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Why Big Companies Shouldn’t Neglect Local Marketing | Extraordinary Business

local marketing
Local is everything. While smaller businesses may have no choice but to follow this mantra, big companies should also focus on the benefits of local marketing rather than being cynical towards local branding and what it can achieve for their business. For instance, as CMO Whisperer Steve Olenski notes, many overseas retailers have struggled in Asia. The reason was their inability to understand the local market. In other words, they neglected local marketing and paid the price.
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Thought Leadership's Journey to Brand Awareness | Extraordinary Business

thought leadership
In the last two articles, ‘Importance of Thought Leadership for Corporate Growth’ and ‘Your Company’s Thought Leadership Has Eluded Business Development Success’, we focused on thought leadership. We talked about the importance of thought leadership for corporate growth, while also looking into factors in which a company might miss out on the benefits of thought leadership. In this article, we’ll discuss the connection between thought leadership and brand awareness.
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The Right Message The Right Way | Extraordinary Business

Message in a bottle

Tapping into more effective marketing by understanding how your audiences consume information

Have you ever been out to dinner and seen the member of the wait staff that simply seems to be in the wrong business? How about going to a auto repair shop and seeing all of the mechanics standing around smoking and broken cars in the parking lot? What about going to the grocery store and seeing insects crawling or flying?
All of these thoughts play into your head about whether or not you want to do business with these companies. Essentially, you are consuming information about these companies in order to make your buying decision.
In the same way, you target audiences will consume information about your company. Therefore, when you are doing your business development activities, you will want to take into consideration what your message is, how you will deliver it and how often it is delivered.
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The Right Message The Right Way | Extraordinary Business

Message in a bottle

Tapping into more effective marketing by understanding how your audiences consume information

Have you ever been out to dinner and seen the member of the wait staff that simply seems to be in the wrong business? How about going to a auto repair shop and seeing all of the mechanics standing around smoking and broken cars in the parking lot? What about going to the grocery store and seeing insects crawling or flying?

All of these thoughts play into your head about whether or not you want to do business with these companies. Essentially, you are consuming information about these companies in order to make your buying decision.

In the same way, you target audiences will consume information about your company. Therefore, when you are doing your business development activities, you will want to take into consideration what your message is, how you will deliver it and how often it is delivered.

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Bulls Eye Business Development | Extraordinary Business

Seven Steps to Targeting Your Company’s Niche Market

imageLooking at the business scape, and the market scape, you could probably figure out pretty quickly that not everyone out there is your market.  If you aren’t a market leader, such as Wal-Mart or Target, you probably don’t have much control over who that market is.  The reality is that despite our best efforts, most of the time, our markets will choose us – including what we provide, how we offer it, the price they will pay for it and how they get it.

If you compare your business to a vehicle, you’ll note that there are vehicles that are meant for speed, others that are meant for touring, others, still, that are meant for off-road experiences.  The models are created to meet the purchaser’s expectations at a price, level of service and expectation that meets the expectations of the desired consumers.

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Desert Mindset | Extraordinary Business

Surviving in the Desert Surviving in the desert requires awareness of changes in the environment, such as weather and seasonal changes, and ongoing preparedness to meet the challenges one faces.  During the cooler months, water and vegetation might be plentiful.  However, during the hot summer months, you’ve got to move to areas where water has pooled in order to ensure your survival when the local heat causes rivers and ponds to dry up.
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Desert Mindset | Extraordinary Business

Surviving in the Desert Surviving in the desert requires awareness of changes in the environment, such as weather and seasonal changes, and ongoing preparedness to meet the challenges one faces.  During the cooler months, water and vegetation might be plentiful.  However, during the hot summer months, you’ve got to move to areas where water has pooled in order to ensure your survival when the local heat causes rivers and ponds to dry up.

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Have an Idea and a Plan

Extraordinary Business: Have an Idea and a Plan!

In a 2008 children’s movie, “Monsters versus Aliens,” General W. R. Monger reports to the President, “Mr. President, not only do I have an idea, but I have a plan!”  This is the mentality business leaders who wish to build extraordinary businesses must have.(L-R) Gen. W.R. Monger and the President in "Monsters vs. Aliens."

Building an extraordinary business doesn’t happen by accident.  It requires focus, consistency, extraordinary thinking and an extraordinary vision.  Look at the luxury car manufactures.  Their commercial constantly tout why they are better than the non-luxury models. They have better handling, go faster, smoother lines, more electronics, etc..  None of this happens by accident.

Your extraordinary business won’t be extraordinary by accident, either.  Simply throwing together a webinar series, sending out free white papers, launching a new website or blog or being a host on an internet radio station does not mean that you will automatically launch your business into the echelons of greatness. Planning to do these things, however, could make the difference.

Take, for example, a new product launch by a national company.  They have a product, they have consistent messaging, they know who their target market is and you see their launch everywhere for a specific amount of time.  They’ll typically build out something that looks like a business plan and ask the who, what, when, where, how and why this product will get on the market.  If they cannot justify the investment, they move on.2011 Planning Button

Extraordinary business leaders need to look at endeavors in the same light.  Every action must be measured –does it support the mission?  Will it help us reach the vision? Can I promote it to the right people?  How will I promote it?  How much will I sell it for?  How much will I make off of it?– to determine whether or not the time and energy that must be expended is worth it.

Planning is not a tool just for academics.  It is not simply a cliché, “failure to plan is planning to fail.”  It is the difference between shooting in the dark and building something extraordinary.  Build extraordinary.  Have a plan.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses. 

We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. 

If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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*Picture – (L-R) Gen. W.R. Monger and the President in “Monsters vs. Aliens.” – © Dreamworks Animation, LLC

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Business Development | Extraordinary Business

How to get and manage more customer relationships

One of the greatest challenge many business owners face is in business development.  Time and time again, business opportunities are simply lost as a result of having poor or no business development processes in place.  Those business that expect to have staying power in the marketplace must have those systems in place, and they must be updated and tweaked, continually.

The center of this process is typically around some method of customer relationship management.  A customer relationship management tool is one that allows you to keep track of people that you meet, some of whom may move through a series of steps that will look something like:Grancesco Marino graphic

  • Lead – A person that may or may not have the potential to do business with you.  They seem to fit into your target market and could potentially be someone with whom you could do business.  Leads often fall into two or three categories:
    • Cold lead – They’ve never heard of you, nor have you gotten an introduction to them
    • Warm lead – They’ve heard of you, possibly through an introduction, but don’t know enough about you to make a purchase decision
    • Hot lead – someone who knows you and or your business, and is open to purchasing from you.
  • Prospect
    • A prospect is a confirmed lead – someone who has a need you can fill, has taken an interest in filling that need, and has the resources to purchase from you.  The key, here, is that they understand what you and your company have to offer
    • There are a number of steps you’ll want to follow (and, perhaps customize, based on your industry and target market) in order to get them to the phase of client:
      • Interview them – learn more about their needs, concerns, challenges and/or interests
      • Analyze needs – determine how you can best fulfill their needs
      • Present – present your solution or solutions set
      • Negotiate – work around any objections
      • Close the Deal – get the contract and money in hand!
  • Client – you have fulfilled their needs in exchange for money or another medium of exchange
  • Repeat client & referral partner – getting them to purchase more from you and (not or) get them to refer other people to you.  This will be your least expensive form of marketing, since these people know you and your business and hopefully, enjoyed the experience.

The challenge many business owners find is that without having developed a strategy to manage all of this, money is left on the table and clients slip through the cracks.  Even those that put money into a CRM system, such as salesforce.com, Maximizer and Act! will quickly find that the software does not automate itself; you’ve got to invest the time and energy into learning it and making it work for you and your business.  Data entry and update is not a quick process.  However, it will pay off.

The best recommendation from industry professionals (CRM) is to work with an industry professional who can get a good understanding of your business, your sales processes, your current lead generation tactics and other nuances of the sales process and have assist you with choosing, implementing and training you on how to get the greatest return on your investment.  Like anything else in life, you are limited by what you know or have capacity to learn.  Working with an experienced professional will likely save you time and money and get your CRM solution running on the right foot.

Customer relationship management can be the difference between growing an extraordinary business and going out of business.

Grow extraordinary.  Try CRM.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.

We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.

If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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