Friday, 27 February 2009

The Market only wants 50% of what you offer.

I was having a chat with the very clever Alan Rae today and he came out with that statement.

Clients only want 50% of what you sell and they will tell you what other stuff they want to go around it. Your other 50% is of no interest, Bye

I think Alan is being optimistic. I think the market only wants 20% of what you offer. Think about any piece of software you use, I bet that you only use up to 20%, the rest is of little value to you.

So the question is do you give people an 80% discount or maybe offer on your products and services in bundles or even unbundled?

Here’s a suggestion why not ask the market before one of your competitors does?

Thursday, 26 February 2009

The hard thing about blogging

It's not the content, the content is easy, just answer the common questions that clients ask.

It's not the writing, it doesn't take too long and it doesn't have to be Jane Austen.

No what's hard is the discipline to write your blog every day, every week.

Action is easy, Discipline is hard.

So come on if I can commit to doing this every day, so can you.

You clients need to hear from you.

The hard thing about blogging is that it isn't that hard at all really.

Come on!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Can your business survive without email?

I have been having email problems this month, software falling over, lost messages and a large amount of wasted, frustrating time. At it’s worst earlier this week I was in effect without an email service.

But I survived. It’s easy really.

Rather than email I picked up the phone

Rather than email I used twitter and other social networks

Rather than email I sent a text message.

Rather than emailing me, people called me.

Somehow being without email, brought me closer to those who I wanted to make contact with and those who wanted to contact me.

So could you get by without email? Would you thrive or crumble?

I’m fully back on email now.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Your stuff is too complex

Your products are too complex

Your solutions are too complex

Your website is too complex

Your blog is too complex

Your organisation is too complex

Your book is too complex

You get the picture.

Make it simpler, I want to see if you can help me, I don’t acre how clever you think that you are.

I only care about me, stop being so complex!

Monday, 23 February 2009

What business are you really in?

Theodore Levitt famously asked this question to the owner of railway companies in the 1950’s in the US and they all said “We’re in the railroad business!”


As Levitt pointed out they were in the transportation business competing with cars, planes and boats. Not each other.

So what business are you really in?

It probably isn’t the legal business or the printing business or the restaurant business.

I’m not even in the marketing business!

Here’s a clue. What problems are your clients and prospects attempting to solve coming to you and how else could they solve it…that’s the business that you’re in.

Forget about your stuff and solutions, keep focusing on what your clients want to achieve. That’s the business to be in.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Is Marketing just an unnecessary cost?

Times are hard aren’t they? Revenue’s down. The phone’s not ringing as much as it used to. Fewer people are attending your favourite networking events.

This marketing stuff seems to work in the boom years, but in the lean years, isn’t time to batten down the hatches and get into the bunker? Mother, where are you when I really need you?

OK, maybe I have laboured the point, but during tougher times it requires you to think harder about what you are attempting to achieve. Maybe, it’s pure survival. Maybe, you want a bit more.

Two tips:

Get closer to your best clients. Closer than you are now. If you phone them once a month, make it every two weeks. If you call them once a week, make it twice. Double the frequency. Ask what else they are working on. Try and be a resource not a supplier.

What’s your best marketing tactic? You know, that thing you enjoy doing that brings in the results. Simply get better at it and try and do it more often. If it’s networking, then when did you last brush up your skills in that area? Out of 10 how good are you and your business at it. Get better.

So, stop telling me marketing’s costly and focus on what you are good at.

Leave the expensive marketing to those other guys!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

The difference between selling and marketing

When you’re interacting with a prospect or client are you selling or marketing?

Let me explain my take on this.

Selling is when you go out with your catalogue and solutions and try to get people to buy your stuff. You are a representative of the business. You represent the business. Your job is to get a client’s signature on a piece of paper. Or get their money. Selling is hard

Marketing is when you step outside your business and examine the market place you’re in. You then try to understand how the market perceives your business. You then may change your business to have a better perception in the marketplace. Marketing is harder still.

However, if you find that you are struggling selling your stuff it’s probably because your marketing is lousy.

Improve your marketing and it will make your selling a lot easier.

Monday, 16 February 2009

How to Barack Obama your business?

The 44th President of the United States has much to teach us about how to market an unknown.

Please don't tell me times are tough, think how it looked for Obama when he was announcing running for President.

I'll be sharing these ideas with member of the IoD on Monday February 23rd in London.

They think I will be delivering a presentation about writing a marketing plan but I will instead be delivering "How to Barack Obama your business?"

You can see the details here, click on the Events button beneath the picture.

You can also download the current IoD Newsletter, with me on the front cover.

Hope to see you on the 23rd

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Meet Me in London on February 23rd

I am delivering a workshop for the Institute of Directors(IoD, Central London Branch on Monday February 23rd at 6.30pm in Pall Mall.

This event is organised by the IoD and there is a small charge that includes refreshments.

My presentation is "How to Write a Marketing Plan that Wins New Clients"
Expect lots of tips how to survive 2009 and then, thrive in 2010.

You can see the details here, click on the Events button beneath the picture.

You can also download the current IoD Newsletter, with me on the front cover.

Move over George Clooney!

Hope to see you at the IoD on the 23rd.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Independent Marketing Consultants London Pub Evening: Tuesday February 17th

Open night for all Independent Marketing Consultants in Central London to meet for a drink once a month.

Meet and chat with marketing consultants such as Philip Calvert, Kana Butkovic and myself.

No Fee

No Agenda

No Hassle

Free to attend and buy your own round - food available to order until around 8pm (toasties available all night )

Proper boozer on the edge of Covent Garden with plenty of tables and good food.

The pub has 2 floors and very easy to find from Charing Cross, Covent Garden and Waterloo.

Please register just so we know how many seats to save and to let other people arrange to see you. We'll probably be upstairs...

Venue: The Lyceum Tavern,
The Strand,

Time: 6pm to 10pm

Drop me a line if you want to join us:E-MAIL

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Bad News for all Podcasters including me. (Good News too)

Recent research from below shows that 55% of Brits will watch a video online while only 11% will download a file off the Internet.

(Click on the image to the right to increase it's size)

This means that FIVE times as many people may feel more comfortable watching your YouTube video as will downloading your podcast from iTunes.

So for all you podcasters, where's you video.

My little one is below.

Can you see the obvious mistake?

If you find more than one, consider yourself a critic!

Short Video about my book