Tag Archives: ‘Chartered Institute of Marketing’

Brilliantly Simple Marketing for SMEs – a diagnostic tool for #CIMSmallBiz15

I recently had the privilege of presenting to a group of small business owners at The Chartered Institute of Marketing’s SME Marketing event (#CIMSmallBiz15), where I attempted to cut through the jargon and present a very simple diagnostic tool to help SMEs to understand where to focus their marketing efforts for maximum effect.

The presentation is embedded at the bottom of this post*, but here’s some notes to provide additional context.

Context

Two recent surveys by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and Elance/Odesk caught my eye when preparing for this presentation.

  • 59% of SMEs surveyed had sought external advice to help them grow their business…
  • …But only 7% had sought advice about marketing
  • …Yet 46% believe they spend far too much time on marketing, as they don’t have the necessary skills or a background in marketing

My aim here is to provide a simple, jargon-free tool that demonstrates how ‘marketing’ can help realise the growth potential of any business…and to give the 46% a method for prioritisation.

Identifying the blockages

This is a simple diagnostic tool to identify which areas of your marketing needs attention. You can then be more focused on addressing specific transition points within your marketing funnel and clear any blockages.

Here are the four constituencies within this basic funnel:

Strangers – people with a need for your service that don’t know you yet

Friends – people you have a connection with that have given some form of ‘permission’ to keep them updated (e.g. opted in to an email newsletter, followed you on Facebook or LinkedIn)

Customers – people who have actually placed an order and have paid you money

Advocates – loyal, repeat customers that are happy to recommend you to other strangers….

And so the loop continues.

Three key transition steps

As shown below, there are three key transition steps to move prospects through the funnel

A simple funnel, with the three key transition steps

A simple funnel, with the three key transition steps

Build – building an audience of interested, engaged prospects

Convert – adding value to and nurturing that audience over time and converting to sales

Delight – providing ongoing value beyond the sale, deepening loyalty and increasing likelihood of repeat purchase, referral and recommendation

Examples for strategies to clear blockages at each of these transition points can be found in the presentation deck* at the bottom of this post.

What to do next – 3 things I urged SME business owners to do

Ask for help – don’t be in the 93% of businesses that don’t ask for help. Speak to a marketing agency or freelance consultant.

Draw the funnel for your business – take some time out, on your own or with your management team, to map out the funnel for your business and where you feel there are transition challenges – at the build, convert or delight step.

Hijack your diary – dedicate regular time to working ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ the business. I totally understand the pressures involved in finding time to think about marketing your business, but someone has to! You are the boss, but if you need it, I herby give you permission to make time for this – an hour or two per week, offsite, wherever you will not be interrupted.

Where are the challenges in your funnel? Do you need a fresh pair of eyes or external sounding board?

Feel free to contact me for an informal chat about how a simple, jargon-free approach to marketing your business might just make the whole topic a bit less daunting.

*Presentation deck from Steve Revill’s presentation at #CIMSmallBiz15:

Social Media Benchmark

I was one of about 250 marketers that attended the Chartered Institute of Marketing‘s launch of the Social Media Benchmark research at Bloomberg’s impressive offices in Finsbury Square this week.

This is the latest in a number of excellent research studies launched by the Chartered Institute of Marketing in recent years, led by Thomas Brown, Head of Insights at CIM.

Assembling an impressive panel of senior players from LinkedIn, YouTube and Skype, and hosted by Manus Cranny from Bloomberg TV, the audience were given a double-act walk through of the top-level findings by Thomas and Tara Beard-Knowland from ASI, Ipsos Mori.

The full report is due out in a few weeks but here are some of the headline statistics:

  • 80% of marketers know they need a social media strategy, yet only 7% are tracking the results
  • In 40-50% of businesses, marketing did not own the official channel for Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn (PR team seemed the other most common owner)
  • The number of marketers that rated their social media activities as ‘not at all effective’ was spread across a range: 24% (Twitter) 33% (Facebook) 37% (LinkedIn) 44% (YouTube).
  • Whilst about half of businesses surveyed planned to invest in training their current people to improve social media skills and competencies in 2012, about a quarter had no plans at all.

I look forward to poring over the detail when the report is published, but I left the event thinking that survey respondents are either:

  1. still in complete denial/ignorance of the importance of measuring the effectiveness of the tools they are using, and why (I believe this a broader issue than social media), OR
  2. they are unashamedly still in experimental mode, adopting the Google approach of “test and iterate” mentioned by Thomas in his closing summary

It’s hard to say for sure without the detailed findings, but I suspect there’s a bit of both.

However, with a social media landscape that continues to evolve and change almost daily, the important thing is that the CIM is leading the debate from centre stage.

Thank you and well done.

Can Digital Immigrants learn the right to residency?

There’s a lovely quote I heard for the first time at a recent presentation by David Rowan:

 “Anything invented before your fifteenth birthday is the order of nature. That’s how it should be. Anything invented between your 15th and 35th birthday is new and exciting, and you might get a career there. Anything invented after that day, however, is against nature and should be prohibited.”

Douglas Adams

Source: http://www.famousquotesabout.com/quote/Anything-invented-before-your/74844#ixzz1JQelGyKL

This made me laugh out loud. Then it made me think (as did the rest of David’s presentation, which was excellent). Although I like to consider myself relatively tech-savvy, I’m approaching 40 and am therefore a Digital Immigrant. Yet I’m fascinated by the potential within the digital world that is developing at speed around us, and want to understand what makes the business decision makers of tomorrow (the Digital Natives) tick. As a B2B Marketer, how can I not be?

So last year I went back to school for the first time in over 10 years and completed the CAM Foundation’s Digital Marketing Planning Award (via online distance learning, of course!). Whilst it gave me a great refresher in marketing planning, my background and wider reading really ignited a passion to find out more about how the digital world continues to evolve.

Since then, I’ve slowly built Twitter connections with c.100 people around the world, along with a small but growing readership of this blog, with over 200 views a month. I will never be a Digital Native, but I can learn more about the customs and language of the new world I find myself in.

As my interest in the development, usage and integration of digital tools into mainstream marketing has continued to grow, I’ve decided to take the plunge and study for the Digital Marketing Essentials Award, which will give me  a focus to my learning whilst allowing me to complete the Diploma in Digital Marketing.

As well as posting updates on this blog, I’ll also be sharing any interesting insights I glean as part of my studies via my Twitter feed. I hope you find them interesting and useful.

Creativity and Innovation- a practitioner’s perspective

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Thomas Brown, Head of Insights at The Chartered Institute of Marketing, on the subject of Creativity and Innovation within Marketing.

To see the article in full, which will be sent to c.18,000 members of the Institute’s Continuing Professional Development programme, click below:

Creativity and Innovation- A practitioner’s perspective

For further reading on this subject, including  the views of Brant Long, Global Brand Director at Jones Lang LaSalle, see March’s CIM CPD Update .

Should marketers act like they own the business?

I’ve been in marketing for over a dozen years now in a number of different B2B sectors and businesses. One of the constant challenges throughout my career to date has been the variability in how marketing is perceived by ‘the business’ (the collective noun that marketers often use to describe non-marketing stakeholders and decision makers).

 More often than not, when perceptions are negative, it’s down to the fact that the marketing function has failed to demonstrate and communicate the value created through its efforts. Often, there is no direct alignment to the business strategy and objectives.

This isn’t a new problem, and I can’t say I’ve not been guilty of this at times in my own career, but the scale of the challenge is as high as it has ever been.

A recent CIM/Deloitte survey revealed that a mere 7% of respondents ‘always set KPIs clearly for each initiative’, and only [maybe the same?] 7% ‘always set clear accountabilities for objectives’. 

By my maths, this means that a staggering 93% of Marketers must be hoping for the best when embarking on marketing programmes. If we don’t know what to expect and we don’t know who’s responsible for success or failure, it is no surprise that marketing teams sometimes struggle to articulate the value they create.

Is acting like you own the business the answer?

So, should Marketers think (and act) more like shareholders when developing marketing programmes? I believe so. If you think (and act) as if you owned the company you work for, and imagined it was your money you’re investing in marketing, would you sign off on the investment?

Here are three ways that marketers can demonstrate they are thinking (and acting) like the owners of the business when building and implementing their marketing plans:  

1) Aligning marketing objectives to business strategy will help to tangibly demonstrate the value you are adding to the business. This isn’t easy (only 37% of organisations ‘think their business strategy is clearly translated into marketing objectives’ according to the CIM/Deloitte survey) but it shouldn’t stop us trying.   

2) Define truly SMART objectives that demonstrate the clear line of sight between business strategy and marketing strategy. Set the right metrics and make sure you take accountability for achieving them.

3) Communicate your plans and progress in the context of how it is supporting the achievement of the business strategy.  Keep communication open and two-way. Tell the broader business what you are doing, how it is going, and gather feedback from functions that are critical in the achievement of your objectives (sales, finance, operations etc). Repeat.

I’m keen to hear your views on this. What are the benefits and drawbacks of thinking like a shareholder? What are the challenges of adopting such a mindset?

Digital- hype or high potential?

I was delighted to be asked to join a panel discussion on a recent CIM Webcast earlier this month entitled “Digital- what hasn’t happened yet- the shape of digital to come?’

Moderated by Thomas Brown, Head of Insights for CIM, the panel consisted of Mark Stuart, Head of Research for CIM, Mark Inskip, Digital Director EMEA, Accenture, and myself in the guise of a B2B Marketing practitioner.

The webcast can be accessed from this link, hosted by Thomson Reuters http://tinyurl.com/33xpsvq.

Whilst there’s no doubt that the online environment will continue to evolve at pace, there are some basic questions that any business needs to ask itself before embarking on a digital engagement programme:

1. Do I have a detailed profile of my ‘ideal’ customer[s]? 

If not, build one and make it personal- give them a name and refer to them in internal meetings and agency briefings.

2. Do I understand the media consumption habits of my ideal customer?

Do I know what they read, where they read it, and how they read it? Are they online? How much, and for what purpose? Which sites and/or social networking platforms do they use, and why?

3. Does my product/service really lend itself to using these new channels for communication and engagement with my target audience?

 I love this cartoon by Tom Fishburne http://tinyurl.com/39m5t9v which I believe should be compulsory viewing for everyone thinking about embarking on a social media journey.

This by no means exhaustive, but unless you answer ‘yes’ to every question, you should stop and reconsider.