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Tag Archives: marketing consultancy

I hang my head in shame


I can not believe it has been 9 months since I last posted in this blog.  Time has certainly flown by and there have been many changes.  At the time of last writing I was working on setting up a marketing consultancy as an off-shoot to my family business.  I have worked in marketing for the B2B sector, namely in professional services and I felt like I had something to offer other businesses that could perhaps not afford an in-house marketing team or who wanted some expert advice in an area they needed help with.

I worked with some fabulous companies on social media marketing and business development but, as inevitably happens, life takes over.  The demands of work in my family business increased and I made the decision late last year to concentrate all my efforts on improving the sales of our business and give up the consultancy work.

Suffice to say I have been a busy bee learning all about the convenience store sector and retail marketing… hence the neglected blog!

I make a promise to you…but mostly to myself to rectify this at once by sharing the journey I have been on from B2B marketer in professional services to B2C marketer in retail.

Stay tuned…..

 
 

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How I make marketing work


Often when I speak with people about my work I get the impression still that there is a lot of mystery around marketing and how it works.  The perception can often be that marketing is the magic wand that solves a companies problems and that no one is really sure what works and what doesn’t and that marketers have all the answers.

I suspect, like many other professions, marketeers have been happy to let this misconception prevail. We all like to think we know something that someone else doesn’t.  I recently spoke to a  businessman who had built a successful and profitable business over 30 years he said to me, “I don’t understand this marketing stuff”.  My answer to him was that he had been doing it for over 30 years and just had not labelled it as such.  It is simple really, understand your product or service and the benefits it brings, match this to customer need and tell them about it.  This might sound a little trite but I genuinely believe that marketing is about pairing common sense with business acumen.

When I am talking to businesses I find that the owners, managers and staff know what the business needs, where it is doing well, what it needs to improve.  They often have the ideas about how to market their business and what needs to be done.  Where they can fail is having the structure to plan and the resources to deliver.  This can be the same in small organisations with no dedicated marketing resource and in larger firms who have invested in marketing teams.

That is why I have tried to simplify how I approach giving marketing advice or support.  My 3 key tips for making marketing work are:

1. Understand the business.  It may sound obvious but you would be surprised how many marketers do not. Unless you know what the business does and is trying to achieve, what its products and services are, how they are delivered, who the customers are and what they want, you will never be able to market it successfully.   Do you know what products are selling well, what the profitability is, how they contribute to the overall picture of the business?  Do you understand the sector, what the trends are, what your competitors are doing?  How much money is wasted on marketing activity that brings little or no results?  Often this stems from not understanding what the business really needs.  The board, directors and or management are more likely to respect your opinions and ideas if they come from a basis of sound knowledge of their business.

2. Take time to plan. This can be difficult particularly if you are under pressure to be seen to be doing something, lots of business owners are entrepreneurial and don’t like to “waste” time planning.  I have lost count of the times I have heard “just get on with it”, but without planning you can often get bogged down in the minutiae of an activity without seeing the overall picture.  If you don’t plan and set objectives, how can you be sure at the end of the activity that it has been a success.  Planning also means that you can schedule activity over time, you can link relevant activities together, forward plan for important events, forecast budgets and have a consistent approach.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate. I can not stress enough how important this is. This is what I do. Before: communicate what you are going to do, why you are going to do it, what outcomes you expect. During: communicate what you are doing, how it is going, what issues you are having, how you are addressing them. After: communicate what you have done, what you have achieved, what you have learnt and what you are going to do next. I have two reasons for this approach 1. It demonstrates to your boss, client and/or colleagues that you have ideas, are doing something and are providing value.  I have seen people doing great work but not telling anyone what they are doing, why they are doing it or what they have achieved.  The belief can often develop that you are not doing anything. 2. It allows your  boss, client and/or colleagues to contribute, give feedback and guide you if you’re on the wrong track.  This collaborative way of working always yields better results and people buy into what you are trying to achieve if they have had some stake in it.

If you think you or your business could benefit from some straightforward marketing advice then please call me on 07827393181 or email jer@josrichardson.co.uk

 

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Aside

This is the first blog post from Jane Richardson.  I am a professional marketer with over 10 years experience in legal marketing.  In 2011 I decided to make the break and join my family business, Jos Richardson and Son Ltd.

Our family business is 120 years old next year and has been a huge part of my life.  My father is the Managing Director and currently the business operates car dealerships and fuel filling stations. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and family businesses ranging from our own business in motor retail to farming and edible oils exporters, I always knew that running my own business was something I wanted to do so when my father suggested that I consider helping the family business with their marketing and HR I jumped at the chance.

This blog is about the joys and challenges of working for a family business.  I hope you enjoy!

Hello!

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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