Home Marketing should take the client right to the purchasing stage; there should be almost or no, need for a sales person – just an order taker.
This is the fundamental difference between someone who comes to your business to buy and someone who comes that you need to sell to. These days people research every purchase online before they even go in to a store or business.
Clients can be, and often are, more informed than sales people. As Seth Godin says in his book “All Marketers are Liars” ; buyer beware “caveat emptor” is now “seller beware” as often the client is more informed about a product than the sales person. There is so much information about our products and services available on the web that it may be impossible to keep fully up to date. None more so than with cars: Clients come to dealers with printouts of web pages that have far more information than a sales person can hope to remember about every model in the range.
This is actually a good thing because they should know just what they want so all the sales person has to do is match that and take the order. Then a good sales person may find a little cross or up-sell to add to the package if that suits the purchaser.
What Story Does Your Marketing Tell About You?
The internet lets people make informed decisions. They can find the best price through comparison websites and they can find the best service through review sites. Then they find their closest dealer with Google.
Businesses can do the same for what they buy. Personally I don’t think that price is as important as service. I would rather pay more to stay in a hotel with a 5 star review than a similar one with only 2 stars. People like to be served and treated well, that has not changed with the web.
So our message as marketers needs to do the job of selling. So that clients are primed and ready to order. You don’t want tire kickers you want order makers. This is where a coordinated effort is essential. Your webpage, all the articles online, the review sites and press statements should all tell the same story.
Get Everyone “On Story”
You need to decide what that story is and be sure it is the same across all media right down to the staff you have. Your staff need to know what the story is so that their actions can tell it too. It used to be about a company mission, and being “on mission”. Things have changed and I think it is more about being “on story”. If you decide you are the caring company and all your media says so, it’s no use having staff who are not on story.
If you are the “technical” people then make sure everyone knows that so they harmonize with all your other efforts. I have seen cases where a receptionist who was not on story with the rest of the team put people off who had been ready to buy. This goes from the CEO all the way to the janitor and the guy who makes the coffee.
This story is then told across all the social media, advertising, webpages, brochures and media that you produce. People need this to set you apart from the competition. There are very few companies who are alone in their niche. Social media allows us to tell our story to get our brand to stand out and convince people to buy before they walk through our door.
This is our job as marketers: target, qualify and pre-sell. Get people hot for our offer so that the sales team just has to write the order up. Happy days
You Are Not in Total Control
We can’t control the story but we can shape it and lead it in directions. Social media and review sites give us the tools to do this. But remember people have preconceived ideas so the same message may be interpreted differently by individuals. People have frames that allow them to chunk data and make rationalisations. In this way they jump to conclusions after ready just a little of our story, or just from our logo or website.
All the more reason to have all our messages working together to tell the same story. Stories sell and if people can identify with our story they will buy from us. The more they align themselves with our brand story the more loyal they will become.
You can see this with brands that come out with new models that sell without promotion. Sometimes they will sell even with bad reviews. Its like going to see “Titanic” because you like Leonardo; you know its 3 hours long and probably overly sentimental rubbish — but you liked him in all his other movies so off you go.
Marketing That Sells So You Don’t Have To
At first websites used to have a lot “About Us” stuff on the landing page. Marketers thought that this was important. Now that is relegated to a back page and we focus on the client and about how they feel. How will this purchase make them feel? What will their life feel like after they own our product?
Don’t focus on the product. The chances are that people can get something similar elsewhere cheaper. Focus on the story. If they buy from you they will be part of your story. What will that mean to them? Think how Nike can sell shoes made in Vietnam in some obscure factory and charge the price that they do. That is because you are putting on a story not just a shoe. People who wear Nike are the sort of people who “Just Do It”. If you are a person who identifies with that story you will buy their shoes above any other similar brand even at a much higher price.
That is why people walk in to stores and ask for and buy Nike. They don’t need selling because the marketing already did that.
When are you going to get new customers today?
As a small business owner it is easy to get caught up in the day to day running of your business. I know from owning restaurants that there is always something to do. I used to be busy from morning into the night. In fact, I was so busy that I didn’t have time to run the business properly.
Sometimes you have to stand back from the day to day work and think about the big picture. The most important thing to a business is its customers. You need to focus some of your time each and every day on getting new ones.
In the morning it is too easy to come in to work and open the emails and react to what we see; do these new important tasks. But I think it even more important to do the other tasks that we have to do, emails can wait.
So I suggest that you put aside an hour of each morning solely for the purpose of getting new customers. This is marketing time…
For many years now I have been an advocate of multiple streams of marketing: having a system of systems running in harmony. These might include your website and SEO, local SEO, blogging, article marketing, press releases, magazine adverts and features, newspaper adverts and features, cold calling, networking, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, mass mailing, events, shows, referral programs and many more.
What I do as a consultant is set up and run these systems for businesses. Each business is different and needs its own system, however most have a lot in common and anyone can set up their own system. I heartily recommend this because once the system is set up you should be able to run it with an hour a day.
So I suggest setting aside one hour of each morning specifically for getting new customers. This is vital for the future of your business. If you don’t have the time, get someone to do it for you. You may think that you don’t have the money to afford that but you can’t afford not to get new customers so ask yourself a few questions such as the ones below…
What does it cost you to get a new customer?
Up until now how much have you paid to get new customers? If you have run a newspaper advert what did it cost and how many new customers did you get from it. What other advertising or promotion have you done and what was the ROI?
What is a customer worth to your business?
Over the lifetime of a customer what are they worth to you? How much income and profit do they provide the business?
Once you have a clear picture of that number you know that your business will be successful if in order to get new customers you spend less than they net you over time. Now, it may be wiser to calculate this with the profit in the first 6 months from each new customer; this depends on your business model and cashflow.
So now you know what a new customer is worth. As long as you are paying less than that amount to get new customers you will be making money.
How Many New Customers Do You Want?
Some businesses only need a few others need many. To get a basic marketing/sales budget all you need to do is multiply the amount of profit from each customer by the number of customers you would like to get.
So now you know that you can spend this amount to get that many customers and your business will grow and increase profits. But the trouble is, if you spend this on advertising or traditional marketing you do not know what results you will get. That is why experts are needed to build a marketing plan that best uses your budget to get the number of sales you need, or more.
But now you have increased costs and still don’t know if it’s all going to work; it may seem like a bit of a gamble…
Alex Joll takes the gamble out of the equation by getting paid on results and not big fees upfront. So if you are looking for more customers to grow your business get in touch through http://www.alexjoll.biz
Home Local SEO – Restaurant Marketing in 2013
I used to be in the restaurant business and in 2009 I wrote an eBook on restaurant marketing. It was an overview with on and offline advice and systems: Now it’s time to get an update…
Independent businesses in general can play a smart game of marketing against big brands. No more so than independent restaurants. SEO for big business is expensive, time consuming, difficult to track results and can take a long time to have an effect. Most SEO companies will tell clients that they have to work for 6 months before any discernible results will appear. For a small business this is not a viable option.
However there are ways to get fantastic results with little investment or time. AND you will see the effects in a lot less time. In 2010 Microsoft did a study that showed smartphone users are much more likely to convert from searches. This year a Nielsen study shows that 64% of Smartphone searches for restaurants converted inside of one hour. That is an amazing statistic.
In the 80’s we had no mobile phones. Now there are 4 billion smartphones in the world and current estimates say that by 2016 there will be 8 billion smartphones in use globally. If we have a question we ask our smartphone. Everything from a pub quiz conundrum to where to stay or eat.
How do you get your restaurant to the top of the list in your area? Well one thing to consider is that restaurant chains mostly market the brand and not so much the locations. So be sure and make your restaurant known as the place to eat in your town and your street.
People looking for Italian restaurants may get Jamie’s as top of the list. However if they search for Italian Restaurants in Bristol (or BS1) you have a great chance to beat Jamie’s to the top (if you are in Bristol).
Step 1… Be sure and get a full listing with the following sites:
These reviews and citations don’t even need to have a link to your site in them (although that helps). A diner reviewing your restaurant would not include a link normally anyway. Google is very smart and can read citations and review counts. The more reviews the more chance of showing up on top.
Remember that this is all for local searches so be sure and have your address, with post code, on every page of your website, clearly visible. Add a map (Google for example). Make it really easy to find your business. Be street specific in some of the text. “bijou Italian restaurant in Park Street, Bristol…”
Now the icing on the cake… Since 2009 social media has changed dramatically. The latest 2 major changes are video on Instagram and Bing Search on Facebook. Both can work to your advantage.
Bing on Facebook means that people don’t have to leave Facebook to look for your business. So be sure to have a good Facebook page for your restaurant. Share recipes and tips for cooking. Let people know about menu changes and updates and keep people engaged. If you can afford PPC then very specific search terms with Bing will be low cost and high converters. Adwords.Google.com has some search term tools to help. Be sure and include your location as much as you can (area, town or postcode).
Next you add video to get to page 1… Why Video?
So how do you go about it? What medium do you use (I am assuming you don’t have the time to do them all) Vine, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube ???
Create and use a business YouTube account. Post longer videos here, perhaps a few minutes on how to cook recipes or other useful restaurant or cooking related facts. Try to brand these as much as possible. Include your physical address.
Use Instagram and Facebook to engage people. Short clips of the perfect Cappuccino being made. What spaghetti Alfredo really should look like. Be imaginative, be fun and be engaging. Have a personality and let that come through in the videos.
Then engage with your clients and encourage them to post video of their experience in your restaurant. Some businesses go as far as having branded social media booths but this is more for events and bigger restaurants. But you can do a lot to get your branding in photos and video. If you have a themed restaurant you can create a background for video or photos. Like the old Wild West photo places that still exist in tourist resorts (i.e. Troccadero Piccadilly)
A final note…
Have you ever noticed that more and more people go out for meals and spend half their time on their smartphones? Conversation sometimes takes place between diners via their phones. It is easy for some of us old-timers to get annoyed about this. However don’t get mad get engaged.
Get your Instagram/ Facebook/Website QR code printed on your napkins. Have it stuck to the salt or the table or on the menu. Let people see it as they sit there and the chances are they will have a look. Then they may engage with you online and if you are lucky post a video of their lovely meal.
Page 1 Google here you come.
I have read a number of books on story selling. Not just selling to the person or public on an individual level but as a company or cooperation.
Seth Godin changed his book title from “All marketers are liars” to “All marketers are storytellers” – and I can see why. He has a great angle on the art of telling a good story in business: If you make it believable, even if it isn’t strictly true, people will believe your story… If they believe your story becomes true.
In politics we are sold stories to sway our vote. “Story telling for financial advisors” is essential reading if you want to sell investments to the public. What better example of using this successfully than the master storyteller himself Warren Buffett. He illustrates his points with great stories so that everyone can understand complex ideas.
So what will your story be? Perhaps it is better to ask “what would you like it to be?” What would you like people to think about your business, product or services? How would you like the story to be told forwards?
If you can think of this you can start to create a story based on the now but with the idea of what the future will bring. In the case of a car stories are told of the feeling of ownership. If you have a Toyota Prius then you are telling everyone that you are a caring person who values the environment. Having a Ford Mustang Shelby you are telling the world a different story.
In both those cases your views or behaviour may not completely match the statement but it is all part of the story you are telling others. If you would like to be like that and aspire to become more environmental or macho; then the car may be part of getting there. However if not it is just a lie that others will see through.
This is the same for the story your business tells. Make it the truth, or what you would like the truth to be, or people will see through the story and you will do harm to your brand.
For some great examples see Seth Godin’s book. One of my favourites is the wine glasses that we are told make the wine taste better. After testing they actually do; but only if we think that they do. If we are not told they have an effect there is no effect. It’s a self fulfilling story, and it works. The same goes for countless restaurants that enhance their average food with the pomp of great service and wonderful ambience.
And the point is that story telling is a great way to get people to buy in and believe. It’s a way to enhance experience and value. It’s also a fantastic way to keep your customers and get new ones.
Notar bene: If you are telling a bad story then this will also be told forwards, and perhaps more often. This also applies to restaurants; good food can be overshadowed by the poor service or dirty bathrooms. Be sure your whole business is “on story”. Consistency is key and to get that everyone needs to have their story straight. So it’s better to plan it in advance. Write it out and give all concerned a copy.
Once you have a story to tell there are so many places to go out and tell it… I can hardly begin to list them. Your own business or industry will have specific publications and places. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are also key and the biggest way to tell everyone your story.
Make sure your story leads your niche. If you are in an area (geographical or industrial) a story can pull you way ahead in local SEO – which I am a big advocate of. It’s also an excuse to talk to people, to engage and post on blogs and sites all over the web.
Home This week was all about video for me. Instagram launched a 15 second video sharing feature with filters and editing that should leave it’s users pretty happy. Naturally this opens up the discussion to when we can expect Facebook to be adding video advertising with a consensus that we will probably see it delayed until fall.
Who wouldn’t want to run with the in crowd? This weeks social media posts offer advice on how to be like the cool kids when it comes to social media strategy. Check out an awesome “on the envelope” campaign which, in addition to be super cool, has some very successful results. Last but not least, take a look at how some companies use even their unsubscribe emails as an opportunity for a video content marketing strategy rather than just going off silently into the night. Hubspot= Best. Unsubscribe. Ever.
1. Google+ is a must for modern businesses. See how it can make your social media campaigns soar with this article from Search Engine People.
2. There are essentially a million different ways to fry the fish but this article from The Moz Blog offers some principally sound advice in this Beginners Checklist for Small Business SEO.
3. Brick Marketing Blog picks the brain of local SEO expert Chris Silver Smith in this Q&A.
4. Econsultancy offers 7 quick tips for success with localized SEO that are great for big brands and small businesses alike.
5. Local businesses hold on to the reigns, Google’s new “local carousel” layout is starting to roll out to the general public. Read more on what to expect in this article from AutoRevo.
Social Media Marketing
6. Mobile Marketing Watch offers an Infographic that breaks down the 7 different types of social media fans. If you are a business marketing on social media (you should be) you don’t want to miss this post.
7. Could you social media strategy be floundering because of poor color choices on your marketing materials? This infographic and article from Social Media Today on how color explain how color psychology influences purchasing.
8. Amy Porterfield offers some queen bee strategies on how to be more like the “cool kids” with your social media marketing.
9. When your social media tactics are in line with your marketing goals, you’ll find it easier to measure your ROI. Learn how in the blog post from Social Media Examiner.
10. Marketing Sherpa offers a video interviewing Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert who ask the thought provoking question about social media marketing, “Can you compete with your customers mom?”
11. Did you know brand or company receives 55 percent more inbound traffic through blogging compared to businesses that do not blog. Look at this infographic from SocialBarrel to see all the stats.
12. Encourage your blog readers to share your content with these simple steps from Find My Blog Way.
13. Content marketing has 3 important stages that build off each other. Learn how to embrace the stages in this post from Business to Community.
14. No content marketing strategy is complete without images. Steve Masters shows up how to optimize content marketing with images.
15. If you are looking to make the most of your content check out this post from VerticalMeasures detailing all the ways you can repurpose content.
16. Waldow Social offers the BEST. UNSUBSCRIBE. EVER.
17. Look out Vine. Instagram has added support for recording short video clips. Find out more on the features in this post from MarketingLand.
18. PSFK shows us how one company turns an envelope into an office turntable that works with a smartphone device. It’s just too cool!
19. Check out this post from Rip Media Group to make sure you don’t make these 3 big mistakes for mobile video content and advertising.
20. Savvy Panda offers a beginners guide to video marketing with 4 ways that you can start using video in your content marketing strategy.
I am pleased to annouce the release of the eBook version of my latest book "Master Public Speaking in 7 Days".
If you have any comments after reading your copy, please feel free to post your comments here or email them to me directly through the contact page of the website.
If you do not have a copy then you can get one by registering for the free seminars and then emailing me directly for a copy.
I hope you enjoy it and get some useful knowledge. If you would like to know more or book me for an event, or training, please contact me through this website - Click Here
If you don't have a copy you can get a sneak preview below...
Master Public Speaking in 7 Days ...Foreword and Introduction...
Foreword by Andrew Capon
New communicators are people like Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Oprah Winfrey: quite a mixed bunch. To be honest I am not sure if I am comfortable with Tony Blair because I always found him a little too smarmy and false. However, he was very successful at making a connection and influencing his audience. In looking at him we can see some of the techniques discussed here a little more obviously than with the others. I think this is because he seems to be trying so hard to implement them and be natural, that he comes across as a little false.
Looking at the others we can see a truer natural approach that seems genuine and lets the audience engage with the speaker. Think of Jobs at Mac World and the way he stood up on stage, with no notes, and spoke from the heart. The audience loved it, and consequentially loved what he was selling.
The worst communicators are those who read from a speech. If you want to do that just stand up and hand out a written copy to everyone. They can read it and get all the facts - they can even take it home and refer to it later.
That is not what speaking is about. Speak to influence; speak with passion, authority and confidence. If you know what you are talking about, and you should before you stand up, then you can influence people to your POV.
By all means, if the information you have is technical, give a handout at the END (never during or the audience will start reading that and not be listening to you).
New communicators are not really that new. It is just that so many people from the last century read speeches, that we became accustomed to the "old" style of speaking. It is so dry and passionless that audiences just tune out; especially in the modern age. You have to compete with short attention spans and multi media. If you lose your audience's attention they will be on their smart phones Tweeting and catching up on emails before you get a chance to have any influence.
To see the rest of this article follow the link below:
Below this article you will find an extract from my book "Master Public Speaking in 7 Days". This part discusses the way our brains have evolved to protect us and a side effect of this is to block out messages from people we do not trust.
Whether we like it or not we are continually judging people by their appearance and the way that they behave. The old adage "never judge a book by its cover" is all well enough but we have evolved to do just that. In fact we are very good at judging on appearance and that is what has kept our species out of danger in the wilds for millennia.
If you want to get your message across and you want to have influence, first you have to get passed the gate keeper. Once you are trusted your message then has a chance at being heard and acted upon. Without that trust your audience will not even hear the words that you speak...
Our evolution has been long and fraught. Species have come and gone and we are developed from many. Our brains have evolved as well, but we still have many instincts that we developed for survival in the wild.
You can get the first 2 chapters of "Master Public Speaking in 7 Days" by filling in the form on the home page of this website. Click Here Now
Steve jobs was one of the best modern communicators.
He stepped out in front of his audience and made a connection. His genuine enthusiasm for his products and his understanding of the users made him a stellar public speaker.
He regularly made the Decker top 10 annual communicators and below is what they have to say about him and his ability to connect with an audience;
Steve Jobs was the rare one who created and developed vision, communicated it clearly and colorfully, and then led to completion. He has been on our Best list four times, was #1 in 2005, and presented his iconic intro of the iPhone in 2007. He not only transformed technology and the way we live, but he also transformed the way business communicates. Renowned for his Apple product introductions he moved the word “rock star” into the business world. For CEO’s, speaking will never be the same. No more Death by PowerPoint – he just used a few visuals, and then spoke from the heart. Well rehearsed, but real – authentic, and always with a message. Perhaps his greatest “speech” was at the Stanford University commencement in 2005. His message continues to echo and be a model for not only business, but the larger world. We will miss him.
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