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Share your marketing techniques.


LastChip

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Something that I have always been very poor at, is marketing. I not a natural salesman and it shows in just about everything I attempt.

A quick piece of research indicated that about 71% of new businesses survive longer than three years. So what happened to the other 29%?

Clearly some will have failed simply because they weren't viable in the first place, but it's my belief (gut feeling if you like) that many fail through lack of marketing. Getting their message in front of the greatest possible amount of people.

Now keeping in mind new "one man band" start-ups would probably have very limited funds, what are your favourite marketing techniques that worked for you?

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LastChip

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I've been going through my outstanding threads and this is one, so I'll mark it as resolved, but any more words of wisdom will be gratefully received.

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Markenbergers

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Marketing is very important. Definately universities are a good target because there are a lot of people in one place. Also another technique would be offering discounts to customers that get their friends, partners, different firms to come to you for business. This has worked with my start up to get my clientele bases to spread out quickly. This site kind of has an interesting break down of marketing techniques that could come in handy.
click here

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Forum Editor

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You're right, but so often nowadays the two things are done by the same people.

When I first started in business I was taught that marketing is what presents the product or service to potential consumers, and selling is what transfers ownership from producer to consumer. Sales people often think they could do without the services of the marketing department, but oh, boy are they wrong.

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wildrover

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Some of the posts above appear to treat sales and marketing as the same thing. I consider'selling' and 'marketing' as different activities requiring different strategies.

For me, marketing is letting people know the services I can offer, it is aimed at all potential customers and is about raising my profile.

Selling is done face-to-face with a potential customer who has expressed an interest in one of my services. It is more about 'the pitch' for me, getting the best rate and offering the best value.

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Blackhat

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Sales and marketing is my area of expertise. I have been in sales many years and I am currently sales director and partner of a manufacturing company.

There are hundreds of books available about sales and marketing, I can assure you it is easier to write a book about it than to do it right. Most of what you will read can be learned quite quickly by spending a bit of quality time with the right people. Bare in mind that quality info can be expensive. I published my first sales book last year (I will not promote it here) just to prove that I could. (Yes it is selling on-line).

A lot of written info is the same old stuff regurgitated and re-branded. It is people that you need to spend time with, a lot of marketing ideas are all around you, talk to your suppliers, study your competitors, and talk to other local businesses. What will work for you will probably be a combination of factors that work for others, there is no simple answer, you need to keep an open mind, look closer at other business ideas that appear to work and don’t be frightened of trying something new.

As for my company, I have the best ever telesales guy I have ever met.

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LastChip

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Chris the Ancient; thanks for the book tip. I've ordered one from Amazon. They had a second hand one (supposed to be as new) for £1.40, so can't go wrong at that price. I'll have a read and see if I can improve my poor record in this area.

I'll leave the thread open a while longer, as it's a massive field and perhaps others may add a few more "pearls of wisdom."

Incidentally, I agree 100% with not committing to something you can't deliver and have always used that as a cornerstone of everything I've ever done.

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Kemistri

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Looks good, Chris -- added to my Wishlist.

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Chris the Ancient

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click here

However, there are loads of books on this topic. I liked this one (following recommendation) coz it's easy and simple to read - then, you can delve deeper into this mystic art!

CtA

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Forum Editor

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and one of my golden rules in marketing is never to make a claim that I'm not going to be able to fulfil.

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Marko797

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to develop both business and marketing plans.

Why?

Because they act as references and reminders of what you are providing, the rationale for doing what you do, and who you hope to provide it for.

They are the drivers and the focus, and without them, it would be easy to get distracted.

Naturally, they will need to be refreshed as the business progresses, and also remain flexible.

In the appendix of my marketing plan, I have a list of contacts from my previous working times, and the list serves as a reminder of who I want to contact/have contacted, and the response/take up. This is also refreshed periodically as new contacts are made. A bit 'heath-robinson' but it works for mebut could easily be transferred into a small database.

In the plan is my target market, and target sector. Again, this helps me focus and identify potential clients to research within those parameters. It also helps me in researching competitors.

I've not had to do any marketing in the strictest sense however, but did find it useful to develop some marketing leaflet type documents (using Publisher) and also developed a web-site, to which I can refer clients.

I also ensure I have a good CV, as clients invariably ask for it. I have 2: a personal one, and a Supplier version.

Word of mouth is also very useful (as mentioned in the thread), so naturally it's important to do a good job on assignment. If you achieve this, then they will 'market' you to some extent.

However, I would imagine that failing to deliver could trash any marketing attempts which you might pursue, as I guess word would quickly get around.

I also ask for them to complete a Client Feedback Questionnaire which asks if they would recommend my services to others, if approached.

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