Mayday! Mayday! Is Your Marketing in Trouble?

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Mayday! Mayday! Is Your Marketing in Trouble?

Is your marketing in trouble? Let’s take a look at some examples of marketing that works and marketing that doesn’t work and the lessons we can learn from them.

This month I’ve enjoyed collecting some examples of good, bad and downright ugly marketing. I’ll explain what I like and dislike about each example and show you what we can learn from them – so that you can emulate the good examples and avoid the mistakes of the bad ones!

The Good

Big Issue MatthewSay hello to the lovely Matthew, who sells The Big Issue outside Oxford Post Office. If you don’t know about The Big Issue, it’s a magazine sold by homeless people around the country. Each vendor buys a number of copies every week, for £1.25 each. They then sell them for £2.50 each and keep the proceeds. Aside from being a really good read, full of interesting articles and news, the magazine has helped countless homeless people get back on their feet.

Matthew knows how to promote the magazine and encourage people to buy from him on a regular basis. I first met him a few months ago, when I dashed across the road from the bus stop to buy a copy. We had an interesting chat while I waited for the bus. Some vendors aren’t that chatty, but Matthew is. As we talked, someone came past and handed him some food which he accepted graciously.

Recently when I was in Oxford again, I went to find Matthew to buy a copy of the magazine. “I know your face from somewhere,” he told me. We’d only met that one time, but he knew that we had. I reminded him and we had another great chat about the hostel he now lives in. I told him about how I’m collecting examples of good and bad marketing and he let me take his photo.

The Good Lesson – build up relationships with your clients. Be interested and interesting. Be positive and people will keep coming back to buy from you again. (And the next time you see someone wearing a red Big Issue jacket, please buy a copy and have a chat with them!)

The Bad

BluebellsI love gardening. Watching things grow and playing with shapes and colours is something I really enjoy. This spring I decided I’d like to plant some English bluebells under a willow tree in my garden. I flicked through a gardening magazine I read each month and found an advert for a company that specialises in selling bulbs. The advert listed a big range, including bluebells, as well as tulips and daffodils. I decided to order some of those too, as the prices were good. “Order now for delivery in the autumn, to be planted out ready for next year’s Spring display,” the advert told me. I went to the website shown in the ad and put some bluebells into my shopping basket. So far so good. But when I went to order some tulips and daffodils, every single variety on the website was out of stock! Nothing available! I ended up not even ordering the bluebells, because I figured that if I could order everything from a different supplier, I would only have to pay one delivery fee.

The Bad Lesson – when you plan any marketing, whether it’s an advertising campaign, speaking at an event, or the launch of a new service, make sure you can fulfil the orders you generate. If I can’t buy from you when I see your advert, I’m going to buy from someone else and your marketing spend will have been wasted.

The Ugly

I don’t like my broadband supplier. While I accept that my office is in a rural location, quite a distance from the phone exchange, I still think I’m paying too much for a pretty poor service. We switched to the supposedly faster fibre optic service a few months ago and I was told that we would get speeds of up to 11Mbps. So far, we average about 8Mps, which isn’t much faster than the cheaper, standard service. So I called my supplier to see if there was anything they could do. Nothing! They’re not interested in reducing the monthly fee I have to pay to them; they are clearly not interested in the poor service they’re giving me, telling me that 11Mbps is only a ‘guide’ of what I can expect.

As soon as my contract runs out, I’ll be moving to a nicer, more competitively priced supplier who is actually interested in their customers.

The Ugly Lesson – don’t waste your marketing efforts by not looking after your clients once you’ve won them. Treat them as individuals and see what you can do for each one, to make sure they’re happy with your service. Using a script is no substitute for listening to the concerns of individual people. Standard reply emails just don’t cut it.

So is your marketing in trouble? Is it good, bad or just plain ugly? I do hope that it’s good, but if it feel that it’s in trouble and at risk of going bad, do get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to make it good again.

If like my broadband supplier, you need some help with pricing, then you might be interested in a workshop that one of my clients is running on 21 June 2016. Pricing with Confidence is a full day workshop that will help you do just that – charge the price you want to charge! Click here for details and booking.

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