Shrewsbury WiRE Meeting 25th November 2015
Business Marketing: All You Need To Know…
presented by Marina Ibrahim from Bizz-Buzz Consulting
Marina stepped in to give an inspirational marketing talk at very short notice. After expressing our appreciation to her, she took to the floor and immediately engaged with the audience.
“So, let’s be practical, let’s get interactive… What is marketing?”
Marina got straight to the subject at hand and audience participation began immediately. There were shout-outs from those present contributing to the seven main aspects of marketing –
*Product/Services (knowing and understanding your client) *Positioning (Branding, Values, Understanding) *Pricing *Place *Promotion & *Publicity (incl. PR, Networking, Social Media, etc) *People and *Plan
She was extremely enthusiastic about this and agreed with the chorus of answers but explained at the heart of all this is the client.
Marina talked about her background as a trained and qualified marketer and her vast experience with the creative industries when working at the marketing department at music record label EMI in Germany she was responsible for national and international marketing campaigns from branding to promotion, for B2B and B2C (business to business and business to consumer).
When she moved to the UK in 2002 she took on the role of marketing manager for a creative and digital media business start-up hub SP/ARK at University of Wolverhampton’s Science Park, where she supported creatives to become sustainably business savvy. That’s where she discovered not only her talent for coaching but also that – in combining it with her marketing skills and experience she could help all the creative and talented business owners who struggle to identify their USP (unique selling proposition) and their niche with their branding and marketing to develop their business successfully.
What’s the work profile of your client?
To be successful in business, you must be able to meet your client’s needs sensibly and profitably. Without this, you only have a hobby rather than a business.
You would want to find as much detail about your clients as possible so that you can profile them, understand them as meticulously as if you knew your ideal client from inside out, as much as you would your best friend. Building rapport with a potential customer you need to be specific about their needs and wants:
Likes / dislikes
Age and incomes
Understanding your demographic
What they watch / read / listen
How they spend their leisure time, their hobbies and interests
Social media can be key to engaging and getting new customer. Before the days of social media it needed 7 touches of marketing to secure a new client. But since the arrival of social media and the vast opportunities of engagement marketing through various channels, it involves multiple leading touches until a sale is made some are saying it takes up to 36 touches before you can win a new client.
But without a marketing strategy, focus and a plan, you can easily be wasting time, energy and money.
What is the treasure box in your business?
It is your database with all your contacts: prospects, clients, suppliers, peers, partners, social media lists (Twitter Followers, Facebook Likes and Friends etc.) Your database reflects your hard business work and your biggest asset in your business. The database gives you the opportunity to establish a direct dialogue with your prospects and clients via blogs, emails, newsletters. You can email members on your database / target members about special offers, upselling opportunities, they are warm leads, inform them about anything new launches, educate them about your area of expertise developing a know – like – trust relationship. The key foundation to build a successful business.
Marina also considers the blog as being a powerful marketing tool: “A blog is the heartbeat of your website!” Done well, regularly and consistently it keeps your website alive, attractive and is ideal for organic Google rankings, given that you are embedding all SEO search engine optimization relevant keywords in your blog to increase traffic to your website.
Branding comes from inside out: your passion, personality, values and integrity are all part of your business brand, your business Identity, all of which is crucial to distinguish yourself from competitors and becoming the darling of your clients.
Don’t underestimate pricing as marketing tool. It helps you with branding, positioning and attracting who are the right clients for you. Depending on the nature of your business you’d either decide to display or not display your prices on your website: For product-based and e-commerce business of course prices are displayed on the website. However, if you are in the service business you may or may not want to include them, either as information or with a deterrent effect for those who you wouldn’t want to have as customers in the first place. Pricing is a powerful marketing tool.
Feedback and Promotion
Marina also rates surveys, feedback and questionnaires as important measures helping every business to stay close to their clients and how they can value their clients. Make sure you evaluate what you do: from networking events, to editorials, email marketing to social media: “what gets managed gets measured” analyze these to see which marketing tools are working particularly well, and which don’t.
Her talk had made us all think in a more focused way about marketing in that it is not only doing and engaging with social media that brings sales and customers. You need to have a marketing strategy with a message, which your prospects and clients understand through the media your prospects and clients use and hang out in. Marina left us with the memorable phrase ringing in our ears:
“Fail to plan? = Plan to fail…!”