Yell RIP

It doesn’t matter how great your products or services are, if people do not know you exist. It’s one of the main reasons 9 out 10 businesses fail.
If you find yourself like many business owners / managers worrying where your next customer or client is coming from, I would edge my bets that you don’t have a marketing strategy, plan or budget.

The reality is the vast majority of business owners / managers have always lacked an in-depth knowledge of marketing principles and practices and this has become a much bigger problem in the digital age.

So, when it comes to marketing most business owners / managers will spend as little time as possible on marketing and as much as they can bare on advertising to compensate. unfortunately, this is a recipe for poor results and a negative return on investment.

As we enter a new tax year, I would urge you to pay serious attention to your marketing and either abdicate responsibility to someone who can market your business effectively on a shoestring, take on a Digital Apprentice or start learning about Digital and Social Media Marketing today. Whatever path you decide to take we can definitely help you.
Marketing Strategy
A good marketing strategy should be based upon sound market research and should focus on developing the right marketing mix in order to achieve the maximum profit and return on investment. Yes, that’s right I did say investment as the old saying goes you have to speculate to accumulate.

Marketing Plan and Budgets
Before we meet with a potential client we conduct and produce a marketing due diligence report. This report is used to assess the prospective clients visibility and credibility in the marketplace and to establish whether or not we believe we can help the client to create a value proposition that will enable them to attract, engage and convert prospects into paying customers and increase their market share.
Over the past twenty five years, we’ve developed this process to help clients determine exactly what they should be spending on marketing:
Start ups: For businesses that have been trading for between 1 and 5 years, we suggest using a marketing budget on a sliding scale from 20% of projected turnover in year 1 to 12% of projected turnover in year 5.
Established: For businesses that have been trading more than five years and have some market visibility and credibility, we suggest a marketing budget of between 6 and 12 percent of projected turnover. We use projected turnover as we are assuming that prospective clients are looking to grow and as Einstein famously said the definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results. Therefore, if a business is looking to grow and increase market share an increased level of marketing spend has to be expected. Unless of course the current marketing budget is being wasted and there could be savings to be made across the board.
While this may seem like a significant investment in marketing, remember new and emerging businesses are looking to capture market share and develop brand recognition in a marketplace where they have no visibility or credibility. This will take both time and money to establish. Once the business is established and the market is aware of the business marketing budgets will drop significantly.
Marketing Reality
I have consulted with thousands of small business owners / managers over the past 25 years, which is why I have no trouble accepting the 96% failure rate. The vast majority of business owners / managers have no marketing budget and no intention of setting aside a budget, despite all of the benefits of marketing and their absolute acceptance that it works. They believe you should only think about having a marketing budget when you’re making good money. The reality of course is they never make good money because they fail to find enough customers to make their business profitable. Let’s face it, if you could make good money without spending a penny on marketing, why would you have a marketing budget at all.

I would always leave unwilling prospects with this final thought.

“You’ve heard of McDonalds haven’t you? Could you tell me where the nearest McDonalds is right now? Have you ever been to McDonalds? If you asked the next 10 people you meet have they heard of McDonalds? Could they tell me where the nearest McDonalds is right now? Have they ever been to McDonalds? The resounding answer to every question every time would be YES, of course it would be yes. So, if just about everyone that I know, and everyone that you know, is consciously aware of McDonalds why do they continue invest a significant amount of money in marketing their business?”

Did you just hear that penny drop?
Marketing Channels
In order to build visibility, credibility and profitability you have to create and continually invest in your business and your brand. Your brand by the way isn’s what you say about yourself or your business, its what other people say about you or your business when you leave the room. In the digital age building your business and your brand requires you to invest time and money into the following marketing channels:
• Website
• Social media management
• Video marketing
• Email marketing
• Telemarketing
• Paid Advertising (Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, Etc.)
Now obviously the mix and the amount you spend on each of these will differ significantly based on your position in the market, your market share, your product or service but you must resign yourself to the fact that each of these will take a decent chunk out of your marketing budget.
How much should each of these channels cost? Fees can range depending on the age and size of the company and national, local or global marketing goals. But here are some basics:
Website
Shoestring: Do it yourself for free
Value: £250 – £2,500 Small Agency
Expensive: £3000+ Large Agency
Social media management
Shoestring: Do it yourself for free
Value: From £250 per month Small Agency
Expensive: £1000+ per month Large Agency

Video marketing
Shoestring: Do it yourself for free
Value: From £200 per video Small Agency
Expensive: £1000+ per video Large Agency

Email marketing
Shoestring: Do it yourself for free or buy database / email credits
Value: From £50 per 1000 email campaign Small Agency
Expensive: £250+ per 1000 email campaign Large Agency

Telemarketing
Shoestring: Do it yourself for free
Value: From £10 – £25 per hour Small Agency
Expensive: £50+ per hour Large Agency
Paid Advertising
Shoestring: Do it yourself for free (Rate Card: probably pay over the odds in almost every media)
Value: £200+ Budgets Small Agency (20% Management Fee)
Expensive: £1,000+ budgets managed by Large Agency (40% Management Fee)
Clearly doing it yourself on a shoestring budget is possible, but it is very time consuming and you have to place a value on your time regardless of the time you currently available. There is also the question of quality and turnaround, I am sure everyone would agree very rarely will the work of an amateur compare to the work or a professional.

Using a small agency offers the best value for money, as you get high quality products and services and expert support. Arguably there is very little difference in the quality of work produced by small agencies in comparison to large agencies, as the skill set and level experience are a constant in both.

Once you get into the realms of the large agencies, they have massive running costs and the majority of your marketing budget will be covering their fixed costs rather than the actual costs of your project or ongoing marketing support.

If you would like a completely free one hour no obligation marketing review, to assess your current needs and requirements. Call me directly on 07802 855 778 or reply to this email and we will arrange a convenient time to meet.

To your success

Craig Carden MBA MRes FInstLM