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Marketing Drag Factors – Why Companies Fail to Grow

There are many reasons why SME businesses fail to grow in the UK, but some of the biggest reasons include:

  1. Lack of access to finance: SMEs often struggle to secure the funding they need to grow their businesses. This can be due to a lack of collateral or a poor credit history, making it difficult to obtain loans or other forms of finance.
  2. Limited resources: SMEs typically have fewer resources than larger businesses, which can make it challenging to expand and grow. This can include limited staff, technology, and marketing budgets.
  3. Difficulty finding and retaining talent: Recruiting and retaining talented employees can be a significant challenge for SMEs, especially when competing against larger, more established businesses.
  4. Competition: SMEs often face stiff competition from larger, more established companies that have greater resources and economies of scale.
  5. Market changes: Changes in the market or industry can have a significant impact on SMEs, especially if they are not able to adapt quickly enough to new trends or technologies.
  6. Poor management: Finally, poor management can also be a significant factor in SME failure. This can include a lack of planning, poor financial management, or inadequate leadership skills.
  7. No skilled marketing people within the organisation

The Issue of “Skilled” Marketing Practitioners

Or put another way is marketing drag impacting the growth and performance of your business

  • Can you operate within marketing at the highest level without training?
  • Can a person just turn up, go into a marketing role and perform at an optimal level
  • BUT – for many of the companies I visit, regularly the marketing role is carried out by those without any training ( and often whilst performing other roles)
Marketing drag factors to go fast do you have the right marketing

How many of you believe that the marketing and sales teams in your business are performing to the best of their ability?

Using the analogy of flight and how it links with marketing and sales to business growth

The two elements required to achieve flight are lift and thrust. The two factors which impact on flight performance are drag and mass. So the challenge as you seek to build a bigger aircraft, is that the drag increases.

So lets look at the business equivalent, as a business looks to grow, the growth should not become a drag. To fuel a business you need effective and efficient marketing and sales.

So who in the business is trained, qualified and professionally capable of delivering marketing within your business. Does that marketing person have a clear business strategy to work towards, is there a clear marketing and sales strategy in place. Is the marketing and sales capability within the business capable of effectively achieving the growth required.

Marketing Drag Factors – Why Companies Fail to Grow Blue Dolphin Business Development
marketing drag factors is something holding you back

Marketing Drag Factors

  1. No qualified or professional marketing skills or specialism within the organisation
  2. Marketing not represented in the boardroom or at Director level. Operations, Production, Finance represented but marketing seen as an activity that responds to other activities
  3. The organisation works in silos Engineering / Operations / Finance / Production operate independently and have there own strategic directions
  4. Marketing has no idea what other departments are doing and more importantly has no impact on driving or guiding the business growth
  5. Marketing is seen as a cost within the business, and is primarily seen as a tactical activity. Because there is no strategy any marketing is completed on a shoestring as its always just viewed as a cost. To this point
    • No marketing strategy exists ( as in many cases there is no business strategy ) so any marketing activity is reactive – with no directions
    • Rather than paying for professional website design to create highly impactive literature – this is completed in house by someone who can use a graphics package
    • The new website that is required has been ongoing for months and months ( and months) as the friend of a friend of a director has promised to do it – as he has built a couple of websites at college
    • As social media is so easy a few people in the company are posting random content on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. It doesn’t serve any purpose – but its good to be doing something!
  6. Marketing activities are highly tactical and often implemented on a reactive basis
  7. The way business is completed is changing rapidly, the way that we complete marketing is also changing. There are now so many marketing approaches available, many companies think that these will provide a silver bullet to success.

Want to pick up the phone and speak to us about your Strategy, Website, Marketing or Business Development project?
Call us on: 01733 361729

Overcoming Issues Of Marketing Drag

For many professions you would never think of trying to perform the activity effectively yourself. Accountancy, Legal, HR etc. Yet for marketing there is some strange thought that “I can design a ….” “I can put together an email campaign.” “I can design and build a website…” and ” I can do all of these marketing things without any need for a strategy…”

To find out more about overcoming Marketing Drag issues and how developing a new website could overcome them Click Here. To find out more about business development services by talking to an experienced and professional click here

Aeroplane vector image attribute

Marketing Wisdom by the Pint

Marketing is all about understanding needs, being different and identifying opportunities to add value. Hopefully some of the pieces within this article will provide as much inspiration as a well pulled pint.

Innovation that comes from improvising a solution (Jugaad)

There are 6 key principles

  1. Do more with less
  2. Keep it simple
  3. Think and act flexibly
  4. Seek opportunity in adversity
  5. Include marginal customers in your thoughts
  6. Follow your heart – be passionate

Frugal Innovation

How to do more and better with less – two examples from Indian innovators

Thinking outside the “ice” box. In the modern world we have fridges that keep our produce at the perfect temperature. With modern units costing hundreds of pounds and requiring 24/7 electricity. In many parts of India there is neither the budget or the power supply but there is the demand to keep household produce cool. Step up the innovation that developed the clay fridge with water to cool

Thinking outside the “hot” box. The GE Incubator has been responsible for saving multiple lives by keeping babies warm in the western world and at $30,000 seems to provide great value for money. But when budgets are limited and skilled staff not available the $30 baby warmer that maintains a babies temperature is a great low cost solution – designed for extreme affordability.

marketing wisdom by the pint head on a pint of beer

How Does Social Media Really Work

  • Social is not content
  • Social is not broadcasting
  • Social is not selling
  • Social is listening / engaging
  • Social is genuine conversations
  • Social is building relationships
  • Human to Human , An extension of Face to Face networking
  • More Social less Media

WordPress Wisdom

  • /plugins/simply-show-ids   this is an example of a plug in that hasn’t been updated in 8 years (and is a great exception going against WordPress development logic
  • To search a WordPress site when no search box site/?s=…….. (whatever the term you are searching for)
  • HT-access File – when you don’t have FTP access
  • Short codes finder – use it to find – and then disable it
  • Not WordPress but useful –  use this to see if your email address has been compromised

Stop Training Flea’s (Or Are You Limiting Your Employees)

The Flea Jumping Urban Myth (perhaps) And Its Link To Sales & Marketing Performance

A scientist in an experiment placed a quantity of fleas in a glass jar.

  • The fleas quickly jumped out of the glass jar.
  • He then put the fleas back into the jar and placed a glass lid over the top of the jar.
  • The fleas began jumping and hitting the glass lid, falling back down into the jar.
  • After a while, the fleas had become conditioned to the presence of the jar lid and began jumping slightly below the lid so as not to hit it.
  • The scientist then removed the lid as it was no longer required to keep the fleas in the jar.
  • The fleas had learned to limit themselves from jumping beyond the height of the lid even if the lid was removed as they had become conditioned to the fact that they cannot escape from the jar.

How Does Training Fleas Link To Your Sales & Marketing Staff

  • Are you limiting the performance of your sales and marketing by imposing unnecessary barriers
  • Do your staff have the skills and experience in place to take your sales and marketing activities to the next level
  • What needs to happen to unleash the full potential of your sales and marketing activities
  • How often do you give your staff a good listening to in order to identify opportunities for improvements
  • Are you the limiting factor in the way that you perform your sales and marketing

Remember unleashing the power of your employees could have significantly positive experiences on your business

Stop Training Flea’s

If you would like to get more from your Sales & Marketing activities and jump higher then click here

how hgh can fleas jump

Promote Your Business – Writing A Press Release

What is a press release?

  • Purpose is to present a story
  • Usually aimed at editors of publications
  • Provides all the information they need typically on one or two sides of A4 paper
  • Presents the story in a way which is beneficial to the organisation involved

Writing a press release

  • Be clear on the objectives of the release
    • Who is it aimed at?
    • What will interest them about the story?
    • What you want to achieve from issuing the story
  • The headline:
    • Functional purpose – to attract attention
    • Sums up the whole story
    • Avoid fancy or clever headlines
    • Try to keep it to a single line of text
  • Summarise the key points of the story in the first paragraph (first 20-30 words)
    • Get the key bits in first with the details later on
    • Keep to the facts and write succinctly
    • Avoid advertising or self promotional language
    • Make it easy for the editors:
      • Written in the 3rd person
      • Use the present tense
      • Structure the story
      • Check spelling and grammar
      • Get it proof read
  • Maximising coverage
    • Producing different versions (local and national/different emphasis for different markets).
  •  Timing
    • Quiet and busy press times
    • Deadlines

Laying out a press release

  • Use double line spacing
  • If the release runs on to two pages add ‘continued…’ to the bottom of the first page
  • At the end of the release type ‘ENDS’
  • If a photo is provided include a photo caption
  • If you need to provide more details include ‘notes to the editors’ after the release
  • Include contact details and website address
  • Send it out on headed paper

Writing A Press Release

Whilst the world focuses on social media there is still a place for the technical / specialist publication that is serving content to a very targeted / specific audience. For these publications a press release is very relevant. For more information on marketing techniques click here. To talk to a marketing and sales professional click here

In Marketing what is PR

A PR Definition

The organised two-way communications between the organisation and audiences critical to its success.

What are the ‘audiences and organisations’

  • Potential customers
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Suppliers
  • Shareholders

All these audiences require different messages

Public Relations Activities

  • Corporate communications
  • Events
  • Sponsorships
  • Speeches
  • Public service activities
  • Media relations

Media relations involves:

  • Working with publications
  • Developing news stories and articles
  • You need to know:
    • Your target audience
    • The objectives of the publication
  • You will need to write the article with these things in mind.

How can PR benefit your business?

‘Customers are five times more likely to be influenced by editorial copy than by advertising’
Why is this?

  • People buy publications to read the stories – not the advertisements (although advertising still has its place).
  • People are influenced by what they read because:
    • Credible
    • Non promotional
    • Viewed as impartial
    • Approved’ source
    • Readers associate with the stories
  • Media relations typically costs less than advertising and direct mail – especially if you do it yourself
    • It can work in isolation or alongside other marketing activities
    • Ideally should form one part of the marketing mix
adverts for magazines and brochures blue dolphin business development

What can you achieve with PR

    • Generate sales leads
    • Create perceptions of your company
    • Build recognition
    • Raise awareness of products or services
    • Highlight successes
    • Counteract negative issues
    • Influence a reaction
    • Use as part of retention strategies
    • Reach audiences which traditionally are out of reach

Start With Why – Reverse the approach and identify the real issues

Many companies follow this approach when trying to come up with a solution to a problem.

They start with the “What” question –

  • What can we do to increase sales ?
  • What can we do to increase staff performance etc.

Then they ask the “How” question –

  • How will we implement
  • How will we achieve increased  sales.

Finally they consider the “Why” issue.

So the suggestion is what if you start from the perspective of why.

Lets see how the process  might develop

  • Why do we want to increase sales?
    • By starting with this question it may raise issues such as
      • profitability,
      • utilising spare capacity,
      • getting to a size to be credible for tenders etc.
  • The Why question helps us challenge the purpose of what we are going to do .

So then once the “Why” has been answered we can then

  • How are are we going to achieve the above
  • What specific activities do we need to complete

So next time you are looking at the issue start with “Why” not “What”

The drivers for motivation

Why are you pursuing your goals?

The drivers for motivation

  • FEAR – if I don’t do this then bad things will happen
  • REWARD – if i do this then good things will happen
  • ATTITUDE – habit of thought

Building habits

  • Spaced repetition
    • Conditioning building habits
      • Attitude – habit of thought
        • Behaviour – what we do
          • Results  – what we achieve
              • Success – what we want
The only drivers for motivation
Is Establishing Partnerships Part Of Your Business Strategy

Partnerships Part Of Your Business Strategy

What are the criteria for successful partnerships

  • Goal of the partnership = Goal of your business
    • Key question to ask “How will the partnership bring in more sales”
  • Partnerships shouldn’t be seen as a STEP forward but as a LEAP forward
    • There is no point in creating a partnership if the business doesnt move forward

Criteria for Good partners

What makes a good fit

    • Complementary portfolio with the same type of customers
    • Users at the same stage of the customer journey
    • Understanding / recognition of who will take the risk, do the product / service development
    • Ask yourself  “Who would you partner well with?”

What would be best for you – Trick or Treat

      • Same geographical market versus Pursue a new market
      • Apply current practices versus Ask for innovators

What next after your partnership concept created

What untapped opportunities exist – and to move forward and develop

      • A meeting is worth a thousand emails
        • Avoid the issue that frequently occurs “Why didn’t you just come and talk to me”
      • Can you save time by going through a delegate list in advance and setting up meetings immediately
        • When you get together
          • Don’t beat around the bush – Get to the point
          • Use numbers to demonstrate / identify options
          • Share knowledge of them
          • Demonstrate value to their customers
          • Show your competitive advantage
          • Identify success stories
          • Make sure you are talking to the right people

Partnership Negotiations

      1. Stay in the game and keep momentum
        • Don’t lose motivation
        • Don’t set unrealistic deadlines
        • Take it seriously
      2. It is not personal – don’t get into a negative mind set
        • The other party might not be as excited as you
        • They might be slow
        • They might not get what you are offering
        • Whatever happens – stay flexible
      3. Be careful of ego’s
        • The person you are dealing with may not have the power to make it happen
        • The person you are dealing with certainly has the capability to kill the idea
      4. Partnership business goal is most important
        • If the partnership is not working – kill it
        • If the partnership development is taking too much time – kill it

If establishing partnerships is part of your business strategy then consider using a third party to help in there development.

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