Posts Tagged ‘The “WOW” Gal’

WOW – Words of Wisdom #18 – DIY Marketing

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

by Lynda Kavanagh, aka The “WOW” Gal

Often I hear small businesses say they do their own Marketing, and as a small business myself I can understand sometimes having to DIY, but, I’m not sure that DIY Marketing is the best decision someone can make. Let’s take a look at my touring Europe by bicycle as an example.

It is important for me to understand how my bike works and how each component connects with others. I need to know this so that if my bike breaks down somewhere in the middle of nowhere, I can band aid the fix until I get to a bike shop, just like when I was in Ireland in 2001.

There were no bike shops within a day’s ride and no community within a six hour ride when I wiped out, broke some spokes and did something to my brakes.

Each year, I read a book on bicycle maintenance just so I am ready for such an instance. So there I was “independently” fixing my bike – my husband could have done it but… I need to know this stuff and I don’t need help from anyone! So I got it fixed and off we headed to the nearest town with a bike shop.
Well my band aid wasn’t such a good band aid as they told me I had about two more pulls on my brakes before they snapped. Now, if you’ve been to Scotland you know that it is an island full of hills. Phew that was a close one.

So even though I read a book each year on bike maintenance and each year before our trips, I take my bike apart and put it back together again, I’m smart enough to know that just because I read a book doesn’t mean that I can adapt it perfectly to my bike. So every year after I take my bike apart and put it back together again, I immediately put it on the back of my vehicle and drive it to a bike shop to get them to fix whatever I didn’t do right.

What’s that got to do with Marketing, well, you need to understand how marketing works and how all the components are connected. But if you insist on doing your own Marketing, then I hope you get someone to check it out before you embark on your Marketing journey because not doing your Marketing right can cost you a lot of money, time and may have a damaging impact on your brand.

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WOW – Words of Wisdom #15 – 7 ways to get your message out

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

By Lynda Kavanagh

All good Marketing plans access seven methods to get your message out. Let’s take a look at these quickly and the next blogs will look at each individually. I’m going to list these from most effective to least effective.

#1 Personal Sales: This is not cold calling this is sitting down and doing some research to identify people/ businesses / groups that can benefit from your product or service. Then objectively thinking about why they would benefit from your product or service, and then going and talking these audiences.

#2 Advertising: This is targeted advertising not shotgun advertising. It is researching all the mediums (old and new) and identifying which mediums your target audience is paying attention to. Then putting the sufficient budget into that media/mediums to make the campaign effective.

#3 Online: Online Marketing means having a professional website, accessing social networking sites, enhancing your Search Engine Optimization, and connecting with group Marketing opportunities.

#1 & 2 above are considered aggressive Marketing and if you want to make money fast – these are the two methods you should be doing. #3 can be aggressive depending on what you have to offer to the “world masses” but rely on other’s having to “find you”.

The next #4 – 7 are what I call “passive” Marketing. These are Marketing techniques but they are passive – you have to sit around and wait for someone to pass your message on. (I don’t know about you but I don’t want my business left passively in the hands of others. I believe the majority of your time should be spent on #1 with some #2 mixed in!)

#4 Networking: It’s not sales, it’s not sales, it’s not sales… have I made my point? Networking is a face-to-face activity and is all about getting a piece of someone’s brain. That means providing them with information about what you do and how you can help others. Networking is not about cornering someone and trying to sell to them. Networking creating a trusting relationships so they will retain your message and pass it on.

#5 Referrals: I’ve got to tell you referrals are the best form of Marketing but you have to ask people to give you a testimonial and then you have to “encourage” them to pass your name along with good comments attached to your name.

#6 Word of Mouth: Interesting that this is the sixth most effective way to get your message out and the #1 method for most small businesses. Why? Because the business is lazy and doesn’t want to do anything. They don’t want to go out and do personal sales; they don’t believe advertising works so they have not set an advertising budget. So these businesses wait around for someone to say something nice about them. My question to businesses that are relying on this is, “Can you control what they are saying and can you get them to actually do it?”

#7 Public Relations: If you have a story to tell about how your product or service is different and unique and can help the people in your community, then you may have a public relations opportunity. This is where you write a news release and send it to the local media. The key is it is called NEWS release not ADVERTISING release. If you have some news that your community absolutely needs to hear – then send a news release. If the news you want to send out is only of interest to you selling a product, then buy an ad.

Watch for our next 7 You tubes, and blogs about specifics of each of these.

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Words of Wisdom #14 – Marketing vs Vacations

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

by Lynda Kavanagh

Here’s the scenario. I come into meet a new client for the first time and I ask them what they are doing for their Marketing. Their eyes cloud over, they get a grumpy look on their face and then they tell me they haven’t actually completed that task.

Then, I ask about what they are doing for their next vacation. Whooo, 20 minutes later I’ve got the itinerary and all the details.

Creating your Marketing plan is usually not really fun but creating your next vacation – ya let’s go. When you are on vacation, you aren’ thinking about all the negative things that come with your business, you aren’t thinking that it cost you $XXXX.XX to go on vacation and therefore you are expecting $XXXX.XX rate of return, and when you are on vacation you are relaxed and have a positive outlook.

Now look folks, I love to vacation as much as the next person but come on. I know that if I want to go on vacation, I’d better make some money in my business to allow me to go on vacation, and making money is part of a Marketing plan. Like it or not, you have to plan your Marketing because it will paint your direction for the next year. Here’s what you should do at the beginning of each year:

1. What worked and what didn’t work. Look at your marketing and analyze what activity you clearly could see worked.

2. Take a look at your product line and each of those bottom lines – what products are making money which are not? Is there a connection in the performance of these product lines based on #1 above?

3. Pull out all documents that left your office (ads, brochures, flyers, website, etc). Now take a critical look at them, are the:

  • saying one consistent branding message
  • targeted at one specific target audience

4. Review all your customer survey comment (yes you should have some and if you don’t, set up a system to collect  customer comments. If you do, analyze what they are telling you – what do you need to change?

5. Now match your message, with the target audience and pick the Marketing mediums that your audience is paying attention to ad set up a campaign.

mag6. Have a glass of wine and plan your vacation.

Note: You can not do #6 before #1

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Know your customer’s habits

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

By Lynda Kavanagh aka The “WOW” Gal

You can never know enough about your clients. Some interesting research just came across my desk from Saurage Research and it demonstrates how you need to know your customer so as to understand how to talk to them, what to say to them, and what mediums they are paying attention to. Here are some stats:

  • Teens spend 7 hours per day with one or more media, most of the time is spent with TV, computers or cell phones.
  • 45% of teens say that cell phones are the key to their social lives.
  • When consumers get emails from a list they opted into, 56% are more likely to buy from that retailer.
  • Consumers 12 – 75 years old get their news from:
    1. Website devoted to news 65%
    2. Online newspaper 57%
    3. Print newspaper 55%
    4. Local TV news program 47%
  • Media 12 – 75 say they get their news from:
    • Website devoted to news 65%
    • Print newspaper 55%
    • Local TV news 47%
    • (don’t try to add these up to 100%, some answered more than one medium)

Okay now you have these stats, what does that mean to your business and how you market to any of these consumers?

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