Rosie’s Roundup - Rosie gets the expert lowdown

 
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The part of my job I love most is getting out and about talking to people. If you’ve ever met me in real life you’ll know I love to chat! Recently I’ve been gathering some gems of wisdom from some of the marketing gurus I know, in order to create this month’s roundup. Sharing is caring, right? I talked to some genuinely talented people who had a huge amount to share on various marketing related topics.

Do your customers enjoy the journey?

I started with Gideon Luke who, like me, loves to chat. He’s one of my favourite people to catch up with every month at We Mean Biz and that’s not just because he’s always up for cake. Gideon is the founder of The Marketing Department - you can plug-into his team’s expertise when it comes to outsourced marketing needs. We had a super interesting conversation about customer lifecycles and why they are so important…

Every one of your customers has a journey - a 7-step experience or ‘lifecycle’:

  1. Attraction - being drawn to your brand or proposition

  2. Acquisition - contact has been made, they have become a lead

  3. Conversion - committed to purchase

  4. On-boarding - making sure your relationship with the customer gets off to a great start

  5. Engagement - building that relationship of trust between you, your products or services and the client

  6. Retention - creating loyalty and opportunities for repeat business

  7. Advocacy - make sure every customer shares their positive experiences with others

At every step you need to define what happens. If you don’t proactively implement processes for every stage, you are leaving your customer’s experience of your company to chance. By designing and structuring the customer journey you can help ensure that their experience is positive.

New business vs repeat business

Another thing that Gideon and I talked about was customer retention. Research tells us that the cost of acquiring a new customer is between 5 and 25 times higher than retaining and getting more work from existing customers. And a 5% increase in retention can translate to 25%+ revenue increase, so it’s worth checking if you are spending too much time acquiring new customers and not enough nurturing your existing ones. 

Also, if customers continually leave you, you will need to spend significantly more budget to replace them. The old 80/20 Pareto principle stills stands today: 80% of your revenue is likely to come from just 20% of your customers, so treasure them.

How can we keep customers coming back?

Prospects are nurtured so that they turn into customers, so why not nurture existing customers in the same way to get them buying more? Engaging with customers is the key – make sure you are communicating relevant and useful content and that it’s not just a one way street always saying “me me me”.

Ask for their opinions, engage in conversations using social media platforms. Keep customers informed of new products or services in a way that shows how something new is relevant and offers them a benefit and perhaps a discount. You might also consider how you develop your product line or services so that after a customer buys something there is a next item or service to buy after that to benefit them further and generate more revenue for you.

You want your existing customers to come back so you can build their lifetime value (LTV) i.e. the amount they spend over the entire time that they’re a customer with you. Better to have a customer spending regularly for five years than once and then never again. Happy and engaged customers also bring new customers to your door.

SEO - does it really matter?

The lovely Jade Wicks, founder of Doeth Marketing, is a total marketing data expert. This is something that brings me out in a cold sweat due to my hatred of numbers but when you combine her number knowledge with Rin Hamburgh & Co’s wisdom with words, we are a formidable combo!

I asked Jade what her tips were for boosting SEO and she said the key is to ensure that your website aligns with Google’s mission statement: “To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Make it universally accessible: Is your website responsive? In other words, does it work well on all devices including mobile and tablet? And would someone who was visually impaired be able to use and find the information that they required on your site?

Deliver useful and relevant results: Think about your content strategy. What information and tools are useful to your target customer? Do you know the key words and phrases used by your target customer to find products or services like yours? Google’s free Keyword Planner Tool is great for this.

How can I tell if my marketing is working?

Clients ask us this all the time. Here’s Jade’s checklist:

Set clear, SMART marketing objectives that align with your overall business goals. For example, if you’re an online retailer your business objective may be to increase sales by 20% in 2019. To do this you know that you need to increase website traffic by an additional 100,000 visitors. So the logical marketing goal may be to increase traffic from social and paid search, which you know to be your best converting channels. Now you can plan out marketing tactics e.g. specific campaigns to achieve the 100,000 visitors needed to achieve 20% more sales.

Measure performance. Put tracking in place asap to ensure that you’re gathering useful performance data. Google Analytics is essential, as is conversion tracking for every channel used e.g. Facebook, Google Ads. If you’re running an offline campaign then using specific promotional codes will enable you to track performance and sales on redemption.

Review and analyse performance regularly. Take the data you’re gathering and go back to your original goals to see what progress you’re making. If you’re not progressing in the way you want to, make the necessary changes to optimise performance.

How can you use ‘dull’ data more effectively?

We’ve already seen how data can help you track your own performance internally. But Jade says that there’s a lot more you can do with it. She’s a rockstar at taking ‘dull’ data and makes it interesting to customers so that it can actually be used as a marketing tool.

It’s all about how you position it. Using data to tell or support a story which is relevant and useful to your target customers cannot fail to be interesting. For example, in her role at Kyero, Jade uses data to paint a picture of how the Spanish property market is being impacted by Brexit, which is naturally going to be very interesting to both of Kyero’s key audiences: Spanish property agents and international buyers.

Consistently sharing useful insights and interpretation of data is an effective way of building brand trust and will establish your brand or business as the go-to source or authority in your chosen area.

Simplicity, stereotypes and motion graphics

Our final guru I met in a totally non-business way, which goes to show you should always have business cards in your pocket. Simon Dunn and I have bonded around many a cold football pitch early on a Sunday morning whilst watching our kids play. Simon is co-founder of Sovereign State Worldwide, an integrated creative agency servicing some of the worlds biggest brand names. Who better to ask about emerging trends?

Diversity and equality: According to Simon these are a key driver for many creative agencies who are smashing stereotypes with their work. As marketers we have an opportunity and a responsibility to help reframe what consumers consider to be 'normal' and it’s encouraging to see that our industry has embraced this responsibility and is producing some fantastic work.

Motion graphics and animations: There is an increasing demand from brands for engaging ways to tell their story to social-first consumers. The way social audiences consume content has put a big demand on ensuring messages stand out, are visually dynamic and stop consumers in their thumb-scrolling tracks. Motion graphics help achieve these objectives and we will continue to see brands integrate it more into their marketing mix.

Design simplicity: It's no surprise that in a world full of cluttered marketing messages and millions of apps competing for our attention we are often drawn to the simple. Brands have started to adopt this approach of simple aesthetic thinking. Classic British fashion house Burberry are a great example. They have moved away from their iconic equestrian knight logo in favour of a clean and simple sans serif logo type designed by the iconic typographer Peter Saville.

How do you design a creative campaign?

Simon believes that the starting point has to be defining your objectives and looking at what barriers might impede the delivery of those objectives. If you’re going to be using a creative agency, it’s worth getting them in early.

He says: “Creative agencies are often under-utilised by businesses – engaging them too late in the process, when a company wants a snazzy campaign or new design for their latest product or service. Engaging a creative business at this stage can lead to superficial solutions – sure the work will look and sound cool, it may even have short term benefits but if it doesn't navigate or solve audience barriers and dilemmas it will never be as successful as it has the potential to be. 

“We believe in getting upstream of the problem, as creative thinkers we have the ability to come at things from a different angle and we work with our clients to develop creative strategies and campaigns that truly engage with the audience and deliver positive lasting effects.”

Where to spend your marketing budget

One thing most marketing managers working in SMEs will have in common is their frustration at being limited by their marketing budget. It’s not possible to do everything. So if you have to choose, where should you be spending your marketing budget?

Again, Simon says that defining objectives is key, as is understanding your audience. If you know what you want to achieve and who you want to talk to then it helps with what you want to say and where you should say it.

For example, you would't try and promote a new dating app aimed at tech savvy and socially connected 20 somethings via a press advert because that audience aren't consuming that type of media. Instead you'd opt for a social advertising strategy possibly supported by influencer content that features people 'just like you' who have found love using the app.

In other words, Simon concludes, always go where the attention is. Simple, right?

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