Let’s not roll over but let’s roll on ….

Marketing plan and strategy

It all feels a bit like things are going down the toilet personally and business wise and it is all a bit cr#p! I am not here to make light of things, but maybe to inject a bit of humour, but here to also help and support you where I can. Us small business owners are up against it somewhat from all angles but I want us all to come away from this situation feeling flush with motivation and anticipation and smelling of roses rather than stinky toilets!

Reacting to the situation we are in

Amongst my research for my own social media content and to find tips for my clients and content, I came across this piece in Marketing Week entitled “The best marketers will be upping, not cutting, their budgets” It said “It may seem like a paradox, but recessionary periods actually provide fertile grounds for marketers to grow their brand’s market share if they’re prepared to think long-term.” Read more here

Research showed that around 90% of marketing budgets have been delayed or are under review however. This isn’t surprising to me as many businesses, rightly and wrongly, will have had to have made quick and kneejerk decisions rather than waiting and see what happens. Having said that, we don’t know how long we will need to wait so that’s another tricky point. The article finished by saying, which I liked, “If you can keep your head and your marketing budget, while those around you are losing theirs, you will be a marketer my friend. And a successful one at that!”

Does this ring true with you in terms of cutting back on your plans or putting things on hold? It is not easy to carry on in adverse times and to remain upbeat, but it is possible with the right guidance and support. Use your network for this advice and for ideas. But remember, do what you can and kind to yourself in this tough time.

To plan or not to plan?

Another piece I found by Talk Business stated that 1 in 4 UK SMEs don’t use a business plan. It said “shocking statistics have been revealed that suggest a whopping 1 in 4 SMEs in the UK don’t bother to use a business plan, leaving them in danger of losing direction and having no plan to get their business to the next stage of growth. Developing a business plan is a vital tool for any business, yet new research from Barclays reveals that one in four small businesses (23%) don’t have any strategy in place to support their business growth.” Read more here

Do you have some kind of plan? Is it detailed or split into monthly or content only? The most difficult part of marketing clients  and prospects tell me is they don’t know what marketing to do,  or in what order or when by! A plan or a list or whatever you want to call it will do this and set everything out for you. A plan will ensure your marketing stays on a roll. (pardon the pun!)

In Pinpoint Marketing’s opinion, growth is all down to planning. We believe that you as the business owner needs to know your strategy before you can start to write your marketing plan. Marketing shouldn’t be seen as a tick box exercise. Therefore, it is important to know your business why and to know the purpose of your marketing. Within business there is luck and an element of chance as well as you being in the right place at the right time. Pinpoint feels the majority of your successes will be down to careful planning. Giving a business like yours time and attention via includes using the right marketing tactics. In summary, the benefits of a plan will help you get organised, be logical and build foundations. A plan will eventually save time and money. If goals or objectives for a company’s marketing activities haven’t been set or considered, then how can the business owner decide if they achieve what they set out to do?

Find out about planning, the benefits of planning and how to plan, click here 

What about you?

What are you and your business doing? Have you made a new plan, reworded your existing plan or kept to having no plan? Here at Pinpoint Marketing we are very much trying to practise what we preach and we are being our authentic selves by carrying on as best we can and by continuing to set goals. These goals have been taken from our existing plan which we are continuing to implement where possible. Where things have changed, we are changing the timeframes and moving things around. We are trying to also be mindful of where others are in all of this too.

We are also trying to help (ourselves) and our clients navigate their way through the u bend of this cr#p time by reviewing things with them helping them adapt and adapting the way we can help them or bring in others to support to.

For free advice and consultation at this time, visit our homepage and download the free marketing advice for you form.

Free Marketing advice for your small business from Pinpoint Marketing

Lastly, we wish you well and hoping you are safe, happy and healthy. #inittogether

Take care and LOOk after yourselves. (pardon the pun, again!)

 

Being prepared in business. Nicole shares her top tips …

Marketing and business planning

Are you organised and accountable when it comes to marketing and running your business?

Top marketing tips from Pinpoint Marketing.

What are the benefits of being prepared?

  1. Routine
  2. The way we think
  3. Flexibility
  4. Resilience

Here is what I do? Weekly – One other thing I do at the beginning of the week is message or email clients (using their preferred method of communication) and confirm the dates, times and locations of any meetings that week to try and avoid last minute cancellations on both sides. And Monthly – At the beginning of each month, I schedule in my monthly commitments for Pinpoint’s own blog, social media posting, newsletter etc. Plus I schedule in each of my retainer client’s work to eg reporting at the end of the month and writing their social media posts at the beginning of each month.

How can you be more prepared in business situations?

  1. Diary management – don’t overpack the diary. Tempting I know.
  2. Block time out – if you want to stay on top of things like your social media, marketing or admin etc, dedicate time in your diary on fixed times in the week/month and don’t let anything go in that space. Get into a routine of being prepared
    1. REMEMBER to block time out for yourself too.
  3. Delegate and outsource – being prepared is knowing what is likely to come up in your business situation wise. Outsource. Yes this will cost you but its worth it if it will save you time and stress
  4. Make lists. This can be pen and paper or a CRM or an online app/tool. Whatever works for you
  5. Make a plan. Aside from stopping the overwhelm, a plan helps to break down a large task and into smaller bite size sections. This makes it more manageable and easier to get your head around, step by step
  6. Go prepared to meetings

BUT whilst you are busy creating this new habit and learning to be prepared, try not to overthink it!

We can’t pre empt everything, but we can try.

Read the being prepared in business tips in full

 

Uncertainty to Certainty …

Small business marketing advice and support from Pinpoint Marketing

2019 looks like it it coming to a close in a few week’s time with an air of uncertainty surrounding it. In fact, a lot of this year has been uncertain for a lot of the time.

So with all this uncertainty, businesses and business owners may naturally be feeling concerned about what to do with their businesses and their budgets.
What will 2020 bring?
What will the changes be?
How will I grow my business?
Will I market my business in a different way?
Will things need to change?
These are all valid questions. And are questions that a Marketing and business Plan will cover off and move uncertainty to certainty.

In Pinpoint Marketing’s opinion, growth is all down to planning!  You as the business owner needs to know your marketing strategy before you can start to write your marketing plan. In business, there will be some luck and an element of chance, but your successes will be down to careful planning and as a result, using the right marketing tactics.

If you haven’t set any goals or objectives for your company’s marketing activities, then how can you decide at the end of the month or the year if you have achieved what you set out to do? As they say, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

There are 7 stages to a comprehensive plan and these steps are
Objective Setting
Defining the messaging
Defining a strategy
Defining the target audience
Developing the tactics
Implementing the plan
Measuring and evaluation

How can Pinpoint help you with your certainty and marketing planning in 2020?

  1. We can create a bespoke and personalised Marketing Plan for you. Read more here
  2. You can learn the basic steps and the action points of a Marketing Plan yourself by booking onto our November workshop. Book here
  3. Learn how to, then create your own Marketing Plan through our online course. Read more here

planning

Why hire a professional when I can film my website video and social media content myself?

GUEST BLOG BY DEBBIE GOBBETT

In the past, hiring a professional video production team to create your website and social media video content has been something you’d have to seriously work into your marketing budget and usually at a very high cost. Filming, editing and video production required specialised equipment and expertise.  Now, with iPhones and GoPros providing pretty great image quality, and with the advances in technology we see happening at a rapid rate, this has made professional videography more affordable than ever. Whilst the saying “you get what you pay for” still applies, businesses today can get a higher quality product for their money.  Online video is gaining momentum every year, and it has entered marketing’s mainstream – it is almost imperative to have video included in your marketing mix – so why have a professional come and film your business story rather than do-it-yourself? 

You are an expert in your field of business – are you an expert in story-telling?

Do you have the time?

There are three basic factors that drive productions costs.  These factors eventually get reflected in dozens of small budget decisions that impact the quality of the final video shown on your website or seen on your social media platforms…

  • Time. The more time that is spent in pre-production, working out your story, planning, scripting, location scouting, shooting, special effects and editing the better the final product will be.  More time, from more people, equals more money.
  • Talent. The greater the talent of the people working on the project, the better it will be.  Your staff team may be extremely talented at selling your business service or product, but this does not necessarily mean they are video content creators!  In online video production, as with most things in life, talented and experienced people tend to cost more.
  • Tools. You can produce a video with your mobile phone.  Or you can use a high-end camera with a professional lighting kit, professional sound equipment and sophisticated post-production graphics and animation.  Sophisticated tools and the top-level professionals who know how to use them add to the cost of your video production.

What is the message you actually want to convey?

If you are wanting to tell your audience of your latest special offers and deals or about an event that’s happening next week, perhaps a FaceBook Live video will do, in which case, haul out the iPhone and get your message out there!

If you are wanting to produce a series of training videos for your sales team, perhaps a more professional approach is needed, even if it is only being watched on your intranet – keeping your brand professional.

If you are wanting to showcase your business, tell your brand story and highlight the benefits of what you do, then more time and pre-production thought is needed to produce a result that you will be happy with and that reflects your brand. The WHY is easy – you want your business to grow, you want your brand to be seen, you want to increase sales. When planning your web video also take into consideration WHAT you want the world to see, HOW your brand is received, and WHERE it’s going to be seen. Depending on the answers to those, you can decide on your budget…

What will it cost you?

Find out the costs and the detail here