UK: Make Your Business Marketing Oriented

Last Updated: 30 November 2012

Although smaller companies don't have the marketing budgets of major corporations, their marketing efforts can be just as effective if they use the techniques and principles described in this article.

Budgets

Have one! It cannot be said any more simply or more directly. Too many businesses never establish a marketing budget. They fly by the seat of their pants without ever knowing how much they are spending, what their return is, and what they are getting for the money.

Business hours

Many companies never work beyond the traditional nine to five. You should consider making your business convenient and accessible to customers. Remember that one premise in marketing is to be different; you can be different with your open-for-business hours. Quite often, people will do business with someone just because they are open earlier or later.

Customer service

Companies large and small have always said they offer the best customer service. But when it comes to the final push, they show that once they have the sale they forget the follow-up and wonder why the client then moves on to another supplier.

Customer service is not lip service. It is a value add-on to the sale, and is a vital factor in keeping the customer happy and in making the customer a repeat client and, eventually, an advocate for the business. Some 95% of business is lost because the company has lost its way with poor customer service.

You must strive to satisfy customers all the time. This means learning about and understanding their needs, wants and expectations, and then doing whatever it takes to meet those needs and wants and exceed those expectations.

You should always go the extra mile for your customers, especially if you are trying to rectify a complaint they have made. Remember that customers are the lifeblood of your business and the reason you are in business. You must do everything in your power to satisfy them.

Calling your customers to remind them of an appointment or to follow up after they have called you with an inquiry or complaint goes a long way towards establishing customer loyalty. If you do not do this, your competitors will.

Follow-up calls

Basically, you are calling a customer to remind them of an appointment or a special invitation to a sale or new release. You want to make certain they come into your business. The follow-up call also makes them feel very special because it provides them with a feeling of value-added customer service.

Guarantees

Guarantees are a great way to differentiate your business from its competitors. Whatever type of guarantee you offer, be it lifetime, money back, or exchange during a certain time period, just make certain that you honour that guarantee. While guarantees can be very attractive to customers, they can also turn customers away if the promise isn't kept.

Your type and length of guarantee tells customers the confidence you have in your business. There will be times when you have to honour many guarantees simultaneously, but the goodwill this generates will be more than worth the investment.

Helplines

These can come under the heading of customer service, and many businesses have instituted free telephone helplines for their customers. This is very effective and not that expensive, especially if you work on a regional or national basis. You can even establish a local helpline.

Train your staff to answer the questions that customers may have about your business in a courteous and friendly manner. Teach your customers that they can call the helpline any time for assistance. It is even better to offer this assistance for free. You will have more people using the line, but they will also start to refer more people to your business because of this service. The helpline will more than pay for itself.

In-service training

Employee training is one of the most overlooked and underutilised marketing techniques. The training programmes are relatively inexpensive when the returns are taken into account.

Training employees to do their jobs better, or cross-training them to help out in other areas, makes employees feel that they are more valuable to the company. They will probably produce more and market your company to more customers. Remember that your two best targets for your business are satisfied customers and happy employees.

Press (media) kit

This is essential for any business. It does not have to be very expensive, but it must be professional looking.

Your press kit contains information about your company, its key employees, the products or services it offers, and other information that is pertinent or interesting to the media, such as reprints of articles you have written or that have been written about you. The press kit can also contain testimonial letters from satisfied customers and a picture of the person, product or service you are trying to promote.

The press kit is used whenever you need to send out more information than is covered in a press release, or when the media requests more information from you. It is an extension of your corporate image. That is why you must make certain the kit looks very professional. If you cannot develop one yourself, seek the assistance of a marketing or public relations professional.

Below is a list of the top topics that might interest editors when sending a press release. As you get to know your media people personally and find out exactly what interests them, adapt or add to this list:

  • Tie-ins with the news of the day.
  • Staging an event.
  • Providing the community with useful information.
  • Forming a committee to solve a problem.
  • Giving away an award or scholarship.
  • Making a prediction about something.
  • Celebrating an opening or an anniversary.
  • Doing something incredible or very special.
  • Giving away food.
  • Any type of success story, especially one to do with overcoming hardship.

Competitive pricing

The target of competitive pricing is not to be the low-cost leader, but to provide perceived value at a competitive price. Often, a business selects a price for its product or service without considering the marketplace or its market value.

Price your products or services to be competitive and to provide a value to customers. Then give added service at no charge. Your customers will perceive you not only as good value, but also as someone they want to do business with.

Sometimes, you just have to be competitively priced and make up the difference in volume. If you are the only business in the marketplace, then you can probably charge reasonably high prices and customers will pay them.

Quality

People are looking for value for their money, and they measure value in the quality of their purchase. You must promise quality, deliver quality, and then deliver more of it. Delivering a quality product or service along with your differential will be an immense advantage to improving your bottom line.

Shop your own business

This is one very successful method of finding out what your company is achieving in the eyes of the customer or prospect – for example:

  • Are your people doing the right thing?
  • Is your customer service all that you think it is?
  • Is the customer being treated with civility?

How do you do this? Have a friend or family member, not known to your staff, call in to your business and act as a prospective customer and then report back to you with their findings. Once you have their report, you will be able to act on any negatives or give praise to the staff because of the successes shown.

Unique sales proposition (USP)

The USP differentiates your message from that of your competitors. Your USP must be made in conjunction with your unique marketing position (UMP), which positions you in the minds of your consumers. The USP and the UMP combined often determine how successful your business will be.

To determine your USP, ask yourself what it is you are really selling, and see if that is what customers are really buying. If there is a match, write it down. If there is a discrepancy, look at your product or service from the customer's viewpoint. Then, write your USP from that perspective.

Value-added service

Providing value-added service means you will give customers more for their money. You may extend a warranty at no extra charge, make a delivery outside a standard delivery area, or go out of your way to give customers something extra. You are adding value (and service) to the purchase they make.

Value-added service all but guarantees that customers will purchase from you again and refer their family and friends to you. It costs you nothing and gains you a great deal.

Plan, evaluate, and change if necessary

Plan your marketing in the least expensive, most effective way you can. It is marketing that drives a business, nothing else.

Be patient with your marketing programme. Give it time to work. Evaluate it carefully and honestly, and make changes where necessary. Although these techniques are simple and inexpensive, they will work and your business will improve.

The five Ps for success

The five Ps for success are:

  1. Passion
  2. Patience
  3. Persistence
  4. Perception
  5. Purpose.

1. Passion

There is nothing in the world like doing something you want to do, as opposed to something you have to do. Whether you are working a regular job or have your own business, you have to make sure that, whatever it is you are doing, you are passionate about it.

When you're passionate about something, the way you talk about it just sounds different. You appear more confident and knowledgeable. People can sense your passion and you are simply more believable. When you are truly passionate about something you can deliver it and sell it.

Having passion for something simply cannot be made up. There is no formula: either you are into it or you're not. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself how badly you really want it.

2. Patience

For most of us, exercising patience is the hardest thing to do. Wanting things "yesterday" is just not realistic. No matter what it is in life you are trying to achieve, you have to have patience. At some point you have probably asked yourself: "Will it ever happen?" Many people fight a constant internal battle, trying to figure out: "Is this going be the year?"

Many people feel they are ready when truthfully they are not. This is where patience comes in. There comes a point when you have to realise that if something is for you, it's for you. Nothing and no one can take it away. Sometimes in life we have to simply be patient and see things through, no matter what obstacles lie ahead.

3. Persistence

The big question is: How badly do you want it? The biggest mistake that many people make is to give up too soon. They are not persistent in their journey for success. Simply having persistence can get you a long way in life.

When asked about how they obtained their success, many successful entrepreneurs answer: "I simply refused to give up!" They were so persistent in what they wanted; they would not let anything stand in their way.

Being persistent can mean the difference between success and failure. No matter what it is you are in pursuit of, you have to remember to stay persistent. When you're looking for success, persistence is everything.

4. Perception

Applied the right way, perception can be very instrumental in your success. How people perceive you, your business or whatever you're trying to achieve can make all the difference in the world.

A person's appearance reflects more than who the person really is. Think about when you first put on a new suit or a new dress. You just feel different. It works both ways: the way you perceive yourself in it, as well as the way others perceive you. The power of perception changes our entire outlook. Perception can catapult you and your business to another level.

5. Purpose

Purpose is defined as something one intends to get or do. Do you know what your purpose is? For many people, the reason they are not successful is that they haven't found their purpose.

Sometimes you have to ask yourself: "What is my true purpose for doing what I'm doing?" Once you begin to understand the relevance of purpose, whatever it is you are trying to achieve becomes simple.

You must be guided by purpose. There are many people who have the desire to be successful but have no purpose to be successful. In order to be truly successful, you need to make sure that, whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life, you have really thought about your purpose first.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.