Fuel your growth with integrated marketing and sales strategies!

This article was found on the National Small Business Chamber website, be sure to check in regularly for informative business related articles and tips! http://www.nsbc.org.za

Marketing needs sales, and sales needs marketing! The harsh reality is that “need” doesn’t equate to a “successful partnership” between the two groups. Creating the correct marketing strategy is the key to winning market share and customers.

To drive significant results from your marketing campaign you need to close the gap between your sales and marketing objectives. The idea is to build an integrated strategy reflecting the stages of the customer’s buying journey through the sales pipeline. The rates of conversion and time lag in decision making are taken into consideration. It should reflect the contributions of both sales and marketing to generating income and gaining new customers!

The following strategies could be employed to harmonise and ensure that the relationship between sales and marketing succeeds:

1. Design marketing and sales responsibilities around the customer buying process: Marketing and sales should be organised around the steps that the customer goes through to become familiar with, build knowledge about, form purchase intentions for, and finally purchase the company’s products or services. Both functions need to work together to meet the customer needs during each stage, and facilitate the customer’s progress to the next.

2. Create a unified focus on the most valuable customers: Marketing can help identify these customers, formulate information and strategies to do so, and service sales as it concludes these deals. This primary focus can help facilitate cooperation, and create a unified objective for the two.

3. Organise around the customer, not the function: By creating customer groups and not product groups, marketing and sales tools and techniques can be consolidated into groups to effectively serve segments of customers.

4. Integrate customer information: Successful companies actively manage the sharing of customer data across divisions, key staff and marketing and sales personnel. This also streamlines processes while enhancing customer service and hence customer retention.Identifying your target customers

The purpose of marketing is to attract new customers. The only way to attract new customers is to firstly determine exactly who your customer is. Always remember that customer and end user is not necessarily the same thing. The customer is the one with purchasing authority; the end user has the need.

As a small business you will have to look at the three categories of customers, namely “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” value customers, as well as “strategic value customers”.According to the intrinsic value customer the value is intrinsic to the product, not the method of delivery. They focus on cost reduction and see little or no value in an external sales channel.

If you want to make a sale to this category of customers, you will have to convince them that the sales force salaries and commission were not included in the price. They don’t want to pay for something that takes up their time without providing anything in return.  The extrinsic value customer considers value not to be intrinsic to the product itself, but how the product is used.  Extrinsic value customers are interested in solutions and applications.

The focus of the sales team should be to create a great deal of “new value” that they can enjoy. These customers expect sales representatives to provide them new understanding of needs and options. An example would be a sole trader needing web mail to secure immediate and convenient access to e-mail and internet facilities.

Strategic value customers focus on leveraging the expertise of the salesperson’s organisation. They are willing to change their processes to get the best from the seller. Once you have linked your customer to the most effective marketing strategy, you are ready to launch an integrated marketing and sales strategy to grow and expand your business!

So in closing take time to analyse your target market, and develop integrated sales and marketing techniques that consider the stages of the buying process. Successfully implemented, this should see a growth in the number of prospects and a higher “sales conversion” rate!

Article brought to you by: Genesis Articles© 2013 National Small Business Chamber

TANYA TAIT DANCE STUDIO

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” Children learn to explore and be creative with each step they learn from a dance class.Dance and movement is important to the development of kids’ sensory and bodily awareness, concentration and self-esteem, skills that are important throughout a child’s life. It also gets them active and helps expend pent-up energy positively and with music they are not aware that they are learning motor, cognitive, kinesthetic and social skills.

When taking your child to a dance studio or school they should learn from qualified teachers and one way to ensure that they are qualified is by ensuring that they learn a dance syllabus with a reputable association such as DanceCor, A.I.D.T, S.A.D.T.A., Dance Educators S.A., R.A.D., etc or that they have received a diploma in dance from institutions such as UCT and TUT.  Learning through associations/institutionsensures that the student is taught the fundamental principles of their chosen dance style. It gives them the ‘building blocks’ of technique as well as core stability and enables them to progress to an advanced standard. A syllabus allows teachers and students to work towards a common goal at a steady pace as students have the chance to consolidate their training and increase their proficiency. When students participate in ‘Open’ or classes without set exercises, they tend to be preoccupied with remembering steps and keeping in time with the music, whereas with a familiar syllabus they can focus on their technique and artistry.  Open classes are however essential as this teaches the students to learn various dance styles, improvise and cope at a fast dance pace and this will help form a versatile dancer.

I have been taking dance classes since the age of 4 years old starting with tap and ballet and eventually doing modern, spanish, contemporary, jazz then hip hop/funk.  In high school I was accepted at the ballet school in Braamfontein doing 4 hours of dancing every day, and weekends I was helping my mom (a dance teacher) with little ones teaching them the basics and at the same time completing my own dance exams.  By the age of 23 I had completed my Teachers Diploma in Modern, Tap and Hip Hop, also completing certificates in advanced Spanish and Intermediate Ballet.

I have been teaching and growing my business since 1997 in Port Elizabeth to where it is today.  In our studio today 16 years later, we offer a huge variety of styles like hip hop, modern, tap, latin/ballroom, street dance, jazz, contemporary and funk.  I have 7 teachers instructing the various classes at my studio in Lorraine and Charlo. Our curriculum includes exam and open classes and we find that entering our dancers in competitions such as the PE Dance Festival and the AllStarz Championships helps them develop into stronger performers.  I have taken my dancers abroad to compete in Germany, Sweden, Portugal and U.S.A.  Next year our studio will be participating in Dance Sport (SASCOC)where dancers have the opportunity to receive their EC colours in dance.  Every year we have a show at the Opera House and Prize-giving to acknowledge all the dancers achievements and offer bursaries.

In between all these busy events we also host hip hop parties to all ages, perform at corporate events, offer holiday dance clubs to kids and teens, teach at schools and choreograph for their recitals and offer moms callanetics stretch and tone classes.

Through hard work and dedication I have developed a reputation in PE for dance and will be choreographing for “Showtime” directed by Bob Everleigh in 2014.

What I enjoy most about my work is my flexible time to see to my two sons 8 and 11 years and teaching from home also gives me time to do the admin in the mornings as well as squeeze in some hobbies I enjoy. I feel I have succeeded when I look at the end of the year at how much the dancers have learnt and how they have progressed technically and with confidence.  When asked is there anything else I would do I would say this is what I have been born to do as it comes naturally to me and every aspect to the word dance is what I have been doing since the age of 4.”

To contact Tanya to enquire about her dance studio please follow the below links :

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FOUR CHRISTMAS MARKETING MISTAKES TO AVOID

Yup! It is that time of the year again, Christmas time! Those annoying Christmas commercials are playing on your way to work and the temperature has dropped dramatically. Everyone seems to be a little more cheerful and considerate that the holidays are close. Christmas is after all the time to reconnect with all your clients, customers and prospects, but as any person would know, the holidays can also be disastrous.

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Instead of paying a web marketing services company to tell you what not to do for your next campaign, actually pay attention to what others are doing! Below you will find four Christmas marketing mistakes your business should avoid so you can be far from a Christmas marketing disaster!

1. Running The Same Campaign Each Christmas: Having a picture of your employees and you at your last year Christmas party all wearing the same ugly sweater was pretty funny the first year considering everyone had way too much to drink. In fact, it had the same impact with laughter the second, but after that you should really consider something newer and more original each year. Christmas campaigns are perfect for your business to have a chance at grabbing all the people’s attention that put the idea of your product or service on the back burner. But, why? It is because these campaigns will remind them that you are a wicked company doing different things that deserve their attention. So do you not think it would be a good idea to get creative with Christmas campaigns each year and not be so afraid of thinking outside the box? When you kick off a campaign that has many components it is a perfect way to keep your content new and fresh.

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2. Forgetting To Reach Out To Your Network: Are you not sick and tired of trying to come up with a lame excuse to give a lead a call that you have not spoken to within a few months? Or even you just want to reconnect with all of your customers? Perhaps you want to increase your employees engagement and get the whole gang into a holiday spirit. Regardless, it does not matter who you want to connect with; Christmas campaigns are a perfect way of doing it! It will remind people that your company is out there and will give them a sneak peek into a wicked campaign that is if it is actually interesting! So do not miss out on this valuable marketing opportunity your company can have this Christmas!

3. Forgetting Not Everyone Celebrates Christmas : When the countdown begins it may almost feel like everyone is celebrating Christmas and Christmas only, but you as a business, you need to know that you will also be marketing to various people with different religious beliefs and backgrounds. Remember even though the majority of people celebrate Christmas, there are other holidays being celebrated too such as Chanukkah and Kwanzaa so be sure to be sensitive about other holidays when working on your Christmas marketing campaign.

4. Neglecting To Make Your Campaign Strategic : It truly is easy to create a Christmas marketing campaign. However, developing a strategic marketing campaign to reach your target market, engage with them, and achieve your goals is a lot more difficult. Planning three months in advance, yes in the summer time, is the best way to kick off an amazing, results-driven Christmas campaign. But, first you need to figure out what your objectives are, how you are going to measure your success and who you want to reach out to. Then you will need to develop deadlines to make sure you campaign achieves everything you wanted it to.

Now that you have just read what to avoid when developing your Christmas marketing campaign, what are some campaigns you have seen in the past which you think are the best?

Source – See more at: http://www.bentourage.com/business/four-christmas-marketing-mistakes-to-avoid/#sthash.5wpyDq8g.dpuf

FUN FRIDAY!

It’s FUN FRIDAY! We are looking for customer-service stories & marketing blunders to share on our website.

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Funniest / strangest / most popular story receives a free BizBuzz Networking Breakfast Ticket and a Business Feature on our website (Home Page).

Share your experiences via https://horizonbrands.wordpress.com/contact-us/ – Winner will be chosen Monday afternoon 🙂

HOW TWITTER IS CHANGING CUSTOMER SERVICE AGAIN 2013

Many thanks to  Quentin Fottrell for writing this informative article found via http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-twitter-is-changing-customer-service-again-2013-10-16?link=MW_latest_news

Twitter provides consumers a way to publicly air customer service grievances, forcing companies to consider not only the complaint but how it will play among the millions of users listening in. But the social media site is now helping companies make some of those conversations with angry customers once again as private as a call to an 800 number.

For most Twitter users, it’s only possible to send a private “direct message” to a Twitter account that follows them, but the site has slowly been rolling out a way to allow anyone to send a direct message.


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U.K.-based marketing consultant Jim Connolly was one of the latest Twitter users to be offered the service. Under his account settings, he was given the option to click a “Receive direct messages from any follower” box. If it becomes standard, consumers will be able to contact customer service departments, politicians, public advocates and even journalists privately to discuss issues of a sensitive nature — in 140 characters or less. On the upside, “it makes it harder for customer service staff to say, ‘We didn’t see your tweet,’” Connolly says. (A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment.)

It may distinguish real complaints from trolls, Connolly says, and encourage more companies to set up dedicated customer service handles — especially as Twitter prepares to go public. Only 10% of brands respond to public complaints within an hour, a recent survey by data analysis firm Simply Measured found, and the average response time was 5.1 hours. Although 90% of major brands tweet, only 30% have a customer service handle. Connolly liked the option so much, he clicked it himself. “I’ve had about 500 direct messages and only one funny weirdo,” he says.

Also see: Martha Stewart and how not to complain on Twitter

Allowing more direct messages from consumers also gives companies an incentive to deal with a problem promptly — before a disgruntled customer goes public. “Companies really don’t want to get yelled at in public,” says Scott Kurnit, co-founder of TheSwizzle.com, a service that works to remove email spam. “It will be interesting to see how much of the negative traffic goes private or whether people will still enjoy ratting out bad service and products in public.” That said, even private conversations can become public with one screen-grab of the conversation posted as a tweet.

Airing some dirty laundry in public, however, could alert other consumers who are having the same problem, says Kristina Durante, an assistant professor of marketing at theUniversity of Texas at San Antonio. Going public with problems related to your wireless carrier or delivery service, she says, can help drum up support among other users who are having the same problem. Connolly recently used Twitter to deal with a problem with his cellphone service — and had no option but to make his complaint public: “That means that the 7,800 people who follow me probably saw my tweet.”

MARKETING MONDAY

It’s MARKETING MONDAY!

(To have your business featured on our MARKETING MONDAY posts for free, please email us on portelizabethhorizon@gmail.com for further information)

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Network Associates

T : 0861 332 344 / 082 351 7914

We offer Sage Pastel Products and Backend Consulting, we also offer Point of Sales and I.T”

LE MED MEDITERRANEAN TAVERNA

Corner Stanley and Moffet Road, Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth

T : 041 5851306

Open Every day  11 am to 10 pm. Delicious meals  A wide variety of wines, and Light Lunch Menu.”

Toet’s Books

E : toetsbooks@gmail.com

T : 0766645895

Bookkeeping to suit your needs!”

Brand on Gifts

E :  brand_on_gifts@yahoo.com

T : 0724853227″

Baker’s Street

Shop G4 (next to Crazy Store)

Sixth Avenue Shopping Centre

Corner of Heugh Road and Sixth Avenue

Walmer

Port Elizabeth

6070

TELEPHONE: 041 – 581 4106 “

Che Perfumes

Free delivery within PE

 Contact : Cheryl

che.perfumes@gmail.com

Facebook : Che Perfumes “

Econo Services

Specialist Contractors In:

High Pressure Cleaning – Roofing – Waterproofing – Painting – Burglar Proofing

105 1st Avenue Newton Park. 041 365 2746 Cell 072 430 6754

Website http://econoservices.co.za/ Emailpaul@econoservices.co.za “

 

 

12 MYTHS ABOUT STARTING A BUSINESS

Business Myths

1. I need to write a business plan before I start.

No, you don’t. Start-ups are so unpredictable that writing a business plan is a pointless exercise.  You don’t exactly know who your customers are or what benefit/value they get from your product/service. If you think you need to prepare a plan to raise start-up funding see point 3 below.

2. I need lots of business experience.

No, you don’t. There is a little unknown principle called be, do, have.  But for some reason our society believes it is the other way around – have, do, be.  People think you need to have a certain amount of skills, knowledge, contacts before you can start a business (do) and be an entrepreneur/business owner.  A better way to live is first of all just be an entrepreneur then you will do all the things that entrepreneurs do and eventually have the necessary things you thought you needed before you could start.  Essentially fake it till you make it.

3. I need to raise lots of funding before I can start.

No you don’t. This is a risky and unnecessary strategy.  What you need is a minimal viable product to send to potential customers to receive their valuable feedback. Then you can alter your product/service until it’s exactly what they want.  Let them guide you as in the end its customers that will eventually be paying you for it. If there is no demand for this product/service idea you will find out without wasting much time, energy or money.  An MVP is not just market research.  If you were conducting market research you would ask someone if they would find your product useful and they may respond yes – but there is a massive difference between what someone says they will do (during market research) and what they will actually do in the real world.

4. I need a flashy website that will cost thousands.

No, you don’t. You just need and MVP (see point 3). Just use WordPress and build a basic website and buy a domain. Build the site yourself for peanuts.  If your idea is a complex website that would perform a particular function online produce a concierge MVP which essentially means use manpower to carry out the function on a couple of customers to see if the idea has any potential and refine the idea before you spend thousands building a flashy website that would perform the function.  An example is a comparison website. Instead of paying someone to build the functionality – gather the information manually from the relevant sources and produce the comparison by hand and email the customer the results.

5. I will need to spend lots of money on advertising.

No, you don’t. Open a Google Adwords account and teach yourself how to run it effectively.

6. Once I start my own business I’ll have the freedom to do what I want when I want.

When you start a business you need to remember 2 things

1 You will be doing the job that earns the money PLUS all the other roles you didn’t need to worry about whilst in your previous job e.g. sales, marketing, finance, accounting, quoting, invoicing, HR, ordering stationary, buying the coffee, customer service etc.

2 When you start a business your customers own your arse until you can afford to hire staff to deal with these people. Remember this – they will want to know where their work/product is and how quickly you can sort problems out when they happen.

7. I need a nice office to impress customers/clients.

No, you don’t. This is not a required expense in the age of email/skype/dropbox/cloud computing and virtual offices. Work from home and if you need to meet a client then meet them in a hotel bar or book a meeting room at a virtual office centre. They will automatically assume you’re based there.

8. I need to come up with a revolutionary idea.

These ideas carry more risk as they may not have a predefined market established. A much less risky way forward is to look at how current problems are solved (needs are satisfied) and question the obvious – is there a better way (quicker, cheaper, easier, simpler, different) to solve this problem or satisfy this need.  A good place to start is to solve one of your own problems/needs.

9. I’ll need to hire lots of staff.

No, you won’t. Hire only when it hurts and only when subcontracting freelancers doesn’t work for you anymore.

10. I haven’t got the time.

Yes, you have. Turn off the TV and learn about the pareto principle.  Then follow it.

11. Its too risky to start your own business

No, it isn’t.  The concept of a job for life and job security doesn’t exist these days.  We live in a fast paced, ever changing transient world and due to the state of the current economy redundancies are commonplace.  I was made redundant 3 times before starting my first company.  Now I have owned my own business longer than I worked for any other previous employer. So I put this to you. It’s too risky to stay in a job and assume that you will continue to receive your paycheck at the end of each month.  When you set up on your own you are in control and can influence your own destiny better than when you work for a company.

12. It doesn’t matter if I’m not passionate about the product/service/sector I just want to make loads of money.

Take it from me it does matter. The joy of making money soon fades. After making loads of money you will be searching for something that is fulfilling and this comes from following your passion/purpose/calling.

Mark Heptonstall is a young entrepreneur, start-up mentor and personal development enthusiast from Leeds, England.  He likes to constantly question the obvious and experiment with conventional wisdom to see if there is a better way to do things.  Follow him on twitter @markheptonstall

Image Credit: http://www.tirereview.com/

Read more at http://under30ceo.com/12-myths-about-starting-a-business/#E13RiZMzMaHjA0gs.99