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Top Marketing Tips – Adjust Your Marketing Plan

Three months ago I needed to buy a present for my niece’s birthday and knowing that she’s into fitness I decided to buy her a skipping rope. I popped into a sports shop on the way home and picked up a great skipping rope that had a counter in one of the handles which I thought, was a great invention. As I was paying for the skipping rope I got into a conversation with the owner of the shop who told me that his business was doing really badly and that if things didn’t pick up for him soon that he would be forced to close. I felt really sorry for him especially as he told me he’d been running the business for the past 12 years.

Adjust Your Marketing Plan

Well, as you can imagine, I told him I was a marketing consultant and asked him if he would like to have a chat about his marketing over a coffee. I told him I wasn’t going to charge him – so he agreed. We met up a week later in a coffee shop and he explained to me all the things that he’d been doing to try and get customers through the door. He explained how he had delivered 10,000 flyers to local houses, put colourful posters in his window promoting products on special offer (I had noticed these), and, spent a small fortune on adverts in local newspapers. Yet despite all of this there hadn’t been an increase in sales. The poor guy was working so hard and not getting anywhere.

I asked him if he was using any social media to market his business and immediately knew the answer to this question by the look of bewilderment that he gave me. I told him a little bit a the potential increase in sales that he could expect if he were to create a Facebook business page and Twitter account and start building a community of people interested in sport and fitness. It didn’t take him long before he got what I was talking about.

He now has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, and has plans to start blogging too. And, the last time I chatted with him he told me how he had taken on board my suggestions about adding his Facebook and Twitter addresses to all of his stationary, emails, and to his website. He’s also started to collect email addresses from everyone that walks through his door by asking them if they would like to enter a FREE Prize Draw where the winner gets a gift voucher to spend in his shop.

What I really liked about this business man is that he was willing to adjust his marketing plan, get with the times, and was prepared to do whatever it would take to turn his business around. He knows that it’s going to take a bit of time to build up his social media presence to the point where it starts making a big difference in terms of sales but his taking all of the right steps. I think he realised very quickly during our first meeting that he really needed to adjustments his marketing plan – and as you can see, he’s not just adjusted it, he’s completely overhauled it!

My final thoughts

If you’re not getting the results you think you should be getting then have a close look at your marketing plan and be prepared to adjust what you’re doing until you get the results you’re after.

Please share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below…

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Top Marketing Tips – If it Moves, Measure it!

6) Measure your results

Measure the Results of Your Marketing Efforts

How important is it to measure results?

Well, I would say that for entrepreneurs, measuring the results of their marketing efforts is one of the most important things they can do as it creates opportunity to make ongoing adjustments to their marketing plan – which ultimately lead to an increase in sales. Yet despite this, I have worked with so many entrepreneurs who have tended not to bother measuring the results of their specific marketing campaigns opting only to measure the overall results from their making plan.

My advice to you, if you are one of these ‘big picture’ entrepreneurs, is to take time to measure the results from all of your marketing efforts no matter how small or unimportant you think they may be. If you put an ad in the local paper then take time to write down how many enquires it generates and whether they came in via telephone calls or emails. If you keep a WordPress blog then make sure you install the ‘StatPress’ plugin so that you can measure the effectiveness of your blogging efforts. If you hand out loads of flyers then make sure you find ways to measure the response rate you get from doing this – for example, you could create a new email address specifically for the flyers, or put a discount code on them so that you can differentiate the enquires that come in from flyers to those coming in from other campaigns. In a nutshell, if it moves, find ways to measure it!

The trick is to measure everything so that you know which activities to do more of and which ones you might be better off ditching! And, by measuring everything you also create the opportunity to ‘fail small’, a trick that I picked up from one of the articles I read on Chris Cardell’s website several years ago. Basically, if you measure the results you get from a small scale marketing campaign you are able to use these measurements to forecast the success you are likely to get from a large scale one. Naturally, if a small scale campaign fails then it’s not worth doing it on a larger scale as it will probably fail too!

Share your ideas and/or tips on this subject with us by leaving a comment – thanks in advance.

All the best,

Goga Farruggia-Bochnak
Founder of End Goal Marketing

NB. The above tip is the sixth in a series of seven that I have written – here is a list of the others that I will be posting shortly:
7) Adjust your marketing plan

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9 ‘Must Read’ Articles for Budding Entrepreneurs

I was doing a bit of surfing this morning and came across a very interesting blog called ‘The Emotion Machine: The Space Between Mind and World’. Written by Steven Handel. Click here to visit his blog.

I was struck by nine short articles that Steven has written about entrepreneurship so thought I’d give them a bit of a plug on the End Goal Marketing website along with a reason or two re why I found them interesting. The post are:

1) ’5 Demands of the New Economy’

This is a stimulating post with some of Steven’s thinking in the following areas: Digital, Empathy, Creativity, Abundance, and Story-telling – I found out an interesting fact about Amazon!

2) ‘Interview: Peter Shallard, The Shrink for Entrepreneurs’

This post covers Steven’s second interview with business psychology expert Peter Shallard – You can get a PDF download of a free E-book called ‘Seek and Destroy: How to Identify Entrepreneurial Obstacles and How to Overcome Them’. Peter Shallard pays some nice complements to entrepreneurs, which were nice to read as its always good to have our egos massaged from time to time!

3) ‘Make Plans to Change Plans’

I really like how Steven highlights how planning takes place during action and that it is continually evolving moment-by-moment.

4) ‘Coming up with a business idea’

Some interesting tips here as well as seven useful questions to ask yourself whilst in the process of thrashing around your thinking in search of a good business idea.

5) ‘The Business of Spreading Your Wings’

In this post Steven shares how he has used emails, social media, newsletters, blogs, Youtube, and Skype to reach out to the world and get noticed. There are some good pointers in this post.

6) ‘Mindful Risk-Taking: In Life and in Business’

I found this post to be very interesting as it highlights the necessity of taking risks to get noticed – I enjoyed reading this post and came away from it feeling a sense of admiration for Steven for his openness about himself.

7) ‘How to Combat Work Overload’

Some good tips here about lessening the strains of a heavy workload – I particularly like two of them, ‘taking a siesta or two’ and ‘taking a day off!’

8) ‘Business-Minded Spirituality’

An interesting read if you grapple with balancing the business and spiritual sides of your mind.

And last but not least,

9) ‘It’s Not Everything, But It’s OK to Want Wealth’

Some great justifications for becoming stinking rich! And why not!

All the best and hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I did,

Goga Farruggia-Bochnak
Founder of End Goal Marketing

Have you something to add? It would be great to hear what you think of these posts – leave your comments here and/or on Steven’s blog

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Top Marketing Tips – Create a marketing strategy

5) Create a marketing strategy

Create a marketing strategy

Whenever I’ve mention the words ‘marketing strategy’ to entrepreneurs in the past I’ve tended to get two quite different responses. Some have run off with a look of fear on their faces – I’m not sure why as I’ve never seen any of these people again; I think they’ve been purposefully avoiding me. Whilst some have managed to stay put and even looked quite interested in what I was about to share with them. Mind you thinking about, these people didn’t have much chance of running off as they’d seen me lock the door and put the key in my pocket before I brought the subject up.

So, why is it that many entrepreneurs find writing a marketing strategy something that they would rather put off or even not bother ever doing? Perhaps it’s something to do with how overcomplicated some people think marketing strategies need to be along with a worry that it will take an inordinate amount of time to write one. Yet, having a clearly defined marketing strategy will, providing that it’s followed, bring in the money a lot quicker, in larger amounts, and for a longer period of time, than would happen by just playing things by ear, so to speak.

The trick is to keep your marketing strategy as uncomplicated as you can so that you will actually be able to put it into practice through a well thought through marketing plan, which I will touch on shortly. All that a simple marketing strategy needs is a brief outline of the products or services that you aim to sell, a description of the people you are going to sell them to, and a bit about why your products or services are going to be more appealing to your potential clients than are those provided by your competition. It makes sense to add a few other things too, such as the cost of your products or services, a bit about the way you are going to brand them, how much you are planning to spend on marketing, and also, a description of the goals you aim to fulfil. Your marketing plan, in a nutshell, is basically your ‘action plan’ that describes HOW you are going to achieve all of your goals outlined within your marketing strategy. If you keep an eye on your marketing strategy it will keep you on track by making sure that all of the actions are aimed at achieving your goals!

Good luck with creating a marketing strategy and if you get stuck you can always visit or forum and pick the brains of one of our marketing experts.

All the best,

Goga Farruggia-Bochnak
Founder of End Goal Marketing

NB. The above tip is the fifth in a series of seven that I have written – here is a list of the others that I will be posting shortly:
6) Measure your results
7) Adjust your marketing plan

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Top Marketing Tips – Find the best marketing company you can afford

4) Find the best marketing company you can afford

Find the best marketing company you can afford

Several years ago I met a friend of mine, who I hadn’t seen for a few years, at a local networking event. After spending half an hour or so catching up on things that had happened to us since we last saw each other, he told me about the rough ride he was having with the marketing company he had employed. He moaned about how he just couldn’t get on with them, how they never delivered on their promises, and how they never returned any of his calls. When I asked him how he had found this particular company he told me that he had bumped into someone at a bar who worked at the marketing company so he took their card and called them the next day. Fair enough I thought, as some great connections can be made in social settings. Then I asked him if the company had met all of his initial criteria that he surely must have set before he took them on. He looked at me quite blankly and told me that he hadn’t evaluated them against any criteria at all. I wasn’t that surprised to hear this as I’ve met quite a few people over the years that have chosen a particular marketing company on a whim without having put any really thought into what they expect from that company.

So, to reduce the likelihood of anything like what happened to my friend from happening to you it pays to come up with some criteria that you can evaluate prospective marketing company against. For example, you might want to find out how well they market themselves, how well they have marketed their clients in the past, if they are part of any marketing associations, how much flare they have, what their values are, and naturally whether or not their prices fall within your budget. You should be able to get most of this information from their website, oh, and don’t forget to check out their testimonials section whilst your there. Then, if you like the look of the company give them a call, tell them about your venture, and ask them for examples of how they have represented other clients with similar needs to those that you have.

A good tip is to shop around and don’t settle on the first company that satisfies all of your criteria. Try and find at least three companies that hit all of your criteria then pick the best one that you can afford.

All the best and I look forward to hearing any comments that you may have about this post,

Goga Farruggia-Bochnak
Founder of End Goal Marketing

NB. The above tip is the fourth in a series of seven that I have written – here is a list of the others that I will be posting shortly:

5) Create a marketing strategy
6) Measure your results
7) Adjust your marketing plan

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Top Marketing Tips – Allocate Yourself a Marketing Budget

3) Allocate yourself a marketing budget

Allocate yourself a marketing budget

I was recently talking to a struggling business woman about something totally unrelated to marketing when she asked me what I did for a living. When I told her that I was a marketing consultant she quite openly told me that she would never consider employing the services of a marketing company. When I asked her why, she explained that employing a marketing company was a luxury that she could never afford. “Anyway”, she said, “they would never be able to increase my sales to a point where it would cover the cost of employing them in the first place!” I was just about to challenge her view but didn’t get a chance as she quickly changed the conversation back to the topic we had previously been discussing. So, later that day, with her comment about marketing companies still ringing in my ears, I went online to have a look at her website. It was so evident from one quick scan of her website that she was missing out on so many potential sales that I’m confident would come about if she employed the services of a marketing consultant.

The point I’m making is that employing a marketing company or consultant shouldn’t be seen as a ‘luxury’ that you can afford to indulge in once you have made some money. Rather, employing the services of a marketing company should be viewed as one of the most important elements within your business plan. It’s should be seen as something that you can’t afford NOT to do rather that the other way around. Now, I’m sure many entrepreneurs, especially those on a tight budget, will be thinking to themselves that I’m bound to say this as I’m a marketing consultant myself. Well, of course I’m bound to say this but that’s only because from my own professional experience I have seen so many small businesses loose potential sales that would far outweigh the cost of employing a marketing professional. Spending a few hundred pounds on professional marketing advice has brought some companies millions of pounds in return. Remember, a good marketing company’s goal is to help you make much more money than you would if you didn’t employ their services – otherwise what would be the point!

But, what should you do if you are on a very tight budget and really can’t afford professional marketing support. Well, my answer to this is to become your own marketing expert until you can afford to pay for a marketing company with years of experience to take you to the next level. The book shops are full of great books on marketing that are cram packed with great ideas, tips, and marketing strategies that you can adapt for your own business. Then of course there’s all the knowledge in the world that can be gained from the internet. Not to mention all of the great marketing forums that exist online where you can pick the brains of professionals on any given aspect of marketing imaginable. By the time you have the money to pay for professional marketing support you will be fully empowered and a mini marketing expert. The marketing company that you eventually employ will love this as they won’t have to spend valuable time trying to educate you but instead get on with helping you to make your business an even bigger success!

All the best and I look forward to hearing any comments that you may have about this post,

Goga Farruggia-Bochnak
Founder of End Goal Marketing

NB. The above tip is the third in a series of seven that I have written – here is a list of the others that I will be posting shortly:
4) Find the best marketing company you can afford
5) Create a marketing strategy
6) Measure your results
7) Adjust your marketing plan

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Top Marketing Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs – Do Your Research

Do your Research

2) Do your research

I’m always surprised just how many people plough lots of money into creating a marketing strategy for their new project without having done some basic research first. It seems that many people just rely on their gut feeling about a business idea. This is ok if your intuition works well for you and if you don’t hit any hidden obstacles that could have been avoided if you had carried out some basic research. I’m sure that we’ve all heard of business people, especially the entrepreneurial types, who never do any research before undertaking new ventures yet seem to have one success after another based solely on their intuition. From my own experience I can tell you that these people are far and few between. So, don’t take a chance and get some research done before you set sail and invest precious time and money into creating a marketing strategy for your new venture.

A good starting point might be to search the internet to see if your ideal already exists. If you are lucky and it doesn’t then great! Though, chances are it will already exist in some shape or form no matter how unique you think your idea is. By using key word searches you will no doubt come across something similar or even the same as your idea. Now don’t let this put you off as it’s the ‘things’ out there that are similar or even exactly the same as your idea that you will be able to learn from. Now we have all heard of the expression ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’ well that is good advice – but what you can do is put a new spin on the wheel. In other words you can research the ‘things’ that are similar or the same as your own idea and then put a unique slant on your idea to make it original. For example, could you adapt your idea so that it, solve a different problem, be used for a different purpose, offer a slightly different service, or even be packaged up in a more exciting way?

In essence, carrying out some basic research will help you to shape your all important ‘unique selling point’ that will help you turn your idea into something that will be marketable and ultimately sellable. Whilst you’re doing your research you’ll also be able to check out the competition and see what they are up too, i.e. how they are pitching things, who their target audience is, how much they charge, and, how they are marketing themselves. Now, I’m not saying you should pinch other people’s ideas or rip off their marketing approach, far from it. What I am saying is that it’s always good to know how other people are pitching a product or service similar or the same as your own. And, hopefully if you’re anything like me, you’ll come away from a few hours of online research feeling stimulated, inspired and full of new and exciting ideas that will help you to create your own marketing strategy.

All the best and I look forward to hearing any comments that you may have about this post,

Goga Farruggia-Bochnak
Founder of End Goal Marketing

NB. The above tip is the second in a series of seven that I have written – here is a list of the others that I will be posting shortly:
3) Allocate yourself a marketing budget
4) Find the best marketing company you can afford
5) Create a marketing strategy
6) Measure your results
7) Adjust your marketing plan

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Top Marketing Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs – Picture Your End Goal

Here is the first of a series of Top Marketing Tips that I’ve written for Budding Entrepreneurs:

Picture Your Eng Goal

1) Picture your end goal first

A good starting point when thinking of ways to market your product or service is to begin by picturing your end goal first. Try to create a strong mental image of what the world will look and feel like once your product or service is flying off the shelves. If you can, picture the type of people who will be using your product or service. Ask yourself questions about these people, for example, ‘What do they look like?’, ‘Where do they live?’, ‘How old are they?’, ‘How much spending power do they have?’, and more specifically, ‘What is it about your product or service that will have caused them to have bought into it on an emotional level?’

The more vividly you create this mental image the better, but if like many people, you are not able to conjure up strong visual imagery then why not create a physical one instead by making a picture board. You can cut out images from magazines or go online and print off pictures that represent your thinking. Or, you can create a power point presentation that represents how you see your end goal. The main point is that you have something that represents your vision of the future (i.e. your end goal) for you to work from.

The next step is to try to identify all of the things that will need to happen to get you to your end goal and make everything you have been visualising come true. A great way to do this is to work backwards from your end goal to the present day identifying the key steps that you will have taken on the way. As you carry out this exercise it pays to write down the key steps you identify. If you have the energy it might also pay for you to create a mini visualisation for each of the steps. I tend to skip this bit of the process as I’m always too excited to get on with things but I’m sure I would get even better results if I took the time to create mini visualisations for each key step. Then the next thing is to just work towards completing each of the key steps you have written down. Naturally, the faster you manage to complete all of your key steps the quicker you will reach your end goal.

All the best and I look forward to hearing any comments that you may have about this post,

Goga Farruggia-Bochnak
Founder of End Goal Marketing

NB. The above tip is the first in a series of seven that I have written – here is a list of the others that I will be posting shortly:

2) Do your research
3) Allocate yourself a marketing budget
4) Find the best marketing company you can afford
5) Create a marketing strategy
6) Measure your results
7) Adjust your marketing plan

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