Over the last 12 months, I’ve developed my Apprentice, Katie, into a brilliant Marketer. But it wasn't easy and I made mistakes along the way.
For most small businesses, their first marketing hire is usually a graduate, junior marketer or Apprentice.
It’s a logical choice for a first marketing hire because much of the work that a small business CEO wants to hand over is marketing admin. For a business under £1m turnover, it doesn’t make financial sense to hire a highly experienced marketing professional when most of the work will involve updating a website, collecting data, writing emails, and creating social media posts.
But a Marketing Apprentice is unlikely to have any real marketing experience or knowledge - they’re learning, which is why they’re on an Apprenticeship - and it will take time for them to develop the skills to start leading your marketing activities. Here's what I learnt about how to get the most out of a Marketing Apprentice in a small business.
Do you treat your marketing goals like your New Year's resolutions?
They mean a lot to you when you first set them - when you’re motivated and eager to get started. But a few weeks down the line, you lose interest and casually push them to the side, never to be thought about again?
Marketing success is all about making sure that your goals and your plan work for you.
So, here’s my top 3 tips on how to set yourself goals you’re actually going to stick to this New Year (especially if your original ones have already gone out the window)...
I don’t know about you, but over the last few months I’ve found it harder to stay consistent with my marketing. And I know I’m not alone.
When we were locked down, a lot of business owners found they had time to write and share great blogs that resonated with their customers. They had time to send regular newsletters and post more often on social media.
But, since restrictions were lifted in the summer, these tasks have slipped down the to-do list and many people have lost the momentum they built up in their marketing.
So if you’re wondering how best to reignite your marketing this December, here’s 5 things you can do today to reconnect with your customers this Christmas...
I’m often asked, “what can I do to speed up my customers in their buying decision?”
With very considered purchases, it might be 6 months or more between someone first hearing about you and them actually making that first purchase. In a small business, these months can be excruciating as you wait patiently for a call or email telling you they’re ready to take that next step in their buying journey.
It’s tempting to want to try and speed them up, because you know they’ll get so much value from what you have to offer. However, it’s important your customer is allowed to make their decision in their own time.
This is a question that not enough business owners are asking themselves before diving head first into their marketing…
A lot of business owners know they need help and assume they need a consultant. But do they really? Or do they need a coach?
So what’s the difference between the two?
It’s become almost a guilty pleasure of mine, trawling through the ads on facebook trying to spot the irresistible clickbait formulas…
Why? Because they’re so effective! And because anyone with any interest in marketing will be able to learn something from them.
If you want to increase your sales, the obvious answer is to tell more people about your product or service. Right?
Well actually, logically, that’s the last thing you should do.
As business owners, it’s almost instinctive: more sales has to come from more prospects, they come from more leads and they come from more inquiries. So that’s where I need to start.
Strategic marketing planning takes time.
And, if like me, you’re running a business, time is probably in short supply...
It’s easy to think that it’s better to just get on and do some marketing, even if it’s not as effective as it could be, and work on improving it incrementally using an agile or ‘test and learn’ methodology. Taking time out of your business to plan can feel excruciatingly wasteful. After all, once you’ve spent all that time planning, you’ve then got a long list of marketing activities to do and even less time to do them than you had before.
So can’t all this planning be skipped? Can’t I just work out my marketing strategy as I go along?
Well… let’s explore that with an analogy.
Without buy-in from everyone involved in executing your marketing plan, you'll never be fully successful in implementing it. And I don’t just mean your marketing team here either.
Marketing should never operate in a silo. Their activities impact sales, customer service, product development, product/service delivery and operations and more. Your marketing strategy needs to fit within the context of your business growth strategy and work in collaboration with each departmental strategy.
But how do you get buy-in from all these different people? Especially when you have people who are not at all familiar with how marketing actually works.
Here are my top 5 tips…
Can you have a strategic not-for-profit?
I’ve recently been working with a couple of not-for-profit’s that have been looking to increase the uptake of their services. Since the business isn’t actually “selling” anything, we’ve been looking at how the buyer journey can be applied to help them achieve their marketing objectives.
So, can the buyer journey model be applied when your customers aren’t technically buying from you?
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