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Baby cabbages

Tomorrow's lunch?

To get the best results from your marketing, as with your gardening, you have to work at it.  Growing a business is a lot like gardening … would you expect to plant some seeds today … and have cabbages for lunch tomorrow?  If only ….

The garden is your business; the plants are your customers; the flowers and fruit are your sales; and the weeds, slugs and other predators are your competitors!

Marketing your company, like gardening, takes planning, effort and imagination.  So how can you make ‘your garden grow’?

  • Prepare the ground: think about your branding & niche markets
  • Preserve the older, more mature plants:  look after your existing customers.  Making repeat sales to them is 5 times easier!
  • Condition the soil with lots of good organic material:  make sure your marketing material is well-written, ideally by a professional copywriter
  • Choose good quality seeds: invest in your marketing materials – they say everything about your business
  • Watch out for predators!  Did you know a slug has 27,000 teeth? Develop a USP (Unique Selling Point). Your competitors will!  There are a lot of slugs about!
  • Nurture your seedlings:  develop good customer service strategies
  • Water & feed regularly:  communicate with your customers.  Send them newsletters … drip feed them with information
  • Propagate your own plants: ask for referrals and work on your networking
  • Boast about your garden: think about PR, and make the most of your free opportunities
Vegetable harvest

Harvesting the fruits of your marketing?

Don’t forget your company’s marketing activities will be what your prospective customer or client will use to judge you.  While you should always present yourself in a positive light, don’t over do the ‘fertiliser’!

Marketing your business takes time.  Like your garden, you shouldn’t expect results overnight.  Your objective is to build solid, long-lasting relationships with your customers.  This way you can look forward to repeat sales, referrals, and a sound customer base.

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

Louey - the marketing duckling

Louey - the marketing duckling

Can you think of a better subject for an Easter blog?  My madcap daughter prompted this post when she attended a business meeting yesterday.  It was an urgent meeting, so she went into the office on her day off to see the prospective client.  She works for a somewhat traditional national company, and I am sure she’s been a complete shock to their corporate system.  So, being a bit whacky, she arrived at the appointed time, accompanied by … her 6-day old duckling, Louey!  

Louey is destined to become a child’s pet duck on a smallholding in Somerset, and is currently being ‘socialised’ with people and transport, hence her corporate debut.  Needless to say, the clients turned out to be ducking enthusiasts, the sale was closed, and my daughter’s boss was reeling from the unorthodox approach! 

While I’m not suggesting as small business owners we should all be dashing out and acquiring ducklings or other small cutesy creatures (if for no better reason than they tend to grow), I think there is a moral to this story.  Ultimately, people buy from people and, if we can present ourselves as being warm and friendly, as well as professional, perhaps our sales will benefit.

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