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What you want to know.
Marketing can be confusing and at times overwhelming, so we hope to provide some clarity and empower you with some free advice.
What is your top marketing tip?
Be strategic. All of your activities need to relate to your business and marketing goals.
If your business goal is to increase your customer base, your marketing goal may be to increase your brand reach. Put your business name out where your target market is through different channels, and allow yourself to be creative and interesting to get noticed.
If your business goal is to decrease the cost of customer acquisition per sales then your marketing goal may be customer retention, and therefore your actions will be different. A more targeted approach would be more applicable, such as focusing on your database. Reach out and find out why you were chosen in the first place, and give your customers a reason to come back.
How much should we spend on marketing?
Various sources will offer different opinions on allocation of budget as a percentage of turnover, and it is subjective to variable market conditions. As a guideline, approximately 1-10% of turnover is the recommended investment in marketing implementation per annum. The does not include launch of new brands or products which generally require an initial higher investment during launch phase. It also does not include the cost of an in-house marketing department, so outsourcing this work would add to the investment. As an example, it has been reported that McDonalds spend approximately 4% of turnover on marketing.
When setting a budget, it is important not to over commit the available funds. This allows flexibility to leverage opportunities as they arise.
Why do I need to do marketing when 95% of my business is word of mouth?
Word of mouth (WOM) is one of the most powerful marketing channels and whether you realise it or not, you are managing and influencing the power of WOM for your business. The question is, are you doing this well? What inspires people to talk about your business? Are they talking about it positively?
Things that get people talking include customer service, value (or perceived value) you have delivered (tangible or emotional). Channels you need to closely manage to empower positive WOM include, employee training and satisfaction, online and offline publicity, social media and various brand experiences. It is also imperative to note that research shows that 75% of people will research a product or service online prior to purchase, so while WOM might drive them online, you need to ensure your digital presence (website, social media, online reviews etc) also support the endorsement.
Have you ever measured the level of positive WOM and compared it to actual conversions? You might find that WOM is strong but conversions are down because of poor marketing in other areas. Your marketing efforts need to focus on the whole purchasing decision process, not just awareness.
Which words should I avoid in an email subject line?
Unfortunately the list of words which trigger your email going into someone’s spam or junk folder is getting longer and longer. As illicit list buying and spamming becomes more common, it becomes harder for the legitimate email marketer to appear in the user’s inbox.
There are some obvious words to not use, such as those around adult themes, informing recipients that they have won a large sum of money, losing weight or enlarging other areas. Below are some that may be less obvious. Avoid using these and remember to ensure that EVERYONE in your email list has agreed to be contacted by you, and ALWAYS give them a clear chance to unsubscribe.
Amazing, Free Offer, Profits, Save Money, Free Quote, Free Website, Dear Friend, While you sleep, Opportunity, Please Read, Click below, Apply Online, We hate spam, Do it today, Great offer
Why would I use social media for my business when I don’t even use it at home?
We hear you, we are all busy and having something else to monitor can be time consuming. The bottom line is that you might not like it, care for it or want it but rest assured your competitors will and may well be engaging with your customers already.
As far as marketing activities go it is one of the most cost effective channels to connect with your market/ customers.
The biggest mistake is viewing social media as an opportunity to shout about your product or service. These channels are successful when organisations commit to authentically engaging with the audience and having a two-way conversation. It’s an opportunity to develop a tribe of believers and supporters in your industry, cause, passion or purpose.
Social media allows you to keep your brand top of mind, so long as you provide relevant content for your audience. You will need to enter each channel with clear objectives, which might include increase brand awareness, provide outstanding customer service, employer branding, thought leadership or market research.
It’s not all #IhateMondays, or pictures of meals you’re about to eat - it’s a real opportunity to connect and more importantly let your customers connect with you the way they want to.
Even if you are still not convinced, we encourage you to check out your competitors’ presence and if it’s rubbish – you’ve just identified an opportunity!
My Google Analytics is showing a lot of referrals from sites whose names I do not recognise. Are these real?
We have found that of late referrer data is being spammed by Referrer or Ghost Spam, which is falsely increasing your visitation figures.
The rise of referrer spam (or Ghost Spam) will most likely match the rise of referrer traffic. Referrer spam doesn’t harm your website, doesn’t affect your SEO, but it makes your Analytics referrer and visitor data pretty useless.
The first step to take is to block these referrers. Let’s be clear here – you are blocking them from Analytics, not from your website (they don’t hit your site, they hit your analytics data). The second step is to create a Segment and remove the historical spam so you can see your previous data in its true form.
We’ve created a new Ask Pitstop article to show you how to stop referral spam. Click here for the full instructions.
What paper stock should I use?
Have you ever been handed a business card that looked fabulous? It was heavier than most other business cards, it may have had some embossed detail or a textured finish? This is the difference between having that wow factor or remaining unnoticed.
After designing a new set of stationery or promotional material, there comes a further question, printing. Printing on the right stock, says something about your brand. It’s yet another brand experience.
What does it say about your brand?
- Cheap and nasty?
- Environmentally conscious?
- Middle of the road?
- Understated? The list goes on…
Some things to consider;
- The weight of the paper
- The paper’s finish, which is usually Matte or Satin
- Printing in CMYK or Digital
CMY…what? Understanding the differences between methods of printing can be tricky and sometimes clients feel in over their head. There are some fundamental differences between “digital” and “offset” printing and they do make a difference to your campaign and business stationery.
The benefit of using a professional printing company to produce your material is that it has a higher chance of leaving an impression on the customer. In addition to this, giving some thought or having a consultation on the right printing method will also put you one step ahead of your competitors.
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