Small Business Marketing Strategy & Process Development

Posts Tagged "marketing consulting"

Why Hire a Strategic Marketing Consultant?

on January 25 in B-to-B | 0 comments

Business owners, internal marketing stakeholders, and entrepreneurs might benefit from hiring a strategic marketing consultant, but often aren’t aware of the circumstances that would prompt such a decision. Also, there is a lack of understanding about the problems a marketing strategist and consultant can solve, resulting in leaders asking “Why hire a strategic marketing consultant?” To answer this question, consider the following with respect to your organization: Are you creating enough demand for your offering? Are you attracting the right clientele and prospects? Are you confident you are investing (both time and money) in the right marketing activities? Do you have the appropriate levels of marketing expertise on board to succeed? (Do you have both strategic marketing and tactical execution covered?) Are you able to measure and respond to market changes and/or trends in your client and prospect bases? Is your marketing activity providing the results you expect? Does your culture mirror your brand so that no matter who interacts with your company or staff they have a consistent experience? Are your online and off-line marketing activities coordinated and well-designed to work in tandem to achieve your sales goals? Do you have clearly defined, compelling differentiators that result in prospects choosing your services over the competition? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you might consider making strategic marketing a priority in your organization.  If you are an action- and growth-oriented leader who recognizes that turning those “No’s” into “Yeses” will make a big difference in your marketing effectiveness, let’s discuss the plan of attack.  Unfortunately, too many leaders believe they must “go it alone,” when it comes to marketing strategy and feel isolated in their roles, but when they hire a consultant, they reap the benefits of collaboration and innovation. Want more? Sign up for our...

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The Alternative to Firing Your Clients: Better Screening

on May 1 in B-to-B, Small Business | 0 comments

In my earlier post Firing Customers: Why and How,  I referenced Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails. This is a book by Scott McKain and although I haven’t read it yet, he has published an informative article on MarketingProfs.com: Why You Should Fire (Some of) Your Customers.  Herein, he recommends who to keep and who to discard by category (very helpful!) and  smartly states: “We spend more time than we really have to give pleasing a customer we never should have solicited in the first place.” (Emphasis mine.) This last bit by Mr. McKain leads me to the crux of this post: Better screening.  I admit that I have fallen victim to a big name, a glowing referral from a colleague, and a market underdog with potential (if only they’d been open to change), but I am trying—and encouraging my marketing strategy clients to try—to do a better job of what I call “selective engagement.” With a little process development and strategic thinking, small businesses can establish criteria for selectively engaging clients who are well-suited to their business models and financial goals. This includes ideal client persona development as well as the means to attract them and the process of identifying them.  With this type of planning and supporting processes in place, you can prevent the firing mentality or  “culling phase” and instead be more exclusive with building your client base upfront.  Yes, this takes great effort, bravery, and budget, but given the alternative—having to gracefully back out of an engagement—it might just be worth it. Today I came across an excellent example from a marketing person I respect, Allan Starr. In his Marketing Monthly newsletter,  he states his criteria, including this specific requirement, “If a client doesn’t at least believe they are better than their competitors, we don’t take them on (we are opportunity agents, not turnaround artists).”  Starr makes a bold statement about what his company does and what they need from potential clients, which will allow prospects to identify or walk away.  (Bravo Marketing Partners, and feel free to refer those who need more confidence to us. Agencies have different criteria, after all, and we like to connect with fellow service providers.) As many marketing colleagues acknowledge, it can be hard...

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