- 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)
The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 2)
This is the second part of a two-part article…
Principle #7 – Listen and learn… and be prepared to get out of your own way.
Just because you want to sell it, doesn’t mean that anyone wants to buy it. Or better yet… you can only be successful when you sell what the market wants and needs.
Here’s an example… if you are a boutique qualitative shop specializing in ethnographies… and several of your clients start asking for bulletin board focus groups, should you start doing them? Maybe… maybe not. But you do, at least, need to think about it. In business, you need to pay attention to the market and be prepared to respond to it – maybe in ways you weren’t expecting.
Principle #8 – Not all marketing is marketing.
Marketing isn’t just about ads, websites, social media and the sales team. Remember, anything and everything that touches a client or prospective client and that can influence their perception of your firm should be thought of as ‘marketing.’
Think about when you’ve waited in long lines at the DMV and how that influences your perception of that organization and the people who work there. How about getting stuck on the phone with an uncaring, even belligerent customer service rep… how does that color your opinion of that company? And neither of those issues generally falls under the umbrella of ‘marketing.’
As you’re working on your marketing plan, make sure to give some thought to those things not normally associated with marketing. For example, how your phone is answered (friendly receptionist or automated voice attendant)… your billing process (easy and accurate or riddled with errors)… project personnel (friendly and empowered or a “that’s not our policy” attitude)… project proposals (easy to understand or complicated and full of jargon)… your offices and furniture (nice or embarrassing).
Principle #9 – You still gotta execute!
The fact is, planning isn’t all that complex. It takes time and it takes brain power… but when it’s done, it’s done (at least until next year). The real challenge in marketing & sales is in the execution of the plan… in making it come to life.
Sticking to the timeline, making sure all the details are covered, doing things on a regular basis (even though they might seem boring or redundant), taking the time to measure and report… now that’s hard. Plan execution requires discipline, persistence and determination.
In marketing & sales, you plan your work… then you work your plan.
Principle #10 – Give it away!
In the market research industry, it’s harder than ever to connect with a prospective client. Why? Prospective clients have access to two things that didn’t really exist 15 years ago:
- A TON of available data online
- An even larger number of potential vendors (thanks to a global, connected economy)
Given that, how do you get prospects to take notice… to connect with you in that sea of data and competition? Answer: GIVE them something of value. For free. It is easiest to start with information… an eBook on a relevant topic, a recording of a presentation, an invitation to a private webinar, etc… anything that helps them to do their jobs better.
This gesture of giving away valuable information benefits you at several levels:
- It helps to showcase your areas of expertise
- It helps to differentiate you from all of those competitors, most of whom are not giving away good information
- Gathering the prospects’ contact information (when they download the info from your website) helps you to build a database and initiate a follow-up program as a means to establish a relationship
- Those that download this kind of information are self-selecting, meaning that most of the time, only qualified, targeted prospects will request it.
Their acceptance of your offer is the connection you need to start the buying/selling process.
Principle #11 – 2-way dialogue… what a concept!
The world – and especially the world of marketing – has changed in the new millennium. Thanks to technology, particularly social media, we are now a truly connected a society. Like it or not… for better or worse… that’s the way it is.
For marketers, this interconnectivity means that the rules of changed. It’s not longer just “push” marketing (“I’ll advertise like crazy until someone buys from us!”) Now, it’s about 2-way communication… it’s about getting permission to communicate… it’s about transparency and honesty.
Bottom line… it’s about engaging your prospective clients, helping them to get to know your company and what it stands for, then helping them to buy what they need… not trying to sell them something that you need to sell. It just doesn’t work like that anymore.
Principle #12 – Live the Brand
Every company has a brand… good or bad, compelling or weak – but we all have one. What’s yours?
Smart marketers have long been conscious of their company’s brand and trying to create initiatives in alignment with that brand. Often though, it’s only marketing that’s living the brand, not the rest of the company. And – here’s the problem – if everyone at your firm is not living the brand (and meaning it), then the brand breaks down and you lose credibility.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
- If your brand revolves around “innovation” and you still send faxes to clients, that’s a problem.
- If you want to be known for “customer service” and you still have an automated phone system that takes five steps to get through, you’re at cross-purposes with your brand.
- If you want to build a reputation for being specialists in the healthcare industry, but your new Project Manager doesn’t know the difference between an HMO and an HSA, your brand takes a hit.
Whatever your brand, to gain a competitive advantage, make sure everyone in your organization knows, buys into it, is trained for it and lives it.