Digital marketing strategy

A Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy

I had a meeting last week with a guy whose business is virtual offices, who needed a small business digital marketing strategy.

Basically for a monthly fee, he provides a prestigious central London address, a telephone answering service, mail forwarding and meeting room facilities.

A perfect set up for someone who wants to project the image of a substantial and established business, while sitting in his or her pyjamas somewhere in the back of nowhere.

So I started digging to find out the profile of his customers and where they might be based.

His customers could be anyone from one man start ups to significant businesses who just want a central London address.

Additionally they could be anywhere in the world, especially America.

Now from a marketer’s point of view, this makes life more difficult.

In marketing you want to be able to niche your audience as much as possible so that you can tailor your proposition precisely to their needs.

The geography complicates things as well. Life is much easier if you are marketing within a specified geographic area.

I explained to him that he should concentrate on attraction marketing techniques – ie he should put his stuff, his information out there so that people find him.

Proactively communicating to this diverse audience would not be realistic.

So the digital marketing strategy I outlined to him was:

  1. To create a customer proposition that differentiated his service from other virtual office suppliers, focusing on the problems he solved for them, the benefits he delivered and some powerful incentive to sign up.
  2. To build these messages into his website, so that the website worked effectively to convert visitors to enquirers.
  3. To put in place a traffic strategy to drive people to the site. This would focus primarily on Google Adwords.
    I didn’t recommend Facebook Ads, as the primary strength of Facebook is in the precise targeting it provides and his audience is way too diverse.
  4. To get a listing on Google My Business.
    GMB is the map which appears under the Google Ads at the top of the page.
    3 or 4 businesses are listed here with arrows on the map and a listing underneath. Remarkably this is a free service.
  5. To set up a remarketing campaign so that he could show ads to people who have already visited his site in order to drive them back to his website and reconsider his offering.

In those five points I gave him the basis for a digital marketing strategy.

The great thing about it is once set up, although the website and the Adwords need regular monitoring and tweaking, in essence the campaign will run itself.

If you would like would like me to put together a similar strategy for your business, which will deliver new enquiries on auto pilot, get in touch on or call me on 01483 200387.



Basic Marketing Techniques For A Local Business

In this post I want to outline some basic marketing techniques which would be suitable for a small local business.

I had my hair cut yesterday in the same place I’ve been going to for years.

Are they particularly good?

No not really but I get on very well with the woman who cuts my hair and I look OK when I come out.

Unfortunately I reckon the business is in danger of going under simply because they don’t have enough customers.

This is leading to the classic downward spiral.

There isn’t enough money coming in so they don’t invest in the fabric of the building, but they’ve whacked up the prices and stopped taking credit cards.

You get the idea?

So why is this business in trouble?

You guessed it – because they don’t do anything to promote or market the place.

It’s a very simple business and a few very basic marketing techniques would get people coming through the door again.

Hairdressing is the classic sort of business where if you get them in once and they like the experience, they’ll come back time and again.

So what basic marketing techniques should they be using?

I won’t even bother to talk about a website, which of course they haven’t got.

  1. A customer database would be the most sensible place to start – segmented into women and men and then by the kind of service they have and the regularity they visitOnce they have that they should send out an email a week or two before the customer normally visits to remind them to book an appointment.

Of course in this post GDPR world they would need to get consent before they start communicating with them.

2.They could also at the same time do an upsell and make a special offer on hair colouring or some other complicated process that women have done to their hair that that segment isn’t currently buying but would be relevant to them.

3.Then I would suggest a referral scheme, in which existing customers refer new customers with a significant discount off their first visit and also provides the referrer with a worthwhile benefit.

4.Another obvious technique would be to launch a loyalty scheme. Once the customer has received say 5 stamps on their loyalty card they would be eligible either for a discount or some other benefit.

5.And the last super simple, old school technique that would definitely deliver new customers would be a good old fashioned door drop.

If they distributed 1000 or 2000 leaflets to near- by houses with a powerful incentive they would without doubt generate a load of new customers so that next time I have my hair cut I’m not the only person in there.

These are all old style, basic marketing techniques but they would be the right solution for the business in its current state.

It’s not about doing whizzy new stuff. It’s about doing the right stuff.

If you have a business which is crying out for some hard hitting marketing help, get in touch by emailing me on or calling 014183 200387.







The Importance Of Consistency In Your Marketing


I was reminded last week on the importance of consistency in your marketing.

I went to see a business who do kitchens and fitted bedroom furniture.

Their websites are both pretty good. A bit wordy maybe and you could tell they hadn’t been written by a native English speaker but they were not bad at all.

They succeeded in giving the impression of a substantial company, supplying a quality product.

As I later discovered they’re turning over more than £1 million so it’s a serious business.

If I was in the market for a kitchen I would be interested to go to the showroom and see the product first hand.

And that would be where it would all go wrong for me.

The business is based right next door to Wembley Stadium on a very tired looking 1950s style industrial estate.

Outside there was no dedicated customer parking and there wasn’t even a sign over the door to publicise the business.

I had to go into a furniture store next door to get directions.

Inside there was a rather grubby staircase and still no sign of the business until you got to the first floor where you started to see some kitchen and bedroom displays.

However the place felt unfinished and scruffy which if I was trying to buy a kitchen would put me off completely.

Now it transpired that the majority of their business currently comes from referrals. Customers see the kitchens in friends’ houses and buy on the strength of that.

If that was how their business model was going to continue to work then fine. But as their manufacturing facility only operates at 30% capacity currently and they plan to more than double their business, they will need to convince buyers like me.

They’ve also started investing in Google Adwords and SEO so they have already started to try to attract a new audience.

That will mean upping their game on the merchandising and display front.

So today’s message is about the importance of consistency in all your marketing channels to give a consistent message and to work synergistically together.

This will start with your corporate identity which should dictate the style and brand values of your business.

This should then be carried through in all your marketing materials from your website, to brochures, to stationery, to vehicles, your offices or retail outlets, your staff uniforms etc etc.

From Mr Kitchen man’s point to view the nightmare would be if he spends money generating leads through Adwords who then are turned off by the reality of the showroom.

If you need help ensuring that you have consistency in your marketing and branding and you give one consistent message to your prospects so that they feel confident in your business then give me a shout on or call me on 01483 200387.


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How To Differentiate Your Business From Your Competitors

For all small businesses, one of the key marketing issues is how can you differentiate your business from your competitors.

You must give your customers real and tangible reasons to choose you.

I was at a marketing seminar last week, part of which was given over to a case study as to how one business had done this.

The business featured was a florist with both a shop and an online business – a seriously crowded market place.

The point was made that if you’re ordering flowers for delivery from a bog standard florist, after the order’s been taken you may get a confirmation email and an invoice.

But that’s all the contact you likely to have.

The featured business’ process is very different and was designed to differentiate the business.

  1. After you’ve placed your order, the first contact is an email confirming all the details of the order.
  2. Next you receive an email with a photograph of your flowers made up and the name of the person who made the bouquet for you.
  3. The flowers are then delivered in an elaborately wrapped van which looks like a mobile bunch of flowers.
  4. Only happy, outgoing, helpful people are recruited as delivery drivers or “Deliverer of happiness” as they’re known.
  5. As soon as the flowers have been delivered, the driver sends you an email from the van telling you the time the flowers were delivered.
  6. If the recipient isn’t in, the flowers are left with a neighbour who’s given a “Good Neighbour Award” of a thank you card and a box of chocolates there and then.
  7. The day after the delivery, the recipient is sent in the post:
  • Flower food
  • Information about looking after the flowers
  • Discount code for their own purchase
  • A polite request for a testimonial

That’s a lot of customer care.

What these people have done is to look to add value at every stage of their service and to make it literally world class.

Now you might even think that this is a bit over the top.

But who are you likely to go back to or refer to your friends – a business that demonstrates how important their customers are to them or the bog standard florist who takes the order and, you hope, delivers the flowers.

So if you want your business to truly stand out, you should look closely at every contact point you have with your customers.

See if there is something extra you could do to add value to your service and to demonstrate to your customers how much you really care about their satisfaction.

I promise you it’ll be worth your while.

If you want any help with this or any other elements of your marketing, give me a shout on , call me on 01483 200387.


Ensure Your Website Overcomes Prospects’ Objections

For most of us our website is our primary selling tool.


But how good is your website at converting visitors to enquirers?


If it doesn’t convert, the primary reason will be that it’s not satisfying your visitors’ concerns – the questions they want answered.


One area you should pay attention to is the stereotypical complaints people have about your industry – their pet hates.


If you demonstrate that you don’t commit these pet hates, you immediately overcome a load of objections and position yourself as the go-to supplier.


The following are examples of what I’m talking about:

  • Builders – we hate it when jobs take longer than we expect. We hatge it when they leave a mess and when the work costs more than we’ve been quoted.
  • Lawyers – we hate the fact that lawyers often speak a language that we don’t understand. Even worse that you can’t have a telephone conversation without receiving a hefty bill.
  • Marketing people – marketing people are often considered to be smarmy and silver tongued and will say anything to close a deal (absolutely ridiculous I know)


So how do you demonstrate that you’re not guilty of the same sins?


Service Charter

Within a Service Charter you can list all the things people hate. You then make your commitment not to make these mistakes and show what you’ll do to avoid them.


A builder might say “ At the end of every day, we guarantee that we will tidy the site to ensure that  no unsightly mess is left behind”.



Another tool which answers a lot of concerns is a guarantee.


If a builder guarantees that as long as the spec doesn’t change, that they will charge exactly what they’ve quoted, that would give us huge reassurance.


The key to this exercise is to make sure you’re brutally hones. What do people dislike about your industry and how are you going to handle them.


If you can address your audience’s key issues many more prospects will decide to do business with you.


Now what?


You now need to make sure that these key selling messages feature prominently on your website.


My preferred approach is to highlight a couple of them on your home page and link these through to a Why Us page.


To me the Why Us page is a must.


It’s the page where you highlight all the ways in which you stand out and the reasons people should choose to do business with you.


This process is just one of the areas I address in my “Marketing Proposition” workshop. I always do this with all new clients to give them powerful standout from their competition..


To sort out your Marketing Proposition contact me on 01483 200387, email me on or via the website


Use Email Marketing To Regularly Generate New Clients

Email marketing is one of the most reliable ways to generate new clients.

This last week I was also contacted by two people from my email list both of whom need help with their websites.

I communicate with my list every Wednesday, as I have been doing, without fail, for the last 5 years.

I don’t expect to be deluged with responses – in fact I couldn’t cope with it if I was.

What I aim for and what I get is a regular trickle of people who respond to my emails because they need help.

And there you have the point of email marketing.

I keep in people’s consciousness. I demonstrate my expertise but it is left to the recipient to contact me when the time is right for them.

Of course I don’t know when the right time is which is why it’s important to be consistent and persistent.

Right there you have one of the key points – a large part of marketing is just turning up regularly.

People get to know you, hopefully they get to like you and crucially they get to trust you enough to make contact.


So what are the secrets of successful email marketing?

There are three crucial stages in the email process.

  1. Getting the email opened

You can have the best content in the world, but if no one opens it, it’s wasted.

The subject line is vital in getting your email opened.

My strategy is to use intriguing subject lines.

Ones where the recipient isn’t sure what the email will open it to find out.

  1. Valuable Content

The second important issue in email marketing is to deliver valuable content.

If your subject line persuades people to open the email, the content has got to make it worth their while to actually read it.

If you add value to your list through the quality of your content, then you can email them as often as you like.

Conversely if you’re providing rubbish content, emailing once a year is too often.

  1. The call to action

Your whole objective is to make people take action so at some stage you must tell them what you want them to do.

It’s important to give them as many communication options as you can. Some people will not want to pick up the phone, while others will want to talk to you there and then.

So with that in mind, if you want some help with your email marketing, but you don’t have the time or confidence to do it yourself, get in touch on, call me on 01483 200387.


The importance Of Having A Standout Customer Proposition

I cannot overstate the importance of having a standout customer proposition.

I’m going to relate this to politics and the current situation with our EU negotiations.

The pressure on Theresa May seems to be increasing by the day.

Her chances of survival are starting to look pretty slim.

The problem is that she doesn’t seem to know what outcome she wants from Brexit.

Apparently Merkel is laughing at her because when she asks what she wants, May says “Make me an offer”.

Even if she was prepared to, which she probably isn’t, how can Merkel make her an offer if she doesn’t know what she wants.

This is relevant to you in your business – you have to know what it is your customers want, so that you can make sure you’re providing it.

Not only that but you have to make sure you are communicating clearly and effectively with your prospects that you’re providing what it is they’re looking for and how that will benefit them.

This is one of the most basic elements in marketing.

It amazes me how often when you land on a website you have to work really hard to figure out exactly what the company does.

Remember you have approximately 8 seconds to get your message across.

After this they’ll hit the back button and go elsewhere to find someone who makes it more obvious that they can solve their problem.

Your Customer Proposition

When I work with a new client, the first thing I do is work on their customer proposition:

  • What do they do – both from their point of view and more importantly from the customer’s point of view.
  • What problems in their customers’ lives do they solve.
  • What benefits do they provide.
  • How do they differ from their competitors – what makes them stand out and why should customers choose to do business with them.

But your customer proposition needs to be about more than just what you do.

You have to make it easy for people to decide to do business with you and that will entail removing the risk of trading with you.

  • Find a way to let them test drive your service – a free trial, a free consultation etc.
  • Provide a guarantee – if you can offer them their money back or some kind of recompense if they’re not entirely satisfied with your service, you take away all the risk for them.This makes it very much easier for them to decide to buy from you.

If you’re struggling to devise your customer proposition I have got a special offer for you.

I will run a Customer Proposition Session with you for just £199.

We’ll  create a killer offering for your prospects so turning your website visitors into enquirers and delivering a steady flow of new business.

To set up your session, contact me on  or call me on 01483 200387.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Reduce The Number Of Business Posts You’ll See

It’s amazing isn’t it. Facebook change the type of posts you will see in your newsfeed and it makes the national news.

Why is that so newsworthy?

Because about 38 million people in the UK are on Facebook which is about 60% of the population.

In simple terms what they’ve said is that in future you’ll see more posts from family and friends in your newsfeed and fewer business posts.

What this means is that very few people will see posts you put up on your business page which will make it virtually useless as a marketing tool for your business.

So why have Facebook changed the type of post you’ll see?

Well there’s are the reasons they’ve announced and then there are the real reasons.

What they’ve said is they want users to have “more meaningful interactions” and that connecting with people they care about is good for people’s mental wellbeing.

But the truth behind all this though is the fact that the length of time people are spending on Facebook has fallen by 7%. They believe this is due to the amount of professionally made content from brands and business.

And the other reason?

If businesses can’t get their message out to their audience through regular posting, then they’re going to have to use Facebook’s Ad platform. This is where Facebook make almost all their money.

The good news is that Facebook advertising is possibly the most effective form of advertising around today.

In the past if you put an ad in the local paper only a small percentage of the readership would see it and an even smaller percentage would be interested in it.

But Facebook enables you to target your audience with a level of precision never known before. You can target by:
• Age
• Sex
• Interests
• Location
Any virtually any other metric you care to think of – Facebook knows everything about us.

It also works on a pay per click basis so there’s no wasted expenditure – you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website or landing page.

Facebook advertising is:
• Immediate – set it up this morning and your ads will appear this afternoon.
• Measurable – you can track exactly what you spend against the results you get
• Easy to experiment – you can trial any number of different ads to discover which works best

So if you want a regular stream of new leads, you’re currently not using the most powerful and cost effective advertising medium the world has ever seen and you want to help Mark Zuckerberg save for his old age, get in touch on or call me on 01483 200387


Your 4-Step Guide to Building an Effective Marketing Plan for 2018

With 2017 coming to an end, it’s the perfect chance to take a step back, reassess your goals and set plans for 2018.

Having a suitable plan in place is the most effective way to have a clear marketing focus and to be able to track results throughout the year.

Better yet, creating a marketing plan doesn’t even have to be complicated. Here’s a straightforward four-step plan to get you on the right path. Read more


4 Ways To Boost Email Click-Through Rates

There are many hurdles to jump when it comes to email marketing.

Many marketers, rightly so, put a great deal of focus into a compelling subject line and interesting content.

While these are important, it’s equally necessary to make sure you’ve considered your click-through rate, and have done everything you can to ensure the highest number of clicks possible.

Having customers interact with your email promotes better engagement for your marketing and can lead to more sales and business.

With this in mind, here are four ways to boost email click through rates.

1. Add Links to All Pictures

If you want people to click through to a link in your email then avoid only offering the link once.

You should incorporate the link as often as you can, and one really subtle way to do this is to make sure any images within the email have the link added.

Many people are more enticed to click on images than text, so you could see a huge increase with this simple tip.


2. Make Your Call to Action Compelling

Rather than a simple line of text for your call to action, try a more attractive and compelling tactic.

Colourful buttons and arrows are one way to catch the eye and can be really effective at making sure customers do what you’re asking of them.

Be it ‘Buy now’, ‘Contact us’ or ‘Find out more’, a little effort goes a long way.


3. Make Everything Mobile Friendly

It’s really important to ensure all emails are mobile friendly. The number of people who check their emails on a mobile device has grown in recent years.

It’s equally important that the site your customers will click through to is mobile friendly, as well.


4. Add Social Graphics

A small social media icon at the bottom of an email can produce surprisingly high click through rates. Link any social media accounts associated with your business at the very end of your email.

Many people are interested in at least one social media platform, and this is a great way to build your following outside of emails and boost that click-through!


If you’d like more help or are looking for a marketing consultant Surrey don’t hesitate to contact me today.