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Popular Marketing Trends You Need To Be Following in 2018

Though 2017 is not yet over, this is always a good time of year to step back and take stock.

You can evaluate your marketing strategy and consider the marketing techniques that have been working well and which are set to dominate in the coming year.

With so many channels available, such analysis is always useful for generating new ideas on how you can reach your customers.

So, to help get you ready for 2018, and to give you an edge over the competition, here are three marketing trends you should be actively pursuing.

1. Video as a Part of the Customer Journey

Not only is YouTube now the second largest search engine, it actually has the largest number of active monthly users.

In a basic sense, this demonstrates one thing: people love videos.

Not only are they a great way to demonstrate your product or service, they are an effective way to create more value for your audience and assist in both customer retention and generating new leads.

Read more about why you should be using video in your marketing here.

2. Utilise Social Messaging

We’ve seen a growing use of Live Chat capabilities over the last few years.

However, the power of free social messaging apps is great for small and large businesses alike.

Social media is where people hang out and contacting organisations via such means as Facebook Messenger is very convenient.

This is especially true as more than 60% of mobile users use this platform.

Advancements in technology now include automatic chatbots on messaging platforms that can respond to a number of basic questions and convert sales whilst you are busy working on other things.

3. Search Marketing is Alive and Kicking

The art of SEO and generating leads from Google is by no means new, but it is as important as ever, if not more so.

The major difference is that mobile now plays a more pivotal role in the consumer journey, especially with regards to location-based searching.

In fact, 80% of all “near me” searches are now being performed on a mobile device.

Google has placed much importance on its Google My Business functionality as it allows consumers to find the exact business they need, right at the point of purchase.

By actively pursuing a relevant SEO campaign, you can take advantage of what is dubbed “hyperlocal targeting”.

If you’re not sure how your business can adapt to these marketing methods, then it could be worthwhile speaking to an experienced marketing professional, like myself.

As a reputable marketing consultant in Surrey, I have already helped many clients improve their marketing campaigns and keep up with evolving trends.

So for further assistance, and to create a targeted strategy for your business, get in touch with me today.

 

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Why is Email Marketing So Important?

There are many different marketing channels to communicate with your audience.

A key one is email marketing.

Email marketing offers many benefits for your business. It helps you to build relationships with your audience, provide valuable content and demonstrate your expertise.

There are many factors that make email marketing so important. Read more

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What Marketing And Football Have In Common

Football – some people love it and others hate it.

As they say “it’s a funny old game”.

When you come to think about it there are a lot of similarities between football and marketing – let me explain.

Football Stadium and marketing

  1. Consistency

 

Football teams are always looking for consistency. Being great one week and rubbish the next is no good.

It’s the same with marketing.

It’s no good marketing for a couple of weeks and then disappearing for several months.

Your customers and prospects have got to get to know you and to trust you which you can achieve by communicating regularly and consistently.

I email my list every Wednesday morning without fail.

If your marketing is reliable there’s a good chance your service will be reliable as well.

 

  1. Organisation

Football teams have to be organised and to have a plan.

Of course, it’s exactly the same with your marketing.

You must have a plan of what marketing activity you’re going to do, which will be designed to achieve the objectives you’ve set.

When I work with a client one of the first things I do is to create a plan so everyone knows exactly what we’re going to be doing over the next few months.

 

  1. Technical Excellence

Footballers must have the technical skills to control the ball and it’s this technical ability which differentiates the good players from the journeymen.

Marketing’s just the same.

Anyone can put a website up or write an email. But only the people with the technical knowledge and skill know how to structure their marketing pieces and the different elements that are needed to get responses from their marketing.

 

This is, even more, the case with digital marketing. Not only do you need all the skills of the traditional marketer, but you also need the IT knowledge to tweak our friend Google.

Football and marketing

 

  1. Teamwork

The importance of teamwork in football is obvious and it’s the same with marketing.

All your marketing has got to work synergistically together so each piece of activity dovetails together and enhances the other bits, consistently enhancing the message and the brand.

Online and offline must also work together. Google are big off line marketers, recognising how effective direct mail can be in driving traffic online.

 

  1. Inspiration

Football matches can often be changed by individual flashes of brilliance. To be successful your marketing doesn’t necessarily need to be brilliant but a small dose of inspiration can take your business to levels of super success.

The introduction of the meerkats by Compare The Market was a moment of inspiration, driving Compare The Market to the top of the comparison sites.

So if you recognise that your marketing is not in the premier league, get in touch on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk  or call me on 01483 200387.

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Why Politics And Marketing Are Very Similar

Being a politician is very similar to being a business owner in many ways – the main difference being that we call our supporters customers and they call their supporters voters.

Read more

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Misconceptions About Marketing

Here at BDA, I am dedicated to creating powerful, effective and well-thought through marketing campaigns.

However, there are quite a few misconceptions as to what this entails.

Lots of buzzwords – holistic marketing, data-driven content, influencer marketing etc etc only serve to confuse and intimidate people and can confuse the whole marketing process for the business owner.

So, what are the most common misconceptions that people have about marketing in the modern world?

The More the Merrier

Social media, email, PPC, SEO, content, and on and on and on.

There are a lot of marketing strategies out there. Some of them are important for everyone, while others have value but aren’t necessary.

Marketing

A lot of the time marketers will insist you need it all.

But, this just isn’t the case.

What you need is a tailored marketing campaign for your company.

Techniques that work well and are relevant to one business won’t necessarily work for another and you’ll only find out by testing and assessing.

Basically, make sure you don’t run a campaign just for the sake of “doing some marketing”

Good marketing is smart marketing.

Small Businesses Don’t Need Marketing

So, you’ve heard of marketing and it sounds great but it’s only relevant for bigger businesses.

You’re small, maybe just a one-man band, and your customers come from word of mouth or small local paper adverts. You don’t need marketing.

Wrong.

Every business needs to actively market itself. Unless you’re out there giving relevant messages to your target audience your business is unlikely to thrive. This means you need to create a marketing plan.

Natural business growth needs a plan, so if you want to expand you need to make sure you have a marketing plan – no matter how small your business is!

Your Website is All You Need

Some people are under the impression that a website is the width and breadth of a marketing campaign.

It has all your company information, details and sells itself.

This begs the question of how are potential customers meant to find the website in the first place in order for it to ‘sell itself’?

website development

If your website’s on the second or third page of Google, very few people will ever find you..

But with an effective SEO campaign you could be at the top of the first page – ready and waiting for customers to find you.

So, don’t just rely on your website to gain your online sales. It may be a very long and frustrating wait.

You need to be proactive and to have a traffic strategy.

Marketing is all about driving sales, the first stage of which is to get your business seen in the first place.

Do you need some advice about the do’s and don’ts of marketing? Then don’t hesitate to contact me on 01483 200387 or email me at mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk.

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Should You Educate Or Should You Sell?

There is an on-going debate in lead generation marketing:

 

Should you educate all the time or is it OK to sell once in a while?

Education

The fact is when you send useful, informative content to your list, you’re doing 3 things at once:

 

  1. Proving your expertise – demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about, that you’re someone they can have confidence in.
  2. Earning their trust – making them feel comfortable with you, vital if they’re ever going to buy from you.
  3. Developing the relationship – communicating a bit about your personality – are you the sort of person they’d like to do business with?

 

The fact is that people have to go through the know, like, trust process before they decide to work with you.

 

I used to be a member of some guy’s marketing group but left it because I couldn’t stand him. He was very knowledgeable but deliberately offensive and sweary.

 

It was very calculated – he was happy to drive away people who didn’t buy into him and I was one of those.

 

So my recommendation is that you don’t have to sell too hard. Just keep sending helpful emails and you will generate a reliable flow of new leads.

Email

But it doesn’t hurt every now and then to step up and sell.

 

Make a new offer every month or so.

 

Chances are that email will bring more responses than normal. It’s a different sort of email and will speed up people’s decision making.

 

The thing to remember is it’s a balancing act.

 

If you sell too much you’ll screw it all up.

 

People won’t read them, they’ll unsubscribe and you’ll have blown the know, like, trust thing.

 

But if you never sell, people will stay on the list forever but never buy anything.

 

So it’s a balancing act.

 

Make your emails informative and useful but always end with an offer.

 

That’s what I do and here it is.

Christmas Gift

Free Two Hour Marketing Consultation

 

I’ll offer you a free two hour marketing consultation in which we’ll do a thorough review of your current marketing and give you a route map to take your marketing forward.

 

Specifically, we’ll look at the following:

  • A review of your current marketing activity
  • An assessment of your website and how to turn it into a lead generating machine
  • We’ll look at your customer proposition and what you need to do to position yourself head and shoulders above your competitors
  • A plan to ensure you never run out of leads and prospects again.

 

All this is yours to keep for free!

 

To arrange your free session get in contact on mikejennings@marketingsurrey or call me on 01483 200387.

 

 

 

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How to Use Christmas in Marketing

Christmas is the peak selling time for many businesses, which also means it’s incredibly competitive.

As the holidays approach, I hope you’ve got a plan to help you take full advantage of the festive season.

Read more

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The Basic Principals of Marketing

As you can probably imagine I talk to plenty of business owners about marketing and what I can do to help them grow their businesses.

 

Quite often the business owner will tell me how my plans just wouldn’t work because “their business is different”.

One in a Million

Sometimes it’s “our customers wouldn’t like that” or maybe “that’s not how this market works” or even “You just don’t understand – this business is different”.

 

Sometimes I think they’re scared I’m going to try and sell them something and so it’s just a smokescreen objection, but often they have genuinely convinced themselves that the normal rules of marketing genuinely don’t apply to them.

 

Of course all businesses have individual characteristics because people like me are always telling them they have to stand out and find their points of difference, but what these people are missing is that the fundamental principals behind all marketing, irrespective of the sector are just the same:

  • Find someone with a problem
  • Highlight the problem and emphasise the pain
  • Show them how you can solve the problem and remove the pain
  • Do it

One in a Million

That’s how it works irrespective of your industry or size of business.

 

I’ll show you what I mean and I’ll take a couple of very different sorts of businesses as examples.

 

Let’s look at someone selling logs within the local community and someone selling top end holidays.

 

So if I want to sell logs, I’ll focus on my local area and I’ll drop leaflets through people’s door or knock on the door. I’ll probably put a poster up on the local notice board and I may also do a Google Adwords campaign within the target area. I might also do a deal with a local chimney sweep to offer a discount on chimney sweeping to all potential customers as an added incentive.

Once I’ve got my customers I’m going to email them a couple of times during the winter and then again in Autumn to resell them next year.

 

For the top end holidays, I’m going to locate my prospects through specialist mailing lists, through pay per click advertising, by blogging and maybe some remarketing.

Marketing

I’m going to need to drip feed information over an extended period of time as the decision making window for an extravagant holiday may be several months.

 

While the specifics may differ the principals and the process is the same – get the right bait, cast it out in the right pond, continue doing it regularly and then haul in the fish.

 

This process works in every market.

 

How do I know – because I’ve been in this business as a marketing consultant in Surrey for over 11 years now and I’ve had clients in all sorts of different businesses.

 

If you don’t believe me, just email me on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk or call me on 01483 200387 and I’ll show you how it works.

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How To Create A Successful Lead Magnet

I’m sure you’ve heard me use the term Lead Magnet.

 

A Lead Magnet is the free report or free video that you offer in return for your website visitor’s contact details.

 

The lead magnet is the first stage in the marketing funnel that I bang on about so often – the process that starts your business relationships and delivers leads to you automatically.

Lead Magnet

Visitors give you their contact details in return for your free report, allowing you to market to them over time.

 

The marketing funnel and therefore the lead magnet are probably the most crucial element of small businesses’ marketing efforts.

 

But the process will only be successful if:

  1. The lead magnet’s got enough value that visitors actually want it and complete the form to get it.
  2. The lead magnet fits into and aids the sales process.

 

Too many lead magnets don’t do this and end up confusing the sales process instead of facilitating it.

 

I’m going to run through a few of the mistakes that people make with lead magnets and how you can avoid them.

 

Mistake 1: Lack of Focus

 

A good lead magnet will focus on a specific problem and show readers the solution.

Businessman holding magnifying glass and digital tablet

A classic mistake is to focus on too many issues so that the appeal of the magnet becomes diluted which will lead to a lower uptake.

 

An example would be if you were an interior designer and your lead magnet gave advice on paint finishes and on selecting curtains.

 

The magnet is neither one thing nor another and will lose impact and uptake as a result.

 

Mistake 2: Giving Too Much or Too Little Information

 

One of the objectives of your lead magnet is for people to read it as this will demonstrate your expertise and make the reader more likely to buy from you.

Writing Pen with Letters

Give too little information and the reader is likely to feel cheated and that they’ve wasted their time.

 

Give too much and you run the risk of overkill and losing people’s attention or maybe even feeling that they can manage without you.

 

The best advice is to make your report authoritative so that the reader knows what to do but still feels that that they need your expert help.

 

Mistake 3: Providing Unhelpful Information

 

Your lead magnet needs to provide a solution to a problem that your website visitors are looking for.

Reading Screen

I saw one recently entitled “Why there’s a shortage of quality candidates for sales roles”.

 

Now this may be a perfectly interesting topic if you’re an HR manager and could be a topic for a blog article, but if your job is to recruit sales people, knowing why there’s such a lack of suitable candidates doesn’t help you.

 

A lead magnet entitled “How to find the best quality sales people” would be much more useful and therefore much more likely to be downloaded.

 

Mistake 4: Not Following Up

 

You need to understand the role of the lead magnet.

Sale Keypad

Its purpose is to generate contact details of people in the market for whatever you sell and also to demonstrate your expertise in your sector.

 

What it’s not going to do is close the sale for you.

 

For that you need to put the marketing in place behind it:

  • An auto responder sequence which finishes with you asking for the order
  • An on-going email marketing programme which keeps you in their consciousness and ensures that you’re the business they think of when they’re ready to buy.

 

With this information on board, you need to go back to your lead magnet and check that it’s not making these mistakes.

 

If it is or even worse if you don’t have a marketing funnel and lead magnet at all, it may be time to get a professional in to help you with the process.

 

If so get in touch with me by emailing mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk, call me on 01483 200387 or contact me via the website.

 

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Should You Market Yourself on Social Media?

Social media marketing gives you the opportunity to market your business and build your brand.

Each platform offers a unique marketing experience and more platforms seem to be appearing almost every day.

The major social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn seem to have become almost mandatory parts of your online presence.

But do you really need social media marketing and is it beneficial for you and your business?

 

 

Advantages

Compared to some traditional marketing channels such as TV for example, social media marketing is very cost-effective.

It’s also the perfect space to build brand loyalty – social media allows for direct interaction with consumers and by showing them your personality and your business’ values, you can build your reputation and make useful connections.

This interactivity enables instant feedback on your products and services and even on your employees. For big companies, social media can be a way of discovering when employees are performing to a high standard or conversely when they’re underperforming.

Facebook, for example, with over 1 billion users, provides you with a huge guaranteed audience.

It allows you to reach consumers you otherwise might not be able to: not everyone buys a newspaper, or watches TV.

Consumers will share your content on other platforms if they like it, which can give you massive exposure.

Social media makes it easier to share videos, images, and articles, which can boost traffic and online sales by ranking in the search engines.

Fun, informative, and creative content will be shared multiple times on different platforms, and has the possibility of “going viral” – the holy grail for marketers.

 

 

Disadvantages

Results from social media aren’t necessarily immediate.

Building a brand and a reputation takes time; you have to be active and update regularly with relevant content and be prepared to hang in for the long term.

Public backlash can be a big problem.

While social media can help to grow your business, you can also find yourself under public attack due to an employee’s actions.

These websites encourage people to share where they work and your employees may not represent your business and your brand in the way you would hope which can potentially ruin your reputation.

Negative feedback is easily visible to everyone and can quickly get out of hand. There are all sorts of people  on line and you can find yourself being attacked by ‘trolls’, ‘scammers’, or ‘spammers’, who enjoy nothing more than attacking companies and destroying their reputation.

 

 

How Does It Fit in Your Marketing Strategy?

In spite of the inherent dangers of social media, the fact is that the majority of companies are active to some degree on social media. These websites are commonly used by consumers to re-assure themselves that a company is who it says it is.

Businesses are expected to have an online presence nowadays and while a website is still necessary, by itself in is no longer enough.

Social media helps build trust and relationships with consumers, making them feel more connected with brands.

Social media platforms play a big part in content marketing and to be successful, your business has to adapt to popular consumer demands and needs, which includes being present on websites like Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Marketing, whether traditional or done through social media, is a vital issue for businesses.

With constantly emerging marketing platforms, developing strategies for your business might be tricky.

If you have any questions about how to market yourself on social media, you can contact me on 01483 200 387 or mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk and I’ll be happy to help. Alternatively, you can also find me on my Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn pages.