Archive for Marketing – General

Lance – The Master of Habits

By Liz · 01 May, 2013 · Filed in Marketing - General · No Comments »

We called him 5:15 for a long time – why …

because at 5:15pm he would go totally nutty … Lance got it into his head that  5:15pm each day he needed to let us know it was time for his dinner. This laid back Golden Retriever would become a hyper active pain in the neck, jumping up at us, onto our desks, generally being in our faces until we moved! A habit we are pleased to say he’s let up on over recent years …

His current favourite habits are tummy rubbing in the evening at around 8pm (Ian’s chore) and crisp snacking around 9pm (joining in on my bad habit!).

What’s amazing is how quickly Lance forms these habits – every day same time.

He’s a lovely boy but when his habit calls he makes sure he’s there and getting what he wants.

For us mere humans it’s said that forming a new habit (or behavioural change) takes between 18 – 224 days. It takes time and repetition.

Just seems that developing bad habits seems easier and faster – like my couch potato crisp chomping! And breaking them becomes a tough job. Maybe we spend too long focussing on breaking them rather than developing new ones to replace them?

If there was one habit you could form in your life in the next 18 – 224 days what would it be?

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The Crufts’ Friends for Life Competition

By Liz · 04 Apr, 2013 · Filed in Marketing - General · No Comments »

Lessons from our hounds: Not ours this month!

The Crufts’ Friends for Life competition demonstrates what and how much dogs can do & how much they can help us if we work with them.

Dare you to watch the video without reaching for the tissues! Each story is remarkable. It is 14 minutes long but well worth it. If you can’t spare the time – jump to 10 min 40 sec and see who wins and then check their story out.

Each one of the dogs entered into this competition has a major positive impact on their owner’s life.

Each dog’s contribution is priceless.

Just like the impact these dogs have, we believe that your marketing efforts should have a major positive impact on your life.

The difference is that you should be able to calculate its price and impact!

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March – What a month …

By Liz · 04 Apr, 2013 · Filed in Marketing - General · No Comments »

No not just because Wales staged a comeback of the century in the Six Nations – oh did I mention they won it! Not because St David’s Day falls on the 1st and most definitely not because of the weather (had to mention it, after all we are British) but because March presents us as business owners with opportunities to increase revenues.

If you missed out on using March to your advantage, all is not lost

March, the name comes from the Latin Martius and was named for Mars, the Roman god of war. Mars was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare. As late as 153 BC, Martius remained the first month of the Roman calendar and several religious observances in the first half of the month were originally new year’s celebrations.

But hang on a minute why does this make March a great month for us as business owners? Well quite simply because March is piled high with Events … and here are just a few:

  • St David’s Day (1st)
  • World Maths Day (second Wednesday in March)
  • International Women’s Day (8th)
  • St Patrick’s Day (17th)
  • World Water Day (22nd)
  • Mother’s Day (fourth Sunday in Lent)

If you’re looking for sporting events then:

  • Six Nations Rugby (of course! :-) )
  • The Australian Grand Prix opens the Formula One season

In addition Easter may fall in March and March is of course the first month of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Everyone one of these events gives us a good reason to :

  • be in touch with our customers, clients, patients and
  • promote a product or service to them and
  • offer a “special” promotion to them

Keeping in Touch + Promoting an Offer = More Sales = More Revenue (well if done properly)

Events offer us an ideal opportunity to hang our marketing campaigns around in a natural and mostly fun way that are eagerly welcomed by our clients and prospects.

What’s a Marketing Campaign?

A marketing campaign is a coordinated series of steps designed to promote a product or business.

If you haven’t got your marketing campaigns scheduled out for the rest of the year now is the time to get your Wall Planner out and schedule out some.

Get creative, you can use all kinds of events as drivers such as:

  • Business Related Events e.g. Seasonal, annual or legislative occurrences that affect your clients & your business including your business anniversary.
  • News Related Events e.g. adhoc news events especially ones that affect your local area
  • Local Events e.g. sporting, art or cultural events happening in your area
  • Client Specific Events – the most powerful events you can use e.g. birthdays, visit follow ups and anniversaries of doing business with you.

The benefit of using a date driven event is that it imposes a deadline to your marketing campaign, normally the event date itself.

For each campaign you want to give yourself enough time to plan, execute and follow-up. We recommend you give yourself 2 -4 weeks to plan and prepare the campaign, this includes preparing all the marketing collateral such as emails, website content, direct mail pieces and of course the offer itself. You may be planning on running additional marketing activities such as newspaper advertising so you need to factor this into your planning.

Don’t make this mistake

The biggest reason most business owners marketing fails is lack of follow-up. One email, one letter, one phone call is never going to get great results for most. You must plan on contacting people at least 3 times over the course of the campaign. You also want to consider using different media types e.g. emails, direct mail, phone. Vary it up and see what people repsond to.

You want to plan on distributing your marketing content over a period of 2 – 4 weeks. Allow yourself time to adjust your content based on the feedback you get.

Finally, schedule at least 1 week to wind down your campaign and get out some communication after the event. You can use this time to thank people, recognise participants, recognise winners if you ran an associated competition.  And of course, you will want to schedule time for measuring and analysing your results to create an even better campaign the next time.

The first quarter of 2013 is over – make the next 3 quarters count even more and get busy creating your campaigns.

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Honey, our Spanish Galgo Girl who defied the vets (and us)

By Liz · 20 Feb, 2013 · Filed in Marketing - General · No Comments »

Honey was found by our next door neighbours when we lived in Spain a few years back. She was in a bad way, starving, unwell and with a serious problem with one of her back legs. It had received a big knock of some kind – we’ll never know how but with Honey’s nervousness around some men it could have been a vicious blow or kick.

Honey never put weight on the leg, couldn’t bend it and consequently her leg was wasted and her paw hadn’t developed. It was like a club.

On the first visit to the vet we were told she would never use her leg. Daily vet visits became the norm for the next 2 months as we all worked on building up her strength and getting her back to health.

However, Honey was unaware that she wasn’t going to use her leg again and over time through playing with our other 2 dogs and running around our garden like a mad thing we started to notice that she was putting weight on her leg.

Over time her leg has developed to be nearly as muscular as her other. Her paw is as big as the one on the other side and while she still can’t totally tuck her leg in under her – it’s nearly there.

When we look at her it’s hard to believe we were told she wouldn’t ever use her leg – the thing is, Honey didn’t have this limiting belief. She unconsciously every day took actions that helped her – just playing and running around.

Of course Honey isn’t human!

As humans, our beliefs and what we tell ourselves shape our thoughts which determine our actions.

Ultimately our daily actions will determine our results.

My very best results come from taking consistent and appropriate daily actions towards the results I want and where I fall short I can always tie it back to rubbish actions that come from rubbish thoughts and beliefs. Be it losing weight to increasing revenue!

In business our results are very tangible. We can measure our results in many ways: profit, revenue, number of customers etc. the list goes on.

In times when the economy is struggling, it’s easy to blame poor business results on this. We hear it all the time – it has become some peoples’ mantra – blame the economy. I get to speak to a lot of business owners and hear their tales of woe. However, I work with so many that see tangible increases in their business that I know that while the economy plays a part, of course it does, the critical difference is the actions that these business owners are taking are different.

Do you have results you want to change – more profit, more revenue, more customers, less customers that pay you more even? What daily actions do you need to be taking to get the results you want?

Once you work these out – as Honey did – just go for it!

 

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Take Your Word Of Mouth Referrals To The Next Level

By Liz · 23 Jan, 2013 · Filed in Marketing - General · 2 Comments »

Did you know:

94% of new customers who buy products and services from businesses in their area (local businesses) use a search engine to find a business or at least check it out beforehand?

Google is the service that your customers are using significantly more than any alternative (offline or online) to find your products and services.

And, for many Google searches, particularly for local businesses, Google is now showing reviews, both the number of reviews and, sometimes, a review “score”.

Did you also know that:

  • 70% of customers trust a business with a minimum of 6-10 reviews.
  • 72% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.

These reviews are known as social signals. They are the new word of mouth referral. You will get more customers if the Google search results show that you have more and better reviews.

What’s more, Google knows that people prefer businesses with more and better reviews so it is ranking these businesses higher in the search results.

A recent Harvard Business School study found that a one-star rating decrease can reduce revenues by nearly 10%, so it literally pays to stay on top of all your reviews.

Your goal must be to:

  • Get the best reviews you can
  • Get as many reviews as you can

You may already know that you need to get these reviews. If so, your next question may be one of the most popular questions we get asked: “How do we get them?”

Here’s the good news. There is a proven 3-step process to follow that:

  • Ensures your business is listed everywhere it needs to be: exactly where customers are searching.
  • Generates the positive reviews needed to boost rankings and calls.
  • Monitors your business presence to maximize results.

Let’s go through it …

Step one: a verified local presence:

  • You need a Google+ Local listing that is complete and accurate and is focused on your main product or service (these used to be called Google Places or Google Maps entries).
  • You should also set up industry or hyper-local directory entries relevant to your industry.
  • When creating all these entries, ensure that your name, address and phone details match and are correct – this is vital to making online listing sites work for you and your business.

Step two: take control of your brand:

  • Do that using review request cards (like the Social Accelerator cards that we produce for our clients)
  • They give easy direct access for customers to leave a review of your business
  • They can be integrated with appointment reminder cards or left at a service call or given to the customer with their bill at a restaurant.
  • They can be branded on the front just like a business card
  • On the back they have a QR code that can be scanned and short links that can be typed in to take a customer straight to your rating or review site.
  • They can be set up for the most appropriate site for you
  • The cards can be in different shapes and sizes (usually business card or postcard sized)
  • They are review generators for your business
  • They work in any industry and are quick and easy to use by your team and by your customers
  • Simply hand them out to all of your customers who have had a positive experience with your business
  • They will help build your brand online

You may be wondering whether you should be using Google as the prime place where customers should post reviews.

Google have made it increasingly difficult for your customers to leave a review in recent months. This is actually a good thing for you. Google reviews have been merged with Zagat ratings which require at least 10 reviews for your business to be given a review score on your Google+ Local page.

By using this system you’ll beat the competition to the 10 reviews and have your score appearing online and people looking at your business instead of your competition’s.

Review request cards give you instant credibility and brand management. They help you build your ratings and reviews on the web because the business with the most positive reviews usually wins.

A heap of positive reviews are like the old full page yellow pages ads. Today the same result can be obtained cost effectively.

Your reviews posted onto the smaller peripheral sites add up to help compound traffic and build a wider presence for your business online and these smaller sites also show up in the Google Search Results.

You can easily implement this strategy daily in your business starting today.

In doing so, there are 3 “R”s for you to follow to maximise the effectiveness of your reviews:

  • Real: they must be Real customer reviews
  • Relevant: they must be relevant to your business
  • Recent: They should be Recent as recent reviews are given more weight (by people and by Google)

What About Those Negative Reviews?

We know that, on average, a customer who has had a bad experience will tell 10 other people about it whereas a customer who has had a good experience will only tell one other person. Using review request cards makes it easier to spread the positive reviews while minimizing adverse affects and helping mitigate the negative ones.

Step Three: Monitor & Manage Your Reviews

You need to know what customers are saying about your business as soon as it happens.

  • Over 62% of people read online reviews.
  • Approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations even those by anonymous posters!

Don’t let bad reviews cost you lost sales and service appointments.

Therefore, step three is to take control of your reputation by:

  • monitoring the reviews you are receiving
  • spreading the positive reviews further afield so more people see them
  • responding quickly to negative reviews – people expect an occasional negative review and look for a business to accept and apologise for a problem and demonstrate that it is keen to take steps to address the issue. In this way, a negative can be turned into a positive.

By putting this three-step system in place you will attract more customers.

So, what are you waiting for?

From Liz, Ian and the Online & Mobile Marketing Wizards at
Roderick Pugh Marketing
The Local Business Specialists for Online & Mobile Marketing
When achieving a 25% or more growth at your business matters!
Tel: 01554 775 738 info@RoderickPughMarketing.com

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It’s A Dog’s Life: Lessons From Our Hounds – What Guinnie Taught Us

By Liz · 21 Jan, 2013 · Filed in Marketing - General · No Comments »

Unfortunately, in 2012, the eldest of our 3 dogs left us to chase rabbits in doggie heaven.

Guinevere Jemima Thomson aka Guinnie was one heck of a dog and there’s one thing for sure, no one has ever forgotten Guinnie – everyone has a Guinnie moment that they always remember.

From the moment we chose Guinnie (well I chose her) we should have known this was no ordinary dog! To say Guinnie had a mind of her own would be an understatement. Of course we were naïve in handling what the Dog Psychologist referred to as a Dominant Dog Syndrome – yes we did employ a Dog Psychologist!

Who would have thought a Golden Retriever could be dominant! Well there’s one in every pack!

Guinnie caused no end of challenges, it was a constant battle of wills. She ate her way through shoes, towels, remote controls, sofas, even a whole sweater. Dug holes, excavated escape tunnels and broke through gates. Even stole a passer-by’s pie from their hand and wolfed it down in one, while carrying on walking!

It didn’t matter how much we warned people of Guinnie’s antics. They thought they would be on top of her… of course she always got the better of them  ….  the stories are countless.

So what the heck did we learn from her – well she was UNFORGETTABLE.

For most of us as business owners, we are our business. People buy us and we need to stand out or at least stand for something. And the last thing we want to do is hide it behind some vague, bland and anonymous marketing messages and materials.

We’re not talking Outrageous, although if you are, flaunt it! It’s simply a matter of conveying you as a person and your team as real people.

And it has never been easier (or cheaper) to convey your message than it is today. In the “old days” you had to get on to TV to become a “personality”. Today you can achieve the same with tools and technologies that are readily available to you such as your website, social media sites, videos, photos, podcasts, webinars, teleseminars, even books (yes you can become a published author much easier these days).

So, remember to use your personal stories and experiences to make yourself, your team and your business become unforgettable (for all the right reasons of course!).

From Liz, Ian and the Online & Mobile Marketing Wizards at
Roderick Pugh Marketing
The Local Business Specialists for Online & Mobile Marketing
When achieving a 25% or more growth at your business matters!
Tel: 01554 775 738 info@RoderickPughMarketing.com

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The Secret To Dominate, Like The British Cycling Team

By Liz · 21 Jan, 2013 · Filed in Marketing - General · No Comments »

Dave Brailsford, British Cycling’s performance director went on BBC Breakfast on the final morning of the Olympic track cycling competition and gave the game away.

“Tell us about these ‘marginal gains‘ that underpin everything you do?” he was asked.

“The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together,” he explained.

“There’s fitness and conditioning, of course, but there are other things that might seem on the periphery, like sleeping in the right position, having the same pillow when you are away and training in different places.

“Do you really know how to clean your hands? Without leaving the bits between your fingers? “If you do things like that properly, you will get ill a little bit less.

“They’re tiny things but if you clump them together it makes a big difference.”

Of course, this wasn’t what many other teams wanted to here … they wanted the truth the cheating, the witchcraft, the magic wheels!

It’s no different to dominating in business.

It will never be one thing that makes the difference and especially with marketing. Too often we hear business owners tell us they’ve tried this, tried that and tried the other and it didn’t work.

The truth is that the results they got didn’t meet their expectation of the result they wanted. Wanted, not based on any scientific evidence, experience, or skill they’ve gained but on their emotional desire and emotional reaction to the outcome.

Sending out one letter, running one ad, setting up a Facebook page, tweeting one message will never and I mean NEVER bring you endless streams of customers and solve your business worries.

The answer lies in “marginal gains”.

Small changes that compound and create massive results.

In your business it’s about breaking down your activities into measurable tasks, measuring results, identifying areas of improvement, implementing a change and testing the impact of the change.

In marketing it’s exactly the same. Break down your activities into campaigns, brake down the campaign into quantifiable steps that you can measure. By making a small % gain in each step it really is surprising what a significant difference this can make to the overall outcome.

From Liz, Ian and the Online & Mobile Marketing Wizards at
Roderick Pugh Marketing
The Local Business Specialists for Online & Mobile Marketing
When achieving a 25% or more growth at your business matters!
Tel: 01554 775 738      info@RoderickPughMarketing.com

 

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Cloud Computing: What Is It and Should I Use It In My Business?

By Liz · 08 Sep, 2011 · Filed in Marketing - General · 1 Comment »

Cloud computing is becoming a popular buzzword these days but what exactly is it? And, as a business owner, should I be using it?

What is Cloud Computing?

cloud computingInstead of starting a copy of Microsoft Word on your computer as you arrive at your desk, at 9:00 am, coffee in hand, you could instead connect over the Internet (over the “cloud”) to a copy of Microsoft Word that is running on a server possibly thousands of miles away from you. It would look almost identical to the copy of Word that you used to use on your computer and would operate in largely the same way. In fact, for most of the time, you would probably forget that you were using Word “over the cloud” instead of on your computer.

And it’s not just Word that you can use in this way. Many applications that you can buy as a program to install on your computer also have competing products (or alternate versions) that you can access “over the cloud”. This ranges from utility services such as spam filtering to full blown applications such as CRMs and accounting suites. And, of course, Microsoft is offering their Office suite “over the cloud” with their Office 365 product.

In fact, cloud computing is not new. It’s just the term that is new. In the 1960s, the renowned computer scientist, John McCarthy suggested that such an idea might become a reality and it became so in the early 2000s. I was personally involved in the development of a service offering Office and accounting applications “over the cloud” that launched in 2004 (although we didn’t call it cloud computing then!) One of the more successful cloud computing services was Amazon Web Services. This was launched in 2006 and continues to enable hundreds of thousands of developers to offer applications “over the cloud”.

Should I Use Cloud Computing?

Maybe! Cloud computing can offer many advantages:

  • Accessibility: Anywhere you can access the Internet, you can (usually) access your application and its data. This means that you may be able to access your application from a PC, a Mac, a smart-phone or a tablet and it will operate in virtually the same way.
  • Collaboration: Multiple people can access the same applications and the same information from many different locations across the globe.
  • Standardisation: If the online application is upgraded or changed, everyone is immediately using the new version. There is no need to upgrade software on many different people’s computers.
  • Security: Your application service provider will secure the application and your data, usually to a higher standard than businesses implement internally. You will no longer have to worry about taking nightly backups of your hard disks etc. And, if a computer fails or is stolen etc, you no longer lose any data and you can be back in business faster.
  • Cost: Instead of purchasing applications as once-off costs, usually you “rent” the use of the application on a monthly basis which can help with cashflow. Also, adding another user to the system is usually a small incremental monthly fee, not a large up-front outlay for extra software.

But there are things to beware of too:

  • Connectivity: If your Internet connection goes down, you cannot work. Internet connections are more robust these days but they do still go down. What will you do if your Internet connection goes down? Should you install a second Internet connection into your office to make sure that you are always connected?
  • Speed: Every keyboard stroke and mouse click goes over the Internet to the server which then interprets your action and sends you an updated version of your screen. Previously these actions happened inside your computer. You may need to upgrade your Internet connection to provide you with the level of performance you need.
  • Security: Your applications and data can now be accessed from anywhere that has an Internet connection. That means that they are open to hackers and other unwanted visitors too. Your “cloud computing” service provider will have security measures in place to prevent unwanted access but this is never completely preventable (as is demonstrated from time to time by high-profile stories about hackers accessing credit card details from major corporations etc). Make sure that you consider security carefully when migrating to a cloud computing solution and plan for a “worst-case” scenario of data loss, theft or tampering.
  • Cost: Those monthly “rents” can mount up over time plus there are the continuing costs of quality Internet connections. You may find that the long-term cost of a cloud computing solution is higher than you expected.
  • Migration: Usually there will need to be a “project” to migrate from the way you are working now to a cloud computing solution. Plan this out carefully to understand the tasks and costs involved.
  • Provider relationship: With cloud computing you are now reliant on your service provider for your day to day applications. As this is no longer under your direct control, plan for the eventuality of you no longer wanting to work with them or if they go out of business or simply stop providing this service. At the start of a relationship everybody is thinking long-term and are happy with each other. The same is rarely true if it comes to a divorce so plan for it, as you will not want your business impacted by a supplier’s business failure.

Cloud computing is here to stay and with the growth of mobile computing, mobile apps will now play a larger role in delivering our IT services to us, wherever we are. This can give us the ability to do our jobs better and faster. So, embrace cloud computing where it can benefit your business but don’t do it without planning everything through first.

Cloud Storage and Cloud Hosting

While mentioning cloud computing, there are two other “cloud” buzzwords that are becoming popular these days that are similar but different!

Cloud storage is where you store data on the Internet. This may be for backups or for data sharing or so that the data can be accessed from “anywhere”. It is just like having an external hard drive connected to your computer … over the Internet. Your applications will still be on your computer, you are just storing your data in “the cloud”.

Cloud hosting is where your website is copied across multiple servers, usually in different parts of the world. For businesses highly reliant on their website, failure of any one server will have no impact to users as the website will simply be delivered from another server. They will notice no difference. This is also used as a method of ensuring that a popular website performs well, regardless of how many users are accessing it or where they are. For instance, Google has used cloud hosting to deliver its search engine for many years.

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The First Five Seconds: How Your Website Can Grab Your Prospect’s Attention … Or Lose You Business

By Liz · 16 Aug, 2011 · Filed in Marketing - General · No Comments »

At the end of the first year of the Corning Glass company having introduced safety glass, one salesman outperformed all the others by a huge amount. It turns out that all he did was meet with his prospect and find out the prospect’s needs and then he took out a sample of safety glass and put it on the prospects desk. He then hit the glass, as hard as he could with a hammer. The glass was undamaged and all he had to do now was ask the prospect how much glass he wanted.

In doing this he grabbed his prospects attention is such a powerful way that he won a disproportionate amount of business.

How would you like to grab your prospects attention in a powerful way that leads to you achieving the same in your marketplace with your website?

Well, you can! You simply need to understand what he achieved with his demonstration and apply it to your business.

This salesman grabbed the prospect’s attention with this display. But he did more than just grabbing his prospect’s attention; he grabbed it in a very powerful way. By hitting the glass with the hammer he demonstrated that:

  • he understood his prospect’s need (the prospect wanted glass that would not break)
  • he had a great solution to this need (he hit it hard with a hammer and the glass was unaffected) and
  • he did this right in front of the prospect. He did not send the prospect a 50 page scientific report discussing the impact tolerance of the glass … he hit it with a hammer!

If you are a business owner, there is a high likelihood that somebody is online right now searching for the kinds of products or services that you offer. And, you never know, they may come across your website.

However, it is unlikely that your website will be the only thing they come across. You are vying for attention alongside many other websites. So, when somebody comes across your website it needs to grab their attention and it needs to grab their attention within five seconds. Because that’s how much time, on average, a visitor will give any website. Your site either grabs their attention within those first five seconds and they decide to stay or it doesn’t and they decide to click the “back” button and that business is lost to you. And, if you can grab their attention in a powerful way then maybe you can grab a disproportionate amount of business.

So let’s look at what that Corning Glass salesman did and how you can do the same with your website.

1. Demonstrate that you understand your prospect’s need

The first thing that the salesman did was demonstrate that he understood his prospects’ need. The most common mistake that business owners make with their website is to immediately talk about themselves on their website and the features that they offer. When a prospect first comes to your site, they don’t care about you! They might do later but at that moment all they care about is themselves. They are looking for WIIFM (What’s In It For Them). So, tell them. Instantly engage with what the prospect is searching for, demonstrate that you understand their problem/need, talk in terms of the problem you are solving for them. You must be talking about them, using “you” not “we” in your headlines and text. And you must be talking about the benefits that they can achieve if they solve their problem/satisfy their need.

2. Demonstrate that you have a great solution

Tell your visitors, in a benefit-led way, that you can help them solve their problems. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by demonstrating credibility, especially third-party credibility. So publish your testimonials, case studies, awards, certificates, reviews, feedback, etc to show your visitors how great other people know you are. This is much more powerful that saying “We’re great because we say we are”!

And, these days you do not need to just use text in sharing these messages. How about showing a video demonstration or an audio testimonial or before and after photos. Text is boring and people love to be entertained through audio and video.

3. Do it in front of them

Your demonstration needs to be positioned so that it happens right in front of them when they first get to your website. They have analysed people’s eye movements when they first get to a website and usually the first place that people look is to the left, just a little below the top. Imagine you are reading a book, where would you look when you turn the page? That’s where most people first look at a website. There are things you can do to pull people’s attention to different places (eg by showing a face or using bullets and colours etc) but normally the best place to position the “first five seconds” content is at the left, just below the top.

The page must also be easy for them to understand and easy for them to see how they can navigate further into the body of the site for more details. So, for instance, if you offer multiple solutions to different client needs (eg a plumber who might fix leaks as well as install new bathrooms) then make it very clear what options you offer and give clear links for people to click on and follow to find out more.

Overall the page must be uncluttered and focused. Cluttered pages confuse people and confused people become unclear about what to do and head for the “back” button.

If you do these three things well , then more people will stay on your website and investigate you and your products and services more and you will increase the chance that more will become clients or customers.

You can find out how well your website is performing in the first five seconds (and also in attracting and converting traffic too) by requesting a free website health check: (http://roderickpughmarketing.com/free-stuff/website-health-check/)

 

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How to Create a Great USP (Unique Selling Proposition) For Your Business

By Liz · 08 Nov, 2009 · Filed in Marketing - General · No Comments »

A great USP (Unique Selling Proposition) will give you more business. And a poor one will do the opposite. So, without any shadow of doubt, it is worth having one. And, it is worth putting the time in to create a great one!

So, what is a USP? Well, it simply tells people what your business does … in a few short words, or, as Jay Abrahams puts it in “its sinewy bare essence”.

So, let’s take an example. Let’s say you make and sell something … how about pizzas?

Now, of course, you could simply have a USP that says “We make and sell pizzas”. However, while it might tell people what you do, it is of zero value to your business.

For a USP to bring customers in, rather than sending them away, it needs to be a:

  • Unique – it has to separate your from your competition
  • Selling – it has to “sell” you to your prospects, usually with a benefit
  • Proposition – it has to suggest what you propose to do

So, in order to come up with your USP, try asking yourself the following questions …

  1. Who is my target market? And, I mean the rifle shot target, not the shotgun target!
  2. What are the top 2 benefits that I deliver to my customers?
  3. What do I do better than my competition? Or at least differently?
  4. What do my satisfied customers say about me?
  5. Why are my benefits important to my customers? What problem are they solving?
  6. What is the sinewy bare essence of what I do?

And, then, you need to pull this together into a short sinewy sentence. In doing so, there is a structure that you can follow that might help you to do this:

  • Start with “I help …” where the dots are your target market
  • Continue with “to …” and put in the benefits that your customers achieve
  • Then “by …” which is what you actually do
  • And finally “so that they can …” and put in why the benefits are important to your customers

So, all of this might come together as “I help busy people enjoy a fast, healthy and tasty meal by delivering quality organic pizzas to their homes so that they can spend time with their families rather than slaving in the kitchen”. This needs more work to become a perfect USP but I hope you get the idea!

Many USPs can be boiled down into “slogans”. Some of which have become famous in their time. Here are a few that I like (not all are still in use by the companies):

  • WonderBreadUSP“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” (Federal Express)
  • “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less – or it’s free.” (Dominos Pizza) By the way, even though this is a great USP, Dominos dropped it many years ago!
  • “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play” (Mars)
  • “It looks good, it tastes good, and by golly it does you good.” (Mackeson Beer)
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