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2009 May | direct-to-market

Archive for May, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Bracknell based Marketing Consultancy Helps Local Businesses with Cut-Price Marketing Workshops

Bracknell based marketing, website design & SEO consultancy Direct-to-Market has launched an initiative to help local businesses fight the recession by running low-cost e-commerce marketing workshops to teach them how to use the internet to acquire new customers for themselves.

Andrew Pearce, an experienced marketer and Direct-to-Market’s trainer, said: “In the current recession many local businesses are struggling to survive, and if we can show them how to both cut their advertising spend and simultaneously increase their sales revenue it can only possibly benefit them.”

Mr. Pearce continued, explaining that: “We’ve cut the price of the workshop to the bone because as a local business ourselves we really do want to do our bit to help the local economy by keeping local businesses going until there is a recovery.”

The e-Commerce Marketing Workshops are running in Bracknell every month, with prices from just £17 per seat. To learn more, visit http://www.direct-to-market.co.uk/workshop

Andrew Pearce is available for interviews.

Why Clients are Better Than Customers – The Vital Relationship

Why would anybody say that a business is better off without customers? The short answer is: when it has clients. But there’s more to this that, it’s about the nature of the business relationship, so don’t be put off by the title here!

To better understand what I’m talking about, let’s take a look at the dictionary definition of those two words:

Here’s what customer is defined as (from http://www.answers.com/customer):
1. One that buys goods or services.
2. Informal. An individual with whom one must deal: a tough customer.

And here’s what client is defined as (from http://www.answers.com/client):
1. The party for which professional services are rendered, as by an attorney.
2. A customer or patron: clients of the hotel.
3. One that depends on the protection of another.

Now, and this is something that I properly teach and explain the psychology behind in our e-Commerce Marketing Workshops, consider for one moment who it’s easiest to sell to: somebody who has bought from you before, or somebody who hasn’t? If you properly satisfied your purchaser the first time, then the answer is of course somebody who has bought from you before.

So now consider the third bullet under the definition of client “One that depends on the protection of another.” If you can aspire to form this relationship with those who purchase your goods or services, by looking after them properly, over-delivering, and protecting them from problems, then it is clear that (all other things being equal) they are more likely to make a repeat purchase from you than go to your competitor. Why on Earth would they want to?

So look after your clients, treat them as you would your friends (and in time they just might become your friends), and you will very probably have a “customer for life”.

Which brings me neatly on to the origins of the word customer, which (without delving still further into the Latin origins) is of course derived from custom. Here’s what the dictionary says about custom (http://www.answers.com/topic/customs):
1. A habitual practice of a person: my custom of reading a little before sleep. See synonyms at habit.
2. Habitual patronage, as of a store.
3. Habitual customers; patrons.

So looking deeper still into the meaning of the words themselves, perhaps I’m not being quite fair in saying that you don’t want customers?

The bottom line is that, however you term them, regardless of what you call them, what you really want most in your business is for people to come back to you and buy again: if you run a hair salon, you want them to return to you for their next session with a stylist; if you are a solicitor, you want them to return to you the next time they need legal advice; if you are a radio DJ, you want them to tune into your show the next time they turn their radio on; and if you run a garage, you want them to return to you the next time their car needs a service.

So it’s not really about words at all, it’s about relationships. First you need to build a relationship, then you need to maintain in. I’ll discuss how to do that in more detail in another article.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on this post, or wish to comment on it, please use the comment facility below.

e-Commerce Marketing Workshop – Bracknell – 9th June 2009

Following the success of yesterday’s e-Commerce Marketing Workshop in Bracknell, which received entirely unsolicited feedback from the delegates by email even before yesterday afternoon was out, including…

“Thank you for sharing your time and knowledge with us this morning - it was very valuable.”

“Thank you so much, Andrew, for taking your time out to undertake this workshop for us – I found it informative and helpful, and there are certainly ideas and tools you have brought to the table that we can utilise and take advantage of.”

“It was good to meet you this morning and thank you for an enlightening seminar.”

“Andrew, a brief word of thanks for the training today, it was very useful and helpful. I have already passed your details onto someone.”

“Thanks for this morning - I found it both interesting and informative. And don’t worry, I do not intend to let the grass grow under my feet with this.”

…we will be running another e-Commerce Marketing Workshop in Bracknell on Tuesday 9th June.

If you missed the last workshop, don’t miss this opportunity too. Go and book your seat now for what is possibly the best value for money you will ever receive on marketing training, and definitely something that will help move your business forwards:

http://www.direct-to-market.co.uk/workshops.html

Take action now, before this sells out and you miss your opportunity!

Business Networking in Chelmsford, Essex, Thursday 7th May 2009

If you’re in business, then you need to network. If you’re in business in Essex, then you need to go to the Business Scene Event in Chelmsford on 7th May. It’s run by Sarah Arrow of Essex Connections, will raise money for the Hope and Aid Direct Charity, and we’ve donated a raffle prize of a one-hour telephone consultation with me personally to try and help get your online marketing on-track.

Little doubt there will be other great raffle prizes you can win too, but even if you’re not lucky enough to win one you’ll still meet loads of great people there and make new business contacts. How can I be certain? I went to the Business Scene Event in Slough last Tuesday, 28th April, and did just that myself.

And as a bonus, Sarah has said that readers of this Direct-to-Market blog can have their business card put in the ‘goodie bag’ of every attendee at the event for just £10! So get over to Sarah Arrow’s Essex Connections blog right now and reserve yourself a place at the Business Scene Event in Chelmsford on 7th May (and make sure you take at least 100 business cards with you):

==> http://essexconnections.com

Business Card Design – Getting Your Marketing Message In Front of The Prospect

With the exception of your website, your business card is the single piece of your marketing literature that will be seen by the greatest number of your prospects. With this in mind, it never ceases to amaze me how many people seemingly put so little effort into the design of their business cards.

Certainly it must carry your name, usually also such essential contact details as phone number(s), postal and email addresses, and of course the URL (address) of your website.

But why stop there?

Your business card is a piece of marketing literature, so use it as such! Make sure it includes your strap-line, obviously, but you can go much further than that!

Your business should have a USP (variously Unique Selling Point or Unique Sales Proposition depending upon who you ask – but universally abbreviated to USP) so make sure that is clearly included on your card. And if you have any further sales messages or special offers that will reasonably fit on there, make sure you include them too.

If you use just one side of a standard 9cm x 5cm business card, then you have 45cm2 available, the majority of which will be filled with your contact details, leaving room for little else. If you use both sides though, you have 90cm2 available of which at least half can be used to sell yourself and your business.

In terms of production cost, printing double-sided may cost 10%-20% more than printing single sided, so the extra cost is negligible. Putting that into hard currency, Vistaprint will sell you 250 ‘free’ business cards for less than £10 ‘shipping’ (with 5,000 printed double-sided on heavy card delivered to your door for less than £100 – so ultimately a much better deal than the 250 ‘free’ ones!). So on 5,000 cards you could perhaps save £15 by printing single-sided …a supremely short-sighted move indeed!

The cost of getting your business card into the prospects’ hands remains the same regardless of what’s printed on it of course, and if you consider the time, effort and cost of getting your business cards into the hands of 5,000 prospects(!) then it’s a rare person indeed that wouldn’t benefit from having a sales message on there too (especially if it only costs an extra £15 across all 5,000 to achieve it)!

Why on Earth then would anybody want to go to all that trouble, and expense, to present somebody with a business card, and have 50% of it just plain white card? But looking through my business card file now, an awful lot of the ones I have been given are just like that!

So, with it agreed that double-sided printing on your business cards is pretty much a necessity, look out for my next article on this subject when I’ll talk about the design of the business card in more detail. If you wish to ensure you don’t miss either that, or any other marketing articles that I write, then either subscribe to the RSS feed or follow me on Twitter.

If you wish to comment on this article, please use the comment facility below.