When Iife gives you lemons, make mangos?

Marketing strategy

No I haven’t pivoted Pinpoint Marketing into a catering business, but I want to tell you a food related/shopping story instead. I was in my local shop (shopping safely and at a distance of course) looking for mango chutney to accompany a dish I was making for us back at home. The shop I am talking about has been so convenient with its location, its range of stock and the friendly staff. They literally sell all things and never seem to run out of stock. I hope they continue to do so well once this pandemic is over. Anyway, I couldn’t see the chutney so I checked at the counter when I was paying for my other items. The young man kindly told me no they didn’t have any and they didn’t stock it either in general. Plus he told me I was one of a few that has asked recently. I was tempted to suggest they did start stocking it as they were clearly missing out on sales and service and value. I thought that might be seen as rude or pushy, so I didn’t.

Have customers or potential customers asked you for something that you don’t offer? I know have been asked. How do you respond?

Marketing is a wide ranging subject with many meanings and perceptions, so I often get asked about building websites or designing a brand or copy writing on a technical matter.

How do I respond? I don’t change to be a jack of all trades and loss my authenticity. And I don’t overpromise and undersell.

So, how do I help? I have built up a network of associates so I am able to say “I don’t offer that service no” but I can refer you to someone who does! This way, I don’t stress about taking on work I can’t or don’t want to do, the client doesn’t get let down with no solution and someone I know and respect gets some new business. Everyone wins!

So next time you are asked for mangos, lemons won’t do, but don’t say a flat no. Think how you can say yes, directly or indirectly and offer a solution that doesn’t compromise but one that adds value and what is actually needed!

Outsourcing your marketing – do you?

Small business marketing advice and support from Pinpoint Marketing

I ran a poll for market research purposes amongst 4 networking groups and business groups that I am a member of recently. I asked the question “Do you outsource any aspect of your businesses marketing?” To say I am surprised by the results is somewhat of an understatement. Some of the results were not what I was expecting.

The voters are predominately small business owners. They are all UK based and are a mixture of men and women, although I would say more women voted.

On the plus side, no one voted that they didn’t know outsourcing was an option so I and my fellow marketers are doing a good job of promoting what we can offer to small businesses if they wish marketing support.  As you can see, the biggest vote was for never! This response was 50/50 between men and women SME owners who had voted. Why is this? Some of the comments were lack of budget or because they wanted to have a go themselves. Whilst this is an admirable choice, is it really the best choice for you and your business? Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. Each to their own. However, sadly a few voters had their fingers burnt by companies or agencies that had let them down. Sad to hear as customer service, honest and authenticity is very important to Pinpoint Marketing. I would be very interested in helping dispel this perception. If you are looking for free advice then sign up for my newsletter or join my Facebook group. Quite often though when prospects or leads tell me marketing hasn’t worked for them, it can be a case of something within the campaign wasn’t right or thought about thoroughly eg the strategy/target audience not defined or the messaging isn’t pitched right. But sometimes it is because the campaign or activity hasn’t been followed up on, then reviewed and then repeated. A good marketing strategy is all about consistency, reviewing and repeating.

The lack of budget clearly is a factor for many small businesses. Clearly finances and cash flow are a must to get right so we can’t go spending blindly. But, the key thing to say here is that any time and money you spend outsourcing your marketing is time you will get back to do what you want and what only you can do. Why spend time struggling with your copy or planning if that means you are taking yourself away from working with and for your customers? Also the investment of money you spend on outsourcing your marketing will pay for itself, if done correctly, over time as you should be getting in more leads and more sales.

Interestingly, of the groups who responded as always, these were solely women business owners. Why is this? Are women more likely to admit they cannot or don’t want to do something or is this a coincidence?

Of the voters who said sometimes if I cannot do it, the main voters were women again, but not by as a bigger margin as the always voters. Many of us like to learn and gain new skills, so we offering a multi layer service from consultancy and ideas, to hand holding and support to we can do it all for you. Your budget, your choice.

So what can we conclude? I want, naturally, for more small business owners to get help with their marketing. Let marketers like me do what we do best and help you. And then you can do what you want/where your passion is and use your skills and time to the best effect.

How can this happen? So if you are in the I would if I could afford it or the not now but I plan to camps, here are some options:

  • If you would like some free marketing advice, click on the green pinned Free Marketing Advice image on the homepage.  free marketing advice
  • If you would like funding advice or a business loan, have a chat with two networking connections of mine, Helen Steel of Streamlion Consulting and Sharon Cook of Choice Business Loans.
  • Get a marketing or business mentor and become accountable with your marketing.

Pinpoint Marketing – we make marketing simple!


Outsourced graph

What I loved about reading “Jo Malone – My Story”

This weekend’s glorious sunshine gave me the perfect excuse/reason to read the book Jo Malone, my story from the luxury of my garden lounger. I of course knew of Jo Malone before the book and recently I had learned more from a podcast with the equally inspiring Karren Brady and also through an interview she did on Loose Women.

Aside from the synergies of the colour red popping up in the book and the new brand (red is also my branding and my go to colour) and the equal apparent love of a Chinese takeaway to celebrate something or to have as a treat, there were many take aways (pardon the non intentional pun!) from this book in terms of business, working mums and entrepreneurialism. Her battle with Cancer was understandably tough but she fought it and beat. Both my parents have battled with and beaten Cancer so its good to hear more stories with good endings.

Here are some of my highlights, without giving the stories away.

– Jo’s attitude if you don’t like something. Change your mindset, change your situation or accept it. I agree! Hard to do sometimes but this is often the simplest way to make change.

– When you mentally paint the worst case scenario, then the risk doesn’t feel so loaded and the leap not as daunting. Again, so simple but yet so true.

– The usefulness of life stories and a back story. I would love to help young entrepreneurs and pupils in schools to learn about business to help them on later life as as well as for business related examinations. I think I heard Jo mention the need and desire to teach “business” in schools and I agree with her as a business owner and as a mum. If you ever need help or support on getting this to happen Jo, I doubt you will given your knowledge and experience, but I would be willing …

– Jo’s tongue in cheek reference to what SME stands for, Seriously Motivated Entrepreneur. Working for yourself is great but it can also be lonely and hard to get yourself going somedays so what she says when applied pays dividends, literally sometimes.

– The importance as a business person to realise that going back and putting things right is not admitting failure but guaranteeing success further down the line. I have heard a similar lesson from Theo Paphitis as the #SBS conference.

– And lastly, the 5 heartbeats to a successful business: Inspiration, Innovation, Integrity, Ignition and Instinct

In summary, a highly recommended read by someone who gets things done from someone who also strives to get things done and make things happen!


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