Lyn Roseaman of Toastmasters International explains, you have less than 10 seconds to grab your audience’s attention, and show them you’re going to talk about something they’ll value or that you are someone they’ll want to work with. (more…)
Is your company an authority in its chosen market? If it’s not — it should be.
Being seen as an authority in your line of work is a key part of attracting customers, so here are 4 ways you can build your authority and get yourself ahead of the competition. (more…)
Networking is a skill you can acquire just like any other. Sure, while you’re learning you might make some mistakes but the reality is, mistakes are lessons to learn from.
To help you quickly master the skills you’ll need, here are 5 networking hacks. (more…)
My most radical prediction is that in a matter of years, the word ‘consumer’ will have lost all relevance. Look at the signs, and it’s clear that consumerism is already fading.
In its place, we’re seeing more reciprocal relationships between brands and their customers, relationships based on genuine engagement, and not merely a quick transaction. I call the people building this movement ‘post-consumers’. (more…)
Many businesses now allocate much of their marketing budget to raising their online profile. However, this does mean that some of the more traditional methods of marketing risk being side-lined.
The printed brochure is one of those valuable sales tools that can sometimes be overlooked. Yet one of the reasons that brochures have been such an integral part of marketing for so long is that they do work – as long as you get them right. (more…)
Your domain says a lot about you and your company. It’s your address on the internet, the place people go to find you, and a name intrinsically associated with your brand.
But is one domain name enough, and what options do small businesses have when it comes to deciding on a domain strategy? (more…)
We are at a significant moment in our history when there is momentum building, putting increasing pressure on businesses to act in the right way. Our staff want us to change, our children need us to change and our customers expect us to change. (more…)
Environmentally conscious businesses are rapidly gaining much larger audiences by providing a different kind of value, as consumers are now more likely to pay more for products with an ethical incentive.
A forward-thinking mentality can set you apart from the crowd, especially in a time where sustainability and social responsibility have become top purchasing drivers. (more…)
If you are looking to make sales online, tackling the specialist subject of ecommerce SEO is vital to your long-term success.
With SEO for ecommerce websites requiring such specific expertise, we asked Joe Cox of Superb Digital to share his knowledge on how to grow sales through ecommerce SEO. (more…)
With each passing year, we are barraged with more and more stories of corporate scandals and wrongdoing. Recent examples include a global carmaker rigging their vehicles to cheat on emissions tests, a major bank illegally foisting accounts and credit cards on millions of customers without their knowledge or consent, and innumerable stories about sexual misconduct by powerful, entitled executives.
And these are just a few high-profile cases – the tip of the iceberg for anyone who reads the business news. (more…)
When you start your own business, one of the first things you need to do is to start promoting it and finding customers?
Depending on the type of business you are in, one age-old and sure-fire way to build relationships is through networking. However, if you are to enjoy the full rewards of networking you need to know what you are doing. (more…)
There are a whole range of ways that you can build backlinks to your business’s website, from guest posting to tactical link audits and on-site asset creation. However, the amount of time and effort it takes to get each link can become a barrier, particularly when you have limited resources. (more…)
Visuals help people retain information up to 55% more effectively. Therefore, if you want your business’s products to be top-of-mind for consumers, you must have a visual merchandising strategy in place.
Imagine your smartphone or tablet scaled up and delivering information in the high street, restaurant or hospital. That’s what a digital signage system looks like and it’s an engaging way to transmit information to your audience, whatever the focus of your small business.
To help you take advantage of the opportunity it offers, here’s our small business guide to digital signage. (more…)
Google regards links as a principal ranking signal and there is no evidence to suggest that this is set to change in the future. It therefore goes without saying that building the right links to your website will help you to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). (more…)
Continuous testing, benchmarking and learning is a cornerstone of all social media activity. It will help you identify areas of relative under-performance, potential risks and opportunities to generate better results. (more…)
A lot of small businesses start using Google AdWords in the hope that it will help them increase sales with small investment. This isn’t true.
Yes, AdWords can help you increase sales but only with the right investment. To get the return on investment you’re hoping for, you will need to set up your account properly and invest the right amount of money. (more…)
The saying goes we hate to be sold but love to buy. However, the same can be said for how people feel about being involved in selling. We all love to help people buy but only a few feel comfortable with being seen to sell to someone.
In the past, this worked well, as the “sales” team were primarily responsible for doing the legwork knocking on doors and finding people to sell to. The trade-off for the company culture was that some individuals in the sales team then behaved like minor gods expecting all to fall before them. (more…)
For business founders, the “To Do” list is never ending, especially when faced with external demands from investors and stakeholders.
The need to increase revenue becomes an all-encompassing obsession, and it’s easy to forget “secondary” tasks – like marketing – that help to fill the sales pipeline.
But failing to build an effective marketing strategy will cause your growth plans to stall. And if you cannot demonstrate ongoing, increasing sales, it becomes harder than ever to secure subsequent rounds of funding. Miss your growth targets and stakeholders are often less than forgiving. (more…)
More and more small businesses coming round to the power of using video to establish their brand presence and promote their products or services.
With the technology to make professional looking brand film, becoming increasingly affordable, a little bit of production knowledge and know-how can go a long way.
Of course it’s not just a case of grabbing a camera and shooting. A proper video strategy is essential but so too is an understanding of the logistical, technical and legal hurdles you’ll need to overcome, especially if you’re going to be filming outside a studio. (more…)
The more people feel, the more people buy. That’s the clear conclusion from the last decade of work by two of Britain’s top marketing analysts, Les Binet and Peter Field.
They delved into the IPA DataMine – a huge database of ad effectiveness case studies – to find out how advertising really leads to meaningful business effects, going beyond short-term sales spikes to look at profit growth and market share gain.
So what is the key to effective marketing, and how can businesses apply this to their marketing techniques to boost sales and grow profits? We asked Tom Ewing to explain;
Are you struggling to get your sales and marketing processes clear, consistent and measureable?
If so, it may be time to invest in a CRM system. If used correctly such a platform can benefit fast-growing businesses and allow them to build their customer base whilst maintaining that personalised relationship which is essential for both B2B and B2C companies in today’s world.
To help you understand how CRM software can help you to boost sales, and what to look out for when choosing a CRM system, we asked Robert Stead of The Marketing Centre to share his insight; (more…)
Google RankBrain first rolled out in 2015. Unlike Google’s many previous updates it uses machine-learning and AI for the first time, in order to help better refine search results, especially in cases of rare, ambiguous or one-of-a-kind queries.
Understanding more about Rankbrain can help your website succeed, so we asked digital marketing expert, Paul Morris of Superb Digital, to explain what Google’s RankBrain is, how it works, where it’s going and why, as a small business owner, you should care. (more…)
In its 50 years, business book publisher Kogan Page has remained buoyant in a sector that is dominated by much larger companies.
The fact that its business is still prospering is testament to a few basic concepts that are as true today as when the company started in 1967. We asked Managing Director, Helen Kogan to share her experiences of how a smaller business can gain competitive advantage over bigger, dominant competitors. (more…)
Ecommerce now accounts for 17% of all UK consumer sales and it’s only going to keep growing. Yet, despite this growth, it is still hard to make it in the online marketplace.
Competition is tough, it requires both technical and business savvy, and you need to work much harder to gain trust.
Simply having a great idea for a business isn’t enough. If it were, there wouldn’t be so many poorly reviewed retailers on Trustpilot, so many horror stories of poor products and services, and so many rubbish websites.
To help you succeed online, we asked entrepreneur Stuart Maclaren, to share his 7 top tips for ecommerce success. (more…)
You’ve done your market research, you’ve got a solid business plan, you’ve registered your company and pulled together funding, suppliers and everything else you need to start your new business. You’re ready to trade – you just need some customers.
However, not all customers are created equal; some are a delight to deal with, while others seem to have crept from the depths just to torment you. When you’re building up your customer base, you obviously want more of the former and fewer of the latter, especially if you’re in a service-provision industry where customer relationships are key; but how can you achieve this? (more…)
The way in which audiences are perceiving and consuming marketing content is changing rapidly. The digital sphere has changed the nature of how we, as consumers, respond to advertising, with the result that many traditional techniques just aren’t cutting it any more.
Consumers are digitally literate and don’t have any qualms about voicing their dislike of traditional advertising. (more…)
UK exports to Asia are now worth 18% of the UK export market – that’s £98.6 billion. China is now the eighth largest export market for the UK – with India and Singapore being among the UK’s largest trading partners in the commonwealth.
Trading to Asia offers an entirely new world of possibility for UK businesses to export their products and to build a global brand – and with Brexit fast approaching and the future of British trading unclear, exporting to Asia is becoming increasingly popular. (more…)
Nowadays, everybody knows that social networks play a significant role in the promotion of a company. That’s why having an engaged and active community on Facebook can make all the difference to your business.
But if you don’t know what you’re doing, building Facebook friends can take a lot of time and effort. So to help you to quickly build your Facebook fans, here are 5 simple steps you should take. (more…)
Technology is constantly advancing and with technological advancement comes change. If you want your business to stay competitive, then you must be prepared to embrace technological changes.
You may think that you understand the current sales market, however, the sales game is changing, and these changes are coming about thanks to technology.
If you want to achieve sales success it is no longer about selling, but about helping. (more…)
Getting coverage in your local press may not have the kudos of being featured in national newspapers but it often delivers a better return on investment, especially to locally-based businesses.
For small businesses, local newspapers are a more realistic target for press coverage than the national press. Readers of local papers want to read about local news, stories and events so if you can help a journalist deliver this, then you are well on the way to getting valuable press coverage for your business.
To generate new leads in today’s online world, your business needs to be optimised for search engines – in particular Google.
Most small businesses know this and invest good time and money in their online strategy.
The challenge lies in achieving sustained search success and business map listings are a key part of this. Here’s how to achieve this with Google My Business. (more…)
Inbound marketing is an essential tool for any online business. By creating and distributing useful content, the aim is to attract potential customers to your products and services.
Ultimately the purpose of inbound marketing is to create sales. So, here we examine ways that you can hone your inbound marketing tactics to engage with more prospects and move them along the path to purchase.
Technology has enabled us to communicate faster than ever. In the digital age, email tops the list of many people’s favoured way of communication, mainly because it’s faster than letters – or even phone calls.
So, in a world where communication is dominated by instant messaging, email and social media, is there still a place in the marketing mix for direct mail?
As David Manton explains, direct mail may be slower, but it still has a lot to offer businesses. (more…)
Email marketing is an essential tool for small businesses and large enterprises alike. The ability to communicate directly with your target audiences helps attract new prospects and keeps existing customers informed.
However, delivering a good email campaign that hits all the right notes is not as simple as you might think. It’s a complex discipline that is rarely perfected. (more…)