- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 3
- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 2
- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 1
- 5½ [behind-the-scenes] Marketing & Sales Activities You Need To Do in December
- Got something to say?
- Running a small firm? Who holds you accountable?
- Marketing & Sales Success Begins with a Simple Step… Thinking!
- Your Sales Forecast Doesn’t Have to be a Guessing Game!
- Lead generation is a 3-step process.
- Measuring Sales… it’s Not just about Revenue
- 7 Selling Behaviors Seller-Doers Must Employ to be Successful.
- Can you really be “all things to all people?”
- 12 Marketing & Sales Activities you Gotta STOP this Year!
- How to maximize the impact of your marketing investment.
- Revenue Growth? Try the ‘5% Challenge’… it’s Brilliant!
- Should you ever walk away from revenue?
- Get Ready for 2017 with these 6 Marketing & Sales Activities
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 2
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 1
- 10 Guidelines for How to Be Successful at Sales
- Strategy Before Tactics!
- 6 Marketing & Sales Lessons Learned in our First 4 Years in Business
- The Sales Presentation: Stop Reading the PowerPoint Slides and Tell Your Story
- Content Marketing not working? Eh, don’t worry about it!
- Marketing Measurement: 3 New Methods You Have to Try in 2016
- The One Thing You Must Include in Your 2016 Marketing & Sales Plan
- Not using LinkedIn? Are you kidding me?!
- Is it OK to fire a client?
- Take Charge of Your Own Success… Stop Relying on Others!
- Getting first-time clients to take a chance on you.
- 9 Ways to Build your Business During the Summer Slowdown
- The Top 10 Ways to Build Awareness
- The 13 Most Common Website Mistakes
- The Most Important Part of Exhibiting
- Content marketing isn’t a one-time thing… it’s an all-the-time thing.
- THINKING! A framework for creating better business plans in 2015.
- Not happy with your marketing & sales? Then make just one change in 2015!
- For Beginners: Should I Tweet Daily? Yes… and here’s how.
- Got your Marketing Plan for 2015? No?! Now’s a good time to start…
- How to Connect with Booth Visitors – An Exhibitor’s Worksheet
- Not getting the email results you want? Make sure you’re following these 7 email marketing guidelines.
- 10 Ways to Get Clients to Sell FOR You (and they won’t cost a dime!)
- Do you know where you’re going? Why Strategy should drive your marketing & sales.
- 11 execution tips to help you exceed client expectations
- How to Turn First-time Clients into Repeat Clients
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 2
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 1
- 13 Lessons for Researchers Who Don’t Want (or Like) to Sell
- Social media marketing success in 30 minutes a day
- Get it right! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
- It’s not that complicated! A common sense approach to the marketing & sales process.
- How MR firms are blowing it with new customers: Lessons learned while secret shopping
- Management or sales… you can’t serve two masters.
- Prove it! Nine ways to convince prospects to work with you for the first time.
- Five everyday ways to grow your business
- How that ‘one great client’ could doom your firm
- Six marketing and sales mistakes MR firms make every day
- Eight proven ways to build awareness – and why you should!
- Suspects, Prospects and Clients: Is your firm focused on the right target?
- A Checklist for Conducting Your Own Marketing & Sales Audit
- Learning to play the game: What football can teach us about marketing
- Differentiating your firm in a crowded marketplace
- 25 low- or no-cost ways to grow your business
- 15 Reasons E-mail Still Matters in Sales and Marketing
- Come prepared, dress the part and follow up: 10 dos for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- No rookies, no gum and no Frisbees: 10 don’ts for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- How to see yourself as clients see you
- Marketing 101: It takes Work to make it Work
- Use the 8 Ps of Marketing when Setting Strategy
- Integrate the 4 As of Marketing into Your Planning
- Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 2)
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 1)
Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business
Regardless of the industries we serve, the age of our firm or the number of employees we have… we all share one common goal. We all want some greater level of market share and higher profit margins… and in nearly every case, achieving those goals starts with REVENUE GROWTH.
The initiatives you develop for helping to grow your business will most likely fall into one of four strategic categories… or more appropriately, one of the four “approaches” to business growth reviewed below:
Core Growth: “How can we sell more of our current services to our current targeted clients?”
This means not only finding more clients like you have now, but also increasing sales to your existing clients. This is most likely the kind of marketing & sales that most of us focus on most of the time… and that’s a good thing. But beyond this, though, the other three approaches that can really set the stage for explosive growth and provide you with a competitive advantage.
Market Expansion: “Who else, outside of our current client base, would be interested in buying our services?”
Here, we’re talking about looking at new vertical industries or niches within industries, new horizontal industries and new geographies.
Let’s suppose you own or manage a full-service research firm that serves all kinds of clients. Over the years, you notice that a bigger and bigger percentage of your business comes from one or two verticals – healthcare and higher education, for example.
Market Expansion suggests that you consider focusing your marketing & sales efforts on those verticals where you’re having the greatest success. This is not to suggest that you ignore the rest… only that you take a purposeful approach to growing your business in those verticals.
Another option might be ‘horizontal’ rather than vertical. If your research business targets research buyers (end users) in certain verticals, as is customary, of course, you might also want to consider targeting other firms that also serve that vertical (e.g. ad agencies, consultants, etc.). These other firms can themselves, become clients or, more importantly, they can become multipliers for you, helping you to make further in-roads into those verticals.
Lastly, you might need to think about geography. If you service the automotive industry on the west coast, you might want to think about opening an office in Detroit to better serve the auto industry there.
Product Enhancement: “What new kinds of new services can we sell to my existing clients?”
There are certain obvious ones here… quant shops can start offering qual and vice versa.
Beyond that, though, there are still numerous options. And today, technology can help to make it easier to make that transition.
Consider the full-service shop again, offering both quant and qual. What if webcam surveys were added to your quant-side service offering? On the qual side, what if you became experts in bulletin board focus groups or mobile qual? Same process… unique tools… new revenue stream.
Take a look at your current clients… what opportunities exist to add to your service mix and expand your relationship with them? And the broader your relationship, the more difficult it is to be displaced by a competitor.
Diversification: For this, you need to really think outside of existing services and clients… “Is there a brand new business we should be in that (and here’s the key) in some way ties into our current business?” This one can be difficult because it pushes you away from your comfort zone.
As an example, let’s assume that you offer website usability testing services. With that level of website and UX experience, it’s not hard to imagine expanding into actually offering website design services to an entirely new target audience, perhaps through a new division or subsidiary company.
Look around… are there opportunities for your organization to expand outside the walls of your core business? But a word of caution… just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Anyone remember Exxon computers or Levi suits?
So, where do you begin? Start observing… listen to your clients, pay attention to your competition and follow trends in your industry. Then cross-reference what you see with ideas for new products and new markets. Where the observations and ideas meet are the strategies that can help to grow your business.